Sunday, June 20, 2004

I am my own guest poster

I'm back from my one day in Japan-- and I've got a couple pictures, but haven't uploaded them to my FTP space yet. Part of the reason is that I got back to my place around midnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I had to wake up early to get ready and take the KTX train to Taejeon (or Daejeon, as it's being "officially" spelled on all the displays at the station). I'm in a mosquito-infested PC-bahng-- a somewhat redundant description of PC-bahngs in the summer-- in Taejeon right now. Am staying at a rather nice love hotel (W40,000 is steep, but damn, what a nice BED! Fuck-frenzied couples will literally bounce off the walls if they choose to Make Sweet Love on this thing) called "K," a name that's easy to remember.

I'd write a lengthy piece about my few hours in Osaka with Justin and his lovely girlfriend Nam (she's Thai, speaks fluent Japanese and English, and is going for her doctorate-- I forgot to ask in what), but Justin's done such a great job of it on his blog that it's better simply to link you. The margin of Justin's blog has pics of some of the things we did. While I'm way too low-key in person to "tear up the town," or "paint the town red" (I've always envisioned someone fountaining bloody urine as they run naked down the street), I think you'll enjoy my attempt at writing the character "(r)yong" (dragon) in mustard. Quick-- take a look before Justin updates his margin again.

[UPDATE: Justin wrote in to say that his pics have a permanent home here.]

While you're at Cosmic Buddha, be sure to read about how Justin's catching the Koreablogger wave: like Andi and Shawn, he's befriended a cat in need.

The religious studies demon in me takes over for a second, and now I have some questions for Jeff and Joel:

1. Both of you are ex-missionaries who came to Korea under the umbrella of LDS. I think Joel is no longer a practicing Mormon (or at least doesn't toe any conventional theological lines), and I'm not sure whether Jeff is still LDS. How many ex-missionaries end up staying in Korea after they finish their proselytization? Is there anything like a "community" of ex-missionaries here?

2. If neither of you is toe-the-line LDS any longer, why not?

3. Assuming (2) is true and neither of you is orthodox Mormon, are the reasons for your shift in stance/evolution/etc. largely Korea-related, personal, or some interesting combination?

Just a few questions because I'm a primate, and primates are naturally curious.

A quick remark re: Paul Johnson's beheading. It doesn't make me afraid. It makes me angry. Heaven help the people who underestimate us on this count: individually, Americans come in all shapes and sizes, and yes, some of us are even cowards. But taken as a people, we won't roll over and play dead (though sometimes I think we need to follow this ethic a with more vigor).

I'm interviewing at Woosong University on Monday. Keep your tentacles and antennae crossed.


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