Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is why...

This is why I'm a misanthrope.

I'm a little pissy right now. I'll tell you why. I went out last night with a group of people. Now, for the most part, it was fun. But, seriously, sometimes people just don't know how to act.

I'll admit I'm sensitive. It might not come off in the way I present myself. I'm confident for sure. I know my stuff but I'm also interested in hearing what others have to say on things. I mean how else do you learn if you don't take the time to listen to other people? I also know, however, that my facial expressions reveal volumes. The one thing I don't have is a poker face. It's the drama and performance art school wiring that still hasn't worn off.

Anyway, I'm out and an acquaintance of mine was frequently lamenting about how she needed to find work. I've been here awhile, she's a smart and funny person, so I went out of my way to ask my Korean friends to let me know about any job openings they'd hear of. I forwarded whatever I got and lo and behold through one of my contacts she got an interview. Cool, right?

Turns out this was around the same time I'd gotten back to Seoul after my great vacation home. I was, and still am, heartsick 'cause it seems there's a great guy back home who really likes me. I was homesick for a myriad of other reasons and wondering if coming back for one more year was really worth it. But, most importantly, I was jet-lagged like a mug. Both mentally and physically, this was one of the hardest readjustments I'd ever had since I moved here and, no, this stuff didn't work at all.*

As a result, I started turning off my phone because I was waking up at 1 or 2am Korea time which is 9 or 10am in California time. Basically, just as I was wondering if I'd made the right choice, my body was refusing to switch back to GMT +9 time without a fight.

Well, as I said, she got the interview, hooray! However, she'd not told me about it nor did I have any clue about what was going on until the day she's got to show up. This is the story. I finally wake up. I turn on my phone and there is this frantic text message from her asking me how to get to her interview. I text her back saying I was jet lagged and turned my phone off, but that I hope she made it there and to keep me posted. Well, she didn't keep me posted. In fact, I got radio silence from her. I sensed she was irritated with me.

I finally saw her last evening and she said that she was irritated with me for having my phone off. Excuse me? Last I checked, if it weren't for me you wouldn't have heard about the job. Second, I'm careful over careful regarding job interviews to the point that I will go in advance to scope out the location just to make sure I know where it is. Third, I'd never have the nerve to pull attitude on someone who'd given me a connection to get work. My style is a bit more gracious. I thank people who use their resources to help me.

Later on we're leaving and a group of us are piled into one car. The topic is a friend we have in common. People were going on about how she was "droppin' it like it's hot" on the dance floor and I thought that was a great story.

I also know she's got a great attitude and she's fun to spend time with, so I mention that her mother is in town and she's contacted people to have dinner with them sometime this weekend. I said something like "I can't wait to meet her mother, that's going to be fun." Someone in the car whom I'd not spoken to much during the evening asked me "what do you mean by that?" with this accusatory tone. That caught me off guard because I didn't mean anything bad. I meant what I fuckin' said, asshole. I then decided for the sake of not loosing my temper 'cause I didn't know her and that wasn't the place or time for a confrontation that I meant the woman is funny and interesting and, because of that, I can't wait to meet her mother.

Weird ass fucking people - even drunk I think I'm pretty nice. That's said to anticipate the "maybe they were drunk" defense which is never an excuse in my book. If you can't handle your liquor then don't drink because you being an ass ruins the time for all the drunks with good dispositions. Too bad some people don't think that being nice doesn't applies to them.

I can see why sometimes I'm just content with doing my own damn thing. The social life in Korea can be a Waste Land and I'm starting to loathe the foreign population again in particular. People are irritating.

Other than being rich, I think I might have more in common with the fictional Due des Esseintes than I want to admit.

Huysmans recounts that the Duc des Esseintes lived alone in a vast villa on the outskirts of Paris. He rarely went anywhere to avoid what he took to be the ugliness and stupidity of others. One afternoon in his youth, he had ventured into a nearby village for a few hours and had felt his detestation of people grow fierce. Since then he had chosen to spend his days alone in bed in his study, reading the classics of literature and moulding acerbic thoughts about humanity.
from the Art of Travel by Alain de Botton


Okay, :::rant mode off:::

Time for me to get started with my day.

Oh and, yes, I told the first person how I feel, so no this isn't the punk's way of calling someone out. I don't know the second person well enough to care to discuss it. I'm just sharing the story 'cause it's on my mind and triggers some sort of feeling. Feeling is pretty much what inspires all of my blogs.

And here is the music selection for the day from the same album with "Drop It Like It's Hot" but I like this song better.

Signs - Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake:


*In all fairness, it did seem to work from Seoul to the L.A. But I forget which way is supposed to be the easier adjustment. Either traveling from east to west or vice versa across the Pacific is supposed to be easier. I hit the ground running when I got to L.A., so maybe it's east to west. West to east was just BRUTAL.

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  1. Evidenced by such an ungrateful recipient of career assistance, as Clare Boothe Luce said, "No good deed goes unpunished." I guess that won't stop us from doing them though. Jane, you may like your solitude, but just let me assure you that you are not alone. You've managed to nail in words the very reason why I am more than happy tramping around in the rural countryside "at the end of the earth" and far away from most human beings. Unfortunately, it has been my finding too that most of the other expats where I live (with some shining exceptions) are just not worth the time.

  2. I'm over it now. That's why I wrote about it. This blog is fun, but it's also cheap therapy ;)

    I'm still a misanthrope though. It's just that when stuff like this goes down, I have to be careful 'cause I'm sensitive. I'll still go out of my way to help people. I just have to realize some people just don't have good manners.

  3. Yes, that was the idea of starting my blog too: cheap, DIY therapy.

    Your point about manners is an excellent one though. At least it puts things into a better perspective.

  4. Yeah, well, it's all sorted out now. I even saw the accusatory tone slinger again and after I'd met the mother, I could say THAT'S what I meant by that comment. To which the reply was "ohhhhhhh..."

    I'm helpful. I'll continue to be so. I was out at fashion week here in Seoul and we were photographing one girl (she was a great example of Seoul street fashion) so we scooped her out of the line she was in to get into a show. As a result she got ushered in when we did and her poor friend was calling her name and waving her hands while being left behind. I doubled back to get the friend, so I'll just stick with being helpful 'cause I'd want someone to double back to get me too ;)

  5. misanthrope-- Ah that's a word that should have expat as its synonym. I know exactly what you mean. It's something about living abroad that brings out some extraordinary attitude from people. They can't control their environments so they try to pull 'rank' over other people to increase their feelings of worthiness or feel comfortable in their environment.

    best of luck. And love your blog!

  6. Thanks for the compliment and support. I've learned to avoid the folks who just can't be cool. However, this turned out to be more of a misunderstanding than a real issue. At that point however, I felt it had a universality to it and just kept the post up. I mean it does represent my feelings about it at the time I wrote it. Since it's from the heart, it stays ;)


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.