Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I have a friend named Kim. I can't believe it has taken eight months in Korea to discuss this topic, but it has. Kim is 29 years old, the same age as my oldest brother, and he has been kind enough to take me under his wing. He has educated me about Korean society, particularly economics, life as a military conscript and Korean girls, the three areas of his strength. Having listened carefully when he speaks, I have been able to deduce what I call Kim's Three Laws:

1) Beef is always expensive.
2) Korean girls are flat, like coffee shops and want to marry a man who makes at least 3.5 to 4 million won a month (about $40,000 Canadian).
3) Sure! You can do it!

Kim's First Law, that beef is always and everywhere expensive, is almost a tautology. To quote, "you know, on the Korean peninsula, farmers, they do not grow beef. They grow rice or chickens or pigs, but they do not grow much beef." Consequently, beef is expensive at both Korean and Western restaurants in Korea. However, this extends elsewhere too. When we went to China and were charged exorbitantly for a meal that included beef, Kim commented that "I think beef is expensive everywhere", completing the law.

Kim's Second Law comes up constantly, given that about half of Korea is populated by females. At first, I thought the three principles comprising this law were merely exaggeration, but research over the last eight months has shown this to be true. Korean girls are very slim, make up 95-98% of the patrons at a coffee shop and really do want a man who makes about 4 million won a month (most of the women I know around the age of 30 are single).

Kim's Third Law is rooted in his never-ending encouragement of all my endeavours and half-baked ideas. Can I go have dinner with his parents in the country? Sure! You can do it! Can I go buy a chicken from that man over there? Sure! You can do it! Can I move to the countryside and make all my students bow to me? Sure! You can do it!

There is much, much, more that Kim has taught me, but let this suffice as a first post. This is the first post of roughly 1500 that I have tagged, so that you can easily find Kim-related posts in the future.

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