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Author Topic: Unique Problem  (Read 6542 times)

Offline Lawrence

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Unique Problem
« on: June 09, 2014, 03:07:00 PM »

     While most people come on here to complain about Korean people mistreating them, a contract problem, a classroom management problem, etc I’m coming on here with a very unique problem. Please read the entire post even though it is a little long.

     My problem began in mid March. I was walking home alone from church on a Sunday afternoon when a middle aged Korean man who was riding a bike stopped, got off, and began asking many questions. At first I just didn’t want to speak but I didn’t think he would get so personal. When something strange or frightening happens I don’t usually think right. I answered most of his questions. He wanted my number and wanted to do Kakao Talk. Some strange questions he asked were, “Do you live alone?” and “Where do you work?”. He also said he was going wherever I was going.
 
     He claims to have a wife but I never saw one in his pictures on Kakao Story. I have seen a woman in some pictures but I’m not sure if that is his wife. This guy continuously wants to meet me. He calls me and sends messages all the time. My wife saw his pictures and she thinks he is just looking for a free English lesson. Personally I think the guy might also be gay. Now I’m not anti gay but I a straight man with very little time because I work at two schools and I have a toddler. I have very little time on my hands to do English lessons or go to the park or wherever this guy wants spontaneously. Also I have that in my gut feeling that something just isn’t right. I mean the guy is 49 and I’m 28. After every question he asked me he was like “Wow, really” “Ooohhh”, “Aaahhh” and other silly stuff. My wife suggested charging him for lessons but I’m not interested in that. You have to have the right permit and I’m not risking doing it illegally because even though I have an F-6 visa you still have to get the permit and report everything. I thought about a language exchange but I know plenty of Korean people that I can already do that with and I feel comfortable with them.
     
     So supposing that this guy is just looking for an English lesson does anybody know any groups that might cater to this guy in the Suncheon/Gwangyang area? Eventually I plan on blocking him but I wanted to offer him some advice on where to go, not to just block him. He said he likes English and it is possible that he is just a really ambitious guy who just wants to learn but doesn’t know how to properly go about it. 

Offline jwharrison30

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 03:12:39 PM »
If he is really bothering you then just block him, quite easy.

Reminds me of the time some guy ran after me in emart waving his hagwon English homework at me trying to get me to do it...

Offline Ley_Druid

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 03:13:40 PM »
There might be some groups there, as there are many native speakers in Suncheon. He might be able to go to some langauge exchanges in Gwangju as well.

Be careful with him but be direct. Don't assume he is gay. Realistically, gay Korean men usually don't go after white men. That is what I was told by a gay Korean man, but it might just have been him.

In any case, you should be friendly, but you don't have to always reply to him. Let him know you heard about some great group (after you find out about it) and suggest it to him. Let him know you are interested, but that you won't be able to attend because you and your wife are taking care of the baby. Make him understand that your family needs you as you have no other relatives in Korea (just say that, even if it isn't true).

I don't think that this is a unique problem, nor do I think it is a big deal. Just let him down gentely.

Offline new-waygook

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 03:15:02 PM »
While creepy, those questions are pretty common.  My assumption would be that he's looking for an English speaking "friend" to work on his language skills. 
I honestly think you are trying to be too nice to the guy.  You don't need to find him English lessons.  If he wants to learn so badly he knows where to go to pay for such a service.  He just wants them for free and you are a conveniently foreign individual he can feign friendship with and get the same result without the pricetag.  If you aren't interested just tell him you are too busy and start ignoring his messages if he keeps at it.

Offline aklimkewicz

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 03:15:33 PM »
You're not obligated to be his friend. I'd point him in direction of some foreigner Facebook groups in your area. He's bound to find someone there who'd exchange teaching time for cash.
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Offline iamrhart

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 03:15:41 PM »
looks like you were the target of the 'free englishy lesson/friend'.  it might be hard to ignore him, cause if you run into him again, what would you say?

ask him what he wants, dont be the victim. and if what he wants isnt jellin with ya, then tell him. NICELY.

if he gets aggressive, then you get more aggressive.

good luck.
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Offline yfb

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 03:19:16 PM »
Block and delete him. You don't need to be nice or polite. He's using you for free English lessons. Think about it: Back home, if you wanted to learn Korean, would you go up to some random Korean on the street and start badgering them with questions about their personal life?

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 03:22:25 PM »
While creepy, those questions are pretty common.  My assumption would be that he's looking for an English speaking "friend" to work on his language skills. 
I honestly think you are trying to be too nice to the guy.  You don't need to find him English lessons.  If he wants to learn so badly he knows where to go to pay for such a service.  He just wants them for free and you are a conveniently foreign individual he can feign friendship with and get the same result without the pricetag.  If you aren't interested just tell him you are too busy and start ignoring his messages if he keeps at it.

Yes, but after I told him the apartment name he wanted to know which specific building (몇동). Usually just saying the name minus the exact building and my contact details and the question isn't so uncommon. Yes, sometimes I don't respond like when he calls.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 03:25:36 PM »
looks like you were the target of the 'free englishy lesson/friend'.  it might be hard to ignore him, cause if you run into him again, what would you say?

ask him what he wants, dont be the victim. and if what he wants isnt jellin with ya, then tell him. NICELY.

if he gets aggressive, then you get more aggressive.

good luck.

Right, I don't want to run into him again, especially if I just block him without some excuse. He lives a few blocks away although I agree if he gets aggressive then I will lose basic respect.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 03:29:19 PM »
Just as a side question. Have any of you ever lied about not speaking English or about returning soon? I know I have read on this site that sometimes people pretend they don't speak English and it is possible that in this country not everyone who is white speaks English. There are a number of Russian, French, Spanish, and even German speakers in this country. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to just say I was visiting a friend and I'm returning to Canada tomorrow. I'm American but it would throw him off more I guess.

Offline jordan.schultz

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 03:30:57 PM »
I have a few ajjumas in my area who have stopped me and asked me all kinds of personal questions like that, I just smile, act polite, and keep moving.  I don't care about culture, if I wouldn't give people my personal information back home I'm certainly not doing it here.  In my case these ladies are religious nuts I think, either that or they keep tabs on all the foreigners in town (not a large town so only about 20 foreign teachers), for what reason I have no idea.

Offline jwharrison30

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 03:31:25 PM »
Just as a side question. Have any of you ever lied about not speaking English or about returning soon? I know I have read on this site that sometimes people pretend they don't speak English and it is possible that in this country not everyone who is white speaks English. There are a number of Russian, French, Spanish, and even German speakers in this country. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to just say I was visiting a friend and I'm returning to Canada tomorrow. I'm American but it would throw him off more I guess.

Tell him you are Chinese.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 03:34:32 PM »
Just as a side question. Have any of you ever lied about not speaking English or about returning soon? I know I have read on this site that sometimes people pretend they don't speak English and it is possible that in this country not everyone who is white speaks English. There are a number of Russian, French, Spanish, and even German speakers in this country. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to just say I was visiting a friend and I'm returning to Canada tomorrow. I'm American but it would throw him off more I guess.

Tell him you are Chinese.

As a joke I did that in middle school with the students but they didn't buy it ;)

Offline stemarty

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2014, 03:38:02 PM »
This isn't a unique problem. I've had weirder.

Just ignore him and block him on your phone. You don't need to be every persons "friend" the moment they try to engage conversation with you. The questions he was asking seem pretty average to me. Again, I've had much weirder. Don't worry about it.

 Ignore him and he will get the hint eventually and or find a new foreigner to befriend. 

Offline madison79

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2014, 05:25:09 PM »
I can tell you he's not gay.  I've know gay people in Korea and it's pretty secretive.  If anyone they don't know walks into a gay bar people leave.  Gay bars are well hidden outside of Seoul. 
As far a the many questions it's pretty normal for Koreans to try and find common ground. 
It's -ev to deal with some people.

Offline SpaceRook

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2014, 06:12:34 PM »
     So supposing that this guy is just looking for an English lesson does anybody know any groups that might cater to this guy in the Suncheon/Gwangyang area? Eventually I plan on blocking him but I wanted to offer him some advice on where to go, not to just block him. He said he likes English and it is possible that he is just a really ambitious guy who just wants to learn but doesn’t know how to properly go about it.

Don't help him.  Don't do anything except block him.  I don't care how "ambitious" the guy is.  Don't reward bad behavior. 


Offline madison79

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 08:21:18 PM »
     So supposing that this guy is just looking for an English lesson does anybody know any groups that might cater to this guy in the Suncheon/Gwangyang area? Eventually I plan on blocking him but I wanted to offer him some advice on where to go, not to just block him. He said he likes English and it is possible that he is just a really ambitious guy who just wants to learn but doesn’t know how to properly go about it.

Don't help him.  Don't do anything except block him.  I don't care how "ambitious" the guy is.  Don't reward bad behavior.

What bad behavior?  This Korean guy is trying to find a way to improve his English.  Maybe he doesn't have money for hagwon lessons or privates.  Kind of heartless attitude.  We don't know his life or situation.  Some of you people stub your toe and think it's a heart attack. 

Oh no, he asked where you live.  The horror!  Then asked about your life.  Oh, snap.  What a jerk.  What next?  He actually contacted you after asking for your number.  OMG People. 
It's -ev to deal with some people.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 09:06:07 PM »
     So supposing that this guy is just looking for an English lesson does anybody know any groups that might cater to this guy in the Suncheon/Gwangyang area? Eventually I plan on blocking him but I wanted to offer him some advice on where to go, not to just block him. He said he likes English and it is possible that he is just a really ambitious guy who just wants to learn but doesn’t know how to properly go about it.

Don't help him.  Don't do anything except block him.  I don't care how "ambitious" the guy is.  Don't reward bad behavior.

What bad behavior?  This Korean guy is trying to find a way to improve his English.  Maybe he doesn't have money for hagwon lessons or privates.  Kind of heartless attitude.  We don't know his life or situation.  Some of you people stub your toe and think it's a heart attack. 

Oh no, he asked where you live.  The horror!  Then asked about your life.  Oh, snap.  What a jerk.  What next?  He actually contacted you after asking for your number.  OMG People.

Well when we spoke he said that he works for a big company and we discussed his salary and he does have money. However, that is not really it though. I'm speculating based upon what he says that he wants English lessons but maybe like casually talking and hanging out. That is what I gather. Since I don't have the time or desire and I respect that the man wants to learn, however he thinks it is best to do that, through sly means or otherwise, I wanted to kindly point him in the right direction.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 09:11:53 PM »
Some people have said that this is not entirely unique and I'm not trying to say that it has never happened but I wanted to ask about the comment. When Koreans want English lessons don't they normally ask straight up? I have had Koreans ask for themselves or their children and said no but this guy seems like he is beating around the bush about it. That is why I thought it was unique, plus to ask for a phone number. I mean I understand the questions are not particularly abnormal but when coupled with the Kakao Talk and Story, oh and also the wanting to take a picture of me. I thought it was kind of strange.

Offline Monfab

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Re: Unique Problem
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 07:51:10 AM »
oh and also the wanting to take a picture of me. I thought it was kind of strange.

It's not that strange. I've had people on the street quite a few times ask me for a picture, sometimes with them and sometimes without. I think that it's more of a curiosity thing. I  imagine them sat around with their family looking through their photos later  and saying things like, "And here's a nice flower I saw, and here's some food I ate, and Look here's one of those foreigners, aren't they strange?"

Veni, Vidi, Vici.......... but I got a little cold