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  • Dreamer
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • March 02, 2011, 07:43:21 am
    • korea
Discrimination in South Korea
« on: May 04, 2014, 01:09:57 pm »
Yesterday I went looking for an apartment to rent. I was helped by a Korean friend I met while hiking a couple years ago. I was fortunate to have her assistance as I can’t communicate in Korean.

While searching I spotted a new apartment building and decided to approach. My friend rang the bell for the building owners (a Korean couple) and we were called up to their apartment. After a brief conversation we were lead to a vacant apartment in the building. The apartment was fantastic in comparison to what I had viewed earlier that week. We agreed on a price and earliest day for me to occupy the apartment.
 
Not long after we left the apartment , the owner (wife) called my friend and said that she is concerned because I am a foreigner and that she is only accepting me because of my Korean friend’s word that I can be trusted. My friend assured her that everything will be fine. She also requested a copy of my passport which I had agreed to give her.

Today my friend called to ask if I can place a deposit down to secure the apartment. She was informed that they have changed their minds because they are concerned about safety.

Thoughts:

I am disappointed in the discrimination I have experienced from this Korean couple. I appreciate many things about Korea but this incident reflects the types of problems that expats often experience in South Korea. If reincarnation does exist, I hope our roles are reversed in the next life. In the spirit of Nelson Mandela, I would not hold a grudge should our roles be reversed or now.

It is possible that they will one day know better but will find an acceptable excuse for their actions and continue in their discriminating ways. I hope they reach the stage of changing their ways and treating people fairly.  This also serves as a reminder to me to not delay changing my ways should I be enlightened.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 01:19:31 pm by Dreamer »


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 01:46:10 pm »
If reincarnation does exist, I hope our roles are reversed in the next life.

You want to be reincarnated as a Korean?  You want to study for 14 hours a day as a child, do 2 years of military service (if you're a guy), then work 70 hours per week trying to impress a boss with your drinking and bowing abilities?  Have fun with that.  :rolleyes:

Yes, discrimination exists here.  It exists everywhere.  Black people face this crap  wherever they go.  I'm assuming you're white, so this is probably the first time it's actually happened to you

Some advice - search for an honest 부동산 who can speak some English.  You can tell tell them your price range and what you want.  The 부동산 will do a credit check to make sure your large deposit is in safe hands. 

More advice - dress well, groom well, and speak some Korean.  People will start treating you exceptionally well. 


Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 02:02:05 pm »
In all fairness, it's probably because of their age. I mean, they've spent their lives having tenants vomiting in the stairwell and beating their girlfriends, but they've always been Korean. They probably wouldn't know what to do if it were non-Koreans doing such things (which we all do all the time because TV says so, and guns).


Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 02:07:19 pm »
This has happened to me every year when I move. Now, I just straight up ask on the phone if they will rent to foreigners or not. If they say yes, then I look at the place.  I've gotten immediate "no"s (without seeing my appearance or knowing if I speak Korean, so there goes that theory). I've gotten "do you drink a lot of alcohol?" so then I just hung up. Then, at my current place, the owner said "sure, why wouldn't we rent to you?" 
So, basically, people have preconceived notions of you. It doesn't matter what you wear or if you talk about dokdo. They are just racist, or not racist. So, keep trying. You'll find a good place with cool owners eventually.


  • madison79
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1372

    • October 19, 2010, 01:26:04 pm
    • Interweb
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 02:56:13 pm »
In all fairness, it's probably because of their age. I mean, they've spent their lives having tenants vomiting in the stairwell and beating their girlfriends, but they've always been Korean. They probably wouldn't know what to do if it were non-Koreans doing such things (which we all do all the time because TV says so, and guns).

and it's widely excepted too since there is  no repercussions.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 09:03:11 pm by madison79 »
It's -ev to deal with some people.


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 03:46:50 pm »
In all fairness, it's probably because of their age. I mean, they've spent their lives having tenants vomiting in the stairwell and beating their girlfriends, but they've always been Korean. They probably wouldn't know what to do if it were non-Koreans doing such things (which we all do all the time because TV says so, and guns).

Hahaha... quite right.  It's also worth noting that if you don't speak Korean and they don't speak English, then there's no way for them to communicate with you.  I wouldn't want to rent property to someone who doesn't understand anything I say. 

Your job also affects your ability to get a lease.  I've never heard of a uni teacher having trouble getting a lease.  I'm guessing public school sounds good too. 


Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2014, 04:01:16 pm »
It is true that it could -- could -- be difficult to have a tenant who does not speak the same language, but going by the OP's account they were okay at first because of his Korean friend, but then they changed their mind because they didn't want to deal with a foreigner. I got the impression that they thought a foreigner would be too liable to destroy things or endanger others. :huh:


  • rocketeerjoe
  • Expert Waygook

    • 768

    • March 08, 2012, 07:52:35 am
    • Jinhae, South Korea
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 03:35:28 pm »
I think it's racist but it's also hilarious that Koreans would assume waygooks are just so wild they present a clear and present danger to everyone else in an apartment building...  :rolleyes:
"If you want to change your direction. If your time of life is at hand. Well, then don't be the rule, be the exception. A good place to start is to stand. Just put one foot in front of the other." - Rankin Bass Santa Claus


  • DNR0311
  • Veteran

    • 88

    • October 29, 2012, 09:59:25 am
    • Busan
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 03:21:11 pm »
I'm mixed race and I've gotten more "What are you's?" back home in New York. In Korea, we are all waygook. That said, I deliberately told every boo-dong-san that I am foreign and to notify the apartment owners of such to avoid any bigots and did not have to deal with any.

Got a great apartment in Seomyeon, Busan. English and Korean lease. Nice apartment owners who aren't bigots are much nicer about fixing things in the apartment. They even gave me a free microwave when I asked, since the apartment didn't have one. Trust me, you did not want to live with those people checking in on you. Or giving you a hard time when you need your Korean friends to speak with them about any apartment matters. You dodged a bullet!


  • Nominstar86
  • Adventurer

    • 46

    • June 07, 2014, 05:32:21 pm
    • United States
    more
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 05:25:32 pm »
Don't beat yourself over it. Wherever you go there will be some type of racism. It's probably a good thing that you didn't get that apartment. You wouldn't want to be involved with people who excessively overthink things and then gives you a hard time because of it. It's better not to be stalked by your landlords because of "security/safety" issues.
"Some folks are wise and some are otherwise."

-Tobias Smollett


Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 06:52:48 pm »
You have to understand that Korea has the most racially prejudiced people in Asia. They have no excuse for at after what happened to them in the past.

What you should do to protest their bigotry is buy a Korean flag, desecrate it, and leave it at the door of these Korean landlords. desecrating a flag or burning it is one of the most cruelest ways you can get back at racist people in a homogeneous society.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5034

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 07:57:36 am »
What you should do to protest their bigotry is buy a Korean flag, desecrate it, and leave it at the door of these Korean landlords. desecrating a flag or burning it is one of the most cruelest ways you can get back at racist people in a homogeneous society.
Brilliant advice. Let's protest racism by justifying it.  :rolleyes:

Also, while racism and nationalism are both alive and well here in Korea, I wouldn't be so quick to say that Korea is the MOST racially prejudiced country in Asia. Look up the discrimination against the Ainu in Japan, or the hill tribes in Vietnam to get an idea of what real, hostile racism looks like. Even the Chinese/Indian/Malay tensions in Malaysia is a lot worse than whatever crap we experience here.

***

I agree that it's probably best not to rent in an apartment where the landlords have negative preconceptions of you. It would be too easy for them to screw you over concerning things like deposits etc. Best find a place where they're happy to see you (and your money). Having a good landlord is great! Mine welcomed me with a bucket of persimmons.  :smiley:


  • Gordon
  • Adventurer

    • 66

    • March 30, 2012, 11:08:32 am
    • Pyeongtaek-Si
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 09:21:25 am »
In any country,as a landlord, you have choice.  Someone who is going to live here for ever, or someone you are pretty sure will leave the country.  As a business person not a difficult choice really!


  • Hot6^
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1759

    • March 14, 2014, 02:46:01 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2014, 09:32:56 am »
oh look, its another one of these threads.... :rolleyes:
What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.


  • grey
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1502

    • April 08, 2011, 04:47:11 am
    • USA
    more
Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2014, 10:27:19 am »
oh look, its another one of these threads.... :rolleyes:

Oh look it's another person commenting on one of these threads...
Ko fills half his luggage with instant noodles for his international business travels, a lesson he learned after assuming on his first trip that three packages would suffice for six days. “Man, was I wrong. Since then, I always make sure I pack enough.”
-AP


Re: Discrimination in South Korea
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2014, 02:21:43 pm »
oh look, its another one of these threads.... :rolleyes:

I thought the same thing  :laugh:
But how do I know what to lick and what not to lick?