Posted by
Gavin
• 11.27.08 01:05 am


When I first heard photographer and regular Street Boner contributor Vincent Dermody had moved to Korea, the first question that popped into my head is, “Why?”

When I first heard photographer and regular Street Boner contributor Vincent Dermody had moved to Korea, the first question that popped into my head is, “Why?” Asia blows, all 17 million square miles of it. They like each other about 2% more than they like animals and they fucking hate animals. In China for example, they believe the more pain an animal suffers before it’s death, the more delicious it is. They also say, “If it moves it’s food.” Ew.

I’ve traveled all over Mainland China and Japan and Korea. I also lived in Taiwan for about 6 months and despite having way more money than the Mainland, it was equally gross. Sure they’re smarter than us and the girls are knockouts, but they see Westerners as Chewbacca meets Booger from Revenge of the Nerds so your only hope for poon is to pick up some of the abandoned white girls who are sick of being ignored. The men are nice and allergic to crime but who the fuck knows how they feel about anything? Here’s a notion, how about you tell me what’s on your mind? Who fucking cares how much face you save? Life’s too short, short guy! I’m Scotch Irish and our whole existence is based on losing as much face as possible. If we don’t like a stranger’s shoes for example, we’ll go up and ask him, “Here, you. Gonnee explain them bloody winkle pickers by the way?” In most of Asia you don’t even know if you’re talking to a ninja who’s been hired to assassinate you.

Throw in tile floors, a disdain for heat, deep-seated racism, gay music, no sleep, pollution, meat hanging out the window, workaholism, no drugs, way too much traffic, and an inability to booze, and you have a continent almost perfectly designed for not visiting.

Street Carnage: So yeah, Vincent, what were you thinking?
Dermody: I like that Boner about the Koreans collapsing all the time. They literally do fucking pass out. They also have no peripheral vision and stare so unabashedly; it makes one feel like prey. That bone helped pay back the little loss of self I’ve found in this culture. It’s like America in the fifties without jazz or greasers.

Go on. You read my intro. What are you doing there?
My parents are Irish by birth, and I’m a plastic-paddy. Living here is the opposite of punk rock. I’ll be lucky if I make it six months.
I’m massively sick from the air pollution with a raging hot sinus infection at the moment. Called in sick half an hour ago, and I’ve received five phone calls from my bosses in the last fifteen minutes. I’ve already blown my top at “management” so many times that my immediate supervisor doesn’t speak to me anymore, she just sends me inter-office emails in Hangul that I poorly decipher on the internet.

My brother just lost his job there for leaving to visit a friend who was dying in Thailand. The friend died. When my brother came back they told him it wasn’t a good enough excuse. How can you possibly meet their standards?
My recruiter fucked everything up so bad that they failed to mention I would have a piss test the day after I arrived. Of course I was riding dirty. After making the weirdest phone call of my entire life, me and a Swede headed south to his little brother’s place to pick up some pee. The cab went over ninety miles an hour, sustained for an absolutely unruly and gleeful twenty minutes, a bag of ice holding the Swede’s brother’s DNA between my legs. Like we robbed the piss bank. Several lights were blown, switching lanes as if they weren’t there in neon yellow. Almost fucking dying on the expressway because it’s after midnight, and the cab charges double then, triple when it goes really fast (that makes sense). Not a cop to be seen anywhere. The next day my sickly little severe-faced boss ironically wishes me “good luck” on the way out the door to the health exam, the icy piss duct taped to my belly.

So that’s how you meet their standards. You cheat. What about that fucking food? It’s nothing like Asian food here. It’s inedible.
Yesterday afternoon I go to the grocery store on my lunch break to find something to supplement the scary squid and uncooked rice with stinky egg casserole that looked like off-white Jell-O, settling on bananas. Koreans get concerned over the most bizarre minute details and buying ANYTHING is such a chore, the clerk at the register jogging off with the bananas. And the guy in line behind me sternly tells me to wait. No shit Sherlock, I need those bananas. So I start giving him the business knowing full well he won’t have a flying fucking clue as to what I’m talking about. “Do you like bananas?” in my best teach-the-second-graders voice. “They are my favorite!” I tell him like a big goof. I almost started singing the Banana Song, the irony completely lost on this culture. Duh. So I ask him what the Korean word for bananas is. He’s like: “Ba-na-na.”And I go, “banana? It’s the same word.” He’s like, “No. We say BA-NA-NA. Not banana.” The clerk comes back like 10 minutes later with the BA-NA-NAs all gift-wrapped up. No one in the now ten-person line seemed to mind. I was flabbergasted however. If I were at a grocery store in Chicago, somebody would have pulled out a gun, or at least punched somebody in the face.
And I haven’t even addressed the morning commute. I’ll be lucky if I don’t go to prison for assault.

What do you do for “fun”?
If I’m not at the Martial Arts school down my block, I’m watching action movies from the nineties on cable. Steven Segal every night. He looks like an old Korean dude, especially in his late work, all paunchy and sunburned. I’d kill to be home right now — and by “home” I mean with my family eating turkey and being only a tiny bit annoyed. Oh wait, I got some jokes…
Hey, how do you catch a unique turkey?
U-NEEK-UP-ON-IT
How do you catch a tame turkey?
TAME-WAY-U-NEEK-UP-ON-HIM-TOO!

OK that’s it. I gotta go. Happy Thanksgiving.

All images © 2008 Vincent Dermody


Comments
  1. Jorge Negro says:

    Some entertaining anecdotes, but… There’s a billion ESL teachers unhappy with their lives because they don’t have the balls to adjust to another culture and they can’t do anything better than teach English. Nobody cares.

  2. StreetCarnageFan says:

    What this guy is feeling is completely normal, its called culture shock.

  3. buttery says:

    sign this guy up, regular contributor etc.
    (please)

  4. Machiavelli Johnson says:

    Jorge Negro still lives at home with his mommy.

  5. Dorp says:

    this guy is very funny

  6. Chingo Gringo says:

    I studied abroad in Europe, that shit was the jam. Like the old Vice article sez, Disneyland for college kids. It’s true, it’s true. In Stockholm the girls and boys working behind the counter at Burger King looked much more attractive than me. I would visit Asia but I would agree with the article’s initial assessment. I’m bothered by cultures that are really roundabout. The Germans are great for that, they make straight shooting Texas cowboys look like fucking geisha business men or something.

  7. glendon rusch says:

    felching scumbag

  8. cobra says:

    but still george nigger IS right: hey pussy, if you can’t stand anything else than USA, why do you even bother. asshole.
    but your piece was very funny.
    and the plastic trevi fountain, wow.
    but i’m sorry did you say you were a PHO-TO-GRA-PHER??

  9. @cobra says:

    that’s a lot of buts butthole

  10. All the World is Green says:

    We’re gonna hear from Taeil whenever he wakes up and sees this shit.
    I hope he doesn’t remind us that he’s an Asian again.

  11. The Dizzle In F Sharp says:

    Korean food is tasty…not like Chinese food at all. It’s not impossible to get drugs, almost easy at times, but it’s damn expensive. It’s easy to live, things are cheap. It’s an alchohol culture, so showing up to work smelling like booze, hooker, and puke is okay…and usually good for a laugh if you have a good boss that “like’s the ladies”. Not to mention, you will never have to be embarrassed about anything you’ve done the night before. They think we’re stupid…but aren’t we. I think it’s a charming little place…and unless you’re a fat mess with zero social skills, you can get laid by girls that you can’t even get close enough to rape over here in the North America.

  12. addict says:

    really good pictures!

  13. addict says:

    dude, you’re not “scoth irish” i am SCOTTISH and we fucking hate all you americans who come over here and try and claim a tiny insy little bit of fucking heritage and call yourself SCOTCH, even if your great grandfather did once own a second hand kilt that would be scottish if anything not scotch. Your american, it sucks but just fucking deal with it.

  14. Dr. Bernstein says:

    I notice that sometimes asian girls have vaginas that look a little “worn” – like the are dark red around the labia even when they have not engaged in intercourse. If you combine that with often unruly pubic hair it is a real turn off. Gorgeous faces though.

  15. doucherag says:

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATERS
    you don’t like easy money and good pussy? you can’t appreciate good ass food? murican’s got some wack shit too. get over yourself, grow up, grow some balls, man up and experience a world that exists outside of your fucking comfort zone. i don’t read this site to hear useless pricks bitch. nice pics tho.

  16. rjb says:

    They don’t eat anything that moves.

    They eat anything with it’s back to the sky.

  17. goddamnit! says:

    asians scare me for they have no soul. wtf’s up w/that guy’s shirt?

  18. beefbalones says:

    I just got back from china and this is spot on. chinese always want to have the nice shit but they don’t have an eye for nuance or irony or even basic design principles (ALL the showers in the hotels sprayed over the edges of the tub) so it’s all the “nicest” stuff from today plastered right on top of the “nicest” stuff from 1992 and you’re constantly reeling from decor eyesores, call that culture shock if you like… the real problem is that there isn’t any outside cultural influence adding some balance, they’re so fucking isolated going “we got this guys, we’ll figure it out by our lonesome” when a little miscegenation would solve alot of there problems. so yeah, if you’re a mexican, move there.

  19. zez says:

    addict Says:
    11.27.08 at 10:00 am

    “dude, you’re not “scoth irish”….”

    You’re not Scottish either. No true Scotsman would ever address someone as “dude”. It’d be “Haw, dickhead…”, or “Here ya prick…”, or “Listen, bawjaws…”. Scottish my arse.

  20. CaptainQueef says:

    so…should i go to south korea or japan next year? all i want to do is bang as many asian girls as i can. the rest is just details.

    any advice is appreciated.

  21. Jessica says:

    Life in south east asia is more depressing than the lives of the sewer dwellers in New York City. No matter how many horror stories you’ve heard before hand, you’ve still got to see it. Once. Then get out.

    Hooray for this guy. What’s worse than complaining about South Korea is enjoying South Korea. Then you know something is really wrong.

    annyong-he-kasay-yo!

  22. screech's pimpbot Kevin says:

    Gavin, that might be true for mainland asia, but southeast asia is the shit. it’s pretty much the opposite of everything you complained about mainland asia. Shutup your mouth, then go there.You saying asia is wack because of korea and china is like judging all of Africa based on South Africa.

  23. Vane$$a says:

    Sounds awful. I like foreign countries that are insane, not insanely trying to maintain order. And can you imagine all the pent-up tension in a country where everyone still thinks that pot is bad for you? Korea makes W. Virginia look like Copenhagen.

  24. Taeil says:

    Listen, I only have to comment on this post because the motherfucker stated we don’t have peripheral vision. Have you seen our eyes!!!!????

    That’s all we fucking got.

  25. bloodyknows says:

    dear god, i was half-assedly considering maybe getting one of these esl jobs for a while because i don’t have post-graduation plans (with my english major and this fucked economy) but this scared the shit out of me. i don’t think i could handle more than a few weeks in an environment like that without killing myself. i’d rather live in my parents’ house in rural virginia and work some shit job for like $18k/yr than deal with an environment like that.

    the pics were good though.

  26. ew says:

    EAST AZIANS SUCK TINY COX!! HAITIANS CAN MAKE OUR SNEAKERS WAYZ BETTER.

  27. mitch says:

    I’m currently living in Hong Kong, working all over south east asia. The bit at the top of this piece is spot on; this place is SHIT.

  28. fat trimmed and sealed says:

    i have a friend in Wuhan. she’s there with her bf and their 2 new young kids. they like it… hmm. they also aint american.. hmmm. they also say the food is delicious… hmmm… they know how to cook cuz they come from a culture that values food. hmmm… they dont want to move back to their rich european country. hmmm…
    just sayin is all..

  29. bakoo says:

    he still didn’t answer the question

    on another note,
    east asia is far from cruel in comparison with most of europe. ask any colonized people. STOP RAPING US.

  30. Tampax Dave says:

    “STOP RAPING US.”

    Then stop wearing the “RAPE ME” signs.

  31. […] [via street boners and tv carnage] My brother just lost his job there for leaving to visit a friend who was dying in Thailand. The friend died. When my brother came back they told him it wasn’t a good enough excuse. How can you possibly meet their standards? My recruiter fucked everything up so bad that they failed to mention I would have a piss test the day after I arrived. Of course I was riding dirty. After making the weirdest phone call of my entire life, me and a Swede headed south to his little brother’s place to pick up some pee. The cab went over ninety miles an hour, sustained for an absolutely unruly and gleeful twenty minutes, a bag of ice holding the Swede’s brother’s DNA between my legs. Like we robbed the piss bank. Several lights were blown, switching lanes as if they weren’t there in neon yellow. Almost fucking dying on the expressway because it’s after midnight, and the cab charges double then, triple when it goes really fast (that makes sense). Not a cop to be seen anywhere. The next day my sickly little severe-faced boss ironically wishes me “good luck” on the way out the door to the health exam, the icy piss duct taped to my belly. click to read the whole article… […]

  32. Sarah o Sarah says:

    Sometimes South Korea seems just as backwards as their neighbors upstate
    http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE4AP1WZ20081126?feedType=RSS&feedName=lifestyleMolt

  33. Chachi and the MS-13s says:

    M*A*S*H

  34. […] got this audio and I think it’s scripted crank calls. We weren’t sure so Vincent sent us an email trying to clarify. Problem is, the email reads like someone with Asperger’s […]

  35. Jones says:

    It sounds like your the typical westerner who is too busy petting their own bad jokes to learn how to do anything outside of MC donalds.

    Please… maybe if you stepped outside you bubble you would realize there is plenty of culture outside of your retarded americanisms.

    The girls are beautiful and they are easy once you stop acting like the fonz…

    stop hanging with westerners peace

  36. Jones says:

    ps… email me if you want a real good time in korea

  37. cindy says:

    fuck the USA! anything is better korea included

  38. Tawny says:

    Shiver me timbers, them’s some great ifnormaiotn.


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