Woo hoo! Someone directed a tech question at me? But I know the answer to this one!! Click on user CP under user links on the left. A new panel will appear on the left next to it. Select edit avatar or edit profile picture. Click custom avatar. . .You can then upload a photo or use a web address if it's on the web somewhere (I haven't tried that one!) Then save changes!
Dave. . . sorry to hear 'bout the leg. . . I just bruised my arm (why put marble steps at a tourist info place?) and found it painful to climb. . . which sucks. Anyway, hope you're feeling better.
I guess remedial Korean and a smile goes a long way.
that is the key. . . In over four years (starting in '98) in Korea I have found the local climbers much more receptive to foreigners than most Americans would be if someone who barely spoke English showed up! DESPITE the fact that I smoked, am vegetarian, lived in Incheon (a long drive out of the way returning home on Sunday night) and smelled pretty rancid after 15 minutes in summer. . . the Korean climbers really put up with a lot (and I'm sure I got away with alot because I was foreign!) to include me on trips (Sonia, everyone is going. . . you must come!)
They really went out of their way if they didn't want me. . . inviting me to weddings, baby birthday parties, visiting me at the hospital, taking me on 3 week road trips, buying my mom a birthday cake and gifts, taking my sister out drinking. . . asking me to model their clothes, etc. . . and the people I am referring to include top climber like Chung-jun, Mi-young, Sang-won, Seong-kwan, Hyun-jung. . . folks who belayed me on 5.10 (then a few meters down I belayed them on 5.13!). . . I know many people on this site (and before this site) with similar (the same!) stories.
Please don't take this wrong. . . like anywhere, it takes a long time and effort before a true friendship can form, even without the language/culture barriers, but it seems you are rushing to judgement, without really knowing them or their motivations. One of the best things about climbing is that it helps break down these barriers because we can start with the common passion. Soju and a dictionary help too. I would say in the "pride" department, Koreans are extremely modest! Rarely do they spray or promote themselves or inflate their grades as Westerners do. The top climbers in Korea train with the average Kim!
I do not doubt what you say about your experience, but I question the assumptions you make as to why. . . especially after 4 years. Don't give up on the Korean climbers! Try a new approach! I really believe that when we change the way we look at things, we change the things we look at.
How people perceive us is directly related to how we perceive them. Women who think "guys are all jerks" meet a lot of jerks. I have lived and travelled all over the world and the US, more often than not looking for cool people to climb with, and 98% of the time those are the people I find!
Try to put aside past experiences and pre-judgements. Remember that it's hard enough to generalize about our own culture, much less Korean. You stand nothing to lose, and everything to gain. It will be so well-worth it and you will see a side of Korea that even KOTR can't offer
tee hee hee. . . interesting choice of words! anyway, rereading your original comments, I would still say that they are just one way of seeing the Korean climbers, and many people have more positive interpretations! I am not, that I am aware, judging you
, only addressing the comments in the post. No need to "defend" yourself; you can take my comments or leave them! Each person will have their own observations and experiences. Just want "new" people to know there is another way to look at the situation. i.e., in my post, it has been my observation thet the Koreans are extremely humble.
guess I try to offer a different perspective whenever I feel someone is slighted or misrepresented, be it Koreans, military, foreigners. . . and they are not able to speak for themselves! I don't deny that your comments are in good faith, based on your experiences and observations! I am glad to hear that you, too, will defend the Koreans when you perceive they are slighted! Glad to see there's more to the story! Comments here are not directed at one person; just another observation on the local climbing scene. I'm not sure who you talked to regarding the original post-- I think most people were, as I was, surprized by the tone and "wrong type of people", "freaks". . . comments! I also think the tone of your follow-up was a bit odd, but I let all the remarks stand on their own merit. (Not a big fan of "do what makes you feel good" myself. . . but to each her own! You can take it out on me
) I know from previous conversations, that you seem like a nice and interesting person, and it was never my intent to take away from that! I tried very hard to avoid negativity. . . I am sorry that you took it that way
6/7: my originl PM to Paula, for anyone who cares
not sure what seems so different?
no hard feelings
and none taken. . . I consider your reply a good 'nough response. . . would've PMed but then "newbies" might have still gotten the negative original impression. But I am glad that you, too, cleared that up!! The idea is, of course they treat you differently because you are differrent, but it's well within the norm, and you become more and more a part of the team as they get to know you. . . and I do "defend", I prefer "try to explain, or at least offer a myriad of possible explainations for" the Koreans, if they are being slighted, the military, etc. . . certainly the latter (and the former) could do it themselves, but are often not around (I also try to do the same for foreigners. . .though I am at a lost when it comes to explaining American policies:/) But I would love to climb with you and get to know you!
And "Noona" is for "older sister" (it's what the Koreans call ME!!) and ("Oppa" for older brother). . . it sounds like you suggeest Andrew call everyone "Noona"?
But "no worries". . . I really went over that to try and not sound offensive. . . but to give a fuller picture, or another side. I do wish sometimes I could be more succincct. . .I have been called worse , though as a by the book peacenik, a "foot soldier in arms" gave my friends and I quite a chuckle!