Tag Archives: Korean food

My hate mail

7 Mar

If you find swearing or abusive language offensive you’re probably best off not reading this post as it is in relation to some abusive comments I have received.

I haven’t written a post in a long time now, because I have been busy doing my PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) since September. However, recently, whilst I was doing my diagnostic placement, I checked my emails in the staff room. I had an email from WordPress asking me to moderate some comments. Upon seeing the email addresses from the commentor it should come as no suprise as what was to follow – Sociopathtraitors@gmail.com and Fuckingassholes@gmail.com

The cyber troll behind the email addresses was obviously quite upset about my post about eating dog meat in Korea and proceeded to tap out three quite similar comments in reaction to it. Some were on posts that had absolutely nothing to do with dog, which makes me wonder if despite their outrage they still read some of my other posts? I think they must have been deliberately searching out things they would find offensive to come across this post. I don’t know if they set these two email accounts up deliberately to abuse me, or maybe I shouldn’t flatter myself. I think it’s more likely that they were set up for the purpose of sending abusive comments to anyone who sufficiently rattled their cage, as I had.

My  reaction to the comments was first shock and then laughter. I had to explain my audible reaction to co-workers in the staff room. I called my Mam and my boyfriend on the evening to share it with them, joking that I have something in common with Russell Brand. (I am also British, disillusioned with politics and can’t always be bothered to brush my hair, but it was a flippant joke I hadn’t really thought it through). I was actually referring to the hate mail he joked about in his stand up. You can watch that here. 

When I ate that dog meat I didn’t set out to upset anyone. I’m not stupid, I understand the controversy around it and if I was maybe really truthful maybe that was part of the appeal? I see it as being on a similar plane as eating kimchi, visiting a jimjilbang (korean sauna) or a noraebang (karaoke room). I wouldn’t usually eat spicy pickled cabbage on a daily basis, get in a large bath naked with other naked women or get drunk and sing karaoke in the UK. Hang on, that last one has happened outside of Korea.

What I mean to say is that I was of the impression “When in Rome do as the Romans do”.  I could also debate the issue about dog meat not being that different to any other meat. The fact is, we have domesticated dogs so we can get uncomfortable seeing what some people consider as a family member as something we could eat. I include myself in that. My Mam has two Pomeranians and one of my other posts shows that I dog sat my Auntie’s Golden Retriever for two weeks. Sociopathtraitors@gmail.com may be pleased to know neither of which were made into Korean stew. But boy, do I salivate at the site of them! – Jokes.

Anyway, because I think it’s quite amusing I thought I’d share the comments with you all and remind anyone who does encounter abusive messages to just laugh it off. By putting details of yourself online you open up the gates to a wide world of judgement and not everyone will like you and that’s okay. What’s really sad is the people who take it to heart and the people who send the messages. Whether you’re the type of person tapping out horrific messages, or the one reading them directed at you and getting upset, I think they both must be quite unhappy and that’s a real shame. Luckily, most people, including me, don’t fall into either category. I’d encourage anyone reading this to not allow themselves to be taken in by nasty online messages if possible. And to the ‘trolls’: maybe you should find another hobby? Cross-stitch something pretty or go for a bike ride! My troll should probably direct their hatred into something more positive. I suggest they join PETA or the RSPCA and actively support animal rights in a more positive way if that’s their bag.


Here’s me – months after eating dog, cuddling my Mam’s Pomerian’s as though eating their specie never even happened. What a hypocrite I am.



Tamsyn – The Greedy Pig

8 Aug

Okay, so my name comes second in the blog URL (this was written in our old blog under the title ‘Tamsyn and Lawson in Korea’). I can accept that, especially since I didn’t set it up and even more so considering I have contributed nothing to it until now so before my name gets removed entirely (and rightly so) I thought it was about time I made myself known and say a little about my experience of South Korea.

Let me quickly introduce myself to satisfy your curiosity. Firstly, let me say how flattering it is that your interested, (oh, stop, your making me blush). So assuming you are interested – I’m 22, (I celebrated my birthday here, believe me I am going to make a point of blogging about the worst birthday ever at some point), I studied English and Creative Writing at Sunderland University, (Disclosing this information is likely to expose me to criticism on my writing ability since I can’t say I haven’t been trained but please don’t be too harsh (Also, I am well aware of the over use of brackets, so why stop, let’s go wild and have brackets within brackets)). I grew up in Stockton-on-Tees, many of you will know this already. Me and Lawson have been together four and a half years.

We’ve been in South Korea for nearly three weeks now and we still haven’t said anything about the place where we live. Ochang is a fairly big town, bigger than we initially thought it was, as our first impression was that it consisted of a few bars, a handful of shops, several ‘Family Marts’ (there are as many ‘Family Marts’ in Ochang than there is Greggs in Newcastle! ) and some Korean restaurants (obviously). We were also aware that there was a lovely park as the Canadian who is my co-teacher now kindly sent emails with pictures attached.

We never actually saw the park in daylight until the other day. We’d been there drinking with some ‘waygooks’ as the Koreans call the foreigners here. Before you jump to conclusions drinking in a park here is completely unlike drinking in a park in England and we never drank in parks in England, not even when we were fourteen. It is actually a much more sophisticated affair. I know you may not believe me but it is. Many Koreans go to the park to lay on the grass by the lake and sup lager or wine. It’s not discouraged neither. Music plays from lamps and trees for you to enjoy and everyone is very relaxed. The Koreans work very long hours so naturally they enjoy a little relaxation. So, anyway, the park is really lovely. We went last Wednesday. It was memorial day and we were blessed with another national holiday. We arrived at just the right time with two national holidays in less than three weeks. With everyone having the day off it was packed with families feeding the fish (great big whopping carps, like rats of the water world feasting with their huge smackers on crisps served up by the locals; I’ll post a picture of these beasts), playing in the stream and playing Frisbee.

One of the things that impressed me about Ochang most was Home Plus. Yes, it is a Supermarket but bare with me. After two and a half weeks living on a limited number of tea bags, no curry, no Walkers crisps, no Kettle chips, no Seabrooks crisps (man, I love crisps!)  in a whirlwind of newness and bewilderment I felt completely overwhelmed. So imagine my relief when I discover that Home Plus is just Tesco with a different name. The recognisability of things in there; F&F clothing and Tesco strawberry oat cereal. I was almost beside myself with the joy of the familiar! I was like an obese sun-burnt Englishman in Spain gorging himself on a greasy English breakfast. It was shameful really. I’ve travelled thousands of miles to pull myself out of boredom and discover something different, something exciting, and then there I was kissing a box of Tesco strawberry oat cereal like it’s a long lost friend. Unfortunately they don’t sell tea (I mean proper tea, like we drink back home) or walkers crisps but they do sell just enough ingredients to make a fairly average curry and of course my favourite cereal which is of some comfort.

Back to Korea and all things Korean. We passed through the park on Wednesday to reach a lovely Vietnamese restaurant, WOOPS! That’s not Korean either! Well, I am going to tell you about it anyway because it was just that good. I will offend a lot of Koreans by saying this but hand on heart despite eating at many Korean restaurants up to this point this is still our favourite meal since we arrived. It was recommended by a nice American couple and I am really glad they did. It is also the first time we felt really full. Don’t get me wrong, the Koreans do give you a lot of food for you money but this was something else. I think being English we are used to having great big portions. The initial food was more than enough: A plate full of beef and a pile of finely chopped vegetables with a variation of different dips and sauces for us to cook ourself in a wok full of hot oil in the middle of the table. You take a rice sheet, a few raw finely chopped vegetables and maybe a piece of cooked beef with a bit of kimchi or fried cabbage, you then dollop a little of the spicy sauce on top and wrap it all up in the silky transparent rice paper and in hopefully one elegant movement eat it in one mouthful. After several of these we were ready to wipe our chins (we are messy eaters) and leave smiling but then to our amazement the food just kept coming. A waitress came over to our table and proceeded to cook us lovely noodles and with the broth from that a rice soup. Call me a greedy pig but it was fantastic!

I have probably gone into information overload so I’ll leave it at that for now but hopefully I will post some more soon, I can’t be lazy too much longer or Lawson might stop making me cups of tea.



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