Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back at 2013 and Looking Forward to 2014

As I have been busy writing my five-part series about the AYAR Student Movement (here, here, here, here, and here), I have not had the time to extend to you any seasonal greetings.

If I may be allowed to speak personally for a moment, I started this blog in June, about three months after I had been discharged from the ROK Army, out of sheer boredom.  I did not have a job at the time, I did not know there were other K-bloggers out there, and I just decided to write to stave off boredom and creeping depression as I received one rejection letter after another from the places that I applied to for jobs.  My inspiration to write this blog came from none other than The Korean, the blogger behind Ask a Korean.

(This is not to say that I compare myself to The Korean.  Firstly, some of his politics annoys me and secondly, he is a blogger of a far superior caliber than I am.)

When I initially started blogging, I had no idea that anyone was ever going to end up reading anything that I wrote.  I simply imagined that I was writing an open-to-all public diary of sorts that I thought was going to be forgotten in some haunted corner of the World Wide Web, never to be read, and soon to be forgotten.

In the six months since I have started blogging, however, I found a decent job, and I have also found a social life outside of my job as well as my blogger persona.  Yes, I do keep all three separate.  But more importantly, I have discovered, much to my surprise, that there are people who actually read my chicken scratches.

I do not pretend to be ignorant of the fact that, due to the content of this blog, I have rubbed people the wrong way; some more so than others.  In fact, most of the responses that I got to my blog posts, both here on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet, were vehement opposition rather than pleasant agreement.

But that does not matter.  What matters is that, though not always entirely pleasant, people, you, have taken the time to read what I had written, and took the time to write back and argue with me, and sometimes, to agree with me.  As someone who never imagined that anyone would ever read anything I have to write besides myself, it was a great joy.

So thank you, dear readers, for making 2013 a surprisingly fun year.  I hope that 2014 will bring better fortune to us all.

So, though belated, I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and though still a bit early, a Happy New Year.

John Lee
The Korean Foreigner



  1. First of all Happy New Year. I've been looking at your blog for months now but your latest series on the student movement and privatization of the rail system really got my attention. As for comparing yourself to TK/The Korean, don't go there! First of all he's older and been writing much longer. Next he maintains very rigid control over what he writes about and how he responds to his readers. He's an egomaniac. His popularity has gone to his head and now most of his posts have a condescending tone or are flagrant treatises of his superior knowledge and English writing skills. Don't make him your role model, you're doing fine just being yourself. There will always be a place for honesty and humility even out on the internet. Just remember to keep that in mind. Even if people don't always agree with you those that are honest with themselves will recognize it in you and respond accordingly. You're doing a great job. Keep it up. You already have at least one loyal follower. BTW...I would post to my gmail account but for some reason it won't recognize it. I think it's my computer but I haven't felt like messing around with it to figure out why.

    1. Thank you. I will do my best to keep writing to the best of my abilities.