Dear Korea,

Dear Korea - I haven't seen you in my newsfeed lately.

Blogging | October 14, 2010

Dear Korea,

How are things?

And stuff? How is stuff? Good?

I just ask, because well, because I am bored.

I am at work after all. I’m bored a lot of the time.

Saying hello 300 times a day and trying to explain the difference between nice to meet you and nice to see you for the millionth time, does tend to beat down your enthusiasm.

Still, I am a Facebook master now.

I have no idea what English teachers did before Facebook and I am not sure I want to find out. I am pretty sure that those English teachers are the ones I see hanging out in Itaewon during the week, smoking and twitching outside Starbucks so they can use the free wifi but not actually buying anything because “do you know how much that stuff costs and besides, a Maxim sachet in lukewarm water tastes just as good in a paper cup”. Like the cross-eyed guy I met last week who stopped to speak to me while I was in the middle of a conversation with a Korean friend to tell me that he “wasn’t sure if committing to a 12 month contract was a good idea in Korea, because the job he had now allowed him to teach in Malaysia for two months and then in Seoul for two months and then back in Malaysia again and his employer was really good and warned his student’s parents that this was just his style and if they weren’t happy with his style, then they shouldn’t sign their kids up for his class, even though he got results and really, he’d heard some pretty bad things about Korean hagwons but he didn’t want to teach in a public school because his parents were both teachers in the States and his brother was a teacher and he was more of the black sheep of the family and it wasn’t that he had anything against his parents or family, but he was just a bit different to them and had tried to be independent his whole life and he was scared that if he went into the public system then he would be turning into them and that is not what he wanted because it was just his friend whose parents were police officers said, if he was ever to become a police officer, then he would be the most corrupt police officer out there because he would have had to have done things differently to his parents, but really the public school system was the best way to go in Korea but would I be interested in teaching in Malaysia for two months, because he could put in a word for me and we really should stay in touch”.

Our contact prior to this eight minute monologue, which was performed with my Korean friend staring in shock inspired mute awe serving as audience, had included me walking past him as I went inside the Starbucks he was sitting outside so as to steal wifi.

Seriously K, you could not make this stuff up.

But back to Facebook.

I have found Facebook has simultaneously made my life brighter while also sucking it away during this time I have spent with you.

And I’m not alone SoKo. Not judging by my newsfeed anyway. While friends back in Oz seem to have lives which involve time away from Facebook, I am completely up-to-date with every thought, craving or point of interest your fellow paramours have had, felt or stumbled across.

Which leads to some very interesting conversations.

Such as today’s main topic of conversation – scones and how they differ from the American biscuit.

To wit: This following conversation appeared after MSA from the USA posted a link about scones and asked her boyfriend, the English RB to make them for her.

Me: A good scone will change your life.8 hours ago · Like

KP It looks like our version of a "biscuit"5 hours ago · Like

Me It is nothing like what you erroronously call a biscuit. It's best served with fresh jam and clotted cream and is a little piece of heaven in your mouth washed down with tea. I also quite like rasperry scones and the occasional savory scone, served with relish, all relish. I have included this link on relish, in case it is not readily available in your country.â�¨ki/Relish5 hours ago · Like · 1 person

RB Would that savory scone also go well with a English chutney Amy?5 hours ago · Like

RB Also I think biscuits sound like a British dumpling but i still have no idea as I have yet to have one4 hours ago · Like

Me I do love me a proper English chutney. The relish remark is an injoke for Ms Seinor, who I am sure will stumble across it soon.4 hours ago · Like · 1 person

MSA i agree with looks incredibly similar to a biscuit, although i cannot be sure about the taste. regardless, i want one. i think an america vs. commonwealth bakeoff may be in order..4 hours ago · Like

Me As a bake-off implies baking and not frying, I would say the Commonwealth has this one owned.4 hours ago · Like

MSA biscuits are baked....ross once made my fried scones though.4 hours ago · Like

RB I made you fried crumpets which according to Saint Delia is the way to make them4 hours ago · Like

MSA oh yeah..4 hours ago · Like

KP ‎"They’re not dissimilar to buttermilk biscuits, but generally richer, thanks to a not-insignificant amount of butter." Sounds like they're similar just that scones are more fattening.4 hours ago · Like

Me After intense internet research your erroronously named 'biscuits' seem quite similiar to a savory scone. I am not sure about this gravy business though.4 hours ago · Like

KP I'm doing a bit of research as well. Fun fact "The word cookie comes from the Dutch and probably ended up being an American word (cookie) due to the heavy influence of Dutch settlers." Not finding too much on biscuit though.3 hours ago · Like

RB The gravy is white! always image gravy to be brown3 hours ago · Like

Me I love our threads.3 hours ago · Like

MSA gravy can be both white AND brown! this is what makes america so great.

and this clears up some biscuit confusion:â�¨ki/Biscuit3 hours ago · Like

Me I also just found that - for those who can not be bothered going to a different link:

The modern-day confusion in the English language around the word biscuit is created by its etymology.

The Middle French word bescuit is derived from the Lat...See more 3 hours ago · Like

KP This is the wiki about the American term biscuit and why we use gravy with it. Just for clarification, I hate biscuits.â�¨ki/Biscuit_(bread)3 hours ago · Like

KP ok the link won't work if you click but if you copy and paste it'll work.3 hours ago · Like

Me On a different note, at least biscuit is always pronounced biscuit. Scone on the other hand can be sk-own (like bone) which is how I say it, or sk-on (shone) which is how Blythe says it. We both consider the other to be wrong.3 hours ago · Like · 1 person

MSA what? then who will join me on the american bake-off team?3 hours ago · Like

KP I would but I can't cook. Oojin tried making biscuits in our toaster oven, so I'm sure he'd help. Or I can wear an ear piece while he tells me what to do.3 hours ago · Like

BS I'm hungry.3 hours ago · Like

BS If scones are baked at a location in Seoul, could I please have one? I'll bring the jam.3 hours ago · Like

Anyways, I’d love to stay and chat a bit more SK, but I have to go pretend to be an English teacher. And by that, I mean I have to stand in front of a class of your children and pretend to listen to them parrot “Can you help me? No problem”, while I’m really composing Facebook status updates in my head. So as you can clearly see, I’m exceptionally busy.


Me xoxox


1. Scone Henge on October 16, 2010

The Scones in Scotland are Brill. They fall off dramatically when you get off the train in London. By the time you get to America they are more akin to a druid monument than a baked good. I can only imagine what they are like in Seoul. However, in Samcheongdong there is a cafe called Chang Hee that serves them...I've not tried them, but there you go.

Any Comments?

About Louisa Jones

Louisa Jones is the pen name for a recovering journalist who randomly decided to leave her very understanding and patient husband for a year to randomly live in Seoul.
Read more »

Categories of Published Work

Dear Korea - I am tired of the charades.

Published: March 19, 2010

Turns out the silent language of love is no longer enough.

Dear Korea - the mini ajuma was hi-larious!

Published: December 19, 2009

Dear Korea, you always know how to cheer me up when I am down.