He is quite right, of course: there are lots of reasons to love living in Seoul; and, foreign English teachers have an unearned reputation for illicit and immoral behavior. The Korean media is relentlessly negative, and often factualy incorrect, when reporting on events and episodes involving foreign English teachers (and expats in general)--you can find loads of blogs that review, debate and generally preoccupy themselves with such stories. The Seoul Patch will not be one of those blogs--it is about one person's experiences and observations, nothing more.
By and large, I do not encounter much xenophobia in Korea, and when I do, I have duly commented on it here; but I'm not going to obsess on the wrongs done me. As I said in my very first post, my motto is, as much as any complicated, deep-thinking, forty-something can be said to have a motto:
Pay the thunder no mind; listen to the birds. --Eubie Blake
For example, some bloggers complain that foreigners here are not allowed by law to organize or be politically active. Never mind that the exact same thing is true of non-citizens in their countries of origin, by and large.
I just checked around at some of the blogs that are typically up in arms about this, only to find that not a single one has mentioned the story below, carried in Saturday's Korea Herald:
The Education Ministry yesterday decided to fire 22 unionized teachers and suspend 67 who led an antigovernment campaign last month.
It also seeks a prosecution investigation into their alleged violation of the law that bars them from any collective action and political activities.
The ministry and local education offices met to discuss disciplinary measures for the 28,635 teachers who signed the statement issued by the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers' Union on July 19.
The progressive group berated the Lee Myung-bak government's educational policies for driving students into fierce competition for tests at the expense of sound public education and rising private education costs.
If this story were exactly the same, only the teachers involved were foreigners, the outrage, anger and dirty-word blogging would be through the roof.
Apparently, we in the Korean expat blogosphere are only supposed to be concerned about wrongs done to white-skinned teachers, and poor policy and prosecution when directed at our little coterie. Think of it as reverse xenophobia.