Facebook is a wonderful thing for someone who travels. It allows you to easily keep in contact with virtually everyone you know, and it keeps you up to date with their everyday thoughts, pictures and events. An email is great, but so many people find that their typical days are status-update worthy, but not send-a-letter-about-it worthy. When you’re gone you want the everyday details of life, to feel as if you’re sitting across from them with a cold beer or a cup of coffee sharing your stories. Facebook is also fantastic for the traveler for gathering information about a certain place, getting great tips on what to do and what not to do, and it gives you the chance to meet new people.
When I first moved to Dongtan, South Korea I found a group called the “Dongtan Clan” on Facebook, and I posted that I was new in town and if anyone wanted to get together I would love to meet them and get to know the area. This post led me to meeting some awesome people who are now my very good friends. Naturally, when I came to Geoje Island I found a Geoje’s Teacher’s Group on Facebook and joined. Last night I wrote on the group wall asking where the good bars are around the city, figuring that this was a good way to meet people and weed out the lame bars from the good ones.
I soon got a reply from a guy named James saying, “There are lots of churches, I suggest you cleanse your soul with prayer instead of wrecking your body with alcohol and destroying your life with shame! I’ll pray for you my child…….go in peace!”
Now, it’s not like I don’t have a sense of humor. I can see that the guy is joking around; however, he didn’t offer up any useful information while he was ‘kidding.’ So I replied saying, “Actually, I was just talking with my roommate about going to church on Sunday in Okpo because I heard that there was a good foreign service. With that being said, where are the good bars?”
To which he replied again, “Going to okpo? voluntarily? Don’t bother praying…. God hates you!”
Seriously, man? Number one, I don’t know you. Number two, it would be acceptable if you said the first thing and then added something like “but if you insist on living in sin these are the good places to go for a drink.” At least then you would be helpful, get to add your ‘humor’ and have an actual reason for replying to my post in the first place. My only conclusion now is that you’re a jackass. Part of my brain said, it’s fine, leave it alone, he was just being funny. The other part of my brain said, but you don’t think that it’s funny. You actually think that it’s rude and his comment served no purpose other than to be discourteous and obnoxious. That side of my brain won out and I replied back with, “Cool, so your hilarious form of judgment won’t be there? Okpo sounds even better.”
After sending that post the first part of my brain said, “Way to go; now you really won’t have any friends. You should have just left it alone. He was only being funny.” What part of the brain is that, anyway? The self-conscious middle schooler living inside of your head wanting everyone to like you, shying away from having your own opinions and your ability to express them just so that you seem agreeable? But that’s not who I am. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go around looking to be disagreeable or confrontational, but if he feels that he has the right to be obnoxious multiple times on a simple post, I feel that I have the right to respond.
Talking with Renee I told her that I was missing having a group of friends, and what if all the foreigners here sucked like this guy? Her response was that she was sure that they aren’t all like that, and even if they are we can go to Seoul every weekend to be with our group of friends up there if that’s what we want to do. She pointed out that it takes time to meet new people and to find that golden group, that it will happen for us and that we just have to be patient. These things I already knew, but it was good to hear someone else say the words out loud.
The point is, I know that there are some cool people around here. I also know that there will always be that guy wherever you go. I’ve know that guy my whole life. He was in elementary school, middle school and high school. He was in all of my jobs, he was in Dongtan, and now I’ve found that guy here in Geoje. That guy is crude, thinks that he is hilarious, and he has nothing really positive or truly helpful to add to a conversation. Although that guy can irritate you to no end, it gives you the opportunity to see what you will tolerate and how you handle yourself in those situations. Will you respond by becoming just as obnoxious in your arguments? Will you laugh along with that guy although you’re actually offended and screaming inside? Will you just ignore him? That guy will be popping up in your life forever, and you should be proud of the way you handle yourself in those situations. If you’re not proud of your reactions, what can you do to change? You can’t change someone else or force them to see that they’re an ass hole, but you can change how you deal with an issue.
I leave you with a few good words I’ve collected on Pinterest.