Chapter 4

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Yesterday, I woke up at 6 a.m. and drank a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Then I read the paper while taking a nasty shit. Three North Korean fishing boats got into an accident with a large Chinese ship. The fishermen were adrift at sea for over two months. Only eight survived. The others supposedly starved to death. But the article hints at possible cannibalism among the survivors. I don't judge these men. We sometimes go to extremes to keep on breathing.

I talked to my eldest son on Facetime. His name is Ken, and he lives with his grandmother in Texas. He moved out of my house back in October. He could no longer handle being a Korean. Korea is definitely not for pussies. Just listen to this hellish schedule. He would wake up at six every morning to get ready for school. He wouldn't get home until six p.m. Then the Dragon Lady forced him to attend math and piano academy from seven until ten p.m. When he had finally finished, she wanted him to study until one a.m. Fun was frowned upon.

Finally, he exploded. "I'm not going to another fucking academy. Leave me the fuck alone."

The Dragon Lady smacked him right in the face for that outburst. But Ken just laughed at her. He's six feet three-inches tall, and he doesn't find little Asian women to be all that intimidating.

So she turned her ire on me. "Are you da fadda? Are you let him speak dis way to da mommy? What kind of fadda are you?"

Then she lost her shit and stabbed me several times with a fork.

This is the kind of nonsense that many Korean kids have to put up with. The women in this country have way too much power. They control their apartments and their children like a Tyrannosaurus Rex controls a primordial patch of swamp. Back-sass is not tolerated. Independence and creativity are held in disdain. Life's all about getting into famous universities to impress the neighbors. As I've said before, existence is so hellish that many unfortunates go ahead and jump out of their apartment windows.

Anyway, let me return to the here and now.

It turns out that Ken is taking his midterms this week before the beginning of his Christmas vacation. He was very tired. He had spent the previous evening studying for his science and math tests. But I'm talking about normal American-style studying. He crammed all the info into his tiny little brain the night before the exam. And, even if he fails, his sweet old granny won't stab him with a fork.

I drove my other son Rice-Boy Larry to school in my fifteen-year-old Samsung automobile. Larry doesn't like his teacher. He says that she's a mean little bitch. He got caught writing on his desk, so she made him sit on the floor for two hours. I'm not sure how I feel about that type of punishment. Making him wash all the desks seems to make more sense. But South Korea is a land of extremes.

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