Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm Sorry

Acorn in the Dog's Food seems highly concerned and upset by my blogging. He writes:
If you want to devote your blog to pretty pictures and whatnot that's fine -- there are plenty of Korea-related photo blogs out there. However, don't go around saying "us foreigners are pretty dumb, we really need to change that" and then sit in complacency. This doesn't mean you have to turn your blog into a mini-history channel, but you would do well to take a closer look at what you write here. Either step up the quality of your writing or stop being an ass toward those of us who are making an effort.

You complain about foreigners not knowing about Korean culture but then ask to meet your boyfriend's family. You complain about your school not having you there to "explain yourself" during your annual evaluation but didn't think to work out any issues before then? You complain about Koreans not having yards after four months of living in Seoul but ignore the fact that downtown Paris, London, and Tokyo are not exactly filled with them, either. You're trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

So I am going to do what I probably shouldn't do. I am going to apologize.

Dear Readers,
 If you feel the same sentiments as the reader above then I apologize. Throughout my blogging career I have never intended to paint other expats in this picture. There are many expat bloggers who write eloquently and intelligently about Korea and it's people. And of course there are some who do the opposite. It has always been my desire to be the kind of expat blogger on the better side of the blogosphere. It is my hope that his sentiments are not the same as all my readers. Finally, I would like to add that I generally wished for my blog to be helpful to future expats and to show my life in Korea the way I experienced it day-to-day.



  1. Blogs are journals. People need a place to vent, I think most people understand that. I do think you balance it out with positive posts as well.

  2. This is your blog, and you can do it exactly the way you want it just like every other blogger out there. There is no specific topic or format but the one you choose for yourself.

    If people don't like what you have to say or cannot give constructive criticism then they wouldn't come here to read it in the first place.

    Do things your way, not the way someone else tells you to. This is called Foreigner Joy for a reason! This is your experience so write it the way you feel, and if people don't like it well they can choose not to read it.

  3. Joy, he is entitled to his opinion. of course. However, it's your blog, and you can write whatever the hell you want. As far as I know, no one is required to read what you say.

    That said, if you think his complaint has validity, you need to search within yourself to find out what to do about it.

    If you don't think he's right, screw him and get on with your blog.

  4. LOL..

    he was being, to use a technical term, a "dick."

    His experience is different from yours and he only wants his approach credited...

    or.. he's trying to drive traffic to his site.

    Odd.. he's really a nice guy..

  5. Thanks ya'all .... I take those words to heart. Yea I am not going to let it stop me. Definitely I guess need to take it all into consideration. It is surprising since I have met him and he is a nice guy. Maybe he means it all in a nice way. hmmm

  6. I disagree with the other commenters here. While I do think you can say and do whatever you want on your blog, I think you have to take responsibility for what you write. I have often been offended by your posts for the exact same reasons Acorn noted (overgeneralizations about Koreans and sometimes shallow, negative reflections on your experiences here). I continue reading your blog because many of your experiences coincide with mine (living and teaching in Korea, dating Korean men, even having the same disease that sucks). However, I often find your approach to Korean culture and even the expat community a little... inconsistent (is that the right word... I'm not sure?).

    While I appreciate your blanket apology, I think Tuttle's advice is good. If you really think you did something wrong, take this opportunity to reflect on yourself and what you hope to convey through your blog. If not, please note that generalized apologies with no self-reflection are worthless gestures, often just pleas for sympathy. Which you have received in abundance.

    That said, I'm impressed at your growth. I agree with what Acorn said about your unwillingness to acknowledge any perceived negative comments six months ago. Brava to you for listening more--I've seen some of that in recent blogs, too (such as the ones about your job). :)

  7. Joy,
    Perhaps some balance is needed - everyone makes generalizations about people, places, things, etc. Yes, acorn points out things that might be obvious to a more experienced person... Ironically, acorn's generalization seems worse than anything I've read of yours.

    There is something to be said about writing exactly what's on your mind - the saying 'to thine own self be true' comes to mind. In 20 years, you might want to look back at this point in life - and hold your head up high for writing exactly how you feel. You HAVE been helpful, and you DO paint a picture of life as an expat in Korea.

    Everyone has critics - and the more popular one gets the louder the critics seem to get as well. Keep writing :)

  8. The only reply you needed to give to Acorn was "Go fuck yourself."

  9. Whew!
    I agree with Charles & dimes!
    I haven't read Acorn's blog so can't comment on his "style" or his shortcomings or assets!
    I just found his last response a bit "OUT THERE"!

    It's nice that y'all have a sense of community in Seoul & all that goes w/it. However, please consider that there are folks over here in the U.S. that follow Joy's blog cause we genuinely are interested in her experiences, impressions, etc... We find her travelogues very interesting & enjoy her beautiful photographs of things we would probably otherwise never see or even hear about.
    We enjoy whatever knowledge about these sights, etc.... she shares in the blog. Basically, I think she's done an outstanding job w/this blog.
    If ya don't like it....don't read it. It's as simple as that.
    It's media.

    I have often remarked that the very personal stuff relationship wise & details of Joy's experiences w/her co-workers or boss, might best not be shared here in this forum,unless she wants to leave herself open/vulnerable for general replies or krass criticism such as Acorn's was.

    Who does he think he really is to dish it out like that?!
    It didn't sound friendly or kind to me!

    And one last thought.....any of you who have followed this blog know that I often correct Joy's English...more than anything as an English teacher I believe that she has a responsibility to set a really good example of how to express oneself correctly in this language. Here on the's a good place for practice & isn't this supposed to be a place for "free expression"?! I correct her English cause I'm her Mom & that's just what this Mom does! And it usually annoys the heck out of her!

    And that's that!

  10. I think that your blog is your place for your feelings, regardless of how shallow, superficial, etc, etc.

    I think, honestly, if people don't like it, they can move along. It's not fair to ask you to make accommodations for their opinions.

    I know a lot of people are offended by me, but I'm not about to change to make anyone else happy.

    Be happy with yourself.

  11. AGain thanks you guys for the thoughtful responses. And that was fun reading your response Mom.

    I don't want to stop blogging. But I feel I need to understand why someone would feel that way. Also I feel since his opinions were so strong that I wanted to make sure other readers understood my response to disagreeing with him.

    If any of you keep a blog you know how time consuming it is. Not just in the writing but in the thinking that goes on behind it. I really do try to write about life here and the teaching side in a way that show what the raw experience is like.

    Anyways I am kind of over this now and hope to get up some posts I have been meaning to write. ~but I am back to work this week and feeling bushwhacked...

  12. I agree with Diana. And you have, indeed, posted racist things and then not stood by them or apologized for them or shown any reflection.

    Speaking from direct personal knowledge, you have also stolen other people's ideas without any credit.

    And of course people can quit reading you if they don't like you, but you do post your blog for everyone to read, which means you're writing for an audience whether you like it or not. It means people can call you out on your behavior.

    Of course, you can ignore them and soldier on. America managed with a president who did that for eight years.

  13. Wow Amanda. There was a lot of hate in that comment. I know I have upset you in the past.


    Racist posts well then I suppose that is one scar on my record that you see. What to do about it?

    Please don't compare me to Bush though that is really upsetting.

    Amanda there is much to complain about your blog and your personality, but I have never once ventured to your site and did such an act.

    I guess I just have to accept that I have anti-fans.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Life's too short for all this negativity & ego stuff!

    I just went thru the same in an email bout w/a very sensitive paranoid relative.
    Sometimes we just have to know when to keep our big mouths shut OR be careful to pick the right battles.

  16. I agree Mum. I know I have written some wrong things before ...but I never meant to piss people off. Also I wish we would all just talk to each other and work this stuff out. ah well

  17. Joy, from personal experience, it's hard to talk things out when you refuse to respond to email and/or delete comments.

    Maybe you've since changed.

    Good luck on figuring out teaching and Korean culture.


Leave Your Thoughts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...