gender and the body

richnewman's picture

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Korea 1

With a half-finished bottle of soju sitting on the floor between us, and another two waiting to be opened, we settled in, my friend Mr. Lee and I, for an evening of drinking in my very small seven-and-a-half pyong apartment in the part of Seoul known as Chamshil. I lived in the the Ju-gong Apartment Complex, where the English Training Center (ETC), the hagwon, or private language school, that had hired me to each for the year housed all its faculty. We were not far from the Olympic Stadium, where the opening ceremonies for the 1988 Summer Olympics had been held. In fact, some of my colleagues and I had watched the ceremonies from the roof of my building. Mr. Lee had been a student in one of my classes, and when it was over, he asked if he could be my friend. When I said yes, he suggested this night of drinking as a way to cement that friendship.

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