You ever just have one of those days–weeks–when it feels like everyone’s turned against you?

Woke up this morning to another freakin’ troll leaving a nasty comment on the blog, this time about how I screwed up the Korea episode of “Bizarre Foods.”

Yeah, it was all me. (eye roll)

It’s another one of those chapter changes in life now. The gig at OhmyNews has ended after two years. I just started a new contract with KoreaDMC, an internet startup (oh no, not another one). Veronica introduced me to them and encouraged me to work with them when they offered me a contract. Now she’s going back and telling me not to trust them–after I’ve agreed to work with them.

EJ has been acting the same way. She was excited to hear of the contract offer. Now she’s also of the attitude that I’m doing everything wrong and shouldn’t trust them. This is on the heels of EJ doing her typical three-day anger bout over our dealings with the banks and sending money overseas. I have a new bank account in the U.S. with Ally. Our main bank, Kookmin (KB), had trouble sending the money over to them because Ally uses Wells Fargo as an intermediary. KB had trouble with the fact that I was sending the money to a bank and not a person. EJ tried once. Then I did. I didn’t get it done because I didn’t yet have my new Alien Registration Card. I got the ARC from Immigration, and we tried it again last Friday. It was a long time with EJ talking to the teller. She finished, and she went to the ATM to send the money overseas. It gave her an error saying it was blocked.

This is where things got confused.

I got the impression that because the ATM blocked it–and it was hard to even get that information out of her–that KB was generally having problems sending the money over.

I checked online to see if others had been able to send money to Ally from Korea. I found that KEB had no problem with it. It just so happened that I had an account with KEB that I never used. So I transferred some money from KB to KEB. I went to the English speaking KEB branch in Itaewon, and I successfully transferred the money to Ally. I was happy to get this done on my own with out a Korean speaker to hold my hand. So I told EJ right away.

“You didn’t send it through the ATM? Jjagiya! Why did you do something so stupid?”

So, the thing that wasn’t explained to me was that when EJ finished with the teller at KB, it was possible for her to send the money through him, but the charge would have been higher. It was cheaper to send it through ATM. But the ATM part didn’t work. The teller part did. She didn’t tell me that the teller part did. EJ blamed it on her English and that I don’t listen. I said that she just didn’t tell me. It wasn’t her English.

So–and this is how the logic goes–since she felt she couldn’t explain the banking situation to me in English properly it was my fault. I was the one in trouble. I was in the doghouse.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, her English is my fault.

This isn’t the first time she’s been angry at me using this reason. So, she hasn’t talked to me since Monday. Today I called her to check in on things. This morning the bathroom light went out. I reached up to take off the cover. It’s attached by two screws with plastic knobs for turning by hand. The first one came out no problem. As soon as I touched the second one, the plastic part disintegrated. With that gone, there was no way to unscrew it.

But, of course, it was my incompetence to blame.

So EJ has had to call the maintenance guy to take care of it. But it’s taken forever to explain to her the problem. She thought that I just couldn’t take off the cover from, as I said, incompetence. It took a long time and repeated slow explanations to communicate that she and Jian didn’t need to battle the heat and go to the store to buy a light bulb. I can do that myself. But I don’t have the tools to fix a broken screw that won’t let me remove the light cover.

Anyway, who the fuck designs a screw with a flimsy plastic head?

Even with a screwdriver and more than four inches of space to work with you couldn’t get that broken screw out of there. The plastic part was the entire head of the screw. All that’s left is the shank.

But I’m stupid and incompetent. And if I’m not that then I’m just unlucky. And I don’t see how she can say that luck is my fault other than it’s some karmic retribution for slaughtering a village of children in a past life or something.

I just want to take care of things on my own. I don’t want a bunch of volunteer supervisors commenting on the 5% of things I do wrong. It’s seriously taking a toll on my self confidence to have people constantly point out each little error I do while ignoring the 95% of things that I accomplish well and much better than they can. I can only hold the anti-Joe-bashing force field for so long.

I like my new office outside Anguk Station. I have great food choices here in Insa-dong. The only other person I work with now is the secretary, and she’s nice. Makes me coffee. Good taste in music, too.

I negotiated hard with KoreaDMC, and I ended up with a pretty good deal.

I appreciate everyone for their help, but since starting the business, I’ve done most everything on my own. The tours were completely designed by me. I set up the reservation system on my own. I publicized the tours on my own with my own money. I have executed the tours on my own. And you know what? It’s worked so far. The biggest help I’ve had has been through the staff at the Global Center and Sarah Lee, who was my partner for the pop-up restaurant. I’m trying to think of any other situation where anyone really helped me, especially the ones who are criticizing me for not doing things right.

No one else was able to get these tours up and running.

The fear I try to suppress is one of those golden rules of life. If someone says not to trust people it’s because they themselves can’t be trusted. People see their flaws in others. Those who chase monsters risk becoming them.

Don't make mistakes other travelers have made!

Get regular emails with insider tips on how to maximize your visit to Korea. Sign up now!

Tour Tips Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!