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The Yangpa
Saturday, 12 November 2005
Local Printing Company Celebrates New Contract
Topic: North Korea
Sam-Jung Photo Finishing, a small venture company based in Kuro, southern Seoul, was awarded the most coveted photo/printing contract in Asia yesterday. The company's CEO, Mr. Hong Chul-won was, in his own words, "overjoyed", "ecstatic", and "wearee dwunk" after Pyongyang announced his company to be the winner in the race to bring out the next generation of Kim Jong-Il memorbilia (not to be confused with the flower, Kim Jong-Ilia).

The contract worth up to 250 million US, or roughly 2% of the North Korean economy, authorizes Sam-Jung as the sole provider of Kim Jong-Il posters, stickers, buttons, lapel pins, golf club covers, stationary, rice cookers and another 243 officially sanctioned products. Asked how his company, a start-up with absolutely no experience or printing facilities managed to secure the coveted contract, Mr. Hong was a bit loose with words after several poktangju (boilermakers). "Let's just say I've flown to Geneva more times than a Swiss Air stewardess. But it was well worth all the trips."

Posted by theyangpa at 3:39 PM WST
Updated: Saturday, 12 November 2005 3:49 PM WST
Thursday, 1 September 2005
On Vacation

The Yangpa will be on vaction until October 10th. If you want to be infromed of our return, or if you have any hot news items you want to share, please contact us at

Have a great September!

Posted by theyangpa at 11:06 PM JST
Monday, 29 August 2005
Make-Up Related Neck Injuries Increasing

Korean hospitals and chiropractors report that an increasing number of Korean women are suffereing from chronic neck pain. The neck pain is most often a result of the heavy amounts of foundation, lip-liner, blush, eye shadow and mascara that thickly coat many Korean women's faces.

A 46-year-old woman, requesting that her name not be disclosed, said that she noticed a problem two months after she began using a thick foundation make-up. "At work, I would feel my face begin to lean forward and I would have to snap my neck back like we used to do in high school when we started to fall asleep."

Doctors added that the condition is exacerbated by the hours spent applying make-up. "When a women spends 35 minutes every morning on the subway with her neck and chin extended in front of her compact, it's not surprising there will be skelto-m,uscular ramificatins," said a doctor at Yonsei University Hospital.

Posted by theyangpa at 6:17 PM JST
Sunday, 28 August 2005
Korea Looking for Gold at the Goofball Olympics

Korea is hoping to win numerous golds at the innagural "Goofball Games", to be held next month at various venues in Newfoundland, Canada (aka 'Goofball Central') Following their disappointing results at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Korean sports officials decided to focus on the upcoming Goofball Games, where they believe they can score well, possibly even in the top 3 countries, along with host Canada, and goofy Latvia.

According to the team spokeperson, Korea has good chances for gold in several disciplines. Korean Goofballs are favorites to take gold in the 'wacky exercising' and 'public barfing' disciplines. Other events that hold promise are the 'emotional face-making' and 'extreme gaming addiction' categories.

Regardless of the results, Coach Lee "Hid-Dink", is confident that his team will do well and will prove to the world that it can out-goofify even the goofiest of countries.

Posted by theyangpa at 12:22 AM JST
Friday, 26 August 2005
Kentucky Foreign-Exchange Student Feels 'At Home'

Leslie Evans, a 17 year-old high school foreign exchange student living with a family near Mokpo, South Cholla province, feels surprisingly at home living with her host family. Ms. Evans, hailing from Squirrel Holllow, Kentucky, was worried that she would be overwhelmed by culture shock when she decided to join the exchange program.

"I'm not sure what I expected to find, but I certainly wasn't expecting it to remind me so much of Squirrel Hollow". Among the things that surprised her was the appearance of her small neighborhood tucked into a mountain valley. In addition, she was amazed that her host family had almost as much crap sitting in their front yard as most of her neighbors back home.

"My host family has tons of junk stacked all around the house. Old machine tools, a rusting bicycle, and a broken-down refrigerator, just like my Uncle over in Spring Hollow." Ms. Evans also claimed that the dogs tied up living in wooden crates looked just like the guard dogs back home. "But, of course, we don't eat them like the Koreans do, I mean they must think they are just like squirrels or something."

Posted by theyangpa at 12:43 PM JST
Wednesday, 24 August 2005
Local Inventor Creates New High-Heel Hiking Shoes
Unemployed 29 year-old fashion designer Lee Su-Hee unveiled her latest creation yesterday. The three-inch high, rhinestone-studded "HikeHeels" are, claims Lee, the first mountain-climbing pair of high heels ever invented.

Lee got the idea for the heels after climbing a nearby mountain and noticing numerous women struggling to make it up the rocky paths in traditional high heels. Lee's creation succeeds where others have failed due to the clear vinyl that completely wraps around the feet. In addition, an invisible clear plastic SeoulSoultm undergirds the entire contraption.

"Korean women will now be free to climb any mountain while not compromising their fashion beliefs." Lee added that the shoes were made entirely with korean technology in a sweatshop in Cambodia.

Posted by theyangpa at 7:54 AM JST
Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005 7:57 AM JST
Thursday, 18 August 2005
Yeosu City Introduces Kobuksan Chigae

The southern Cholla port city of Yeosu, seriously depressed after losing out to Shanghai in the rights to host the 2010 World Expo, has introduced a brand new soup that plans to capture the city's historical role in Korea. In the late 16th Century, Admiral Yi Sun-Sin led the famous Kobuksan (Turtle Ship) into battle and helped defeat the hated Japanese bastards.

Mr. Kim Chong-Hyon, a seafood restaurant owner, claims to have been the first to have thought of Kobuksan Chigae (Turtle Stew). In front of his restaurant, named TurtleYum!!!, a large aquarium/terrarium is fillled with sand and water. Dozens of turtles, each sporting a small sail and Korean flag attached to their back, waits to be chosen by a customer.

When a customer chooses a certain turtle, it is quickly chopped up and transformed into spicy turtle stew. If the customers have children, Mr. Kim says the restaurant will turn the turtle shells into small "KobuksanCaps", for a small charge of course.

Posted by theyangpa at 11:27 PM JST
Wednesday, 17 August 2005
Two Boys Pop Doumis Balloons

Two mischievous 11-year-old boys really pissed off two dancing doumi/models yesterday in Namyoung-dong, Seoul. The doumis were hired by a health club and were chosen for their perfect physiques. The two boys, fond of both mischief and doumis, hatched a plan to begin popping the balloons that formed an arch over the dancing girls.

At first the doumis laughed and gently scolded the boys, but after about a dozen balloons were popped, the arch began to droop dangerously close to their heads. One of the doumis suggested chasing down the culprits, but the other reminded her that theire contract stipulated that they must continue dancing and screaming into the microphone or they would forfeit their service fees.

Eventually, resigned to their fate, the doumis released the balloons and continued to entertain the crowd of ajeossis that had no intention whatsoever of joining the health club.

Posted by theyangpa at 4:41 PM JST
Saturday, 6 August 2005
Local Ajumma Being Treated for Premature Insinuation

An unnamed 58 year-old ajumma, Ms. "Hong" is being treated for a rare behavioral condition named premature insinuation. This condition usually found among children at amusement parks causes its sufferers to leap ahead in lines or crowds in order to be the first one on a ride. For this ajumma, it most often manifests itself on subway platforms and bus stops.

The first symptom of the condition is excessive fidgeting and pacing during the waiting or pre-boarding period. On the subway this is followed by attempted entry prior to the subway doors opening. Similar behavior can occur at elevator doors. At bus stops, Ms. Hong is known to run into busy traffic upon seeing her bus up to 70 meters away, with little or no concern for her own personal safety.

Her family was so worried that she might be run over or hurt herself while crashing into subway doors that they forced her into treatment. Ms. Hong is undergoing patience development therapy along with yoga and breathing exercises that will hopefully help her board buses and trains with more dignity.

Posted by theyangpa at 5:33 PM JST
Thursday, 4 August 2005
Teacher's False Love of Posingtang Annoys Co-workers
34 year-old business English instructor Bruce Morgan, originally from Saskatoon, never misses a chance to tell Korean businessmen how much he loves posintang, or dog soup. His co-workers who often teach the smae students are getting sick of it.

"Just yesterday, Mr. Moon kept bugging me,'why not eat dog stew, like Mr. Bruce? He eats all the time'. The problem is, he doesn't, he lies about his affection for puppy soup. He wouldn't touch the stuff any more than a radical vegetarian PETA terrorist would. I guess he thinks it makes Koreans like him more. It makes all of us like him less."

On numerous occasions, businessmen have asked Bruce to join them for some posintang, and everytime he answers along the lines of, "Oh, I just had posintang yesterday, maybe next time." One time while teaching with his classroom door open, he was overheard waxing nostalgic about a fantasy bowl of soup he had in a small fishing village on the Cholla coast. His co-worker recalled him regaling his students of "the soup that made his grandma's chicken noodle soup seem terrible by comparison."

Posted by theyangpa at 8:47 PM JST
Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005 8:56 PM JST
Wednesday, 3 August 2005
Uni Instructor "Overwhelmed" by Starbucks Options

An unnamed 32-year-old Australian uni instructor has lately been overcome by the number of Starbucks options latlely in Seoul. She has taught in the Sinchon area of Seoul for nearly ten years and was the first in line at the Ehwa Starbucks 'grand open' years ago. She grew accustomed to her local Starbucks until she was drawn to other outlets.

Eventually she succumbed and went to the now-shuttered Myeong-Dong branch and secretly reveled in riding an elevator in a Starbucks. Then she, in her own words, got addicted to seeking out new pristine Starbucks. So far she's been to "severel dozen" and feels she has developed a bit of a compulsive behavior. She speaks wistfully of the "old days" when she had a monogamous relationship with her very own Starbucks, before she started 'slurping around'.

Posted by theyangpa at 9:26 PM JST
Tuesday, 2 August 2005
Genticists Identify "Troll Gene"

Genetic researchers at SNU announced yesterday that they had discovered a gene that is common among the Korean population. Roughly 25% of Koreans carry this gene, tentatively named S.U.B. (Shrek Under Bridge). Those who have the gene feel an inexplicable need to remain in shade, preferable shade generated by large concrete or rock structures.

Vestiges of this behavior can be seen in the huge number of Koreans who enjoy gathering under bridges throughout the warmer months. Interestingly, some researchers have pointed out that these "Bridge Sitters" seem to remain under the bridges even after the sun has set. One scientist hypothesized that that was largely due to the sedentary effects of a daylong soju party.

Posted by theyangpa at 2:34 PM JST
Monday, 1 August 2005
Local Man Forgets to Praise Foreigner's Chopstick Skills

Mr. Lee Kil-Ung, a 47-year-old hagwon director totally forgot to mention how well his new employee, 26 year-old Canadian Susan Jones, can use chosticks. This is the first time in over 50 such meetings with foreign instructors that Mr. Lee failed to praise a foreigner for being able to use chopsticks.

Asked for a comment, Mr. Lee was unsure as to why he forgot his standard foreigner icebreaker line. According to Mr. Lee, the first half hour of the lunch meeting was a little awkward, as he had a hard time not staring at Ms. Jones larger than average breasts. Then he went to the restroom and it hit him. "I totally forgot to praise her skills. And when I returned to the table, she had finished with the side dishes and only used her spoon for the rest of the meal." Mr. Lee plans to praise her skills on their next lunch meeting.

Posted by theyangpa at 11:10 AM JST
Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005 11:12 AM JST
Thursday, 28 July 2005
Seoul 3rd Graders Freak Out Japanese Pen Pals

A class of Seoul 3rd graders seriously freaked out their Tokyo Japanese pen pals when they mistakenly informed them on post cards in basic English that "Tokyo is Korea" Of course, they meant to remind the impressionable Japanese 8 year-olds that "Tokdo is Korea".

The children's teacher, 32 year-old Hisako Konbayashi, was as shocked as the children. Having never even heard about Tokdo, the only conclusion she could draw from the post cards was that the Korean children firmly believed that the ancient Japanese capital was in fact Korean.

Posted by theyangpa at 4:03 PM JST
Wednesday, 27 July 2005
Nobody Watched Local Road Crew

A local road repair crew working in Bucheon was shocked when absolutely noone bothered to watch them fix a pothole. The four-man crew worked for over three hours. They had an asphalt mixer and a small steamroller, yet nobody showed any interest whatsoever in what they were doing.

The foreman of the crew, 37 year-old Lee Myung-Gwan said it was the first time his crew worked without the encouragement of a curious audience of passers-by. "Usually we have like 5 to 15 people watching, mostly ajeossis. But today, nobody. I can't understand it. My crew was a little upset about it actually."

Posted by theyangpa at 4:05 PM JST
Thursday, 21 July 2005
Area Mother Sabotages Son's Classmates

An Apkujung-area mother has been accused by fellow area mothers of sabotoging their children's academic performances. The unnamed mother has an 8 year-old son who reportedly was the conduit for various forms of academic sabotage.

The mothers of the sabotaged children claim the boy's mother employed various tactics in her effort to improve her child's class ranking. The most common method was giving her son 2 copies of homework, one correct and the other loaded with errors. Her son was trained to encourage his classmates to copy the bogus homework, while secretly turning in the correct answers.

Other mothers claimed they had suspected the mother for a long time. One woman claimed that , while playing in the local park, she had taught her daughter that 4 plus 4 was nine. Another claimed that she taught her son the APZ's.

Posted by theyangpa at 7:04 PM JST
Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005 4:05 PM JST
Tuesday, 19 July 2005
Deadhead Teacher has Flashback in Seoul

A 36-year-old deadhead hagwon teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, recently had a vivid flashback combined with an intense dejavu the other day when she looked out her hotel room in Seoul. The teacher, a young female originally from Springfield, Illinois, upon looking out the window, saw a Starbucks squeezed between a Baskin&Robbins and a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

According to the woman, "it was after the 87 Alpine Valley Show....I think...anyhow, we were like totally entering into the munchies zone, so we stopped at this strip mall. And like, there were the exact three chain restaurants in this bumblef*ck Illinois suburb as in the middle of Seoul. Unreal.....totally tripped me out, brought back some wicked memories."

Just for the heck of it, the woman proceeded to have some coffee, a bagel, 5 donuts, and 3 pieces of original recipe and 2 crispy. However, she found them less delicious this time around.

Posted by theyangpa at 6:50 PM JST
Monday, 18 July 2005
Anger Management Center to Open

The city of Seoul plans to open an anger-management abatement center in Panpo-Dong Seoul in September of this year. The center will be exclusively built for Seoul bus drivers. The city issued a statement that highlighted the quiet suffering that Seoul's bus drivers have endured.

"For too many years, Seoul bus drivers have endured maddening traffic. They suffer from high stress, ulcers, and their wives are often kicked senseless while sleeping with their bus driving husbands. We feel we must act to help them become the world's most mellow, laid-back bus drivers."

Asked for comments on the plan, several passengers expressed doubt that the drivers will ever chill out, no matter how much anger management therapy they receive. "They are too far gone, let them stay grouchy. As long as they keep blowing through red lights, I'm a happy customer," one woman said.

Posted by theyangpa at 8:15 PM JST
Updated: Monday, 18 July 2005 8:16 PM JST
Saturday, 16 July 2005
Korea to be renamed Coreapia

The Republic of Korea announced its choice for a new English name Friday. The change in name was prompted by the fact that Korea, spelled with a K, fell after Japan in alphabetical order. A bill was introduced to the legislature last year to change the English spelling of the nation to Corea. However, several lawmakers felt that Corea did not capture the true spirit of the world's most wired country and that an entirely new name should be adopted.

Park Su-Jin, a four-year old star student at Kangnam's Goldenpia Kidpia Genuispia Acadapia had the idea that the country should be called Coreapia. The fact that her father is a congressmen from the governing Uri Party had nothing to do with the decision, officials declared.

Posted by theyangpa at 11:42 PM JST
Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005 2:38 PM JST
Hair Gel Shortage Leads to Hoarding

The recent shortage of hair gel in South Korea has led to widespread reports of hoarding among consumers and local beauty products distributors. The shortage is reportedly being caused by the popularity of Korean male hairstyles in China. Throughout the peninsula, young men are trying to find ways to cope.

Baseball hats are becoming increasingly popular in Cholla, the worst-affected region. Around Busan, many young men are getting buzz cuts. In Seoul, numerous courier services have popped up that will distribute contraband hair gel obtained via overseas excursions.

Posted by theyangpa at 11:35 PM JST

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