Your Daily Shot of Soju: Debunking the Klogic Myth

“Your Daily Shot of Soju” is my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend.

Klogic – Defined:

Definition: Klogic – Korean Logic. Things Koreans say or do that are simply un-understandable by foreign standards. A daily occurrence.

Example (via Amanda Takes Off):

Confused Foreign Teacher: Mellanie, why is the floor heat on?
Mellanie: Because it’s cold outside.
Confused Foreign Teacher: Then why are all the windows and doors wide open, and why is the air conditioning on?
Mellanie: Because it’s hot inside.

Debunking the Klogic Myth:

The woman’s eyes shifted from her computer, to me, to my fat wad of cash I was trying to deposit and back to her computer. I rifled through my bag trying to find something, anything that I would have written my bank number on that would allow me to transfer my fat wad of cash to my bank back home in the states. Without luck, I looked at her just as her eyes were shifting away. I turned to my co-teacher and told her that I could not find the number. The teacher translated this to the bank teller.

“Oh it’s ok, I have the number right here in my computer system,” said the bank teller.

As I walked back to the school I could not help myself. I asked my co-teacher about why the banker would let me worry and search through all of my papers when she had the number right there.footrocker-3.jpg

“Because if banks just used the number from the computer it would be too easy for them to transfer money.”

Let’s stop the conversation right there…Klogic.

Transfer money is exactly what I wanted to do, and why should it be difficult?

I was prompted to tell my co-teacher about the idea of Klogic. To this she laughed but then proceeded to further explain the situation. Klogic dictates that a Korean must defend their country against any supposed negative stereotype.

During the walk back we continued to discuss all things Klogic as they related to my current question. Eventually it was revealed that it wasn’t simply an issue of screwing with foreigners. Without my knowledge, my co-teacher had told the banker that we had transferred money from the bank before, prompting the banker to look through the bank records for the information. The bank teller simply did not know she had the information. Lights form at the end of a tunnel.

I have been lucky in getting a co-teacher who speaks English very well and is very patient with my questions but, even so, communication break downs can and do happen. Again, I understand. But without fully explaining a situation, as tedious and difficult as it may sometimes be, then we lose this understanding. The results are inevitably, Klogic.

“Why did you not explain this to me at first? This isn’t an example of Klogic, this is just an example of something not being fully explained,” I asked/told her.

“Because I don’t feel like I need to explain everything to foreigners.”

“Then I will continue to call things I don’t understand Klogic,” I informed her.

To this, she shifted her eyes away from me. Out towards the street where her bus had just arrived.


Piece of pop culture I’m diggin on today:

There’s this green tea place around Hweywa station. Everything they serve there is made of green tea. They have green tea cappuccino, green tea coffee, green tea ice cream, green tea shakes, green tea tiramisu and of course…green tea.

Piece of pop culture I’m missin today:

My credit card doesn’t work here. I’m not sure why, but it doesn’t. It worked the first few times I tried to use it. But then, on one of my first dates with Rachel, I was told it didn’t work. Kind of embarrassing. Especially when I’m told that most of what girls look for in guys here is money (for, surprisingly, good reasons).

I’ve talked to my bank back home, they assure me it should work. One time I tried to use it to unlock my door.


Fun with Engirish…SHRUBBERY!:

Story I read yesterday on a coffee shop marquee:

“Kaldi soon discovered his goats dancing joyously around a dark green colored shrubbery with red berries at the bottom on the Southern tip of Arabian Penninsula he soon discovered that it berries it was that made the joy as he danced also and after eating the berries himself.”

I copied this down on a piece of paper, using all the same punctuation.

I blame rap music:

It is easy to discount others because of culture. It is even easier to forget that, despite cultures, in every society each individual thinks and acts in a different way. We can slot all Korean people into one big hole and they can just as easily slot foreigners in our respective hole.

In a culture that respects tradition such as this, there are still 40 some odd million people in the country and it is simply naïve to believe that each one will blindly follow cultural rules. The results of Klogic then are not the mistakes of the culture rather they are the mistakes of the individual.

Fun with English Education – News:

A couple of native teachers are asked about their thoughts on the proposed Korean overhaul of English Education. There teaching dilemmas sound pretty similar to mine.

An area of Korea that has difficulty attracting Native teachers turns to the internet for teaching help.

Every able bodied Korean male has to enlist in the army for at least two years. A bunch of soccer players tried to get out of it by busting up their shoulders. And when I say a bunch I mean like, over 80.



Filed under Culture, Narratives, Things to Entertain You

5 responses to “Your Daily Shot of Soju: Debunking the Klogic Myth

  1. Even when they explain it….it’s Klogic. Heh heh.

  2. For sure, at least I have a better idea of how klogic comes about…but it’s still annoying as all hell

  3. Pingback: Klogic Vs. Math « Your Daily Shot of Soju

  4. Pingback: You think you’re clever but you’re not…. « Eugene is huge!

  5. Excellent post. A lot of the issues leading to misunderstanding or “K-logic” as some call it stem from the facts on the ground being incompletely or inaccurately being filtered from one language to another and then back again or to a third.

    Not all of them, mind you, but a lot.

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