The Hill takes a stand on GoguryeoJuicy girls are great because, as long as you buy them a drink or four, they’ll talk about whatever you want to talk about. If you want to vent about your lousy day at work, they’ll sympathize at length. If you want to talk about how smart and handsome you are, they’ll gush with you-aggrandizement. If you want to theorize on why the stands are empty at the Olympics, they’ll fight off the urge to yawn and conjecture right along.
And if you want to badmouth China for trying to steal Korea’s history, they’ll gladly bash away at their great big neighbor. Plus ― bonus ― you get to see their chests heave with nationalistic pride.
“Why is China picking this fight?” the buxom proprietress of a Hooker Hill bar, Miss Yi, said the other night when this columnist pulled out a Joong-Ang Daily and asked why Beijing was claiming dominion over the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo. “We don’t need to be fighting about that. This is crazy. This is stupid.”
Incidentally, Miss Yi, to protect her privacy and to prevent reprisals from the Chinese Embassy, requested that the real names of her bar and its staff not be mentioned in this article.
One of Miss Yi’s cohorts, the long, lithe and pseudonymous Miss Soh, chimed in, warning that the Chinese were not to be trusted. “You know, all our companies are moving to China now because labor over there is so cheap,” she said. “But if you build a factory there, the Chinese will steal your technology. Then the government will take your factory and your machines and leave you with nothing.”
Miss Yi is also worried about China’s burgeoning economic power. “China’s development is dangerous for the world,” she warned. “When China is strong, it tries to swallow up its neighbors.”
Miss Soh, expanding on the don’t-trust-’em theme, provided an illustration: “If you have a table with a Japanese man, a Korean man and a Chinese man sitting around it, and you put a stack of money in the center, this is what will happen: The Japanese man will start making an elaborate plan to get the money. The Korean man will start making a basic plan to get the money. But the Chinese man will just kill everyone, take the money and run off.”
Asked whether her bar gets many Chinese customers, Miss Yi said that one had come in recently, and that he was generous, and a gentleman.
“But he was actually Taiwanese-American,” she said. Ouch.
Asked her opinion of the Goguryeo flap, Miss Soh squirmed a bit, then confessed that ― not unlike most of China, apparently ― she hadn’t heard about it. “I don’t have a TV, and I don’t read the newspapers,” she explained.
Hey, cut her some slack ― Confucius probably said that the ignorant people are actually the knowledgeable people, and vice versa.
Then again, he was Chinese, so he’s probably not to be trusted.
by Brian Lee