24: Design and Korea 7: The Whistling Stick Figure

The hiker on the web

Slovenia is a mountainous country and Slovenians are deeply wedded to their mountains. Every town and village has its own hiking hill. The tallest mountain of the land is our national site of pilgrimage. That mountain is named Three-headed (Triglav), just like the pagan Slavic trinity that gazes into the three worlds: the skies, the … more >>>

23 Bread and Korea: Pain Tradition

Memory Bread - Pain Tradition

I have listened to a fair number of migrants in Korea (or, as they like to call themselves, expats) express their bread angst. Their bread pain. “It’s all too sweet!” “Too soft!” “Too strange!” “Too hard!” “Too many flavors!” Europe developed as a wheat and rye-based agrarian society, which made bread the staple food there. … more >>>

21 Why athletes are celebrated and entrepreneurs are not

Pointyhelmet the hero

“Why do we only turn out, wave flags and cheer for sports achievements? Why don’t we do the same thing for successful businesspeople? Other countries celebrate their dealmakers!” This was the gist of a Slovenian article a friend shared. He shared the author’s perplexity at the sad lot of the Slovenian capitalist. Cute. Why is … more >>>

20 Design and Korea 6: The Artificial Town

A remix of Faulk's aerial photo of Seoul from the late 19th century and a contemporary view of Seoul.

I count three kinds of human settlement. There is the camp. A temporary bulwark against the elements. All it takes is a firepit and people huddled around it. Assembled and reassembled as the community moves. Hunter-gatherers on the move, pastoralists and their goats and their sheep, German tourists in their FKK camps on the Adriatic. … more >>>

19 Reflections of Two Hundred Days

Olaf Owlbearssen

Alcohol is an integral part of Slovenian culture. Boys become men by drinking. Hosts welcome visitors to their homes with a schnapps. At celebrations, people become dancers and revelers after two beers. At university, exams passed and exams failed are celebrated with a bottle of wine. All three great European drinks are part of Slovenian … more >>>

17 The Empire Is Naked

the naked emperor and the atomic shoes

I’ve thought of writing this piece for months, but every time I stopped my fingers from hitting the keyboard. Keep it positive, keep it interesting, keep it personal. We expatriates are, after all, disenfranchised people in the societies we inhabit. Better to avoid politics. In the oval office sits a sad (and strikingly stupid) little … more >>>

16 Artist

Neither goat nor mastodon but something better than either

‘Artist’ (‘Umetnik’) was often used as a slur, rather than a description, in my mountain town. Honest people worked with their hands, farmers and laborers and surgeons. Dishonest people worked with their mouths, lawyers and politicians and teachers. Artists did not work. They created. And what they created was chaos and danger and change. Or, … more >>>