by Shelt Garner
The idea that someone from one of the major English newspapers in South Korea searched for my name on LinkedIn is really beginning to worry me. I am well aware that there are many, many innocent explanations for this happening, but I know how big of a drunk, crazed asshole I was as an expat in Seoul and the more ominous scenarios write themselves — at least in my mind.
What I wonder is why now? What could possibly have changed recently that would make people think of me again? Or is my notorious legend so potent that people never really forgot me?
I love South Korea and Koreans and even hope to return at least once more before I shuffle of this mortal coil. But the idea that anyone would care about me all these years later is really unnerving. I’m very embarrassed by some of my drunken escapades in South Korea and I’m a dramatically different person. Again, at least in my own mind, I didn’t do anything THAT bad, but I was drunk and kind of nuts most of the time — especially in late 2006, early 2007. There are some stories to be told about what I was doing at that point in my life.
And, to be honest, there is a very interesting story to be told about what happened with me and Annie Shapiro when we were building up ROKon Magazine while I was also DJing at an expat bar in Sinchon called Nori. In fact, I spend way, way, way too much time dwelling on that story and how I could tell it literally.
That moment has passed, however. Though, I have to admit that I am drawing upon much of what I know about what happened between Shapiro and me while I was DJing at Nori bar as the basis for the six novel project I’m working on.
I’m so rattled about a newspaper reporter in Seoul searching my name on LinkedIn, I half feel like calling them up and asking, “Are you doing a story on me or something?”
Of course, if I wanted to put a positive spin on things, I suppose I might speculate that I managed to turn on of my student into a journalist and that’s why there is interest in me. Or something. Something not so dark and dire as I’m going to get roasted in a major Seoul newspaper for my bad behavior nearly 20 years ago.
Hopefully, all of this is a false alarm. Hopefully.