We had a union for a year and a half. Despite the fact that each of the employees made more money for his position than anyone else in the country—a fact that we were quite proud of—the junior staff set one up. These new members were the equivalent of Harvard and Yale graduates, who were suddenly trying to bill themselves as “the downtrodden.” They weren’t hurting. The most junior person was driving a Hyundai Sonata to the office and paying for parking all day long. In the States, if I had driven to work as a young loan … Read More
My friend Lawrence is a confident, good-looking, soft-spoken man, a 45-year-old executive vice-president of an investment bank here in Seoul. When I asked him what he felt he had gained from his six years in Korea, he said, “Finding out that there is more than one right way of doing things.” He enjoys watching people, and he speaks of his Korean colleagues with obvious affection. I suspect that he also enjoys molding himself to fit into different environments and circumstances.
In Japan I once worked with someone who was a nice man, but not a deep thinker. He … Read More
The old part of Seoul near Kyongbok Palace always seemed soothing and energizing despite the traffic. In the late 1980s and the 1990s, you could walk along the walls surrounding Changyong Palace, under the closely trimmed sycamore trees and past the tiny parks which are so welcome in a huge city, and then up crooked, narrow little streets of ancient houses and little shops to Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Center. The center has since moved to Ganghwa near Incheon City.
Many things happened at the center—meditation classes, classes in Buddhist teaching, some with an eye toward improving people’s English, regular … Read More