[KS] How unequal is South Korea, really? Almost perfectly unequal, in Seoul.

Lauren Deutsch lwdeutsch at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 23 15:25:04 EDT 2006

While I cannot offer statistics, this comment by Brother Anthony helped me
to understand the realities of life in Mongolia, from where I just returned
after my first trip.

My host family (mother, father, teenage daughter and a nonresident son in
his late teens / early 20s) have a nice Soviet-built (1980s perhaps)
apartment with two bedroom / 1 bath / living room / kitchen with eat in area
on the third floor of a building in a complex in the Bayangol district. The
family supports themselves by selling pieces of fabric (for men's trousers)
at a stall in a year-round outdoor market. They have an 1988 Mercedes car
and spend most of their funds educating their children, especially their

There are huge new apartment building projects underway in the environs of
Ulaan Baatar. Who can afford them, I asked the daughter. The growing number
of lawyers, government workers and top employees of corporations, was her
reply. They are afraid of the influx of foreign investments that draw out
from the country its primarily natural resources and also retain abroad any
profit from international enterprise.

Two-thirds of the total population (about 2 million) is under age 30, 27.9%
of whom are under 14 years old. The son of this family is en route to Seoul
to look for work, as there's not many jobs as it is and nomadic animal
herding is the occupation of a "large" number of people. (There are seven
animals to every person in Mongolia). In the case of the countryside, the
grass is indeed always greener on the other side, until you get to the Gobi.

Lauren W. Deutsch
835 S. Lucerne Blvd., #103
Los Angeles CA 90005
Tel 323 930-2587  Cell 323 775-7454
E lwdeutsch at earthlink.net

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