Monday, December 24, 2007

Oh Korea

"The South Korean government now supports more than 40 treatment programs to deal with video game and Internet addiction."

"A South Korean man has died after reportedly playing an online computer game for 50 hours with few breaks."

"Every second household in South Korea has a broadband connection to the internet."

I think you guessed that children here play on their computer way to much. They even have professional video game players that are actually nationally famous. This post isn't about this but it might help you understand why I thought this next story was really funny.

Our text book follows the seasons. Right around christmas the video's on the cd started having snow and christmas songs in them. In one of the video's there are three kids talking about making a snowman after a heavy snow storm. While talking one of the boys (Bill) gets hit in the face by a snow ball by another kid (Joon). Joon starts laughing as anyone would and then you see his face turn to a fearful look. The other three are now chasing him with the base of the previous mentioned snow man over their heads. The children laughed and I did too. After the video I asked them, "What happened to Bill in this video?" Most of the kis in the other classes were able to say at least part of the right answer which was, "Joon hit bill in the face with a snowball." In one of my classes, a lower level one at that, everyone is silent for about 20 seconds. Right after that there were some words being thrown out such as "throw" and "snow ball." One kid even shouted out "Jay-kuh I love you." Although it's a good answer it isn't the right one. Out of no where, this kid who never speaks, or even looks up jumps up as excited as I have ever seen him and shouts out, "SNOW BALL HEAD SHOT!" Immediately I had a flash back to my teenage days of playing counter strike online with friends. When you shoot someone in the face the computer games spits out the phrase "HEAD SHOT." I couldn't help but start laughing, the rest of the class (even the kid) joined in too. Who said video games never taught anyone anything?


Video games for the most part are def. unhealthy for children in America. Lets talk about something a little better for good living. This past Sunday I went hiking with some friends. We climbed Apsan. Ap=Forward, San=Mountain. So combine the two and you get Forward Mountain...I hope. It is a mountain on the South rim of Daegu. We met downtown and made our way over. A buddy of mine brought his dog, a 3 year old bull terrier. Very cute animal, but a funny looking face. We got to the mountain and hiked up. It was a little more than a mile, but parts of it were very steep. All in all not too hard. The puppy was having a blast. He let her off the leash and she ran up the mountain and waiting until we got closer then jetted away again. It was really warm and was a great day to hike. We made it to the top after about 1 1/2. I realized then why it was a famous mountain. There were a number of different viewing places you could hike around to, but from every one of them you got an amazing panoramic view of the entire city of Daegu. You could see everything. At the top we met this Korean kid who's english was pretty kick ass. He started talking to us and introduced his twin brothers. Nice kids, and obviously he was excited to speak English. We were being nice of course since we are all teachers, then he went away and came back with some home made Gim Bop that his mother and father brought along on the hike. Gim bop is Korean sushi. It was really good, and we ate a lot. I gave him one of my nutri-grain bars but by his face I knew he didn't like it. They tagged along with us till the end of the hike and then left after getting someone's e-mail address. After the hike it was only appropriate to go to a Jim Jill Bong with the crew so we did. Mad relaxing. If you guys don't know what a Jim Jill Bong is read my past post about it. Pretty close to the beginning of when I got here. After that, went to downtown and got some good food, took a bus back watched a movie and passed out. GREAT day.

This will be my last post for at least until January 13th because I will be on vacation. I'll be in India and Thailand until the 13th. I can't wait, I leave Friday. For now I must leave you! I have to go dress up as Santa Claus for my Hapkido peoples. I'm the only white person they know so it's only appropriate. After that it's downtown for an ugly sweater x-mas party. Trust me, I bought an ugly fucking sweater. Got it for 2 bucks that is how ugly it is. Take care ladies and gentlemen, i'll have A LOT to write about when I get back.

p.s- GOT MY VIDEO CAMERA TODAY, SOME OF YOU SHOULD EXPECT DVD'S.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Gu Crew Saw It Through





#1) I spent 100 bucks at costco on food. Never spent that much money on much of anything before, it was a weird reality. Chips and salsa, pretzels (co-workers never had them before), PB & J (co-workers ALSO never had before), honey nut cheerios and some sick mac and cheese. I got more than that but I'm not about to try and remember after the weekend I just had.

THE GU CREW:

It was an escape from Daegu this time. The location: Busan. The mission: To "take it by storm." Personally I think the person who came up with that name is playing a little too much facebook risk but it was a catchy name none the less. This last week was a little long and a little long. It was actually the last full week that the public school teachers have. I'll explain later. Friday night was a simple night out. Some dinner, some drinks, some bullshitting...all the usual. We were all trying to save our strength for saturday. The idea was to go to Busan to watch and friend's band play at one of the local foreigner clubs. I had no objection to going because 1) the band is pretty entertaining and 2) Busan is awesome. You can't not like a beach town. Yes...a double negative. We took the KTX train saturday afternoon and got to Busan. Right out of the gates we checked out the fish market which was just as ridiculous as last time I saw it. How often do you get to see live eel's pulled out of a tank, a spike shoved thorough their heads, and then this seemingly harmless older Korean woman gut it, skin it, and chop it, all the while the thing is still squirming. Even after it's in bits it's still twitching and struggling. The most ridiculous part is when they deliver it to a table and people eat it straight up. This was a fish market with literally hundreds of little tents set up that sell the exact same thing. I have NO idea how any of them make money. While walking down the strip you see interesting things, such as a half of a pig's head...I even almost stepped on a live octopus that was trying to make a run from the bucket it was being kept in. No worries though, the lady that was supposed to be tending to the bucket ran it down and threw it back in. It was quite interesting.

After that we took a cab to the hotel and dropped our bags off. Got some dinner at TGIF and then took another cab to the university area that the band was playing. I was at this bar the last time I was in Busan and it was a lot of fun. Add music and a lot more friends that I know and it was THAT much better. For some reason a lot of people ended up without shirts on and jumping around. Sadly to say there were no girls involved but whatever, man love is entirely o.k once in a while. People were even swinging from the rafters. During the bands break the guitarist was still up there and I had an urge to rock out after hearing all these songs. I went up to him and asked him if he knew "what I got" by Sublime. Of course he did and of course we did. It was just me and him at first and then the lead singer of the band ended up on the drums...Just a blast. An all around moment if you will. After the bar we walked a block to a club. Again, people went skins and eventually a lot of people were without shirts. Drinking, dancing, singing...SICK. Went back to the hotel area around 4 and got some eats at a 24 hr korean place. It was mad good event though my buddy was falling asleep in between every other bite of food. It's no surprise that I had to slap him about 50 times through the meal but he finished and we got back. I got it on video so it's o.k.

This morning got off to a slow start but the idea was to play football on the beach. About 4 of our group bitched out and went home early, but the rest of us had a nice 5 on 5 game of football. We had a crowd of people watching us from the get go. Like regular rock stars, except not. Since my foot is messed up from sparring I was QB for my team for most of the time. This is where the shout out comes. ZACK G. 4 TD'S BY MEANS OF JAKE "THE ROCKET" LEDERMAN. It would have been like 8 td's if scott hasn't been training. HAHAHA. Hell I even scored w/ a qb sneak.

After the game it was back to the train station. While waiting for the train with two other dudes we somehow ended up being approached by this older guy and his wife. It was only polite to offer him something to drink (soju)...then it was only polite to have his wife go and buy beer for us while we killed the bottle. A very nice train ride back. Over all, I made it there and back just fine and had a jolly old time. THE GU CREW SAW IT THROUGH. Busan by storm, 2007. Han ban duh? Word.






A number of fabulous things are happening in the week to come. This week was the last real week. Wed. is the presidential election so no school. It also means that the ridiculous songs and speaker trucks that drive around blasting crazy things will go away. The week after is christmas so no school one day...and after that is my vacation and INDIA AND THAILAND. So 2 4 day work weeks and an ill vacation. Who ever said making money was hard? HA! video

Sunday, December 9, 2007

India Auto Rickshaw Spectacular


Some of you have been informed already about my upcoming adventure. Dec. 29th I will be leaving for India to participate in the 2007 CEAT Autorickshaw charity race. My friend from orientation, Art, and myself are leaving from Seoul (the capital of Korea) on the 29th at 1050 in the morning. We land in Thailand at 4:45 pm and have a one night lay over there. It will be nice cause i'll get to see a little of Bangkok. We leave the next morning at 1055am and land in Chennai India 1245pm. We are getting picked up from the airport by transportation provided by the event. When we get there the fun begins. This race is a team event. Each team recieves a Tuk Tuk, or Autorickshaw, that they will use for the duration of the event. The Auto rickshaw is basically a motorcycle taxi. One wheel in the front, two in the back and bench seat behind the drivers seat all enclosed with a roof. Forget the doors here. They vary in size but basically on the smaller side. It's gonna be funny Art is about 6' 2". I'll take plenty of pictures of him squeezing in. Some are in better shape than others but they are all basically guaranteed to break at least once in the event. But hey, getting them fixed is all part of the fun. Since they are really popular in India there is no shortage of repair men. Even the smallest town has at least one specialist. THE RACE: It is a 10 day, 600+ mile race down the South East coast of India. It starts in Chennai and we work our way down the coast. We race in every type of terrain India has to offer. From deserted roads to thick jungles, from busy paved city streets to dirt roads in a monsoon. The race is tour de France style so we start at a checkpoint and end at another one for the day. That night we all get dinner and hang out until the next morning. The people with the best time at the end of the race win. Let me say right away I don't give 5 shits about winning, the experience in itself is rewarding enough for me. We will be seeing places that many tourists have never been. I plan on stopping many times when ever we want to get out and look around. My team name is The Hanuman-iacs. It was Art's idea and a very good one at that. Hanuman is a monkey god in India. He went around India in his time and caused all sorts of trouble, he is very popular among the Indian people. It should help us out especially in the smaller towns. Adding iacs to the end to make maniacs was just as necessary as taking showers. It made it THAT much better. When we get there first thing is to go through the check in process. Right after that we learn how to actually drive the thing. Since I drive a bike I think it will be easier for me than others but all in all it shouldn't be too hard. Basic gears and clutch so we should be good to go. Next we get to paint our rickshaw. It should be obvious that we are going to paint a big picture of a monkey on the thing. I requested orange base paint so we can be seen better but I don't know if that will work out. Either way, there will be painting. After the first day of learning how to drive we all hang out together, the next morning the race starts. I can't explain how excited I am about this whole thing so I won't even try. I bought a video camera specifically to film the event so i'll make some DVD's and put stuff on my facebook. I'll have this footage when I get home so if ya'll wanna see what's good it'll be there. After we finish the race it will be January 9th...yes new years will be celebrated in India...IN A COCONUT GROVE! Off the hoooook. We fly out of India on the 10th (hopefully with tailor made suits and jewlery cause it's maaad cheap) and land in Bangkok later that night. We are going to an Island right off the coast. Art lived there for 6 months while teaching so he knows the area. We got a little cabin literally on the beach and i'm gonna chill there until the 13th when I fly out. I can't wait. Jealous?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sorry



Sorry i've been slowing down with the posts. Just getting busy again...and what i'm not busy i'm lazy. But I should be writing more tomorrow. Some things to look forward to. My India Autorickshaw race is coming up, my co-workers birthday was wed night, and I had my first hapkido sparing match at practice. Tonight is a friends birthday party...yeah happy birthday amelia and peter...so maybe there will be something to write about there. Keep reading, probably write tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

First off


FIRST OFF, I would like to announce that Brian Gannon and Zack G. are now douche bags. I say this because they are reading this.

This weekend was a pretty decent one as far as weekends go. Friday night was trivia night. I wasn't officially on a team but I helped out a bit. When I traveled with my school on the ship I always thought foreigner bars were a stupid idea, and even worse was when they had trivia. I remember in Barcelona the first night off the ship a couple of friends and I stumbled upon a bar called "Travel Bar." Low and behold there were many foreigners in there and they were having a trivia night. Immediatly I though "how queer is this." You don't go to a bar in a foreign country to answer questions with a bunch of people who look like you...you go to the bar to drink your face off and get wasted with the locals. Until I moved here I didn't realize the people in that bar for the most part weren't just off a plane or just off a cruise ship and visiting for a week or two, they were people who probably lived there. Foreigner bars and these "social" outtings are actually quite important for a happy life over seas. Although I love the culture and the language and of course the people it is definitely neccessary to be able to speak english full speed and have people understand every word. Sometimes i'll even catch myself slowing down and speaking the way I speak to Korean Korean people. Every foreigner has a special voice that they use to speak to a real Korean. It involves slowing down a lot and making a sentece as simple as possible. For example, if I wanted to say "I drank too much last night and my stomach really hurts." It would come out as, "Too much soju, belly hurts." I think by far my friend Ben has the best one. He not only speaks incredibly slow, but his intonation is completely off. It's like he is talking to a special education retard and not even expecting them to understand. I can't explain it any more than that, it's great. So besides the need to be around people who you can have a normal conversation with trivia night turns out to be incredibly fun and funny. It's the people that make it fun...the money winnings at the end isn't bad either.

Saturday morning I woke up and immediatly new that I wasn't going out that night...or that day. I stayed home all day and watch some movies. I did go out for about 5 mins but that was only to get some milk for cereal the following morning.

Sunday. I woke up. Today is the foreigner thanksgiving feast. We didn't celebrate it thursday because we all had work. We didn't celebrate it Thursday night either because something far more important happens that night. Fooseball. Sunday seemed like the best option. It was pot luck style. Everybody brought food and we joined forces and pigged out. We met at noon and started warming stuff up and drinking wine. We had dinner, played some games and watched some movies. It was nice. I have to cut this short though because the bell just rang and I have to go to my first period class. Back to work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yellow belt and a photo op.






I had 3 birthday parties. Jesus that is a lot. The first was friday night after I went to Hapkido. I went to the 930 class and then we started looking for a restaurant at 1030ish. We finally found one at 11. Sat down and ate. Of course my Korean friends ordered plenty of soju. The head teacher in my school, the guy who is in charge of all of the teachers if it wasn't obvious enough, even came out. I was unaware he spoke any english until after the first couple of bottle of soju. 30 mins in he was busting out not only words, but BIG words. I was laughing my ass off, I just never expected it from him. Anyways...then they whipped out a cake. It was this extravagant thing that was from the "cake house" which is expensive in itself. I learned some cultural things that people have to do on their birthdays. They all lead to my liver's demise. They even sang happy birthday to me in English. Of course I asked them to do it again in Korean to keep things kosher and cultural...this is when everyone in the restaurant joined in. Once again I felt like the man. After that I went to the No Re Bong (karaoke) with the Kwan Jang Nim and the rest of them. Sang a little Bon Jovi- Dead or Alive then ended up home at the end of the night.

SLEEP

Woke up, got my stuff together and kinda wondered around my apt. I was planning on going to the bank and then over to the gym a little early to warm up. The stretches they do isn't nearly enough so I always go earlier and stretch. White peoples bodies aren't made the same way as theirs. They are flexible little bastards. Everyone in the entire country can squat like a champ. If I mentioned before that sucks for you because i'm going to mention it again. It's like their fetal position is squatting, they were born doing it. Before anyone will teach them how to talk or walk they must get a black belt in squatting. I went to find my helmet to leave but I couldn't find it. I realized I took my bike over to the gym last night and left it there, I do that whenever I go out with them. I started walking and got there just in time for the group stretch. I was o.k...nothing big. Before the test the exhibition team was going to give a demonstration...i'm on the exhibition team...nobody told me this. We learned a quick routine...I messed up maybe once or twice but whatevs, i'm aright...nothing horrible. After that I took my test, left, and made my way downtown for my official birthday party. This part doesn't need a lot of explaining. We went ice skating that was actually really fun. Then went on these go carts where my friend almost crashed into a wall after jumping a pile of tires. After the carts we got downtown and ate dinner, then over to the bar for beer pong. There was A LOT of people there. Very very good time.

I woke up. I stayed in all day and watched like 3 movies. Relaxing day.

Monday was a normal school day, followed by Hapkido. I walked in and a whole lot of little kids came in and started saying "JAKE NUMBER 1." I was like hey hey thanks a lot kids, your pretty cool too. Then they grabbed my hang and brought me over to a board with writing on it. It was all in Korean except my name and numbers. They pointed to the top of the list and there I was. They meant I was litterally number one. I got the highest score on the test but it wasn't a surprise cause most of my competition was little kids and middle school kids. I liked it better when I thought they wanted to tell me I was their number one. We had this ceremony type thing where my K.J.N gave out the belts. I physically got my yellow belt. It felt good. After Hapkido, to the gym. And like every monday I went out with my group of friends. But this monday was my actual birthday. They bought me a couple of beers, nothing crazy...I don't think I could have handeled it. Went to bed and that was that.

I woke up. Went to work. It's been freezing in my school and today they finally turned on the heat. Nice and warm ALLLLLL day. Work ended, did my double, went to the gym and came home. When I got home there were like 5, what I guessed were high school girls, in my lobby where I park my bike. They saw me and opened the doors and split into two groups. I felt like moses...if only their uniforms were red and not black. I parked and as soon as I took my helmet off out came the questions. "Where are you from?" "New York-uh, I love-uh New York!" "Handsome, so handsome." I went right next store to order my food up to my apt and went back to my lobby to head upstairs. They started yelling "I love you" and as I was turning the corner of the stair case I felt a hand grab my arm. "PICTURE! Please-uh PICTURE." I was bundled up to my face in clothes and my helmet and back pack in my hands but I had to smile because it was so funny. They took out their cell phones like it was burning through their pockets and almost in unison they counted to three. I heard the clicks and said good night and escaped. I just ate my food, turned on my heat, and wrote you this. Now it's time to shower because I smell like HOT GARBAGE. Thanks for reading. Lates!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Camping and my upcomming birthday weekend




Last weekend was the foreigner camping extravaganza. There was about 20 people that went. We rented two vans and bought a lot of food..basically we had everything you needed for camping. The plan was to drive 3 hours, get to a place that wasn't really a campsite but people camped before. Walk for about 15 mins through the forest and arrive on a beach. So camping on a beach. Sounded good. I am one of the only 3 guys with a Korean drivers license and I love to drive so I was the designated driver for the way up. I never drove any thing bigger than a car in stick shift before so it was fun. The leaves on the trees are all changing and there are trees all over the mountains...There are mountains all of Korea. It was a really really really nice drive. It started to get dark and we weren't there yet so I knew we would have a hard time finding it. We did. We finally got there just past the 3 hour mark. We literally turned off the road onto a dirt road. The dirt road led into a big open area and at the end of the road it looked to be a boat launch. We could either camp right there or walk through the woods with all our stuff for 15 mins at night and find the beach. We thought why not attempt to look for the beach so a couple of people and myself went searching. There was no path at all so we were ducking under tree branches and dodging tree trunks. Yeah...no beach. We went back and shared our adventure with the rest of the people. We couldn't really see much but where we decided to pitch the tents was a LOT of garbage. We cleared out an area and set up the 5 or 6 tents that we had. The good thing about the site was there was tons of wood. I'm not sure if this was legal or not but we made a fire ring with rocks and put a whole shit load of wood in it and lit that shit up! It was a nice cold night with a nice warm fire. People brought their guitars and two guys started cooking food. Our cooking method was to rap meat and vegetables in tin foil and throw it in the fire. It was a fun method. It was really a great time. Drinking, eating, joking, singing, yelling. All good. I went to be around 1:30 but some guys didn't sleep at all. We woke up the next morning and saw exactly where we were. It was basically an area that every single person in the whole country threw their garbage. It was EVERY WHERE! All sorts and sizes. Everyone was cracking up and making jokes about how we could have driven 15 mins away and found a garbage dump. Oh well. The cherry on top of this laughing sundae was right before we left. We were packing into the vans and a huge truck starts backing up down the road. It looked like a sewage truck. He backs down to the water and throws his hose in. Everyone was silent for about a minute thinking "is he really doing that?!?!?" Then it seemed all at once the roar of laughter came back and stayed for most of the ride back. I was informed by one of my friends that it wasn't really a sewage truck, it was just a sprayer truck (ones they use to clean the roads) and he was filling up his tanks, not emptying it out. I didn't say anything to anyone else because I didn't want to ruin their fun. We got back to Daegu and I went home and did laundry.


That was last weekend. Now for this weekend. As some of you may know my birthday is this Monday. From past experiences I have learned that a birthday celebration on a week night is NOT a good idea. There is nothing left for me to do than to celebrate it the weekend before. Tonight is a friday night. I am going to the advanced Hapkido class and then after my Kwan Jang Nim and fellow hapkido-ers are celebrating at the gym. They wanted to party with me and I have to go down town tomorrow for the official bash. I wanted to party with some ninjas because they are awesome and also HILARIOUS when they are trashed. It's gonna be a fun night. I also have my yellow belt test tomorrow. Luckly it's at 4 pm, i'll have to be able to move by then. It's gonna be cake, i'll def. let you guys know how it goes. But after my belt test I am going downtown to have a party with all my friends. It is my friends birthday on tuesday so we are doing a joint thing. This is also the first time I didn't have to do ANYTHING to plan my own party. Two other people planned the whole thing, it's nice not having to worry about it. First is Ice Skating...yeah I know...but like I said I didn't plan it. It should be fun...the only problem I can see is them not having big enough skate sizes for some peoples feet. Next over to a bar called communes for what might be the very first beer pong tournament ever in Korea. That should be a blast. No Korean person I have spoken to has any idea what beer pong is. I am excited to show them. After that all I know is we are going over to a differnent bar for a "special birthday toast." Don't know what that means but i'm excited. The rest of the night, as far as I know, isn't planned. You can expect a long blog about the formentioned events. Wish me luck! Off to Hapkido.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New posts below this one...

For those of you that can't check out my pictures on face book here are a couple. There is also a new post below this extravaganza so check that out. Enjoy



Brian Peter and me.


He tried to kiss me...Irish people.


So I bit his nipple. CAN YOU SEE THE PAIN?..and his tonsils?




Me and my foosball partner. We have a league here. We are number 1 right now. My favorite number is 4 and it's an unlucky number in Korea. Oh well.


Me my Co-Teacher (she is awesome) and some of my co-workers. They took me to Mt. Palgong and up the cable car to see the leaves changing. It was really nice. Then they took me to dinner.

Service


Last night was the grand opening of FIRE duck bo key place. Duck bo key is a rice noodle that looks kinda like a really thick short piece of spaghetti...finger length. The fire should be self explanitory but just in case you can't figure it out it means it's FUCKING SPICY. For the grand opening they had this clown on stilts walking outside of the place and of course, since it's right next to my apt, in front of my door too. I almost killed the guy backing my "autobike" out of my apt. Didn't see him. Alonge with the clown they were blasting Korean techno music too until like 9pm. On my way back from hapkido the owner was sitting on a chair in my hall way with his computer setting some music up and when I walked in he said in broken English that he was sorry and the music was only tonight. I told him it was fine thinking that he could understand it...I wasn't sure if he could. So tonight I was hungry and I didn't want to go anywhere. I settled for walking downstairs and eating in the new place. I walked in and ordered some fire cheese-uh duck bo key. I asked if they had some rice too because it's spicy shit. They didn't so I said hold on and ran upstairs to my apt and made some 3 min rice. The ladies in the place thought it was hilarious when I walked into the restaurant with my own rice. After they brought me some food the owner walks in and his eyes lit right up. He immediatly said hello. I assumed he knew a little english. WRONG, he used up all of his english last night. It was o.k though because between my couple words of Korean and his couple of English along with many hand motions and acting we had a small conversation. I'm almost positive his brother lives in my building and that he likes me. He pointed outside to a show case filled with models of what they call Bean-sue. It's ground up ice, a scoop of ice cream and fresh fruits on top. You mix it up together and it's a dessert. Very popular here and actually very good. He pointed and said "bean-sue, SERVICE, yeah? If you don't remember from my previous post about service, or you haven't read it, it means FREE. Music to my ears. My favorite word of all time. When ever I go to this Italian restaurant with my formentioned Korean sister Hami, the owner always gives us a free salad or some sort of delicious dish for service.******** So I went, got a biggggg bowl of cheese-uh duck bo key and some fried potato things and of course that big bowl of bean-sue. It was all only 4,000 won which is about $4.50. Delicious (ma-she-say-yo) as could be. BTW what is with the Canadian dollar being better than the U.S.A dollar?!?!? WHAT IS GOING ON OVER THERE?



********Side story...Another friend of mine had his parents over from Canada and they were at the bar with us. It was his dads 60th birthday and the man was celebrating. This story shows such a culture gap. The dad's name was Jan and he was awesome. Hanging with the boys if ya know what I mean. I got there and told Hami where I was and she wanted to come and hang out with all of us. In walks Hami and I introduced Jan to her. She went to shake his hand because she knows that much about our culture. She works as a translator and food service chick on the army base so she has some inside knowledge. When Jan shook her hand he took it and kissed it because that is just how we do. Hami had nooooo idea what to do because they don't do that here....so she took his hand and kissed it right back. I started cracking up and Jan did the same. She immediatly knew what we were laughing about so she also immediatly punched me. I told her that men do that not women. She was laughing afterwards too, probably because I was holding my arm in pain. What can I say, she boxes.


NOW FOR MY BIRTHDAY PLANS.
AS YOU ALL MUSTTT know my birthday is the 19th. This weekend a lot of friends and I are renting vans and going to the mountains for a camping trip. One night one morning. I'm dressing as warm as I can and not taking a layer off until i'm back home. But next weekend is the weekend before my birthday. Since the 19th is a Monday that makes the celebration have to take place the week before. I was trying to convince one of the bar owners to let us have a beer pong tournament on Saturday the 17th. It would bring him a lot of business and blah blah blah, but again, they don't really do beer pong here. While the owner was thinking about that my Kwan Jang Nim told me that my belt test was November 17th also at 4pm...naturally I knew he was going to say I would have my test and we would celebrate. My K.J.N also remembered my birthday so when I told him I would go downtown to meet all of my friends he basically told me that I could have my birthday at the Hapkido gym. That would involve about 30-40 foreigners, about 20 Koreans and a very large room with padded floors and nun-chucks to play with...We could probably set up a table outside for beer pong and then just have a lot of fun up there. After we leave there there are def. places around me to go out and continue the festivities. It's all up in the air though. If you have any ideas comment away.

Until next time, PEACE.

E Ta Bu ay yo

Monday, November 5, 2007

I've been watching this video

I've been watching this video non-stop. I think it's the sickest thing ever. This is a group called Naturally 7. they are an ocapella (sp?) group. This is out of control. They are rocking a Paris subway. I've been memorizing peoples!



Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I also got some more funny shit, so enjoy this too...It gets me through my work day when my classes are over.

Random people


O.k...now this might be a regular thing, but since I have never had my own place before I would be completely unaware of this. It makes sense that things like electricity and gas need to be checked by people to make sure nothing is leaking or going to electricute poor Jakey. But what would also make sense is for them to call and make an appointment to come. Both times this happened I was home early because I had to do something or other. So randomly the doorbell rings...the first time that never happened before so I didn't know what some dude was doing outside my door. Right away he started speaking to me and I coulnd't understand him...I called my co teacher and she talked to him and blah blah blah. It turned out he was the electric guy and he knocked on my door 3 times before but I wasn't home. THAT IS WHY YOU SHOULD CALL FIRST! He seriously talked to my co teacher on my phone for like 15 mins and all my co teacher told me was that he was just there of rthe electricity. This always seems to happen. Someone is explaining something important to my translator for a long time and I usually get one sentence back to explain. It's either this language takes forever to make one comprehesible sentence or somebody is leaving something out.
The random person outside my door just happened again literally 5 mins ago. I got home early from work and some chick rings my doorbell and says "gas-uh." The first thing I could think to say was "no thank you" and thankfully she didn't understand that. She thought I was a little weird cause I started giggling at what I just answered her with. She points in my apartment and I figured this was the same deal as last time. She comes in and puts this device all around my gas range and the pipes and whatever. It made sense that this was important to check...Except after she starts to talk to me. I called my co-teacher but guess who didn't pick up! I ended up calling one of my Korean friends to help me out and she def. did. I love Hami Mommi. My Korean sister if I could choose one. Above is a picture of me and her. I would marry her if she wasn't so fucking strong. A beast I swear. I'm afraid of any woman who can beat me up.

The lady left, and i'm alive. Good shit. HAPKIDO TIME!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween party and Halloween in school




Let me start off by saying the Halloween party was out of control. My friend Angela came to my apt first to drop her shit off and change for down town. We eventually left and made our way down town by taxi. My students roam the streets where I live so I did not put on my costume until we go into the car. Angela dressed up in minimal clothing and some wings. I dressed up as a big fat sumo wrestler. The costume had a fan in it that blew air into the suit to blow it up. It is the funniest thing in the world as you can see above. The second I got out of the taxi every Korean in sight started pointing and laughing and talking to each other about the silly foreigner. We met a bunch of our friends in front of the police station that we haven't seen since orientation. I had to show them where the other people that we knew who came into Daegu were staying. Art and Dave were going to stay with them. None of them were dressed up and so far it was only Angela and I in costume. On the way to the hotel I met up with my Korean friends and even they were dressed up. But they had pre-planned a cover up outfit so none of their korean friends would see them. Korean people in general are really worried about what they look like and how people view them. But these girls didn't care as much as the rest of them because they at least had a costume that was of course cutsie. Us 6 met up with some more people that came in in a big group and went to eat dinner. the whole way there people were laughing at us and coming up to me to poke me and take pictures. There were a couple of halloween parties going on down town so there were a lot of foreigners dressed up. When we walked around in a group they gathered to watch like it was a big parade. Now you see, I knew there were going to be a lot of people coming but I didn't really expect THAT many. When we got to the bar it was PACKED OUT! Apparently EVERY single person I mentioned the party to came. That was the first time that has ever happened. People came all the way from the northern most part of south korea (7 hours away) and also some flew from the small island of Jeju off the south western tip of Korea. It was a mob scene...but it was nice to have all my friends in one place drinking together. So many drinks and a couple of close calls with lit cigarettes and my ballon costume later, it was time for the costume contest. When it was my turn to get up on the chair someone opened the back of my costume to let all the air out. I didn't know it happened and I couldn't figure out why it wasn't inflating. I already got down from the chair when I realized someone sabotaged me! Bastards. I didn't win or even place but there were some pretty funny costumes so it was allll good. After all of that it was time to leave the crowded bar and head to an even more crowded club. I took my costume off when I got there and put it in a locker and proceeded to the dance floor. All in all it was a great night. We said our goodbyes and off people were.

The monday at school I was to start my halloween lesson. I took my costume into school and when I brought it out it smelled like cigarettes. Luckly I let it air out. For my lesson we ordered a helium tank to blow up a lot of orange balloons so the kids could draw on them like a Jack-o-lantern. We got a lot of bowls so the kids could bob for apples...I made a kick ass power point presentation also. My favorite part was this video

Watch it and then come back to reading. Make sure the volume is up REALLY loud so you can hear what they are whispering.




Basically I played that in on the t.v screen and scared the shit out of every student. Some I think had a mini heart attack. I had some tongue twisters later in the lesson and a cool trick or treat game. At least half of the students dressed up, in one class every single student dressed up (but they are my favorite and they know it. SO eager to please me). I told them if they did I would have a costume contest and give them some stuff I brought from home if they won. I had some pennies and nickles and glow sticks...etc. All in all they had a great time and it was a nice break from the hard work that most of them do. I still have a couple more days of halloween lessons, basically this whole week, but I am not complaining. It's a good time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween night

I have some stuff to tell all of you, but unfortunatly i'm still busy. But here is what to look foward to! Yesterday was my Hapkido exhibition. There were 11 teams and only one white kid. Some of my co-workers came to see me and two of my friends, but my coworkers left because we were suppose to eat dinner with the rest of the 6th grade teachers and my group was suppose to go 5th but got pushed back until 10th. Basically I missed a dinner that was suppose to be for me. It was all worth it because we got "first grade" which means we were the best. Even though it wasn't a comp. there was still award for the best team. I don't know if we were really the best or everyone was just impressed that they saw a white kid fly. Don't care, it was cool. I felt great.

That is it for tonight, I gotta get myself to the foreigner halloween party. It's gonna be funny. All the korean people down town are def. going to wonder why all the foreigners are walking around in costumes. It's gonna be great. I'll catch you up to speed later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

keep checkin keep checking. I'll post something else soon. I got stuff to write about, just no time to do it. been busy lately with abc english (disaster) and getting my halloween lesson ready. Also my first Hapkido tournament is this friday at about 5...it's really crazy stuff we are doing. Stuff I haven't done since I was in gymnastics and dance. Take all that and add on making a back-up costume for the HUGE daegu halloween party just in case my costume doesn't pan out and you got one busy Jake. I'll make sure to get something better up soon. STAY FAITHFULL! And leave some comments for god sakes, I need some feedback!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kidnapped and snot sucker

So last night like I said I went to dinner at my co workers house. We ate and drank some soju. I was going to leave and go downtown to hang with some friends for a little and I told him I was going to go at like 9:30...basically he didn't let me leave his apt. He kept me kidnapped and kept feeding me soju. I didn't mind though, I saved money from not going down town. After that we went and played some billiards (4 ball, much better than regular pool...which they call pocket ball...and pocket ball is only for ladies). Then we left and went over to my Hapkido gym and had some more soju with my Kwan Jang Nim and Sau Baum Nim. Basically they wouldn't let me leave either and I ended up getting home at 2am. My nose immediatly stuffed up and I couldn't sleep. This morning I woke up and right away called my co-teacher and told her I was too sick to come into work. I really did feel like shit. Not like I drank too much sick but like my nose was clogged, throat was dry, and not a lot of sleep sick. So I slept more and got woken up by a delivery man with a package for me. Then my co-teacher insisted that I go to a clinic to get some medicine and get checked out. Since I took the day off I went with her.

When I got there it looked kinda like a dr's office should. It was an ear nose and throat doctor so there were some weird machines I never saw before off to the right. I got in there and sat in the chair. His english was surprisingly good. This was a little odd...he brought out this thing that blew smoke or something smoke like in my mouth, then squirt some liquid in my nose and blew more smoke in there too...uncomfortable to say the least. The worst part was still to come. He took out this suction device this and stuck it straight up my nose. First only right in my nose and literally started sucking the snot out of my head. Then he decided there was a lot and stuck it even further up there which was one of the most uncomfortable things that has happened to me since i've been there. Finally he was done sucking the snot, and possibly some of my brains, out of my dome piece (gangster for head). I went with a nurse and sat down in front of this machine and she gave me this round short piece to stick once again in my nose. It squirt something up there and dripped out...I wasn't sure if I was suppose to breath in or not. Then she gave me another piece with water in it. I guessed it was a humidifier (sp?). It was and it again got turned on and humidified my nostrils. It was messy. Then the last thing was this piece that I held near my mouth and it was another smoke thing device. After that I went back to the chair and he took a picture of my nostril, never saw the inside before. Not too attractive. He gave me a perscription and I went down to the pharmacy and got some pills. I actually felt 100% better. After the discomfort it was nice to breath again. My co-teacher treated me to some chicken soup. I was surprised when she said that because I was expecting grandma's chicken soup. But it was more chicken soup in the literal sense. It was soooo delicious. A bowl full of soft rice, and well, pieces of chicken. I ate almost all of it and the rest is in my fridge for b fast tomorrow morning. It was a good day all together and now I feel fine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

FUCKING GRRR

Today I went to hapkido like anyother day. We learned how to defend against a side kick. For some reason the foot work with the hand work I couldn't get it. There is a certain way to grip the leg, a certain place to step foward with your foot, then a way to sweep your foot on the floor so you can sweep the other foot to spin around with...then there is a certain thing you have to do with your other foot and a certain thing you have to do with your hip and then the man will certainly hit the floor....hard. A couple of times my Kwan Jang Nim said "good good" and gave me the thumbs up...but that was only 2 times out of the 30 times or so I drilled. My K.J.N stepped in to show me how to do it but he moves so fast even when he moves slow it's hard to see. I don't know, I was pissed off that I couldn't get it. Then my Sau Bam Nim stepped in to work with me and this is just a rediculously fast and rediculously amazing martial artist. A world champion. He decided it would be funny to see if I could defend against a fast kick. I COULDN'T EVEN GET THE SLOW KICK DOWN. So he kicks me as fast as he can...I didn't even touch his leg before it was already back. He didn't kick me that hard but it was pretty funny how fast this guy was. I kinda feel like this is the first time I "failed" them because I couldn't do something but whatever, the time had to come.

In about 10 mins i'm getting picked up by my co-worker and Hapkido partner to go to his house. His wife and him invited me over for dinner. After that i'm gonna head down town to loosen up with some friends. Today is a sad day for the Jake Man.

p.s...I got my first nick name. I got it because I hold the foozeball table handles like a spec. ed kid....They call me Corky...the spec. ed guy from "life goes on." They thought it was even funnier (and so did I) when they found out that I was actually in spec ed. AND rode the short bus to school cause I got kicked off the big one. OOO man good times. I'll be back at this blog in a couple of days since I had to cancel my Seoul/casino trip because i'm saving for India....which also reminds me I have to blog about that. SO CHECK BACK SOON. LATERZ

Monday, October 15, 2007

Paint ball and slapping

So I went paintballing sunday...I stole a hat and got shot a couple of times. ALSO when asian girls want to get others attention they smack the shit out of their backs. Really random two things but I only have a couple of mins and...well fuck off if you don't like it. Paintball was great, asian chicks are better. I'll do both again...PEACE!

Monday, October 8, 2007

White water and white foam

This weekend I went to a province called Kongwondo. I took 2 buses and a cab to get to a town called Bong-Peyon...population 3,000 people. I met my friend Art there and we went out to dinner. We ordered one dish, and actually a second one by accident...but it didn't matter because the guy brought out 3 other dishes and kept saying "service!" That is Konglish for free. So we got a huge meal and my buddy picked up the tab because he loves me. Then we went out to a bar a little buzzed and ordered more beer and soju. After a long day of traveling it was necessary. We were at the bar and met these Korean kids. It turned out they were really kids and only in highschool. But whatever, it was fun. It turned out they were friends with the bar keeper and they paid for all our drinks. So that night I DIDN'T SPEND A PENNY! I love small town life. We went back to my friends house and he pulled down an attic latter, we climbed and there was a room to sleep in. It was so funny. It's a small ski town so he lives at like this bed and breakfast place. His landloard even does his laundry for him. What a lucky dick. Anyway needless to say he is right by the mountains. The next morning we woke up at 7 am and walked out his door and 4 mins to the right. We found the trail head and started hiking. 2 hour hike, it was beautiful and good to sweat out the night before. Showered and then took 2 more buses to the place we needed to get to. We were suppose to meet up with our friends at 11:50 and we got there at 11:48. Talk about close calls. When we got there we met up with friends from orientation and a couple of people I didn't know. We did some more traveling to an adventure place and went white water rafting. Rapids weren't that big but it was still a good time. We then proceeded to celebrate after a short trip back to town. Celebrated what you might ask...BEING ALIVE! It's worth a celebration ain't it? Anyway, after getting given 1,000 won ($1) by some Aussie embassy worker who spoke english because I was that much short for my second and longest bus ride back home. No atm and my credit card needed a pin number...didn't have it and the bus left in 15 mins. If you guys see any Australians in need GIVE THEM A HAND!The seats were awesome and comfy and after all that traveling I went downtown to pick up the book "The God Delusion." Complex sentences and eh right now, still interesting. Got some food, and now i'm home. I'm fucking exhausted right now and I don't even know why i'm writing all of this instead of sleeping.
I was tired at school, but then pepped up because I realized it was time for Hapkido. I took the first class with the younger kids, then I decided to stay for the second one. Hell it's free why not! So I took the second class with the advanced kids and we were doing so much more fun things like spinning back kicks and double kicks and some crazy flippy spiny kick. The kids are older and better. I can def. learn a lot more doing this class but i'm only going to double up once or twice a week...maybe three times if i'm feeling like a champ. Other than that I'M SO TIRED and I start ABC English tomorrow...so i'm going to hit the sack...or the floor actually. Yo-style baby. Until next time, peace out!

p.s-i'll put pictures up later. It's taking too long now*

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Soon Dae


There is this food called SOON DAE. That is how it's said. I was taken there by co workers before that hapkido demonstration. I wouldn't say I got tricked into eating it but I wasn't informed. On the awning when I was walking in I saw that there was a picture of a pig...like every food place in Korea there is a picture of either what your eating or what the dishes look like. Really dumbs it down for the foreigners. I can't tell you how many times I get the waiter to walk outside to the pictures and I point and put up one finger. It's easiest sometimes. Annnyywho, I didn't think anyone of the food because like I said, I already saw the picture of the pig and there is A LOT of pork in this country. So I sit down and presented with a bowl of soup and in it is what looks like maybe mushrooms and noodles wrapped in a piece of tubular meat. I wasn't thinking I was just eating and watching chuck noris on the big flat screen t.v. It was good. After I went to the Hapkido thing and that was that.

At night time I went to this opera with some friends and I told my friend scott that I ate soondae...He immediatly said "EWWWW THAT IS SOMETHING I CAN'T EAT." I was immediatly scared to find out what it was...but I asked anyway. I found out it was noodles wrapped in intestines (that explains the tube shape) kindey's and liver. MMMmmMmMmm! They are lucky they didn't tell me what it was before or I would have ran out of there!

Monday, October 1, 2007

ABC English

Just to let you know, I don't proof read these things so if there is a mistake JUST DEAL WITH IT! Anyway.

I have to start this thing called abc english. Not so excited for this. It is a program for poorer kids and I have to call about 6-12 of them over the course of an hour and talk to them for at least a little bit. If their English is as bad as some of my students the conversation will be basically like the following:

Me: Hello
Them: Hello Jay-kuh
Me: How are you?
Them: I'm fine thank you
Me: What did you do today?
Them: Nice to meet you Jay-kuh
Me: How is the weather outside?
Them: So Hansome
me: Can you tell me what day it is?
Them: I love you

.....I hope it's not what I think it is

Last night

This was funny...last night I was trying to find a chicken place to eat so I was riding around on my motorcycle to different places. It is really difficult to ask if they have something because when they say no they tell you they have something else...see, I only practiced how to ask for something. I haven't gotten to the listening part. Soooo about 5 restaurants and 30 mins later as i'm still looking for some damn chicken my phone vibrates. So i pull off the road and onto the side walk (which is completely legal...I could ride my bike on the sidewalk if I wanted to and I wouldn't get in trouble) to answer it. It's my co-worker Karl. He text me the following: "Here is gym now. Hi Jake. What r u doing now? If u want to drink some Alcohol, please calee me." So of course I called. I heard loud people in the back ground so they obviously already started. The hapkido gym had a tourny yesterday and I found out they did very well. 1st and 3rd place. I dropped my bike off at home and took a cab over to the gym to find a big flat grill set up outside in the drive way on the side of the gym and about 10 Koreans around it. Immediatly they poured me soju, this was a good time to practice my customs and my Korean. Every word I said in Korean every single one of them went "ooooOOOOO" like they were surprised and happy that I knew it. My Kwon Jong Nim was blitzed, it was hilrious. Everyone was explaining to me that it is a brother hood and told me that I should call them Hyoung Nim, or older brother, because we are a family. It was nice of them...My kwon jong nim was telling me that he is my father and I am his hapkido son..he speaks really broken english, all of them do except for my co worker, but it was soooo funny anyway. My co worker was also pretty drunk. He happens to have the two cutest kids though. I know I think all asian kids are adorable but what can I say, they are! So after I demonstrated my massive amount of Korean (about 15 words) the hugging started. One of the guys even told me that I was sooo strong and came behind me and grabbed my boobs. He told karl to tell me "it's not gay in korea." It was a little weird but not that bad. Even weirder the same guy wanted to keep hugging me and once in a while he would tap me on my butt, all I could do was crack up. My Kwon Jong Nim kept telling me we should fight tomorrow, of course I said hell nooooo. After that Kwon Jong Nim (captain) wanted to sing, so me K.J.N, my co worker, my sah bom nim (assistant captain) and the ass slapper went to the no re bong (karaoke) and started rocking. Needless to say we drank more mek jew (beer)and sang our heads off. My K.J.N told me he wanted to wrestle me tomorrow and I told him as long as he promised not to kick me I would do it. I'm gonna get my ass kicked but hopefully I can at least take him down. When I picked hotel california my k.j.n couldn't stop saying "Jake-uh you make so happy." They all call me Jake-uh which is also...well funny. After the whole night the wife of the ass slapper came to pick us up and drive us home because all of them weren't in any condition to walk let alone drive. I was fine because I came late to the party. I was back home and in bed by 12. I'm feeling fine and ready to learn how to kick someone's head off. I'll tell you tomorrow about my first experience.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hapkido


"Hapkido aims to be an effective form of self-defense and employs joint locks, pressure points, throws, kicks, and other strikes. Hapkido practitioners train to counter the techniques of other martial arts as well as common "unskilled" attacks. There are also a range of cold weapons including short stick, cane, rope, sword and staff which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Although hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, the purpose of most engagements is to get near for a close strike, lock, or throw. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength." -Thank you wikipedia.

SOOOOOoooo basically....a lot of my co workers take Hapkido. They all told me that the Kwan Jang Nim (the owner/operator) of the place wanted to have me come and watch them in their final practice for their exhibition. It was being held one day before their tounament. I arrived there and sat in the Kwon Jang Nim's office. I immediatly noticed the massive amounts of trophies on his wall. The next thing I noticed was all the pictures of him with different rich looking Korean people. In every picture he wasn't smiling, just looking dead ahead. I asked what they were and my co workers told me he use to be a body guard for Korean movie stars and comedians. Needless to say I was impressed. The guy walked into the office, standing about 5' 5" and pretty thick since Koreans are generally skinny. He definitely looked tough. Didn't speak any English really but it didn't matter, hopefully that will help my Korean. I was brought into the room where they practice and I sat down. They started doing their demonstration. They had 6 mins to show what they wanted to the judges. There were people jumping over other people doing back rolls and some other guys flipping off of their partners hands, this one girl was dis-arming another guy with a knife, they were dive rolling over a line of people ducking down. One of the assistant Kwon Jang Nim's dove over 14 people. It was rediculous. After that was done the Kwon Jang Nim showed me some different kicking techniques. There are only 9 levels of black belts for Hapkido, there are only about 10 people in the country that are that level. The man in front of me was a level 6. When he started to kick I could see why. He did a spinning back kick on a punching bag and basically almost knocked the thing off it's base. I could feel the impact and I was standing 5 feet away. If he kicked me in the face he would not only break my jaw but probably cause me to go blind and possibly shit my pants. The assistant was doing all kinds of double spinning kicks and a back flip kick which was all really awesome.

When it was over they brought me into the office again and asked if I liked it. Kwon Jang Nim wasn't there, but I told them I loved it and asked how much per month I had to pay. This was by far the best part. The answer was FREE! The Kwon Jang Nim wants me to come as often as possible...which will be mon-fri for an hour or two, and train with him and my co teachers all for 0,000 won. He is even giving me the get up too for no charge. I can not tell you how excited I am for this. My Mon-Fri schedule will be as follows.

School 8:30-4:40---->Hapkido 5-6--->gym 6:15-8:00---->Shower, dinner, sleep. Then do it all again.

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I know this one girl who is paying 80,000 won a month ($80) just to take classes and her Kwon Jang Nim isn't even half as bad ass as mine. When I get home i'lll be a jedi Hapkido master

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jim Jill BONG

This was all before chuesok I just didn't write about it until now.

I don't have a korean key board on my laptop but there is something in this country called a jim jill bong. That is exactly how you say it. Some of you might be familiar with these but only by word of mouth or internet research because we don't have them in the U.S.A. Another name for a jim jill bong would be a "public bath house." Yes, I went. My buddy scott took me. It was quite the experience. First you walk in and there is a room with a desk. You get a key for a shoe locker, then go into the next room and give the shoe key to another guy behind another desk. You give him 5,000 (or $5 bucks) and then money for anything else you want. EX: tooth brush and shampoo. You walk through an opaque glass door to reveal the "meat" of the operation. about 50 random korean guys buck naked walking around from sinks to toilets to lockers and everything in between. Now I have obviously never done this before but my friend scott has been here for 3 years and even though born in the u.s.a is a korean himself...So I followed him around the entire time. There is system to the jim jill bong for ultimate relaxation. First to the lockers to free yourself from the ties that bind. Then through another set of doors that reveal more naked men and an amazing number of jacuzzi looking pools right in front of you, stand up showers to your left and rows and rows of sit down showers to the right. First you are expected to take a shower with communal soap to rid you of your sweat and etc. Just like a pool back home. Then you put your stuff in a basket and leave it in a spot, in my case it was my tooth brush. After I followed my naked friend into the first of the many jacuzzi's. Different people do different orders of pools but I wasn't about to make up my own plan. It's like trying to create football plays and never even having watched a game before. Into the first tub. The hottest one of them all, I knew this because the temperature was there in celcius to tell us what temperature we were cooking in. Then to the next one, a little bit cooler in temp. After that we went into a tiled tub with about 5 chairs built into the tub's wall. These had strong jets in them. You sit down and the water comes up to your neck and you put your back against the jets. This one was just warm and VERY VERY wonderful. Scott and I sat there for about 10-15 mins talking about the previous night and who went where with who and how awesome the rock show was at that really cool bar around that really cool university. Time to exit the massage chair. Into the first of the sauna's...and of course the hottest one of them all. We stayed there for a little bit with a bunch of sweaty, and of course naked, asian dudes. Apparently it's o.k to most things in there so while i'm hanging out this random guy let the loudest fart I have ever heard go. I looked around to see if anyone was bothered by it but hey, it's a mans place. This was o.k, I was at home. After that we walked to an outside area. You had to see this it was so amazing. There was a typhoon in town for the last week so needless to say it was still rainy and foggy. There were two small tubs...but that wasn't the nice part. Over the chest high wall were two mountains covered in low lying fog. That combined with the rain and everything else was just breath taking. I looked around realized where I was and what the scenary was around me that thought escaped me. We sat down in the first of the tubs. It was not hot at all, very cool to the touch. It was dark water, scott informed me that it was water straight from a spring on the mountain that had salt put into it from a tank. Unfortunately we couldn't see the mountain from our sitting position. It would have been nice to have lower walls but then when the guys stood up out of the tub there would be people staring and taking pictures from across the way. I realized the need for the high walls. Two way glass would be nice...the kind they have at the police stations in the interigation rooms. Anyway, we sat in there and when we were done we went into the "salt room." It's exactly what it sounds like. A huge room with walls covered in salt and a big wooded bucket of salt in the middle. You rub the salt all over. I was saying something about how crazy the room was and then immediatly after asked if you were suppose to put it everywhere. Scott said "yeah" so I put the salt on my face. Right after that he said "no." Apparently he was saying yeah to what I said before my question..but told me it didn't matter really. So now I am standing there in a suit of salt on my way back into the first of the hot sauna. I figure it out immediatly why you shouldn't put it on your face. As soon as I started sweating again my eyes were burning from the salt dripping form my forhead into my eyes. My buddy scott started cracking up as I was saying OW! and so were the other asian guys. I told him to go fuck himself and I ran to one of the showers and washed my face off. I went back into the sauna a min. later and the old guys were still laughing and def. thinking "silly foreigner." I didn't mind, it was a cruel joke but still funny. After that room it was basically jacuzzi jumping for another 15 mins followed by another shower with this exfoliating wash cloth thing. It was a nice end to a previous night of drinking and a morning of relaxation. When we finished up we we back into the room with the lockers, redressed and drank a whole shit load of water from the cooler they had. Packed up and left. I have been looking for a Jim Jill bong around me for the last week. I am motivated to find one.

Been nice talking to me, peace!

Chuesok

For no reason at all this site decided to go back to being in Korean and I completely forgot how I changed it the first time. Thank god that I learned how to read the korean alphabet or else I wouldn't have been able to get to my dash board or make a new post. Dash board is actually spelled out in Korean and sounds like "dash-uh Bo-ard-uh. Kinda funny.

CHUESOK-
Chuesok is the Korean thanks giving and it did just that. I gave some thanks because I was off from work from after I finished class on friday to today (wed. the 26th). As I have been sitting here at my favorite bus stop right outside of my school (since I still don't have internet at my home) I have seen about 10 of my students and they have all crossed the street or stopped behind me to say hello and stare a little. I was originally planning on going to Japan but the ferries were all booked and I wasn't about to spend all that money on a plane ticket. So me and a couple of my friend decided to stay in this country and head down to Busan. It's south east of Daegu and on the shore line. THE BEACH! I have to tell you it was an amazing city. We were going to take a cab to a place about 5 minutes away from the famous beach there...Hyu-dae beach. On the way we passed the beach and when I looked out the window I saw hundreds of motel and hotel signs. I told my friends we should get out here and just find a motel. Turned out to be a good idea. We walked around for about 15 mins and found a place that was 40k a night...$40 bucks. B/t 4 people only 10k a night. Not bad at all. It was so nice to be able to go sit on the beach again. The water was really warm and I got to swim in the East Sea. The sand wasn't as soft as I imagined but it did it's job. We basically stayed around our area and met up with a couple of friends of ours from orientation that lived in Busan. I liked it so much I might request to stay there for my next year. I have pictures I'll put up at a later date.

I'm back home now and ready to go to work tomorrow after a nice long vacation. I have my Korean drivers license, which I don't think i'm giving back when I leave, so everything is comming together nicely. 2 things left to do...get internet in my apt and get insurance and a license plate for my bike. I am almost officially a Korean.

Monday, September 17, 2007

-ER

Today in class I was suppose to take pictures of me teaching the kids...no idiots, I know I can't take pictures of myself teaching...my co teacher took them. Anyway I have to maintain a page on the school's website that the kids would be able to ask questions in english to me and I would put a response up. I have to memorize the buttons to press because the site is in korean. But on the site they wanted me to put pictures up.
Tomorrow the school will be inspected by the ministry of education inspecter. I'll bet you 10,000 won that they take him to my class. It's o.k though because for this week my co-teacher and I have a kick ass lesson. I think my co-teacher isn't as nervous as the rest of the teachers because she has me...especially since she can blame it on me if something goes wrong. Nooo she wouldn't do that. Today's lesson was really funny however. Besides the kids completely getting into it one sentence in particular is laugh worthy. Lesson 9 part 3 is teaching them how to use the -ER ending...ie: he is taller than her, or I am faster then you. Towards the end of the class I always play a game with the students. Today I put them in pairs and gave them cards with sentences on it from the back of their book. All the sentences were normal but one was different. The kids had no idea why I was laughing and I don't even think my co-teacher knew... because after all of my 4 classes she asked me why I laughed at the one sentence. I told her I was just laughing for no reason. Now what was this sentence you ask???? Could it be the one that read "My pencil is bigger than yours!?!?!?!?!?" HAHAHAHAHA OF COURSE IT WAS

OH YEAH!
I got my motorcycle today. The guy was suppose to come to my apt. after 5pm....he called at 1030 and said i had to meet him down town and said he was there now. Of course that wouldn't work so my co teacher told him to come up here and drop it off at school. He did that but it was embarassing. Not that it was dropped off at school, but because I had to run down in b/t classes and take the stupid key from him. I was pissed, I don't think it made me look bad but that was my worry.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tony Chin Style






PIctures of my apartment and my desk at school. Read On



RESPECT:
First off, I know tony is reading this so yes buddy this one has to do with you. My parents always thinks it's so "cute" how Tony always bows when he says hello. They probably do realize it's his culture
(i know your not korean so shut up, same idea), but they don't actually picture it and know what it's like. EVERYONE in this country, be it a personal friend or a respected co-worker bows to each other. It's their ways of shaking hands. You do shake hands in this country but there are ways of doing it, just like pouring water...or soju for someone. To show respect you use two hands to shake. When you pour the said beverage you use one hand to pour and place one hand under your elbow to steady your pouring hand. When someone pours a drink for you it is customary to use two hands to hold your cup to recieve. The saying "when in Rome" applies here 100%. I refuse to be rude because that would only make my job harder. If you give respect you get respect, same all over the world for the most part. So yes everybody, I bow. What will be hilrious is when I get back home I will be so use to bowing I am almost positive by then it will be instinctual for me to bow.

CONCLUSION: Just as Tony Chin bows to my parents I will be bowing to other people as well. At least just until I break the habit. Or maybe I shouldn't break it because I might want to stay longer.



AGE: Intresting enough in America i'm 22 years old. In Korea I am 24. When you come out of the womb in Korea you are already 1 year old. Add the other 9 months while your in the oven and you get almost 2 years more.


I want to leave you today with a question.

If you spin an oriental man in a circle does he become disoriented??

Odd







So today's lesson was suppose to teach the kids how to say stuff like "that is mine" and ask "Who's sock is this." etc. The text book comes with a cd and has activities and videos on it. One of the videos was of three boys shirtless in a locker room after swimming. What they had on didn't look like bathinsuits, it looked like underwear. When it went on all the kids were giggling like even they knew there was something weird about that. NOTE TO WHOEVER MADE THIS: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!? Who puts 10 year old kids in a locker room in their underwear and films them for the specific purpose to show in elementary schools to other kids. What a sick fuck. Now that I got that out...

Today I finally met my last new class. Again they all cheered and yelled that I was handsome and they love me. Even the children I have seen for the last two weeks still follow me in the hall ways and want to shake my hand. This leads me to think WHEN WILL MY FAME FADE??? Not that I want it to but it's a question every famous person or rock star has to ask themselves at least once in their career...And believe you me, I am a rock star. I had a group of kids rush into my office with a pen and paper asking me to sign a piece of paper. My co-teacher told them no and that they could only come in to say hi and try to talk to me, they agreed. I took a picture of them (on the bottom left)....As soon as that happened one of the little kids whipped out the pen and paper and bum rushed me. He shoved the pen in my hand and kept saying "sign sign" my co-teacher kicked them out (as you can see in the top picture). I was laughing so hard. Oh yeah, by the way the lady in both pictures is my co-teacher. A really nice lady who helps me out with everything. My second mother except Korean....and not actually my mother. She took me to the bank to get a bank account, to the cell phone store for a cell phone...she makes calls for me to the bank and everywhere else that I need...she even takes me shopping for food and appliances. She has two kids so i'm a third one...only bigger and whiter and I talk funny.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm back in elementary school

Today we gave the kids a game to play just like every other day. It's an end of class thing. They had to cut something up and use them for a game. I look over and like three kids whip out box cutters. Huge blades. Anywhere in New York (and i'm pretty sure most other states) they would take those away and suspend the kids. It shocked me...why don't they just use sissors? What happens in a week or two if some kid gets mad at the other kid and stabs him with it during a game??? It's a horrible thought but they are just little kids. They wouldn't know any better. The most common thing a kid says after he does something like that is "I thought he would get right back up." I wouldn't allow it. I'm debating on if I should say something to my co-teacher...but again, who am I to intrude on their culture and rules.

On a happier note I love my 5th grade class. Today when I walked into the room they screamed so loud I literally jumped back. They still keep yelling out I love you and everything along those lines. They even yell it out in the middle of class while the Korean teacher is talking. This girl even gave me chocolates today (which were so fucking good). Some of the kids are so funny with what they say. Just like the previous blog about going "to the Jew." Today some of the kids were, instead of saying Lederman, were saying Ledermommy. I thought it was hilarious even though they were making fun of me. They meant no harm. I don't even think I have ever heard that one before. So much more original then anyone in the states.

Some of the kids in my class were actually crying today. Two in one class and on in the other. The one kid was crying cause I think another student hit him, but i'm so baffled as to why the other two were crying. I don't think that my co-teacher hit them. I didn't see her do that or hear anyone yelp. It was after an english test and possibly they were crying cause they didn't do well? One girl was actually balling. She was convulsing with sadness. I had NO idea what to do.

Another lighter note. The 4th graders (i don't have them in class) were following me today and every time I turned around they froze. And then continued to follow me into my office. It was so much fun. I kept hiding around corners and scaring them. Elementary school red light green light. I LOVE IT

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The American teaching teachers

So today started just like anyother day. It was a little hot, but again i'm not complaining. At least it isn't raining and it's not too humid. I had my first class of teachers today. All the teachers that want to come and learn about my culture and language are allowed to come to a class held two times a week, tuesday and thursday. All the english teachers are required to have these classes for the teachers if the school asks them to (side note: someone is blasting Korean rap right now as i'm sitting at the bus stop typing, it's silly, and another person just blatently ran a red light and almost hit a scooter. Yikes). I talked to my friend before hand that already had his teacher class and he said that there were about 3-4 teachers that showed up...There are 80 teachers in total in my school. 23 of them showed up! That is just over 25% of teachers that came to hear me speak and hopefully learn something from me. It actually was extremely flattering. I mean that is a huge chunk of the school that came to be taught. The teachers are not all english teachers so similar to my students they all have a different range of Englis ability. Unfortunatly some of them are really cute...but I have to remind myself "Poison Ivy." I can look BUT I BETTER NOT TOUCH! That could cause a problem...mixing business with pleasure. If any of you have any ideas for what you think I should teach them i'm open to suggestions. Leave a comment if you please. I'm about to pack up and go home so i'll catch ya'll later.

Students cracked me up

The students in each class vary in english capabilities. Some can't even read or pronounce words, some aren't that bad at english, some aren't that bad but try and speak anyway, and some can have a normal conversation. The idea is teach to the middle. It might be too hard for some and too easy for others but at least some will learn something...hopefully. today the students were playing a matching game. One of the sentences said "I went to the museam." The picture it pointed to was someone going to a zoo. I asked them "is this correct?" They answered correctly and said "no." I asked them what the correct sentence was. So some of them who actually knew what I was talking about and decided to answer yelled out very loud what they thought was the right way to say the sentence. Now remember, they don't have a Z sound in their language so what was suppose to be I went to the zoo today turned into "I went to the JEW today." I started cracking up on the spot. None of them realized what they said but i'm pretty sure my co teacher did because she was laughing too. I thought in my head, "guys, you have been going to the Jew for the last 2 weeks, get over it!"

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Gu

It's sunday and i'm on the internet??? Does that mean I actually got a connection??? NO! It means i'm sitting on the bench at the bus stop across from my school stealing another buildings internet. HAHAHAHAHA SUCKERS...anyway.

Since Daegu is one of the coolest places ever it only seemed fair for it to have a cool nickname. My friend dave happened to be calling it the Gu (goo). I think that is a good nickname if not a great one. It's fun to say and it rhymes with jew...So there is a Jew in the Gu...I'm in love. My friend came down from his northern provice...a town of 100,000 but his city only has about 2,500. He is from Canada so not a big town man, but he didn't want a small town life. He is basically in a tiny place. Now I live in a town called Chil gok. It's one of the smaller more spread out towns in Daegu. It's also about 30 mins by bus away from the downtown area. I can hit up the rapid bus and pay 1,300 won, or $1.30 and get to the main area for cheap. I'm very happy I found the bus and I don't have to pay $13 to take a taxi there. I def. have it better tha him. Down there is where it is happening so we took him there. There are a number of foreigner bars that all the english speaking teachers, guests, and asians who either want to practice english or love the white boys go. I'm usually drunk from going out to dinner before I even get to the bar which is a nice thing. The group here is great, all chill and down to have a good time. At any given time we have a choice of about 5 bars that we could go to and see people we know. There is also a number of clubs that are pretty cool. I have grown fond of one named FROG. I have met a couple of people there who are absolutely beautiful and love to dance. Probably the most important phrase I learned besides where is the bathroom is "will you dance with me." The girls are shy but after I bust a move or two they seem to be alright with it. The asian guys love to dance around me, it's great because I feel like i'm working. I have them waving their hands and trying to sing the words. I get a kick out of it. If it isn't a club night there are hooka bars and of course my personal favorite the karaoke club. Karaoke places are not like in america where you sing in front of the whole bar. You rent a room (usually only a couple dollars and hour) and you sing with your friends. It's great.

So back to my buddy...He went home with someone else that night...we tried to call Ty but his cell phone was lost (which we didn't know) so no go with that. So Dave and I are talking about how we might meet back up with Tyler and how he didn't pick up when we called...all of a sudden at 12:30 in the afternoon we hear a loud knock at the door. It opens and In comes Tyler. Hair all greasy and obviously please to finally be back in the right place. We later find out that he woke up next to a different person than he went home with, with a condom still on his willy. Escaped that place at 9am and had a 3 1/2 hour adventure trying to find an apartment that he was only at once, in a town he was only in once. I have NO idea how he made it back but when he came back in it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. I was laughing for a good couple of hours. As for the cell phone...we called it later and it turns out it was at a police station. We were in a different town and went to a different police station to maybe try and find out where the correct one was. They actually gave it to a cab driver and had the cab bring it over to the station that we were at. I was impressed with the service all for a stupid Canadians cell phone. BASICALLY: GOOD WEEKEND IN THE GU!