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 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.


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. 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.


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 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.

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 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!!!