Daejeon James

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Location: Daejeon, South Korea

No bullshit: I'll tell you how it all goes down, every grimey detail!!! Archives at the Bottom.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WTF IS THAT? -- REVEALED (4)

This round was a bit easier than last. But only one person guessed the object to perfection. It was indeed an egg. A quail/pheasant egg. One or the other would have sufficed. The person by the name of "CC" guessed it was a quail egg. I am embarassed to say I still don't know this person's identity. So you will be CC until you reveal yourself to me. I decided to give the 3 points to those who guessed it was an egg in an egg holder/container. And 2 points to those who guessed that it was just an egg. Technicalities rule this game. My apologies. Standings and new object on Saturday.

PEACE


11 pheasant/quail eggs for 300 won (35 cents Canadian)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Motorcycle Ride

Here's a quick video of the motorcycle ride back from Hannam University where Colin and I played a little two on two basketball with a couple students. It was even for the first half but we ended up getting schooled. I'm starting to attribute this losing streak to old age. Young Korean guys can go and go and go...they just don't seem to get tired and NEVER break for water.

I apologize for having to left click/copy/paste the URL but I'm computer illiterate when it comes to video hosting.

http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g200/jimmyy252525/?action=view¤t=MOV01153.flv

Hitler's

This is not neo-nazi propaganda, nor is it me trying to start a debate over controversial subjects. Below are some photos taken at Hitler Bar last night. I think my brother would really appreciate the wartime ambiance. It was decked out with a luftwaffa plane, tank protruding from the wall, guns, swastikas, imperial eagles, and the imfamous mug of the best known murderer of the twentieth century. It was strange being served by Korean girls with hitler's portrait behind them and mellow adult contemporary music playing in the background. How ironically fitting that I shaved my head the day before.







Monday, May 29, 2006

Awaiting a surreal experience

This may entice you to take a look at my next entry. I have a day off tommorow so Colin and I are going for a couple drinks at, yes...its true..."HITLER BAR". This will definitely be a strange adventure. I guess Koreans are so far removed from the realities of the Holocaust that they can actually joke about/or be serious about Hitler. I've been told its not a neo-nazi bar or anything. Just a bar with the theme of Hitler. No questions asked.

On a different note. Today was test day at the haegwon. I felt like a bad teacher giving out the tests to the despising looks of my students. I felt great not having to make a lesson plan for each class but forgot how much kids HATE teachers when they are given a test. There was one student who just looked at her test and said "Finished"...then sat with a pout. I honestly didn't know what to do. So I took her outside the class and had a chat with her. She said she didn't know any of the vocabulary words. Whereupon I tried explaining that she should know them since we've been learing them in class of the last month. But its hard to try and convey that message to a kid who hates you because you're testing their intellect. So we agreed that she at least try and I would help her as best I could.

BUT...just when you think everything is good, you forget there are 8 other minds in the class noticing every step you take. When I started helping the girl who had "given up" another student rudely, yet correctly asked me..."Jim...why are you only teaching Rachel?" Upon this accusation the entire class looked up at me from their tests. I felt like I was in a dream or something..maybe a nightmare. Like I was supposed to be presenting my grade nine science project and all I had was a test tube half full of grape juice. So I thought quickly and regained my balance and replied..."I'm not teaching Rachel, I'm helping Rachel. If you would like some help please ask and I would be happy to help you." AHHH....bomb diffused. It was a close one though.

Hitler Bar pictures in the future.

PEACE

Sunday, May 28, 2006

N-Bar

Decided to go out for a few drinks with the foreign teachers and Tiffany(one of the Korean partner teachers) Tiffany knows the owner of N-Bar which is an intimate underground pub-like enclove with a dance floor existing wherever you want it to be. We started eating fried chicken and drinking Strawberry dacquaries/Beer at our apartment and left around midnight. There was a satisfactory atmosphere with pretty good music. All in all a good night. Here are the best shots from the night:


Colin saying something so ridiculous as to initiate stomach spasm laughter


Chilled Shannon and James vs. Creepy Shannon and James


Tiffany's friends


Tiffany loves looking "sexy" for the camera (direct quote)




Shannon reluctantly playing some Korean hand clapping game with the owner's husband. Notice Colin in the background. This was taken 2 minutes after he chucked on the sidewalk.

PEACE

Saturday, May 27, 2006

WTF IS THAT? (Round 4)

Points awarded for Round 3

Heather--6 points
Sare--3 points
ShoeGalAysh--2 points
Joanne--1 points
Cheryl--1 point

Standings as of May 27th, 2006
Heather--10 points
Sare--8 points
ShoeGalAysh--6 points
Joanne--4 points
Cheryl--1 point
Jackson--1 point

WTF IS THAT?

Friday, May 26, 2006

How About Some Real Life

We tend to only post the more interesting parts of our lives on our blogs. I thought I'd give you some play by play action of my day as it unfolded today. There was nothing out of the ordinary, with only a few variations here and there. This may be boring, but I always find other people's lives more interesting than my own. So here is the true life story entitled "My Day"

9:00AM
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. It is election time in Daejeon and the force was out in full swing by 8:30 greeting people as they left the apartment complexes for work using a loud sound system atop an icecream truck and YELLING Korean propaganda for their candidate.

9:05AM
Showered and neglected to shampoo my hair for another day to avoid frizz.

9:30 AM
I conversed with Sarah on msn and she told me that it was unlikely that she'd be able to come and work in Korea when we thought she'd be able to. So that was a little upsetting, but I quickly realised that it didn't matter. I feel our relationship is so strong that "big obstacles" thrown in our way are nothing but little speed bumps in the grande scheme of life.

10:00 AM
I cooked breakfast consisting of my daily 3 brown eggs cooked over easy, two pieces of plain toast, and a banana.

10:30 AM
I ate breakfast while watching CNN World News...nothing to report other than the usual bombings everywhere and the demise of the world before our eyes.

10:45 AM
Washed my breakfast dishes

11:00 AM
Took my morning dump

11:10 AM
Got dressed for work. I started off by wearing my pin-striped pants with a black V-neck T-shirt underneath a grey polo-like shirt that my Papa gave me before I left.

11:15 AM
Left the apartment

11:18 AM
Arrived at my place of employment

11:19 AM
Filled my water bottle up as I do every morning

11:20AM-11:25PM
Got organised for the day, Including finishing up my lesson plans which I started the day before. Within this time I jammed the copy machine and left it for someone else to fix.

11:25PM (-1:30PM)
Went to start my Creative Writing class with one of the kindie classes. But was quickly told by another employee that there was a temporary schedule today and that I didn't start until 1:30PM. I solemnly shouted "F!!" in my head and decided to mark some tests from the day before and listen to some tunes on my headset. The class did extremely well and I felt proud. One kindie always like to rip the ear phones off my ears (they're the ones that wrap around the back of the ear). I always smile half-heartedly while grinding my teeth and let her listen to Coldplay or in the case of today Kanye West.

1:30PM-2:00PM
Taught Kindies creative writing where they learned about alligators going on vacation.

2:00Pm-2:03PM
Walked home forlunch.

2:03-3:40
Cooked Donkas(Deep fried Pork Patty), steamed Mandu(Dumplings), and an orange for dessert. Ate my random meal while watching a Rugby European Cup match between an Irish team and a French team...it was exciting! I changed out of my grey shirt and just wore the black v-neck for the nest of the day. I've decided to dress more casual at work. Most teachers just wear jeans...I think I'm starting to venture out of the "impress the boss the first week" stage.

3:40-3:43
Walked back to work

3:43-3:45
Jammed the photocopier again and left it for someone else to fix.

3:45-5:55
Taught classes...I'm starting to realise this is taking too long to write everything...

5:55
Went home cooked and ate Raman(noddles)

6:40 (6:45-8:55)
Went back to teach and taught. One of the classes has a girl in it she's probably 12 or 13 and she's a Bitch. I'll come right out and say how I feel about this girl. I know she says shit right to my face in Korean and gets her friends to laught at what she's saying. She tries to trick me when I try to communicate in Korean and rushes me when I'm talking by saying "YAH YAH YAH!" WELL YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH...You're getting a bad progress report. It would be different if she was a strong student but she's one of the weakest in the class. So F her. Venting...I realise I am the adult in the situation but there's only so much I can take. I would never and have never erupted at her...I think I may talk to my Korean partner teacher and see what he suggests.

8:55PM-Present
I am at home and eating more Mandu,a boiled potatoe, and seafood balls.

So ...as I see it I had a very normal day. I don't see how Reality TV is reality at all. So many variables to initiate unnatural circumstances. Almost like a science lab. Thats all.

PEACE

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Have Never Resided in the Belly of a Whale

Simple questions can often spark complex thoughts. Most English questions asked to me here can often be answered with supreme confidence. Questions like,

"Are you a Migook? (American)"--No I am not

"What does embezzlement mean?"--the stealing of money from a company usually by its higher status employees.

"How old are you Jim Teacher?"--I am 75 years old (so I tell them...upon which laughter erupts)

However, I was asked a question today that truely stumped me. While I was leaning over one of my 13 year old students trying to explain to her what a "stunt" and "daredevil" were she became quickly distracted and started gazing strangely at my arm hairs. She asked me mid sentence..."Why in Canada is curley hair brown, hair on arm brown, eyebrow brown, eyelash brown...But face hair black?"

I didn't even attempt to answer because I didn't know. I tried thinking of some sort of evolutionary factors but even those didn't make too much sense. I thought about how lighter haired/skined people lived in areas with less sun exposure over hundreds of generations. Face hair is exposed to the sun less frequently hence its inability to evolve into lighter shades. But then I thought of some people who have blonde and red beards. WTF?! I'm confused. Any insights would be insanely appreciated.

ps. I have a new nickname at work. A little boy who I do not teach but sees me in the halls three times a week has dubbed me "Pinocchio" I'm not one to get self-conscious, but he basically told me my nose is a long wooden post. He didn't appreciate it when I started playing the name game and called him Little Jepetto. His reaction resembeled a child who had just swollowed a razor blade.


PEACE

WTF IS THAT? -- REVEALED (3)




Numbers are growing as word starts to spread about the worldwide phenomenon "WTF IS THAT?" This week's puzzle required you to do a little bit of investigating. The answer could be accessed at the click of a mouse. This week's winner is Heather who guessed the object to perfection. Heather guessed:

"I'm thinking that it may be the Dae Doon San monument shot from a different angle. Perhaps when you were having a nap at the base of it? If it does happen to be a cell phone receiver, please let me know if ET calls home."

So congratulations. This victory will certainly run a muck in the standings which will be posted on Saturday along with the newest photo.

PS...I think I may have accidentally erased Shoe Gal Aysh's guess from my email. But I do remember the guess. So no worries your score this week will be tallied onto your previous score.

PEACE

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We'll Have to Take You to Security Mr. Allah

I know what it feels like to be a minority, because I am one. The first week I was here I was petrified to walk around in public. Not only am I illiterate in this society, but I am not part of the uni-race which surrounds me. There have been occiasions when some of the older generation have yelled things at me in Korean while attempting to pierce me with their laser vision. Also, I get constant double takes from almost everybody. However, as time passes I'm learning to live with this type of awkward attention.

I had a great conversation with a couple Korean friends about how Korean's percieve foreign men. It was clarified to me that "we" don't have the greatest of reputations because in the past and even now there are many of "us" who come to Korea with less than valiant or pure intentions. Almost as if we are instinctively corrupt. If history serves me correct this assumption is fairly accurate. White men have been the authors of the most henious acts of violence, crime, and corruption in the history of the world, and even over the past 10 years. So why wouldn't we be looked at with caution? I don't believe it to be a racist mentality, however, because it was brought to my attention that two completely seperate views exist with regards to when a Korean girl walks with a foreign male versus when the former walks with a foreign female. The Korean girl is looked upon with almost disgust when seen walking in public with a foreign male, whereas in the female-female case many think "oh! how nice. She is a smart girl trying so hard to learn English. She must be a good student".

I've come to a personal conclusion that there is something deeper than a race issue here...if there is one at all. I believe people from outside North America have a better understanding of history and the world because they have felt and continue to feel the effects of the "white man's mistakes". I am stereotyped against because of history. Now I know how it feels to be Muslim at an airport.

PEACE

Saturday, May 20, 2006

WTF IS THAT? (Round 3)

Scores for WTF IS THAT? (Round 2)--Honeydew Melon

Heather -3
Joanne -2
Shoe Gal Aysh -2
Sare -2
Jackson -1

Standings as of May 20th, 2006
------------------------------------
Sare 5 points
Heather 4 points
Shoe Gal Aysh 4 points
Joanne 3 points
Jackson 1 point

I have decided to alter the point system in order to make the game a little more exciting.

6 points for a perfect guess

If there are no perfect guesses then:
3 points to the person who's guess is most right.
2 points for having some semblance of what the object is.
1 point for making an effort.

Also I have just installed the bonus system.
Bonuses will be awarded for the following:
2 bonus points if you have two perfect guesses in a row OR three-3 point guesses in a row.

Hopefully this will add some new dynamics to the game and hopefully some new players.

WTF IS THAT?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Laying on a Bed of Roses? Thats just wrong!



Patience is a virtue. I lucked out at this job because I only teach a few really young classes. But the ones I do teach I often dread because the children F-ing scream and seek 100% attention the entire time. I don't have any horror stories as of yet but there is definitely potential for them. I overhear these stories all the time from the two girls sitting across from me in the teacher's lounge. Kids literally kicking teachers, fighting, never listening, running around the room. I don't envy these girls in the slightest. But I do respect them considerably and admire their ability to enter the trenches daily. It is a severe understatement to suggest that it is a mentally exhausting task. But at the same time, they are so F-ing cute. Kind of like a rose garden. Very pretty to look at (although not always wise to sniff too close), but one should be weary as to not get pricked. Myself, but moreso these young ladies, know they're being thrown into these rose gardens everyday. What a contradictory feeling...beauty and pain at the same time. The complexities of life!

Thats all.

PEACE

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WTF IS THAT? -- REVEALED (2)

It was a Honeydew Melon. I told you I would make it more difficult. I think the winner this round is Heather who came closest with the following guess: "My guess for round 2 is the top of some type of fruit. Citrus perhaps." Probably the furthest off was my good friend Jackson who valiantly guessed "is that a .... doorknob?" Thank you to all who participated. The game will only get more exciting as the weeks pass on. Standings will be posted on Saturday. You can now view all of the participant's guesses in the "WTF IS THAT?" (Round 2) Post.

PEACE



There is a short video clip of Dae Doon San if you head to the following webpage:
www.mojoflix.com/Video/Dae-Doon-San.html
(ps. I tried making this a link but nothing showed up when I followed the link tool...any suggestions?)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Other than the first day I have not felt disdain or discomfort during the preceeding moments before leaving my apartment for work. Obviously we have a natural tendancy to seek relaxation, comfortablility, and no stress. The epitome of these feelings are often experienced after work, during vacation, or on the weekend. However, and I think you will all agree with me, that life is all about balance. The simple phrase "Work hard, play hard" should be analyzed and broken down here.

First of all "Work Hard" does not mean work 70 hours a week, nor should it be interpreted as being utterly exhausted after working 5-6 days a week. I believe "Work Hard" implies working within your own limits. If you know a certain occupation will tire the shit out of you, you shouldn't be in that occuptation. There is room for variation here. Some people enjoy working 3/4 of their lives. And kudos to you because I'm sure you are helping to fuel economies. However, some people, like myself, enjoy free time to the point where making lots of money is secondary. (to an extent). Maybe I'm lazy in the eyes of the corporate world. And for the record this post is not meant to slag big business and the people in it. But I'm content with my life.

Second is "Play Hard". Many people do work their hinnies(I'm limiting my cursing) off during the week and like to indulge profoundly after work by slamming back as many alcoholic beverages as possible. Or going out and partying at clubs or bars. I was and sometimes still am guilty of the latter. But I think we need to redefine "Play Hard". We shouldn't take it as a literal meaning. Getting drunk or smoking Mary Jane is just one small element of the "Play Hard" phenomenon. Its about making a network of friends, spending quality time with the people you love, going for a walk, playing squash....writing blogs! Its all about being diverse outside the workplace. I've found that when I haven't been social or have gone out to the bars and had hangovers all weekend that I dredded going back to work. I don't know how to explain it. I think this entire post has just been a ramble. Maybe you can make sense of what I am trying to say. Or maybe you disagree?

Annnnnnyways, I'm gonna go make some banana soup. JUUUUUST Kidding....or am I?

PEACE

(OH...below is a shot I took at the Dae Doon San bus depot)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hannam University

Rachel took me out for lunch this afternoon to old downtown. It looked new to me. It was bustling with young Korean teenagers sporting the latest fashions and hairstyles. I felt like a teenager myself. Rachel said she feels nervous around teenagers because they tend to make fun of "older" people. I told her that back in Canada its the opposite. People in their twenties (well early twenties) tend to be envied by less independent teenagers who are still under the grip of their parents grasp. She responded "I'm moving to Canada...Old is good there".

After some crab and flying fish egg pasta at "Piato" we took the bus to Hannam University. There was a festival of some sorts going on there. I believe it was to celebrate their 50th anniversary. So the University was alive with growing minds and initiated nostalgia in my heart. I took a few shots. ENJOY!

PEACE


Main Stadium for soccer games at Hannam Uni.



A marching band leading festival voulnteers and coordinators into the front gates of the University. Army personnel were there to "direct traffic". It was humorous watching them salute each other knowing their given task. Rachel notified me that every man in South Korea must serve two years in the army. I see they've been running out of things to do with them.


It was also Teacher's Day today. Hence my ability to go out and explore a bit. This was a ceremony at the university where students lined up to give their thanks and gratitude to their professors who sat and absorbed the praise.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dae Doon San Mountain

http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/eng provides a nice explanation of what you can see at Dae Doon San Mountain. "Mt. Daedunsan Provincial Park is located where the Noryeong Mountain Range descends to meet the Mangyeong Plains of Gimje, Jeollabuk-do. Macheondae Peak (878 meter high), with strangely shaped rocks at almost every corner of its valleys, provides unforgettable vistas. The sunrise and sunset viewed from Nakjodae Rock are especially gorgeous. The mountain also houses several old Buddhist temples such as Taegosa Temple of Jinsan, Ansimsa of Unju and Sinsounsa of Byeolgok."

I've hiked a few mountains in my day, mostly in Washington State, BC, and Alberta. Feelings of peace and serenity are exactly what I associate with mountain hiking. However, today was a bit of a surprise. Hundreds upon hundreds of hiking enthusiasts turned out today to hike up Dae Doon San. It almost felt like I was at an amusement park. The noises of the busy city followed me into a place I never thought I would ever hear them. Instead of calmness I felt rushed and irritated as there was rarely a time that I wasn't staring at some stranger's hiking boots. We literally waited in line for 20 minutes for the stairs to get up close to the top.

However, once I reached the top I started thinking. What a blessing to be living in a country where people LOVE to hike. There are obviously hiking gurus in Canada, but only in certain areas like the West Coast or Northern Ontario. But in Korea, so many people just LOVE hiking. Men carried their toddlers up fairly difficult terrain just because they enjoyed it! Koreans enjoy being active and getting outdoors to experience nature. So, even though it sucked not being at one with nature I ironically ended up being encouraged by the large turn out.

Here are some photos.

PEACE







Amusement Park-Like cues.



Latest fashion trend. Retro multicoloured knee-highs tucked into hiking jeans?




There are rest stops between legs of the mountain serving soju and rice wine. No Comment.




The monument at the top of Dae Doon San. Circa 1970. I think its a cell phone antenna in disguise.


ASSAH!!!! We Made it!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

WTF IS THAT? (Round 2)

Last Saturday kicked off the first weekly competition of "WTF IS THAT?" Four brave competitors accepted the challenge of guessing WTF the object in the photo was. It of course was a children's toilet seat. The stakes were low since it was a "pilot" run. But the challenge intensifies now as we enter into our second week of "WTF IS THAT?" Points will be awarded for accuracy as follows:

3 points---Guessing the object precisely
2 points---Having some semblance of what the object is
1 point ---Providing a Guess

Standings will be posted the same day as the new object is posted.

Current Standings as of May 13, 2006

WTF IS THAT LEAGUE STANDINGS
=============================
Sare----------------3
ShoeGalAysh---------2
Joanne--------------1
Heather-------------1

If you are interested in joining the "WTF IS THAT?" League all you have to do is make a guess. You will automatically be added to the standings and be given the chance to call yourself the "WTF IS THAT?" CHAMPION!!!

Without further or do...WTF IS THAT?



PS: Guesses will not be posted until the revealing stage on Wednsday in order to prevent copying between competitors.

PEACE

Friday, May 12, 2006

Questions Answered

I've been getting emails from some curious spectators as to the difficulty of my job. The following questions have been thrown at me by numerous people thus far: (1)What type of training did you recieve upon arrival? (2)Do the kids speak any English at all? (3)If not how difficult is it to communicate with them? (4)Did you need to take a course to validate you as an ESL teacher?

First off don't take the following answers as universal for all ESL teachers. As reported in a previous blog whatever ideas you have about teaching overseas will quickly be supressed once you're over here...everything must be taken with a grain of salt and every experience is different depending on what you make of it. Maybe its premature of me to be talking like this but I only report what I observe.

So: 1) You are supposed to have 2 weeks unpaid training at my establishment, but I arrived the night before my first day. I observed classes for the first two days and started teaching by the third day on my own while still observeing one or two classes in between. By the end of the week it was all me. Although the process was overwhelming I believe it was more beneficial to dive head first into it. I'm in my second week now and I feel like a seasoned veteren. AKA I feel comfortable.

2/3)Most of the kids I teach understand a little bit of English. Some of the younger ones will give blank stares but you have to start from somewhere. I rather enjoy the challenge to be honest. I always think of myself in French class when I was around their age. Helps put things into perspective. The older kids I can have conversations with...like Isaac and his comment that "girls are monsters".

4)To be honest I think Oxford Seminars and those other companies are a bit of a scam. Within a week of teaching I knew exactly what to do. The teaching guides tell you exactly what to teach. And if you're in a flexible school like I am you have a lot of freedom to do what you want with the given material. Its all about taking the lesson and making it your own. For example: the lesson for one of the lower level classes yesterday was "cooking"..."He is cooking in the kitchen". The supplements in the back of the book suggested handing out words for a chant about cooking. I knew my class would rather lick the bottom of each others shoes than recite a chant. So I simply added some chords to it and we had a nice sing-a-long. My point is that if you are a creative person and adapt well to change you don't need any course to tell you how to do this job. Just ask questions!

OK
Here's a photo I shot last Saturday on the my way to basketball.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

WTF IS THAT? -- REVEALED

The Internet was fixed much sooner than anticipated. I'm starting to find that things in Korea are not always set in stone. You need to learn to adapt to blind sided variations in your everyday existence. The Internet for example. Sometimes it works in your favour, but often it does not. Take my place of employment for example. Everyday I'm finding myself having to adapt to changing schedules, teaching materials, and new children entering my classes. Another example: Buying two dozen eggs at the local supermarket is approximately 2,500 won. I assumed the run down tent with the old woman selling fruits and vegetables (and eggs) out of it would probably sell them for cheaper. But once again I was mistaken. After she delicately placed all 24 eggs into a plastic bag she prompted me for 4,000 won. I couldn't decline, but realized when I got home that they were actually "extra large" eggs.

I'm sure its just the fact that I'm still getting used to this culture that I feel "blind-sided" sometimes. But its exhilerating!! I was so sick and tired of the monotony of life back home and even though its frustrating at times having to quickly adapt to everchanging events, I feel alive!

So....WTF was it?
This was an easy one...most people got it within minutes of the post. Stay tuned for this Saturday's edition of"WTF IS IT"...Its guaranteed to challenge you.

PEACE



A children's toilet seat/My toilet seat

Internet Cut OFF

For some unexplained reason my internet was shut off last night. Highly frustrating. Supposedly there was a wire cut or something that brings internet to the block of apartments I reside in. The company told me it would be 2-3 days before I get service again. So until then....
PEACE

(ps...This post comes to you from the hagewon)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Safari??

No photos today, unfortunately. I could take pictures of random shit all the time, but to be honest it takes effort. There are a lot of things I would love to take photos of, like the free outdoor gym under one of the main bridges, but old people are in abundance and I really don't think they want a foreigner take pictures of other people as if they are in the wild. I always feel uncomfortable taking photos of people and I think I know the reason why. I remember in OAC (grade 13) a girl in the cafeteria took my photo from the table across from me without even asking. I was simultaneously intrigued and insulted. Who knows what she would be using it for. So I approached her and asked her why she took my picture in such a underhanded manner. She had nothing to say. From that moment on she was referred to as "Platypus"...kind of mean, but well desereved in my books.

Back to Korea. On Saturday evening when all the foreign teachers went out for Pizza at "Pizza Mall" I noticed another foreigner (probably from a rival hagewon) taking photos of people working out under the bridge. I thought it looked a little cheesy to be honest. He was trying to be inconspicuous but obviously not trying hard enough. Is it really worth making other people feel uncomfortable for the sake of taking an artistic/cultural photo? Its different if you ask the people if you can take a picture with them or of them. 90% of the time I will ask to take a photo.

On a scale from:

It is Worth It-----------------------------------------------------------------It is Not Worth It
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

I would circle number "8". Since observing this foreigner take pictures as if he was at African Lion Safari I've made a pact with myself not to take pictures of people unless at a very very comfortable distance for both myself and the people around me. MEANING...I will be investing in a zoom lens for my Cybershot in the next couple months. I should have taken a picture of him. I could have entitled it "Rude White Man in Korea"

Your thoughts??

PEACE

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dribble Ball

Last night consisted of a simple combination of soju and Eukre with Colin, Jennifer, and Shannon. Goodtimes! By the end of the night the hands took a good 3-5 minutes to be fully played out. Thank you for the hospitality ladies.

Today was absolutely exhausting, yet fufilling. Colin dragged me to go see the Hanwha Eagles, the local baseball team from the Korean Baseball League, and play some basketball outside the stadium right after. That was the plan. However, he neglected the fact that their game today was an away game. So no baseball...only basketball...for 3 hours. We quickly made friends with the Koreans who were already on the court and the game was underway. I was drenched in sweat after the first game and realized my once healthy and young body has quickly become emaciated and elderly. I thought Colin would be out for the count as I was, but he responded to my exhaustive pleas to go home with "Come on man, that was just a warm up".

I think my desires to leave the court can actually be divided into two factors. Obviously I was out of shape and aching profoundly, but the second and more pressing reason is that I suck. I think the Koreans expected a lot more from Colin and I, since basketball is known here as a North American sport. So I was mildly embarassed when my field goal percentage was approximatley 10% and 2% of my layups met the mesh in the first two games. However, by the THIRD game I started to branch out of the role I was given at the beginning (the "Big Man" or "Shaq"...ps...I'm barely 6 feet) So during the third game I ventured out more into the circle and played much better. I even had the shot of the afternoon...a nice little ball through the legs layup. Lucky.

Anyways here are some photos from the afternoon.

PEACE
(ps...notice anything a little off kilt about one of the kids in the last photo?)