Daejeon James

My Photo
Location: Daejeon, South Korea

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

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I fooled most of you. But Heather shockingly (or maybe not so shockingly now) pinpointed the object to perfection. A shot glass. However, while most of you guessed the occupant of this glass was whiskey the mystery resident was soju.

Scores/Standings/New Object/Commentary on Saturday


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good Friends are Hard to Find

...especially in Korea. Its strange because I thought I would find myself clinging to foreigners while I lived here but the opposite has occurred. I am constantly seeking out new Korean friends. I think its because while I'm here I want to be as integrated in to the culture as I possibly can. By hanging out with only foreigners I feel like I would be denying myself the possibility of Truely experiencing Korea. So this blog is dedicated to the few Korean "friends" I have made thus far and to the prospects of making more. I have to give a special shout out to Hyelim. From the beginning she helped me feel at home here, she gets me out of the dingy apartment, and has treated me to movies and dinners on several occasions. So thank you for being such a wonderful friend Hyelim. It will be such a different yet exciting dynamic once Sarah gets here. I will feel like a tourist again...but not really...but really...lol. I am beyond excited to introduce her to all the people that have treated me so well in this country. Even Mr. X. He promised to take us out to dinner at his restaurant when she got here. I of course promised him a family photo sketched by Sarah...I'm an idiot.

Photo of Hyelim and I probably at 5:30 am watching Korea get kicked out of the World Cup.

New Video (Korean Pre-Party on TV in Seoul)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Clean Music

I love the feeling of being completely exhausted after a full day. Knowing that you did something productive in your day generates an exhilarating (sp?) array of emotions in me. I ate healthy, I went to the gym, I had a non-negative day at work, I swept and mopped the filthy floors in the apartment, and I arranged some sweet music for the kindergarten classes. "Oh Mr. Sun and "Do you Know the Muffin Man" are much cooler tunes as of this moment. I'm starving right now because I was trying to figure out how to make them cool...It took me a while. As Family Matters so poignantly showed us there is no simple solution to transforming a geek into a stud. So I feel good. I feel alive. Sweet. I can't wait to eat and go to sleep. The two greatest things in life.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

The weekend was fun filled with good food, good company, and mild drinking. After going to bed at 6am on Saturday morning I felt like ass waking up at 2pm knowing I had to go into work and teach for three hours. Luckily Saturdays are pretty chill. 2 of the hours are with a private student. Easy.

When I got home I passed out on my bed only to be rudely, yet deservingly, awaken by Colin telling me Young Soo (one of my private students) was on the telephone. SHIT!...I forgot about our 7pm meeting. So I quickly got dressed, brushed my teeth and was out the door. She picks me up every Saturday. So I had a fun filled tutoring lesson with Young Soo and Hyun-Ah. They mostly want to work on their English conversational skills because they're are going to be moving to Boston in August to work on their Masters at the New England Conservatory of Music. One of the conversations in the book was between a gay man and a black woman ordering food at a restaurant. It was RIDICULOUS because listening to the tape the gay man was asking for "the snails" and the "fried brains"...but they purposely gave him the most obvious lisp of all time. Also, they stereotyped the black lady as being angry. I don't know.

Today I played soccer for a good 3 hours with Charlie (sensei neem) , a KOrean coworker of mine, and te members from his brother's book club. I am still aching. Then I met up with Hyelim at the movie theatre to watch "Lucky # Sleven" starring Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnet, Morgan Freeman, and Lucy Liu. Excellent movie with a tonne of twists. Highly reccomended. I can confidently say that I loved the film.
Now I'm at home finishing a bottle of soju and about to hit the sack. A sweet weekend.

Photos from Korea vs. Switzerland circa 4am-6am Saturday morning.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

WTF IS THAT? (Round 8)

Scores for WTF IS THAT? Round 7
3 points--Heather
1 point --Sare
1 point --Joanne
1 point --ShoeGalAysh

1st--25 points--Heather
2nd--22 points--Sare
3rd--16 points--Joanne
4th--15 points--ShoeGalAysh
5th--14 points--PoliceBro
6th--12 points--CC
6th--12 points--F. Scott Fitzgerald
8th--03 points--Sis
9th--02 points--Jackson
10th--01 points--Cheryl

New Flash: Standings stayed relatively the same due to l;ack of participation this week. For those with a little less inexperience in the League let me remind you all guesses must be in by Wednsday morning North American time. That gives you a good 4 days to make your guesses. ShoeGalAysh has taken sole possession of 4th place while Heather continues to impress the Commisioner with her outstandingly close guesses.


Last night Korea faced the reality that they are not as great as they say they are in soccer. Switzerland schooled the ill-equipped Korean squad in every which way. I don't know how I justified staying up until 4am to watch the game. I left the bar at 6:00 to the rising sun and bustling sounds of the city waking up. Stay tuned for photos and a couple interesting videos. Final score: Switzerland 2-Korea 0. Better luck four years from now.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Photos II

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Random Photos Over Time

I figured I'd break the mould of looking at time in exact numbers..."Oh I've been here two months...oh I've been in a relationship for 3 months" What ever happened to "I've been here a while now". If I can I try not to look at things with regards to time. I figure life is too precious to waste brain energy figuring out how long I've been in a certain place. Of course I'm forced to do this at work. So I refuse to do it on my free time. So Here's Part One of the first month and who cares how many days...Part Two tommorow.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The handle of Hitler's gun. Yes it was his personal gun...REALLY it is. Don't believe me? No one got this one perfect. But Heather came shockingly close suggesting it was a piece of hitler paraphernelia from Hitler Bar. I told you I'd stump you. Nyuk nyuk nyuk!!

Score/Standings/Commentary on Saturday.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pit Stains

I recall my student days quite vividly from grade 4 onwards. As a student growing up I was either indifferent towards or revered my teachers for unwarranted reasons. I loved my teachers if they were nice to me and I earned great marks from them. I was indifferent to the others who I didn't do so well with. I remember blatently calling Mr. Kelley sexist to his face after getting a poor physical education mark in Grade Eight. Aside from good marks and sexism the one thing that stood out for me were teachers with wet or discoloured armpits.

I realise that my every action is scrutinized by these young minds. Being a foreigner I am probably looked at more carefully than if I were teaching back home. So it wasn't a suprise that today while I was holding up a "he is a firefighter" flashcard I saw in the corner of my eye two girls snickering and pointing non-discretely at my underarms. My feelings at the time resembled those I felt during my first week of grade 9 when some senior "smokers" commented on the amount of gel I used in my curly hair. "HEY SLICK.....LOOKING GOOD!!"

I quickly did the "Sure....unsure" thing from the commercial and continued the lesson asking the girls as many questions as possible to get their minds off the wet naps under my arms. I will never wear a long sleeved collared shirt to work in the summer again. Black t-shirts everyday. Don't wanna lose respect and be seen as indifferent...I want to be exceptional.



Monday, June 19, 2006

World Cup--KOREA vs FRANCE


Today was an unofficial hoilday for many Koreans. The football game didn't start until 4am and there were celebrations on tv and around the city from about midnight onwards. There was no way I was going to partake in watching the action at such an obscure hour of the day. I just went to the gym to put in a solid workout and it was closed because everyone was too tired from staying up all night watching the game...you'd never get away with that back home. The all mighty dollar (won) takes a back seat to national pride. Kinda neat. However, upon watching the highlights this morning Korea shocked many football watchers with their stunning display of athleticism and proved their worth against a now struggling French squad. First place in their Pool...who knew?


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Family Ties

Mr. X invited me out to dinner with his family last night. He has a gorgeous wife. I told him this and he disagreed with a shaking head. "She is a good wife only". I guess Korean men value a good wife over a beautiful wife...but I thought she was beautiful. His son Tae Joon is full of life and likes to say "WHAT?" alot. Mrs. X tells me he is a "Happy boy". Their daughter is going to be something amazing when she gets older. Yea Jeung, or Eve, plays the violin and piano and she understands English quite well. She is a little shy but has a lot of potential.

We ate dinner at a famous Chinese restaurant and devoured a delicious seafood dish which consisted of sea urchin, lobster, shrimp, noodles, and clams. MMMMMM....I love seafood.

Afterwards Mrs. X put the children to bed and we met up with Mr. X's two younger sisters and their husbands. One is a dentist, the other a chiropracter. They told me if I ever needed anything I could come see them. I'm so blessed to have met such wonderful caring people. We set up a table and chairs and had a couple beers outside a convenience store then walked over to the movie theatre to watch X-Men 3. The movie was sweet, but I forgot how unwise it is to drink a couple beers late at night then watch a movie. I was almost asleep by the end. Not to take anything away from the movie of course. Mr. X said their wasn't enough action in the film, but I don't see how they could have put anymore into it without making it a Rambo flick. The evening was unplanned and I went along with the program as usual...and as usual I fell asleep very content.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

WTF IS THAT? (Round 7)

WTF IS THAT? (Round 6) Scores
6 points--Sare
6 points--Joanne
6 points--Heather
6 points--CC
6 points--PoliceBro
6 points--F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 points--ShoeGalAysh
1 point --Jackson

1st--22 points--Heather
2nd--21 points--Sare
3rd--15 points--Joanne
4th--14 points--PoliceBro
4th--14 points--ShoeGalAysh
6th--12 points--CC
6th--12 points--F. Scott Fitzgerald
8th--03 points--Sis
9th--02 points--Jackson
10th--01 points--Cheryl

New Flash: Joanne has claimed sole possession of the bronze medal this week. Police Bro has quickly moved up the ranks while CC and F.Scott Fitzgerald continue to jockey for position in the middle of the pack. Jackson remains in the garbage heap...but as I said before please keep them coming.



Friday, June 16, 2006

Donny Brasco

I am Donny Brasco in Korea. If you haven't seen the movie its about a young police officer who goes undercover during the 1970s/1980s and gets accepted by the italian mob in New York. He's known as "Don the Jeweler". I am Donny Brasco minus the undercover police officer part. I will refrain from using names from here on in just to protect both myself and the new friends I've made. Where I met this man should also not be discussed...don't worry mom it wasn't anywhere you wouldn't approve...once again for safety reasons.

I am in no part invloved with the gangster business, nor will I ever become involved in the business. First of all I think it would be impossible with the language barrier, second my conscience would get the best of me. I've befriended one of the most powerful men in Daejeon. After working out at the gym (where I now have a free membership thanks to this new relationship) Mr. X (we will refer to the head guy as Mr. X from here on out) invited me out for a few drinks. Of course I had to oblige since the fitness club I was given the free membership at was owned by him.

Upon arrival at a clean yet underground restaurant (similar to those dark Italian restaurants where mobsters chill) Mr. X, Mr A (a doctor), Mr B (fitness trainer), and Mr. C (Famous Korean wrestler) awaited my arrival. Soju flowed and we devoured what seemed like an endless meal of traditional korean dishes. Afterwards we went to a very posh sitting bar where Mr. X ordered two 130,000 won bottles of whiskey. (130,000 won=$140 Cdn--per bottle) and who knows how many beers.

After that bar we lightly stumbled to another underground restaurant where Mr. X bought another FULL meal for the group. At this point I was just soaking in the comradery, broken English conversation, and laughter. It was after this meal however that Mr. A, Mr. B, and Mr. C called it quits. It was probably aroudn 2AM at this point. Mr. X asked me stay a little longer so of course I obliged. (once again I Was thinking of my free membership at the gym)

It was at this point where I discovered I wasn't just hanging out with the random Daejeon socialites. Mr. X confided in me that he is a "gangster boss" who "employs over 300 men in Daejeon". I didn't ask for details into exactly what he does. Well I did but thats for me to know and no one else to find out.

We moved back to the bar we had just left for one more beer and it was here I realized everything he had told me was the truth. 3 young Korean guys in their mid twenties came into the bar right after us and started giving me dirty looks. I asked Mr. X why I was recieving such unwarranted stares. He let me know that some Korean men think white men are in Korea only for Korean women. I tried to remedy the situation by going over to the 25s and letting them know I have a Canadian girlfriend...Mr. Yoon came to my rescue and told me just to sit down. I was drunk. So I sat down at the other end of the bar and 2 minutes later Mr. X returned to his seat. I asked him where he went.

Mr. X "You were trying to be nice...I know"

James "I know"

Mr. X "They were not being nice when you talk to them"

James "Fuck"

Mr. X "In Daejeon, NO one can touch you now"

James "What do you mean?"

Mr. X "You are my friend...no one can touch you...I told them my name and if they wanted to see daylight to get out of the bar"

I looked behind me and saw three empty bar chairs swiveling.

After a nice drunken heart to heart with Mr. X....I told him he's a very kind man and his occupation (whether legal or not) doesn't change who he truely is inside. As much as Mr. X tries to put on a big boss attitude he is really just an ordinary man with ordinary problems like you and I. so once again...my only affiliation with gangster activity here is friendship with a gangster boss who has showed me nothing but kindness, sincerity, and free dinners. SWEET


Thursday, June 15, 2006


They were indeed the chairs from the baseball stadium in Daejeon. I think most people got 6 points for this one. Thats two blowouts in two weeks so I promise to make the next one much more challenging. I also apologize for the delay. I had a really strange outing last night which I will explain in detail tommorow. I figured I shouldn't hide anything about myself on this blog so I will let you all in on a juicy secret tommorow. I don't know how I get myself into these crazy situations, but I'm loving every second of it. So stay tuned.

Korea of course won 2-1 over Togo. Below are some juicy photos from Daejeon Park where tens of thousands of fans congregated to watch the game on a giant screen and cheer on their country. Korean soccer fans put Canadian hockey fans to shame. I'm starting to realize Canadian pride is very subdued versus more monochromatic societies. After the game the streets were stopped as people celebrated into the early hours of the morning. Its too bad their next game starts at 4am....WHAAAAAAN!!

Now here's ther treat. I took two videos of the night. They aren't the greatest of quality because its around midnight when they were shot outside. One of the videos was shot right after one of the Korean players was awarded a penalty kick. Luckily they scored and I captured the pandamonium as best I could. The second video is a little post-game commentary. Try to gauge how I felt about the girl who was trying to steal the spotlight when I am talking...lol it makes me laugh.

http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g200/jimmyy252525/ (CUT/PASTE--sorry)


ps...hold on to your hats...you won't believe this story...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

World Cup--Pregame Analysis-- KOREA vs TOGO


Should be a fairly even match according to my soucres. The look in Korean's eyes are confident but a glimmer of fear is evident. I interviewed several Koreans today and they all belived Togo to be an even opponent, yet remained strong in their faith that Korea is "THE GREAT KOREAN RACE", and will win their first match of the tournament. One person said, "I will be very very sad if Korea loses...I may even kill myself". Another excited fan belives, "Korea will win!" So we sill see. Togo looks like a healthy team but the controversy surrounding their head coach may weaken their mindset against the united Koreans.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Saturday night started off like any other. A pleasant self-cooked meal and a glass of beer. The girls came over to settle some money business with Colin around 10pm and we watched/ripped into MTV's b rated reality show "Rich Girls". I felt like reaching into the TV and strangling this one girls neck. Paradoxically, however, as my agitation increased so did my desire to make sure no one changed the channel.

The girls left around 11:00 and Colin and I were about to turn it in when we both decided to go out for one, and only one drink at Hitlers, just to get out of the apartment for 1/2 hour. We were sporting the "I don't give a shit what I look like" attire, and set out for a very low key night.

We arrived at Hitlers to see the same crowd of drunkards we see everytime. Reminded me of the Korean "Cheers". Ordered our one drink, got the cheap snacks they give out everytime including seaweed, peanuts, and some fried noodles. Everything was in order. Until the "ballers" arrived. "Baller" refers to guys who know they're the richest guys in the bar and want to let everyone know it.

I don't know how it happened but before we knew it we were chatting with these two Korean men, ( I think one was 40, the other was in his 30s) and being given the royal treatment. They told us to pull up a seat and out came the $60 bottle of Ballantine Masters. Apparently its aged for decades. Regardless,I couldn't refuse the gesture of continuous shots. We ate like kings devouring freshly cut fruit and finger foods all for the price of conversation. By the end of the night I talked to the guy's wife on the phone, controlled the bar's music, drank 20 year old whisky, and didn't pay a cent. Whos the baller now?