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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Field Trip to Wally World

Yesterday morning our Kindies went to the dirtiest, cheapest, most dangerous little theme park I've ever been to. However, this element of danger added some excitement to the whole field trip. There were four rides. The Viking Ship, the choo choo train, the space ship ride, and another train ride that was broken. There were also a set of waterslides. They are perfect...if you're into cut and infected feet. The best part of the morning was the fact that we were the only group there. We were the Grizwalds at Wally World. Strangely enough this was one of the quietest places I've visited in Korea. Visit JimmyY's Video Store for some fun toe slicing action.








Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Scratch

Colin is my strange yet loveable roomate who seems to always put a smile on my face when I least expect it. We've had a few ups and downs but all things considered I think we're good for each other. His randomness surpasses anything I've ever come close to, and his determination to find a Korean wife is...courageous. He's heading back home to California for a month so its going to be a little lonely around the apartment, but the freedom to birthday suit around the pad will be refreshing. Enclosed is an invitation for you to witness his daring attempt to white water swim ring down a river near Dae Doon San. Mr. X's son appears to cruise down with no problem...but to Colin's defense my body was sore and bloody by the end of the day.

Visit JimmyY's Video Store (Under "Blogs I Read")

PEACE

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Flu

The last 24 hours have been Hell. I went to bed on Friday night nice and early so I would be refresehd for my private lessons early Saturday morning. Of course I woke up with a dizzy feeling and a grumbling stomach. I puked twice at my privates, then at least another 5 times before having to go into work for one clas at 4:30. Puked once at work and left the class again to make sure I didn't soil myself. By 6:00 I was in agony as my kidney's felt as if they were being pushed against something. However among all this torture emereged a funny encounter which my ears layed witness to.

Why lying in bed I was awaken by the sound of a female's voice...Colin had a date over to the apartment for dinner. As I lay there I could feel the awkwardness. It was awkward silence from the beginning with little interludes from Colin and the girl here and there. Some phrases which broke the ice and made me literally laugh out loud included "hmmm....I don't have any meat" (Colin), "Your apartment is dirty" (Girl)..."No its just old" (Colin)
"Squishy squishy"(Colin) followed by awkward silence.

Apprtently he made a good impression considering he got a kiss out of the "date" I guess you'd have to understand Colin to find the whole situation as humourous as I did.

I feel better today. Regaining power.

PEACE

Friday, August 25, 2006

I have nothing to talk about today. Whatever comes to my mind I will write. Everything from this moment on will be whatever my brain decides to formulate.

"September on Discovery Channel. I wonder what tommorow will be like. How will the weather be? I hope its cool like it is now. Thank God those noisy cicada bugs are starting to die off. I should empty my compost bucket, there's probably over 100 fruit flies festering in it. The kids were good today. I think I've tamed them and they know what buttons not to push. I give them the look and they know who's in charge. I wonder if I will actually shave tommorow. With a razor blade? or with my hair trimmer like always? I have a video of Colin going down the river in a raft and crashing into some trees. I should upload it to a website so I can let people watch it. That Korea B-boy championships was actually better than I thought. I wonder what it will be like when I go home? Will things be different? I hope my friends don't all get married. I hope time stops so I can never grow older. But I'm still young...so no worries...but you'll soon be old...get over your quarter life crisis already. Ok. It'd be fun if my brother were here right now. He'd find a lot of things funny here...

PEACE

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Random Thoughts

Nothing exciting to report on this front. I've shocked myself over the fact that I haven't yet felt monotony in this place. Everything is the same. The architecture, the people, the food, the kids. Day in and day out its the same environment. I think the fact that its still really foreign to me keeps me interested. I've run into some foreigners over my stay here who have been living here for 2 years, 3 years, I even met a guy whose been here for over 7 years now. I got thinking to myself as to why some foreigners stay here for so long. Personally I wouldn't be able to live here for more than a year 1/2 mabye two years. I would miss everything I have back home too much. So maybe there's nothing back home for some of these people. I don't know, but I find it strange to think that some people find this country more comforting that their own backyard.

To be honest, and not to be pretentious...but I will be. A large majority of the foreigners here are strange. Like the kids in highschool who were a little dorky and socially retarded but who entered the cool drug/drinking scene in University. If you've seen Conspiracy Theory with Mel Gibson you'll have a good idea of the type of people that seem to congregate here. I think this is the reason I seem to have made more Korean friends than foreigners.

The other 30% of the foreigners I've met here are in the same boat as me. They love to travel and are here for an adventure before getting on with their lives back home. And about 5% of this 30% are here specifically for the same reason as I am...dog soup.

PEACE

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yellow Sea Tales

The Yellow Sea is much shallower and apparantly more polluted than the East Sea. To compare Haeundae Beach (East) and Daechon Beach (Yellow) I'd have to give props to Haeundae for the following reasons:

1) Haeundae is more suitable for my personality. I like to be in the middle of a lot of people having fun. Daechon was a lot less busy than I expected and it contained an ora of family fun around it.

2) The water at Haeundae was much colder, which I like, especially on a really hot day.

3) The sand at Daechon, while more fine than the thicker grains found at Haeundae, wouldn't come off my feet even with a pressure washer. I don't know. I'm sitting in my apartment with sand still on my feet after two showers.

4) Haeundae was right on the edge of an enormous city, which sets up for some cool scenery at night time.

I enjoyed my time at Daechon today. It would have been more relaxing, however, if Mr. X's nieces and nephews were less intent on playing with me. But I'll make that sacrifice everytime if it means free everything.

PEACE


Mr. X managed to take us away from the kids for a bit to get some quality beach time. But of course we stopped by the fish market and picked out some flopping fish in big bowls to eat. Sasheemee (raw fish) is a favorite among Koreans who can afford it. Mr. X naturally told us that you had to line your stomach with Soju to prevent against fish viruses. Of course we rented an umbrella and inner tubes...free.

Mr. X, Mrs. X, Mr. X's sister, Mr. X's nephew, Mr. X's mother, and Mr. X's brother-in-law. The brother in law is a bit of an aggitator. He's a happy medium/mix between steve erkle and "Stefan". This morning he woke us up at 9 am after we had all been out the night before until 2:30. He kept waving these meal tickets in our faces saying "its blekfast, come on!" Then when I told him "ok ok" in a really scratchy morning voice, he insisted I must be sick. He was also telling Colin that he was fat...which he is.

I thought I'd throw in a photo of my Great Grandpa Julias who was a diamond miner on the Yellow Sea Coastline during the early 1920s. "I remember when I was your age, I had to use a vulberized bike tire as a swim ring..."

The Boss

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Number One Comment by a Student Thus Far


I've heard a few things come out of my students mouths that have shocked me, impressed me, and made me burst out laughing. Today marks the funniest comment by a student thus far in my days as an English teacher. In one of my favorite classes we were learning not about grammer, phonics, verbs, animals, structures, or any other normal subject. Today the lesson called for the introduction of "Kitchen Tools". Whatever. Vocabulary to be learned consisted of "blender", "chop and mix", "strainer", "drain", "pour", and so on. However, when I explained all these objects none of the students understood what they were. So I resorted to drawing them on the board. The moment I finished drawing the "cheese grater" Julie's eyes lit up as if I just offered her a banana split and a package of Little Debbies Cupcakes. "Its a cheese grater?" she said. "yes, its a cheese grater" I replied

"Cheese graters are EXCITING!!!" she said with unbrideled enthusiasm. I have never seen this student so excited about anything. She's usually just chill and layed back. She of course was referring to using a grater to make Kimchi.

But then it got me thinking. When I was 11-12 years old it was a privilige to grate the cheese for meals. You could always swipe a couple handfuls of grated cheese and shove them in your mouth cause you were in control. When mom did it, you had to ask for some and you were lucky to get 5 strands. When we were offered to grate shit for meals it was usually ham and cheese. Cheese was the prize food to grate. Ham was less so. It was always so moist and slippery and it didn't taste as good as the cheese. There was always 3X more ham in the macaroni-ham-and-cheese meals. And it wasn't coincidence.

PEACE

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Saturday Night Party at the Temple








Mr. X has adopted Colin and I into his family. Every family function he has he seems to want us there. Last Sunday was the Sportcentre's staff party and of course we were invited to go along. It was a fun evening that started off awkward because everyone was probably wondering why we were there. But the night evolved into genuine conversation aided by Soju of course. When I went to the gym yesterday I got a lot of big smiles from the people at the front desk and swim instructors. I think they like me now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Brother



Some updated photos of my brother. I'm blessed to have him as an ally.

PEACE

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Daejeon Mighty Ducks


This blog is dedicated to the rag tag bunch of highschoolers and twenty-somethings who make up the soccer "team" I frequent bi-monthly on Sunday mornings. We don't have an official team name and we aren't in any league of sorts. We usually play random teams that we come across at the soccer field behind Daejeon Elementary
School.

When I first arrived Charlie sensei neem (teacher) asked me if I liked playing soccer. Of course I told him I liked it sometimes...which was a severe overstatement. I F-ing hate playing soccer. I always end up having pseudo-asthma attacks and can't walk for the next week. So he asked me to come and play soccer with him on Sunday. His brother is in charge of a book club and they try to get out and play soccer together a couple times a month.

During the first Sunday of June I reluctantly complied to his request to play and dragged myself out of bed early in the morning. Colin drove us there on his motorbike and we were ready to go. We played a small game against each other cause there was no other team to play. However, the second outing was more exciting. Mr. Park...the business guy at my place of employment also has a team and they met us on the field with shiny green jerseys and bulging calf muscles. Shit!

They smoked us at least 8 or 9 to zip. However...since that time our team has slowly started to pull together. We are starting to have practices and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new uniforms on Monday. Our last game we lost only
6-3. I think our new jerseys will influence our mental game.

We are the underdogs whom the competition scoffs at, but I am confident that in the near future our cinderella story will start to unfold.

Daejeon Mighty Ducks

PEACE

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nostalgia

This post goes out to all the people who have involuntarily initiated recent bouts of nostalgia in me over the last few months.

I think I am at the tail end of my quarter-life crisis. I know what I want to do with my life, I know what I want to do now, and I am excited about the future. However, there are still some nights when I'm listening to tunes on the Logitech that goodtimes and blissful memories arise in my brain. They are so bitter-sweet for me because I wish I can recapture all those moments of hapiness...but know its impossible unless reincarnation exists as truth. I snicker to myself at times when I think of the ridiculous times with my brother, or at camps I worked at, or with my family, or in University. But the smile quickly fades into frowns because I accept the inevitability of growing up. I want to be peter pan please.

So here are some nostalgic thoughts that have been racing through my mind the last few months.

--Camp Arnold--
~ Rocky flying down the waterslide to retain family honour and preventing himself from lowering himself to Peasant Status.

~ Isolating themselves in the dark basement watching DVD's

~ Conner doing the "ehhue ehhue ehhue" sound while jumping and covering his nipples with two fingers.

~ Berko getting pissed when the Seattle gang came in and took over his worship band

~ Nathan ripping off his gangreen toenail in the name of family honour.

--Joel Ivany--
~ Cabaret rehearsals and getting cut from the dance routine right after spending 4 hours perfecting it over the weekend.

~ Basketball Cards in Dayton (skull-F Durpris)

~ National all nighters playing Monopoly...Dance of Shame for touching the dice out of turn.

~ Losing Poker (Eating Lasagna Chips, boner snowangels, body shave, Curtis frenching Rawlins)

~SWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!! Marie the delicious candy coated chocolate treat.

~Music Building vandalism

--Brother--
~ Retarded neighborhood friends--Weiner Wayner blaming us for breaking things when were at church and calling 1-800#'s, Corey talking like a 2 year old at the age of 10, Joey weilding a sword, Narvinder delivering the Guardian with his family, Quami the good kid, Quami's sister always used in sexual jokes to piss off Quami, Greg Green pissing on the side of our house and stealing our tennis balls.

~ Tofino 2005 (Tent Dance Party, poker in the rain, you know the rest...adventure)

~ Star Lake Camp (This can go for you too Ashcraft) Drinking X number of milk cartons, trying to catch the 13 year old kids who were stealing from us, Martin and Felix, Making out with Carlyn, Lyron drunk and high at the Breakfast restaurant and finding him shirtless in the bathroom stall sweating at 11 am, fish head.

--University--
~History, learning
~marijuana
~pseudo-structure and a solid group of friends who were all in the same boat as you.
~One act Play
~Ceeps

PEACE

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sunday at the River

Mr. X invited Colin and I to a river near Daedoonsan last Sunday. At first I didn't want to commit because I didn't fancy the 9:00am pick up on my only day off in the week. I woke up that morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. After eating some Corn Flakes and an almost 2 week old kiwi fruit I started experiencing deep penetrating cramps in my stomach. "Must be the kiwi" I thought to myself. "Why did I eat it?...I didn't want to let it go to waste...well you should have chucked it when the skin just slid off so easy"...I argued with myself...but realized doing so was pointless cause the cramps were there and real.

Mr. X was on time and Colin and I were off to the river to meet with his extended family. I keeled over in the back seat of his SUV and faked sleep to avoid talking with anyone on the ride. It was painful to talk. However...upon arrival I was miraculously cured of the pain. The BBQ started immediately as the women cooked for everyone present. WE indulged in Samgupsal (basically big fat pieces of pork) and other korean imenities. And started drinking Soju by 10:30am. By noon I was drunk and basking the the river with the sun on my shoulders. It felt like heaven.

Colin and I went on our own down the river for a good hour and a half later in the afternoon...and it was jam packed with people the whole way down. Colin decided to put on a show by jumping off a 20 foot boulder into a deep part of the river. Of course I had to one up him and somehow gained the courage to perform a front flip for the salivating onlookers. Of course we lost track of time...probably due to the inebriation...and on our walk but up the river Mr. X pulled up and told us to get in. He had called the police because he thought he had lost us....of course this reaction on his part was probably also caused by his high consumption of Soju.

I have to say Sunday was the most fulfilling day I have experienced in Korea. I am blessed to have met Mr. X's wonderful extended family...and eaten such scrumptious delights. In two weeks he's taking us to the beach on the east cost...WHATEVER.

PEACE








Monday, August 07, 2006

More Vacation Photos









Saturday, August 05, 2006

I'm back(ee)

Koreans have a knack for adding an "ee" sound at the end of most English words that end in "e". For example: "chang(ee)", "switch(ee) [I don't know how they came up with an (ee) after (ch)], and beach(ee). This last one was where I spent my vacation.

Approx. 225 km southeast of my residence in Daejeon lies the vacation capital of Korea. Millions flock to beaches as their summer holidays are exploited efficiently parce que they only last for one month. I didn't mind the bustle of the shoreline mostly because I felt as though I was taking part of an annual ritual partaken every year by millions. Sarah and I basked in the sun comforted by the knowledge that about a hundred metres behind us lay our luxury executive suite in the infamous Paradise Hotel. In the hotel we exploited the hot springs, 6pm-9pm happy hour --free of charge...because of course we werrrre Executive class, free luxury breakfasts, and breathtaking views from both the Executive Lounge and our suite.

I'll let the photos over my next few posts tell the rest of the story. But in a nut shell we consumed enough beef and pork in one sitting to initiate heart palpitations, were blessed to find a buddist temple void of anyone other than the monks and nuns who resided there, and met random drunk Koreans who reminded us we were "handsome man" and "gorgeous girl" for a good three hours.