Sunday, July 30, 2006


So happy.
Decided to do something I've been too lazy to do for the past 5 weeks: go for a real walk.
There's a mountain behind my apartment (there's mountains everywhere) and it's green at the top. So I put on kitten heels and started walking in the hot hot sun, up up the steep little streets behind my place. Already I was happy. There are little shops, houses, tiny dogs, great views, less noise, better air.
Then the road diminishes, there are huge slate-like rocks upended alongside the track, curious. There are a insects everywhere, a little pagoda thing with a guy doing yoga, a botanical garden with signs identifying the flowers with their Latin names. I'm up really high, looking down on my suburb, the road I travel to work, out far to the next mountain, the next range, the next suburb. A huge black butterfly flies close to me, so big that at first I think it's a bird. Then I see some birds, like magpies but with blue wing tips. Flowers everywhere. Hot as hell. Sweat pouring down my next, back, legs.


Way to make my apartment building look shite.
Take a photo of it.

Anyways, I'm in Zenit love - as always.
But, not in little man love as the dude who I thought was little man 2, is shit.
For those who don't know about me and little man...
There's a guy in Smith Street, Collingwood, who developed my pictures for me and has done for about 7 years now. I love him. I don't go anywhere else. When I went to Europe for a year I held onto all my filums and got him to process them on my return. He printed all the large shots for my show last year too.
So I felt, cos of the Zenit, that it would be difficult/upsetting to wait until I got home from Korea to get prints done. Thus I've been looking for a new little man. But this guy ain't the shit. I got reprints made and they were completely different to the orginals... Mostly, shitter. And these are the ones he scanned for the CD. Anyways. There are still some excellent moment... Checkem.

Camels and all that Jazz

After a fecking exhausting day at work - Little Concert, etc, I was so so happy to get a text from JD Whatever saying 'I know we're seeing each other tmr, and it's raining, and we're tired, but who cares. Let's have dinner.' Or something like that. Cos we're using Korean phones, we're limited to 80 characters. All messages have to be bloody short and sweet unless you know hangeul.
Anyways, we met at Sinchon, and were wandering about, hungry, when JD saw a spot and went to look at its menu... But I could hear something... "say it's only a paper moon" being sung across the way. How could I resist? I dragged JD across the street and told him we'd have to eat there. We thought we were really in luck when they gave us each a 'free' glass of red wine... But it was like the Georgian wine I used to get in Vilnius - so sweet it's really Ribena. Not to worry.
So we ate, then we walked, then we got Baskin Robbins ice-creams because I am Drew Barrymore and JD lerves BR ice-cream. The chocolate stuff that we both chose was clearly not made for the Korean climate and melted IMMEDIATELY all over us. Ah well. We walked to Hongdae, where I took JD on a tour of cool places that I pretend I have discovered but actually Ethan or Pix have taken me too. He was way impressed. We went to Seom first, then Brixx, where we were directed to a secluded love couch at the back of the joint, much to my horror. We moved seats and sat in the middle of the joint, watching all the American guys get it on with their Korean girls. Nice.
Suddenly realised it was time for the last subway, started running... Phone rings, it's Pix... "where are you?". She'd just got back from a day rocking out in the mud at the Pentaport Rock Festival and was ready to rock on. Nothing doing, we ditched the idea of being good kids, and sat with her and Korean friends to have a SECOND Korean BBQ of the evening, drink beer AND soju and start to get very silly.
Decided a cup of tea was in order - prolly about 2am - and Korean mate Jung-Sin lead us to a very quiet little upstairs joint - called Cafe & a Camel. Pix sold it to us as having no other customers and a door for a table. Ok. All true. But they were playing some terrible dancey music so I quick smart found a Bill Evans CD and get them to change it. Nice. The boys ordered tea and for some reason Pix and I thought a bottle of red was the go... Sorry Charlie, this was when I called you - 3.30am in Melbourne, of course you wanted to chat...
The Camel started to fill up, someone must have requested the Betty Blue CD, but it didn't last long... Made me pretty happy though. Pretty happy also watching Pix and Jung-Sin muck about, taking photos, being stoopid. Cute.
After a few hours we needed to leave, maybe to walk to the subway... But there was another cute place, maybe called Cafe Woods, so we stopped there and Pix and I headed for a wired-up laptop, where I showed her the YouTube post of Dave Mack's. Perhaps one of the best things ever. Do yourself a flavour and check it - I have 3 words for you - JamesBrown, MichaelJackson, Prince. Absolutely laughed my socks off. Again.

Anyways. Saw the lovers t-shit next door on way home.
As I slowly climbed the stairs out of the subway when I got to my home station, things felt good. The whole place was obscured by fog, it was beautiful, the temperature was just right, all was good.

...a melody played...

Say, it's only a paper moon,
Sailing over a cardboard sea,
But it wouldn't be make believe,
If you believed in me.

Yes, it's only a canvas sky,
Hanging over a muslin tree,
But it wouldn't be make believe,
If you believed in me.

Thanks, whomever wrote this song that Ella sung so beautifully.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Shocker Tees Co.

In honour of the shocker t-shits here in Korea, I've created a new folder in my photobucket for t-shit moments that I'm lucky/daring enuff to capture on filum. Inagural shot was of a t-shit I really wanted to buy... But the silver sequins were a bit much... and it was backless... and it was $50. May I introduce ::

Friday, July 28, 2006

Little Concert Day

Full review to come of the Little Concert - what a gas! I was the MC, all those songs were sung, all those kids were cute, all those parents with their videocameras and cameraphones aloft, all the Dads complimenting me on my English...
One superstar stood out in her white assymetrical singlet with gold lettering ::


Then I went down the street to pick up reprints and CD of the latest Zenit shots, and I saw this on a large brown t-shit with aqua applique ::

LBJ vintage style since 2001

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rote and Vote

Maybe it was always going to happen.. But yesterday I started I started teaching using the 'rote' method. As instructed. The students who have finished their textbooks don't get new ones - they get a 'conversation' book, which has little conversations in it like::
A: Good morning, Euri.
B: Good morning, Andy.
A: How are you today?
B: Fine, thanks, how are you?
A: I'm fine, too.
I hate this little book because it is boring. And whenever I say 'hi, how are you?', casually, meaning it, to a student, they parrot back at me 'Fine thanks, how are you?' And it's creepy and weird.

Also, today I saw a dead kitten.
On Sunday when JD came to visit we thought we saw a dead man but JD bravely inspected him and he seemed to be breathing. Unconscious men are not uncommon as serious overdrinking is the way to unwind if you're a Korean man.

Also, today after work I went home via the little market across the road from work. I've been feeling crook this week and was thinking maybe I need more/better food. So I bought sweet potato, cabbage, rice, and peppers that I won't know if they are hot until I bite into them.
Then I bought some snack on the way home... So hungry! I know they're made from rice but I'm not sure how you're supposed to eat them... These were BBQed in the street. Mmm yum.

Oh, best t-shit today::

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Hood

Walked home the back way tonight.. No, not over the mountain, but via some backstreets. I went into an organic food store and made a terrible mistake, spending $20 on some chili powder stuff. Sweet jesus. I know what I'm eating for the next 11 months - chili-flavoured dirt.
Anyways, I finally took my camera to work so that on the way home I could take photos of the demolition derby. When I first arrived there were 20 apartment towers either side of the street that looked abandoned. They had big red crosses painted over the windows and long grass... Very strange. Anyways, as they were 5 minutes old, they were to be demolished. New blocks will no doubt have replaced them by the time I leave.

The students who won the quiz contest on Saturday were given pizza today and yesterday. How excitement. Koreans LERVE pizza. And it's EXPENSIVE. Anyways the pizza boy came up to the school, in a feckin midriff top, that said ::



Sweet jesus. SHIT was 10 times bigger than the rest of the text. Maroon and yellow, no pictures.
Anyways, last night I left work and started walking home, so hungry from smelling pizza for 4 hours, so tired from kids, and my boss calls.
"Uh, hello - Jessie? It's Sidney"
"Yes, hi Sidney"
"Ok, so Jessie, I have something to ask you, I hope it is ok."
"Sure, no problem..."
"I hope it's ok, but I wanted to ask you to have dinner. With me. Tonight. Is it too late?"

WTF? Sure you can feed me... No problem... So she picked me up from my apartment an hour later, with her husband at the wheel of their KIA SUV and her sleepy kid in the back. First of all, they spoke English the entire time, which was so polite and nice, and second, we went to a really nice 'organic' restaurant at the base of a nearby mountain. There was something akin to 'fresh air' when I stepped outta the car. Her husband was really funny and talked heaps, asking me what I thought of North Korea, the Americans here, stuff. Then my boss asked me if we could make dinners regular as she is concerned her husband can't keep up with the 'Western culture' of his international workplace. She invited me to join them on their weekends away. Then before I got outta the car at home, she said "Jessie, is it ok if I give my husband your number so he can call you if he needs help? Sometimes... he needs help with some things."
WTF? "Of course, Sidney, no problem, that would be fine......................."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

International Jazz Story


What's that?
Gold dust

Excellent t-shit yesterday.

I still feel a little seedy from Saturday night... Is that right?
Had such a freaking good time. After the Song and Quiz Contest at work, I met up with Luke (who I NEED to start calling JD, seeing as that's his new name) in Hongdae at 4ish, went to Ordinary Cafe which was great as always. Wandered the shops, made hair appointments for next week, had lunch in Hongdae, sitting outside in a plaza area, watching everyone go by, buying chewing gum from old ladies who came by....... Met up with Pix and headed to Ryan's fancy-pants hotel to collect him. Jumped in a taxi which followed the road by a palace to its end... Where we found Jazz Story.
I guess that's where the messiness began. Ugh. Decor was amazing, band was fantastic, wine hideously overpriced, and we were slowly becoming boorish, demonstrated primarily through our interactions with the band...... Consisted of repeated requests for songs that they couldn't play.... Play some Leonard Cohen! No? Play some Tom Waits! No? Play Elvis Costello! No? Fine.
Went to Ryan's room and drank plum wine with gold leaf that JD bought from the convenience store. Yum. Pix and Ryan blasted Dolly Parton and Kasey Chambers through the complaints (of mine, the neighbours, authorities, etc) until we headed back to Hongdae on the premise of visiting a kitten.
Anyways, had pork for brekky, got home at 8am. A new record for me in Seoul.

By the way. Got some great emails. Thanks LTR, JC, Mumma, Abe, Charlie, especially.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

pretty blue gun

there's a young girl
with sweet little wishes
and pretty blue dreams
standin there and gettin all wet

i love you, tom waits.
love you, jc.

Melting Pot Raised

Worst t-shirt tonight - and I saw it twice - in yellow - and grey ::

king of the streets
(picture of beckham in beanie with diamante skull & crossbones)


Shocker. Went to Soundday and managed to get the subway home after one (free) drink. Proud. Saw two bands - nunco cobein, who rock out big time, and some other mob whose name I haven't transliterated yet. They teased us with the opening chords of 'Enter Sandman'... Which Mountain Goats did when I saw them way back whenever. Funny.

Friday, July 21, 2006


It's little concert week at my school. So I listen to Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da and Summer Nights and Dancing Queen and Heal the World upteen times a day.... Excruciating........................

We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart
I feel you are all
My brothers
Create a world with No fear
Together we'll cry Happy tears
See the nations turn
Their swords Into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough For the living
Make a little space To make a better place...

Thanks Mikky J, you really know where it's at.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Reasons why I still watch Law and Order:
1. It's the only show on TV I can stand/understand
2. Ice-T's character says things like this "Wouldn't be the first time a college student has flat-backed her way to a diploma."

Ohhhh yeah.

Worst t-shirt

I knew when I saw a guy out the front of my apartment this morning wearing this t-shirt that it would be hard to beat::

their charming


If anyone has any clue wtf this means, I will pin a medal to your breast.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Article 88

I was reminded of Article 88 of the US Military Code of Conduct by AFN TV last night. Here goes::

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Good stuff.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Drugs and TV

I have been compulsively eating snacks. I call them snacks cos I have no idea what they are really called... Nor what they are made from... Rice? Corn? Shrimp? I bought a bag as big as a pillow for 2000 won (aka 2 bux) and have eaten my way through most of it this weekend. Luke tells me Koreans call them 'drugs' cos they are so addictive. I get it.

And while eating them, tonight I watched a documentary festival on TV. Though sometimes I lucked out with the dubbed Korean, I watched 2 British docos that had subtitles so I didn't have to invent the narrative. They were both brilliant. The first was 'Songbirds' - a musical set inside a women's prison outside of London. It was heartbreaking. Women inmates told their stories about their crimes, lives, masturbation, abuse... This was interspersed with choreographed songs... Think 'Dancer in the Dark'. Intense.
The next doco was about Soviet humour, it was called 'Hammer and Tickle' and it was just so funny, giving a potted history of the rise and fall of communism as it went, and the evolution of anti-Soviet jokes. Excellent.
Hammer and Tickle featured The Scorpions and I think everyone benefits from a review of 'Winds of Change'::

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers?
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's like a monsoon

Woke up at 5 today.
5pm. What the? I thought my clock was broken. I missed a whole fucking day. This rarely happens in my life. And my aircon was leaking, possibly because I'd left it on for 11 hours, possibly because there is a monsoon active.
Today, again, I got the first subway home. From Hongdae it takes 30 minutes, which is sooooo good. Especially when you're trying to stay awake. And your jeans are soaked through like I've been out wading waist-deep in a stream of rancid kimchi juice.
So last night was the opening of the show Ethan's in. I met up with Luke earlier near Insadong and had some food and beer and a chat with KP and started to feel reasonable. Had a wander in the fucking rain and a gander at the millions of galleries and touristy shops... It's very cute and nice there. Went upstairs to a teahouse and had a drink before going to the show, which every Westerner and her dog was at. Ethan turned up looking SHARP with a hot lady in tow. The sharpness lasted until the first sangria was poured and somehow ended up in a splatter pattern on Ethan's white shirt. Great. Was glad he remembered our pledge to wear ties though.
Anyways, show was good.......... Standing in the street after drinking beer from the convenience store and taking photos with the convenience store disposable camera was good too. Headed to Hongdae for the after party, by which time the rain set it. We still didn't think we needed umbrellas... Too cool, all that jazz. Within minutes we were actually wading - me in my cute new Korean kitten heels, Ethan in customary moonboots, and Misty in sexy red leather heels. Stopped at a convenience store and bought *expensive* umbrellas, waded waded waded along wondering deleriously how weather could be this brutal.
Ugh so sat a Seom and had a glass of red listening to some Aussie girl with a foghorn voice carry on. Ethan used a giant teddy bear to rest on. Sat and listened to the rain, listened to the rain, listened to the rain, incredulous. Eventually decided to move but we made the *wrong* move to Aura, which looked like a tip and had a live band blaring Japanese impro-experimental jazz. EXCRUCIATING. I blamed Ethan. Got outta there and crossed the street so we were out of earshot. We walked back along the deathtrap to FF but they were playing the GREASE song... which I've heard 100000000 times this past month as some students at school are singing it as part of the school's pop song contest (for which I am MC). So I convinced them to go to Nabi... Which is like returning to the womb... But with barely-legal sexy Korean boy-men in reclaimed Ray Bans with prescription lenses there. Excellent.
Ugh there's a postscript to the night's activities which involves a nice hotel room with *leaks* and no power... oh and what seemed like a frat-boy threesome... But I need to get some kinda snack.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Seoul Daze

So tonight was supposed to be the big night, and last night the stay-at-home night... Didn't work out like that... Got an email at 9pm from Pix saying get to wine bar to meet hilarious Aussie friends. Got to Seoul Station at 10pm - so, clearly my idea of getting the subway home was shot from the start, as I'd have to leave town at 11pm to make it. Also it took us 10 minutes to figure out how to cross the road. No shit. Then the map to the wine bar that Pix had was sketchy, so we somehow engaged the help of some random slightly pissed Korean guys, who stood with us spinning the map for a while, before one said 'wait a minute' and like speedy Gonzalez, ran off down the street. We stood bemused and laughing wondering wtf he had gone to do/get... Then he roars up the street on his scooter, motioning for us to get on... His bike is held together with sticky tape and he is in pajamas from what I can tell.. We get on! We go up the mountain! We see fancy schmancy wine bar perched on the hill... We dismount, give profuse thanks, and enter naos nova. Please please check out the website and see what I'm talking about... It has killer views of the city, only serves wine to drink, features a wine list that has bottles for 2,000,000 aka a month's salary, and kick-arse tapas with real flavours like prosciutto! and pesto!
Anyways I got the subway home... when it started again at 5.30am today. Hmm. I got in to my place and headed for the shower... That's when I discovered green ink all over my feet. Like all over. Like stained, like won't come off after agessssss scrubbing. WTF? Where did it come from?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Korea lyrics 1

Ok so hearing the Beck lyric 'Eat at Tacoria, pop lockin' beats from Korea' amused me so much I thought I'd find out which other 'artists' mention Korea in their music. I think there's no reason not to start with this gem from my old friends Rammstein, who clearly know where it's at:

Korea pants
Korea pants
Korea pants
Korea pants

They are cool
They are fun
They look good
on any nun

Korea pants
Korea pants
Korea pants
Korea pants

Repeat ad nauseum.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


My apologies, and thanks.
I was really sick yesterday afternoon, and KP, Jack, Charlie, Dad, Anna Lee, the whole box and die of loved ones were all ready willing able to call me in the small window after work when I can use the pone here. But I had a chronic headache and bellyache. Couldn't even offer Oh Charlie the sympathy he needed after having a car aim for and meet his bike as he cycled to Toby's to call me. Couldn't offer sympathy to Jack, who was crook as and dragged his sorry arse to work as two containers of chairs had arrived. Couldn't go out to dinner with friendly American Luke from upstairs as I was busy spewing in the shower. Couldn't even get down to the letterbox to see that I'd 'received Charlie's package' (kisses). Ahhh it was an average night.
Better today... and I should say, it's Thursday, which means the weekend is nearly here! I do believe I'm gonna see some palaces and shit, I mean tourist sites, on Saturday which will be good. Then go to Ethan's exhibition which I've invited pretty much everyone I know to... Anyways. Gotta get my classes planned...

Lyrics for this morning: Modest Mouse: Ocean Breathes Salty:

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky.
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste the afterlife?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Presidential matter 1

Well yesterday I wanted to but forgot to post about the Polish PM and Presidential double-act. Truly something from a James Bond movie or just another galaxy - I must paraphrase from The Age: IDENTICAL twins who once starred together in a children's film look set to hold the two most powerful posts in Polish politics. President Lech Kaczynski has nominated his brother Jaroslaw, to replace prime minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, who resigned yesterday. With no other candidates for the post, it is a foregone conclusion that one twin will soon swear in the other. The twins, 57, first shot to recognition as child stars in the 1960s film The Two Who Stole the Moon. They started their political careers as activists in the Solidarity trade union.
In spite of their success both Jaroslaw, who is unmarried and lives with his mother, and Lech, remain sensitive about their appearance and are rarely seen in public together.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Where I sit at the PC Bang there is a huge poster of a heroic looking guy with long hair and a blood smear on his face, gazing into the distance. It says 'Rohan' it big gothic script and then 'Systemholic Online Rohan'. I think I need a geek to explain this to me. Toby?
Anyways, tonight on AFN I learnt that in 2005, there were 117 military-to-military sexual assault in the American forces in Korea. And I saw the ad that says more off-duty military have been killed in motorcycle accidents than in the fighting in Afghanistan. The voiceover reiterates: WAY MORE.
Hey tonight I came home from work and there was a postcard waiting for me... SO EXCITING! JC had written it while lying on some Greek beach... Sounded sooo good. Not jealous at all! Miss her and LTR so much... 6 weeks without them. It's tough. Now I think they are in Goreme, possibly staying with my Ma. Crazy cool. Three years ago I was there.

Thanks to all those who are staying in contact... It's wonderful. Thanks to all those who read my blog, email me, chat with me online, send me shit and keep me sane. It's so appreciated.

Ahhhh yeah: Bowie: Golden Years:
Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere, angel
Come get up my baby
Look at that sky, life's begun
Nights are warm and the days are young

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hongdae Weekend

Well I've uploaded 16 new photos from today in my Korea photobucket, so checkem out.
Basically I've been reassured that there is a cool life to be had here. I can thank Miss Pix and Ethan for that... Yesterday, going to the gig and a couple of other cool lil bars in a cool lil hood showed me more of this place that isn't suburban and shit.
Then today I went back to the same hood, met up with slightly hungover Ethan and we wandered the shops and had coffee and lunch over a period of 6 hours... Was fuckin leisurely and nice. There was a tense moment when we were on the hunt for somewhere to eat and couldn't find a place we thought would have either a picture menu or an English menu, but then we found Oink, and it was our salvation. No aircon, but the rice sidedish was loaded with caviar and the beer was icy cold. So much food, so much satisfaction, for about $8. Can't go wrong.
Saw some stencil art, always a good sign; lots of cute boys; couples in matching gear; tiny dogs with dyed-pink fur; Bladerunner shit; cool clothes; cool shoes; lobsters in tanks; convenience stores; vomit; guys in beanies even though it's fuckin 30 degrees. My boobs got leered at generally, specifically by police, but no-one arrested me for soliciting or offered me money for sex, so all in all, a good weekend.
Back to the rugrats tomorrow........................................ Yay.

Some folks call her a runaway

Ok so last night I went out with week-old friend plus one new friend to see some little punk-like gig at some place called 'FF' aka 'Funky Funky'... There was one band before the one we'd come to see - Ethan quite rightly pointed out that they sounded like a cross between Tracy Chapman and Hootie and the Blowfish. He even sung a bit of 'Fast Car' over the top of the Korean lyrics and they fit perfectly. Funny. Luckily the band we'd come to see did rock and were cute funny original all that...
Anyhoo then I get an email from Jack - how good is Jack - which is so exciting because he emails me about twice a year. Fuckin nearly fell off my chair cos he samples some Tracy Chapman lyrics in his email ::

She's got her ticket,
think she gonna use it;
Think she's gonna fly away.
No-one should try and stop her,
persuade her with their power
she says that her mind is made.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I've been trying not to listen to The Cure as they are high on my 'songs that kill me' list, but today... Couldn't help it! Stand-out lyrics dedicated to Oh! Charlie! ::

You're so gorgeous
I'll do anything
I'll kiss you from your feet
To where your head begins
You're so perfect
You're so right as rain
You make me make me
Make me hungry again
Everything you do is irresistible
Everything you do is simply kissable

Oh! So! Good!
Then I sat down with a cup of tea and some jammy bread and read Ludmila's Broken English, by dbc pierre. So feckin hilarious. My stand-out snippet from this morning ::

'Throbbing music no longer beat time to a young life ascending. Now it hammered boards over future's window.'

Ok, and favourite spazz-Konglish t-shirt from yesterday ::

'I want stardom day and night
I do believe in chastity'

Done it before... Do it again...

Well, you build it up, you wreck it down
You burn your mansion to the ground
When there's nothing left to keep you here, when
You're falling behind in this
Big blue world

Friday, July 07, 2006


Methinks Ethan will understand this... It's very easy to form crushes on random boys here. The petrol station next to my building has a cute attendant. He wears bright pink socks with his sandles and scoots dangerously around on his little bike. His uniform is a stripey shirt, which he wears with a trucker cap and shorts... He just wanders through the petrol station smoking and greeting his friends in their high school unifoms.

Shopping Day

Today is SHOPPING DAY at my school.. The foyer has has been turned into a shopping centre with big signs, products laid out on tables, price lists, balloons galore... The Mums (or Mommies, as they're called here) are coming soon and I have to teach them shopkeeper's expressions in English, then the children will spend the morning 'shopping' in English with play money. Good god.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Blown Away

Fuck it.

Just wrote a huge post and then this shitty puter... Blew it away...
It was all about Paul Klee, the Seoul Olympic Park, Beer Hunter and Beck.

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible." Klee.

Beer Hunter was ok - went there Sunday. Had Cooper's and calamari.

"Hot like a cheetah, neon mamacita
Eat at Tacoria, pop lockin' beats from Korea" Beck.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


When I packed, I could have brought less scarves and ties and more books. Clearly, since it's TOO HOT to wear any of my nifty scarves, and I read the one novel I brought in 3 hours.
Anyways, I was rereading the book - jPod by Coupland - and found a favourite bit where the geeks are discussing their own personal kryptonite.. For one it's meetings, another it is Microsoft press releases. What's mine...? Rod Stewart? Socks in bed? What's yours?
Hey I went down to the convenience store (as my colleagues call it) to heat up my porridge and scammed the guy into letting me use the microwave which is for povvo students to heat up instant noodles. My porridge was way yummy, just a gelatinous pumpkin soup really. And it came with kimchi, chili paste stuff and some pickled meat as the sides. Great. I ate it at work while reading Time! For Kids! I learnt that Nigeria is double the size of California... Really puts things in perspective, hey?
Work was just as shit today, by the way. I can't count the amount of times I just want to run run run away. I heard that new teachers here have this feeling, but I had no idea it would be this bad. And these two days, it's not even that I miss home, but that I hate the work, it's so shit, stressful, not knowing what to do all the time.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Lettuce + Porridge

Ok so my day at work was horrendous. Just awful. Most classes would not be controlled. Most classes I had no textbook for. Most classes I had no idea what or how to teach them. Great.
Then I had to go to Immigration to register as an alien. Great. My (only) Korean friend, Luke, came with me (actually chauffeur-drove me), which was so good, I just let him do the talking and we were done in 10 minutes. Amazing.
Then we headed north to the suburb where he grew up, very very nice. He took me to a lettuce restaurant - there was a giant illuminated sign inside that had pictures of the 18 different lettuces they served, with the healthy properties of each outlined underneath. So a GIANT pile of lettuce was the main dish, and the small dishes were kimchi, garlic, dried shrimp, spinach, miso paste, miso soup, white kimchi... others... and rice.
Luke loves Baskin Robbins ice-cream so we stopped off to get him some and the shop next door had a sign saying 'Korean Traditional Porridge Restaurant'... I was like - WTF?! Lettuce! Now this?! So we ordered some take-out for me to have for my lunch tomorrow - bean and sweet potato porridge I think. Hmm.
On the subway home the guy standing next to me said 'Russian?'. My heart sank - this is becoming a daily occurrence - random guys thinking I'm Russian (which I think is a euphemism for 'hooker'). I was like 'no....' and turned away. Long story short, he engaged me in conversation and asked me to be his private tutor, which refused... Ugh whatever.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Couples Coupling

More from the list of stuff to blog, that I scrawled on the subway map last night:

  • Couples love to wear exact matching outfits. Imagine cute yellow polo shirts, buttoned up, levis and white high-tops... Both boy and girl. Luke tells me honeymooners especially love this. Ugh.
  • There are giant cases with gasmasks in them in the subway - complete with posters about how to fit them. Very graphic.
  • Ads for the Korean Mumma Mia! on the subway.
  • "No amount of poetry can mend this broken heart'... Thank-you, Billy Bragg.


I hope you can all understand what I mean about Korean guys when you gaze at this movie poster....

Wa-Bar Whiskey Event

So I met a new peep last night. To get from my satellite province to his satellite province involved 1 hour on the subway... A lot of time to think about the things I want to post.
  • I wore my Wolfmother t-shirt to work yesterday. Sick.
  • Korean women wear heels all the time.
  • The other teachers at my work said 'you wear a lot of black'.
  • I keep seeing seppos in the lift of my building. Great.
  • I drank a lot of beer last night, then ordered crumbed pork with gravy.
  • I visited the most disgusting toilet ever. Squat, with rice in the bowl. Mmm.
  • Korean men are pretty hot. And wayyy effeminate.
  • Best t-shirt ever on a kid riding a bike this morning: 'sometimes there is sorrow'.