Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Dead Zone

Everyday after school for the past 6 months or so I have been making the mistake of hanging out on my couch a little too long. My couch is a dead zone. As soon as I get on it I feel sleepy and next thing you know 2 hours have gone by without notice. I always try to fight it but in the end it wins every time. Never challenge a couch that is a dead zone you'll never win.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

[Korean Music] - Supreme Team

I love the Supreme Team... in the Korean music world everyone is doing a waterdown version of hiphop. There is a token rapper in every girl or boy group.
But they aren't really a hip-hop group.

Enter the Supreme Team. A really good k-hiphop group.

Here are 2 singles I like Supermagic and 나만 모르게 (Feat T aka Tasha, aka Yoon Mirae )

have a listen tell me what you think

The Homeplus Debacle

I went to Homeplus today to pick up some stuff. Ran into a couple of girls that were snickering and pointing at me. Normally this sorta stuff doesn't get to me. But today right in the middle of produce I started yelling at the kids. I was so angry I couldn't even think in Korean so it all came out in English...

Right now I think I shouldn't have done it. But at the time it felt nice to finally yell at someone after a year of being silent.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The fast and the frenzied

The fast and the frenzied

This is a LONG overdue post. I meant to post this back in November or something but everything got pushed back. Every time I tried to come up with something to write about this topic I came up with nothing concrete. So I’m just going to write a series of points. These points are observations I have made about driving and being a pedestrian in S. Korea.

a. It just might be impossible or rare to get hit by a car turning left in a major intersection. I can only speak about the major intersections in my area. I noticed that the way the traffic lights run, cars allowed to turn left don’t do it at the same time when pedestrians are walking. In Toronto drivers making a left have to look out for on-coming traffic and pedestrians that isn’t the case here in Korea. I suppose the concept is sort of like the “advance go” type arrows in busy intersections back home.

b. Street names aren’t that important like back in Toronto. Just say I wanted to meet a friend in Toronto some give place downtown. If I say “Meet me at Queen and Bathurst” they might say “Oh Queen and Bathurst where the Pizza Pizza is?” Using a location to confirm the place. In Korea people tend to map by location. I have been never been given directions that say “It’s at the intersection of ABC street”. I get A LOT of flyers for restaurants, stores and other such things; I don’t know where most of them are because the maps given are done by location. The map will show something like: BOOKSTORE, COFFEE SHOP, APARTMENT BUILDING, all labeled and the store in question will have a giant star where its located. The map is no help if you don’t know where those locations exist. Funny thing is restaurants and coffee shops move and change of often here it almost makes no sense to me to use such locations on a map.

c. Where’s my seat belt?! That is a question I have asked myself several times getting into cars in Korea. At first I thought it was only taxis in Korea but after many trips in my teacher’s car it much the same. In the front seat both passenger and driver have a seat belt but in the backseat…. NOTHING! Needless to say there has been several instances where I prayed to God for my safety. Furthermore, children aren’t buckled in like in Canada. In Canada until you reach the age of 12 or a certain amount of pounds you’re sitting in some kinda baby seat. In Korea I haven’t really seen people buckling their kids into safety seats. During Chusoek weekend I saw many kids with their head sticking out of sunroofs as the cars speed down the highway. I’ve also been in a car where a two year roamed around the backseat freely because he put up too much of a fight to seat in the baby seat.

d. Traffic lights, traffic signs, and, other traffic regulations are mere suggestions; guidelines if you will. Many occasions I have been in a car or seen a car make illegal turns, speeding while making turns, run red lights etc. This is part of the reason why I reach for my rosary while in the backseat of such a car. Motorbikes, scooters, mopeds, and other alike vehicles are frequent rule breakers. They run red lights all the time. One thing I absolutely hate is they drive on the side walks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had tap into the Spiderman within me to get outta the way.

e. GOT GPS?! Most cars on the road in Korea have a GPS device. Most drivers are heavily dependent on their GPS to navigate the busy roads. The driver punches in the name of the location and the GPS gives step by step directions to the destination. The GPS also tells you when you a speeding, and it also shows a real time display map of the driver’s location. I think most models can play music and have television. I know in Ontario drivers cannot have tvs anywhere in their line of vision. Tvs are for the backseat people. Not the case in Korea. I have seen people driving with the tv on right in their face on the dashboard. WHAT THE HECK?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!! Traffic signs not really obeyed, no seat belts for the backseat, and you have the nerve to be driving with a TV in your FACE?! What also makes me laugh about this is in the car they avoid using their cells or go hands free. But what does that matter if you are watching tv anyway?!

f. You would think with all that I have writing I might have witness many traffic accidents. Truth is I have seen about 2 in the year I have been here. It was pretty much the aftermath of the accident. Nothing that required the jaws of life of anything. This makes me wonder about all the regulations we have in Canada. Not a day goes by without a fatal accident some where on the street of T.O. I don’t really think any one system is better than the other. But coming from Canada where are so many regulations about driving S. Korea’s drivers seem a little insane.

Subway Capers 3 & 4

This is also long overdue. This happened back in October… I think it was the same day I met the crazy train lady.

I was on the train heading back home. The train car I was in was filled with people but there were still enough seats for people to not really have to sit beside anyone. I was sitting in a corner seat closest to the door. I like those seats the best since I only have to seat next to one other person.

A man sat down right next to me he seemed to be reading a science text book. I thought what he did was odd since there were enough seats that he didn’t have to seat right next to me. I just shrugged it off and began to zone out. I think I might have been listening to music. I don’t remember.

After some time I began to feel some pressure on my leg; then sort of rubbing sensation. I looked over at my left leg and saw that my leg and the man’s leg were touching so I moved my leg away. After a while it happened again and again so I kept moving my leg away from the man until their wasn’t any space for me to retreat.

Thankfully my stop came up next and I jumped out of my seat readying myself to exit. As a routine I double check my seat just in case I left something behind. When I looked back the man was gone. He was sitting opposite aisle in a middle seat next to a different woman rubbing his leg against hers. Ew.

I was on my way home from Sunday mass in Seodaemun. I thought there was going to be mass in English but that turned out to be a bust. So feeling tired and defeated I made my way home. I was waiting for the train on the platform. Out of no where a little girl came up to me and began to stare up at me. I think she was a 4th or 5th grade student.
I looked over at her and she said to me “ 예쁘세요” which means “you are pretty” in a nice polite form of the language. I suppose if my Korean was better at the time I would have said more to her that just thanks. When she said it she was holding my hand smiling at me. She called her mother over to where we were standing but her mother yelled for her to come over so she went.

I'm still here....

It’s been a long time since I posted a blog. I suppose its because I don’t have the motivation to keep at it due the lack of comments. I have been told there are a number of creepers that read up on me but without comments it feels like I’m just writing this for myself yanno?

This isn’t to guilt trip anyone… there are many more reasons for my lack of posts. For on thing I became busy living life. Most days when I get home I have a snack. Have time for prayer, meditation, or some spiritual reading (reading the bible or about the saints). I make dinner and just lounge about complaining to myself how tired I am with folks back home.

Time management hasn’t always been my best skill. I tend to procrastinate quite a bit. Actually I think that is an understatement since I pretty much have it worked out to an art form… either that or some scientific method. I’m trying my best to get over that issue but ironically enough I have been told things like this take time.

Thirdly, I have been debating with myself on how “real” I should be on this blog. Considering this is the internet and whatever I post online leaves my full control as soon as I post it worries me a bit. I want to keep people updated and I want to provide information but, I don’t want to put too much out on the information highway. I think I’m going to start getting a little freer with the posts and stop worrying about form and function so much.

Lastly, I had to take a break from posting because some things were going on in my life here in S. Korea that I needed a while to digest. I will elaborate more about all the issues in another upcoming post.

Well that’s all for now. Look out for updates soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Hey all~

I keep thinking about something to write about on here. Finally when I do the writers block hits me and nothing really happens. Blargh >_>

Anyway... this past weekend I went to Myeong-dong Cathedral for mass. It was the first time I went there. I really like it there a lot it was the closest thing to home. It really helped me get over this current bout with home sickness. Easter time back home in Canada is a big family event so I was feeling a bit lonely without family to yell at and ignore. (LOL, I joke because I care).

After mass at Myeong-dong Cathedral I decided to walk around the Myeong-dong shopping area. I really have to say its one of my favourite places to shop in Seoul. Admittedly somethings are super expensive. For example H&M... I cannot believe I spent 98,000 won on clothes there >_< I don't know ... it just HAP-PEND (lol). I bought a blue/green tunic type top, a black tube top, a pair of earrings, bunch of bracelets and a white skirt (which I later returned... but I didnt end up getting my money back b/c it was a busy day and it process for a refund is too time consuming, so I got a giftcard. >_> )Then I got a long blue skirt and uniqco (sp?).

Later in the underground shopping area I bought a Clazziquai CD "Instant Pig" and in another place I bought a Big Bang CD "Remember vol. 2" (when I got home to put the tracks on my mp3 player I found out the CD although completely packaged as Remember vol. 2 the tracks on the disc are from Remember vol.1!!!! argghhh~~~ >_<* ... I wanted to listen to Seungri's track "strong baby" SO badly I love that song...oh well I think I will go back to that shop and try for exchange)

Okay that is all for now... I will try not to be too much of a stranger~

This just in... After giving my Big Bang CD a close listen all the tracks are from vol. 2 its just that the names of the tracks are from vol.1... so now I'm struggling to rename them all... >_> argh!