Saturday, October 22, 2005


I Phear this may turn into a consumer whore blog. I was contemplating creating a separate blog to post about fashion and purchases, but I decided against it as that would officially up the blog quota to eight. Ironically enough, a few weeks ago I created a new blog to brainstorm business venture and career ideas. The how-to-spend money blog cannot be allowed to trump the how-to-make money blog, dagnabbit! And anyway, I do love fashion and shopping, so I might as well post about it here, otherwise I may never post here again if I am too busy posting in my other 7 blogs.

Today we went to Seoman market, a local outdoor market downtown that spans many blocks, and sells everything.. puppies, chunks of beehives complete with bees, stretched out dried medicinal frogs, clothing, bedding, deep fried food and hotas (delicious folded pancake with brown sugar and nuts inside). We also went to Lotte Department store.

I bought:

Rock candy

Lancome Juicy Tube in Peche!!!

MAC blot powder in 'medium'

And a glock bb gun (with bullets):

Why a glock, you may ask? It is to be a part of my 'Korean Military Service' Halloween costume! Pics to be posted later! :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Art in Vancouver

I was browsing, and somehow came upon a cool Vancouver blog. With an entry about a mysterious and passionate Vancouver street artist. Instead of grafitti-ing freehand, he and his friends tag the city with stencils. And in more 'heated' places (places with a higher risk of being caught) they paste pre-made posters.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

><))'> Suicidal Fish and Why I Like Korea

I like Korea! But more on that later. First, we got fish! They were .50 cents each. Mine is named Maeun-tang ('spicy fish soup' in Korean) and the roommate's fish is Seppuku. Formerly Midas but it was renamed after the Japanese form of ritualistic suicide after it decided to try just that.

I came home for lunch yesterday and noticed only one fish in the bowl. I looked on the floor, the table, under my feet. No fish. I widened my search and rescue perimeter and found he was a few feet away, next to the phone. Dead, I presumed, for he was dry and roasting in the sun. I intended to scrape him off the table for a quick toilet flush burial, but when I poked him, he started breathing. His slime had turned into glue and he was adhered to the table. I peeled him off and it made a sound like tape ripping off a surface it doesn't want to come off of. I dropped him back in the bowl and he stared ahead glumly, mad that I foiled his suicide attempt. No floating on his side like high-maintenance Vancouver fish that get sick despite three types of water conditioners, a filter, pre-soaked organic food, and PH adjusting chalk blocks. Ok, so a few of them died because I left soap in their bowl.. but pshh what kind of fish die from a few bubbles in their water? Korean fish are invincible!

Maeun-tang's on the left, and on the right, you can see that Seppuku's mangled tail is no longer split into two. It has fused together after his adventure:

Next, I've been having fun with the fashion here. Asia is really the place to experiment and not have to worry about depleting walletry. I found a store here I really like that has funky Japanese clothes at about $20 a pop. ( ). I bought this shirt:

And tried matching it with other wardrobe pieces like so:

And solicited ideas from people, one of whom suggested wearing it like this :

So this Saturday is shopping day, and I plan to see if I can find a red shirt, army green bag, skirt and nylons, and thick brown belt to wear with this pesky shirt. And maybe some winter boots. And a jacket. And a bunch of xmas presents. Phew!

And finally, about this 'liking Korea' thing.. Since the Andong trip, I've gone for about two straight weeks not thinking vile, mean thoughts about Korea at all! Ok, so I still raise an eyebrow at the overflowing toiletpaper bin and germ infested communal towel in the washroom, and I still fantasize about easy access to random products like Revlon New Complexion One-Step Compact Makeup in Ivory Beige (the only foundation I've ever used, since grade 10) but overall, every aspect of Korea is warming up to the idea of my presence.

My students are no longer wicked devil-spawn brats. They are simply brats. Sometimes they even make me laugh. Like yesterday, when they started asking me a million personal questions, which I answered, until I realized 10 minutes later it was a joint effort to postpone the lesson. Or today, when we were playing my patent-pending 'Dragon game.' (I draw a dragon on the board, they answer questions and roll a dice, and we advance along the dragon like a snakes n ladders game.) They suggested I draw 'Ryan teacher's head,' on the dragon and they added a goatee which looked like double chin. Much guffawing was had.

Other things I like about Korea:

-The $6 galbi, which is my favorite food ever. It's more than just food. It's a deep and deadly addiction. Brent and I sometimes go, and spend about half the dinner raving about how much we adore it and plotting how to obtain the recipes.

-The food in general. It's all much better than what I was bracing myself for. In fact, it's quite amazing.

-The cheap transportation, and cheap cost of living in general, and as a ratio to salary.

-The people. Yes it still irks me that they keep to themselves and can be xenophobic. But Koreans are quite a playful and loving race. They're cutesy and always have their arms around each other, and their ringtones are so sugar laden it hurts. Where else can you see two grown male cops holding hands as they walk the beat?

-The events / entertainment. Andong festival, the Pusan film festival (I didn't go but check Ryan and Brent's blogs for reviews), the recent exhibition at the local Polytechnic college, and even in downtown Daegu there's more often than not some sort of sexy dance competition.

-I really do like my job. I enjoy being able to inject creativity into each lesson. I like the freedom of choice. If I don't want to teach something, I can scratch it off the lesson plan. If I want to invent a new game or use new props, I can do so. I get to mould childrens' futures, and strive to be that 'fun teacher they always remember' when they're older.

Being not-too-sick right now helps a lot as well. All in all, things are looking up, and I could even see myself staying in Korea longer after this contract. *Knock on wood*

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


has your meaning of life changed?

i think we have layers of meanings

we have the 'what we hope to seek' meaning

we have the 'greater good, altruistic, idealistic ideology' meaning we only WISH we could follow

and we have the 'personal' meaning of life.. kind of 'settling for second best' meaning meant to get us thru each day

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bundegi or Bosintang?

If you had to choose between the two, would you eat bundegi (boiled silkworm larvae.. said to taste 'insecty,' soft and 'gooey' on the inside.)

Or bosintang (dogmeat soup.. said to taste like lamb. but bear in mind the dogs are beaten to death, as their adrenaline release makes the meat taste better.)

Both are very popular here.

I have a plan. I'm going to rescue one of those dogs destined for soup and bring him back to Vancouver. I'll name him Bosintang, to remind him how close he came to meeting his fate. Brent's gonna dress up in a dog costume and distract the chef while I set Bosintang freeee!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

>:-) Mask Fest pics are UP!

My pics are up from the Andong Mask Festival. As are the pics from all you can eat galbi the night before. I'm too tired / time-frugal to write much about it this time, but the pics hopefully will tell 1000 words. The festival was amazing.. definitely surpassed my expectations!