Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year to one and all.

As I type, Ian is mashing the better parts of a cow into burger shapes so that we can have a drool inducing meal. If I can still move after considerably increasing my chances of CJD, it is off to town we go for parties and fireworks.

Enjoy and best wishes for 2006!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The following is a synopsis of the Sound of Music by one of my preschool students. These little kids have an amazing oral standard, but when it come to getting those thoughts from their heads to paper, they have a few issues. Each weekend the kids write a diary about their weekend activities and because they are kids, they try to cram everything in their heads onto a single page.

The following youngster made a sterling effort. I have not changed any of his mistakes and note that Koreans have problems saying the “v” sound and so “Von” had a “p” sound to it.

I went to Daegu Opera house.
There were many people.
There was a church.
There was nuns.
They prayed.
Maria go to mountain.
She sang.
She went to church.
Chief nun says “Go to Pontrap’s house”
We had a breaktime for 15 minutes.
We ate hot bar.
There was house
In the house there was seven children.
She went to house.
There was captain.
He said, “You have to respond the children”.
She said, “Do you know how to sing?”
The said “No”.
They learn how to sing.
Captain came.
Children said, “He will merry with new mother”
New mother said, “I will leave this home so he marry her”.
I t was fun!

There you go. A very concise summary, but I do think he may have drifted off at some point during the musical……
I noticed in the news this week that Hwang Woo Suk is up for Muppet of the Year. Seoul National University admitted that his findings were falsified. They have said that they are upset with this news and Korean people have stated they too are disappointed with their so called "National Hero". Disappointed? Were I a member of the Korean Government I would have two little horns popping out the top of my head, complete with insanity induced drooling, such would be the level of my anger. Particularly considering the millions of dollars handed out to Hwang to fund what he insisted was legitimate research. No money back guarantee.

On a lighter note, I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I did. The next day was not so great. Not when idiot here had to go to work after the Christmas Party of all parties. Thanks to Maebh and Ben). For my first class, I was capable only of giggling at the kids and not until I had inhaled a bacon double cheese burger at the Temple of Hope, commonly referred to as “Burger King”, did I feel somewhat ready to greet the remaining anklebiters.

However I got some sweet presents including enough Clinique stuff from Maebh and Sara to ensure I gain some transvestite NBF’s, a Frasier box set from Ian’s Mom and Dad and a Creative Mini from Ian. Ian has installed all the music and set up the play lists. I just listen to it and show it off to everyone who has the ill luck to run into me and is subjected to me showing off said player and my limited mp3 knowledge ( I actually have no idea what I am saying to anyone…esp when referring to gigs… I just copy what Ian says, accompanied with a “knowing-and-don’t-you-dare-question-my-superior-opinion” look. It has the masses fooled

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Last night saw temperatures hit -13C. Fabulous. However, what was not so fabulous was the ice on the inside of the bathroom window, nor the ice on the panes of the washing room window or even the icicles that formed on the inside of the bedroom window. Koreans dont believe in insulation. The styrofoam between the walls and and the windows of my school testify to that.

Temperatures increased for a while today, so I decided to finish my Christmas shopping in snowy conditions. It actually felt like Christmas here with snow covered streets, everyone dressed in hats and scarves and the Koreans who seemed to think a blizzard was coming direct from the Himalayas with their ski ensembles.

Christmas shopping is more or less complete at this stage and there are fine amount of presents under the horrendously cheesy tree here. It is a flagship for over tinselling and overlighting. I love it.

In other more fasinating news, the Korean stem-cell researcher, Hwang Woo-Suk, has been accused of falsifying his "pioneering" work. Koreans are not too happy to hear about this, but he is determined to prove his work, despite being bombarded with accusations of carrying out his research in unethical ways and ultimately publishing untrue facts. Generally, Koreans are still supportive of Hwang, with some feeling that the attacks on him are down to jealousy beacause Korea is the leading nation in this field. Sour grapes perhaps

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's snowing and I am ecstatic. The northern part of the country has been battling the elements for the last few weeks and Daegu is finally getting its turn. It started in the early afternoon, and has gradually risen to a decent pelt of snow. However walking home in snow does have its disadvantges, what with getting a little damp and almost getting oneself the position of lead dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet due to some magnificent pirouettes. It's also wonderful to note that when a kids slips on ice, it is seen as "cute", but when an adult foreigner makes a show of themselves, it is comedy on a grand scale. Snort.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cable and heat have been restored.

The cable was my fault. Had I looked behind the fridge I would have noticed that the cable plug was lying idly behind said fridge. Little sneak was taking an early Christmas holiday.

Heat is back in Ian's apartment. Lovingly restored with a hairdryer.

Korea has reached a new technological high
My cable is out. Not my fault. If the cable company bothered to send me any bills, or even a bill to the correct address, I might not be so outraged at the moment

Ian's heating is gone. It has been out since Saturday night and there hasn't been sign nor light of the repair man, who swore blind he was going to turn up at Ian's apartment between 10pm and 12am... we should have taken those blatant lies as a hint, seeing as the inconsiderate oaf never showed up. I really would like him to arrive soon seeing as the water that is coming from the sink and shower is ice cold, therefore in -10 celsuis weather we are getting tonight, it is a win win situation for pipes that are in the mood for freezing and, if they are feeling a little on the wild side,they could also fit in a quick bursting session.

Apparently the boiler repair men are being very overworked this season what with the weather being cold and all that. Why? Didn't they see it coming?!?!?!?! Winter is Winter is Winter here. It means sub-zero temperatures. It means ice cold weather. It means very god damn person in the country is going to turn on their heating, so why they are mystified by the sudden onslaught of broken down heaters defies me.

I must go teach some children in a building that doesn't have any burst pipes.