Friday, January 27, 2006

My proposed Lap of the Lake has taken a little step backwards, not due to any laziness, but due to the little chill that I have. I went to see Dr. Software again and he confirmed that I was sick ( durr) and prescribed me a veritable medley of medication. Each morning and evening I am expected to take nine pills per dosage, plus two little teasers at lunch. I fear by Sunday I may have to phone Kate Moss to arrange a support programme.

Today in one of my kindergarten classes, the students and I were discussing the differences between weddings in Korea to those in the West. Throughout the discussion I noticed that the ususal noise machine, Andy, was oddly silent. When I asked him why he wasn't participating, he informed me that weddings were "yucky", kissing was "yucky", girls were "yucky" and that he would only kiss boys. The little sucker wiped the knowing "ah, but wait until you are older" grin off my face, when he grabbed one of the boys in his class and made lip to lip contact with him.

But Korea is a gay free environment...............

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I, Eileen O'Brien, of sound mind and body do hereby declare that before, and not after, the end of May 2006, I will complete a full, non-stop run around Susung Lake. It is expected that the intervening months will be full of moaning, complaining, injuries, cuts, bruises, tears ( because the ajumma with the grocery bags ran past me....again)and heartbreak. The run is being made all the more difficult because the only time I can jog is at nighttime and the pavements and jogging areas surrounding the lake are full of more cracks than a builders convention. Therefore, tripping and falling are part of the drill. What fun! Also this is not a piddlin' little pond. It actually is a large(ish) lake...... not marathon distance mind, but a marathon in my mind. I also need to get this done before the intense heat starts to set in here. Portable air conditioning hasn't made it past R&D yet so lets not get me overheated. Ian has just been notified as to my big event and reckons that I will make the distance in 2-3 weeks and that I will probably be lapping myself come May.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I have become a very fussy coffee drinker. If there isn’t the correct level of milk versus coffee versus espresso shot, then I am most unhappy with my purchase. I refuse to purchase coffee from the Korean cafes, as it is more or less similar to upending a bowl of sugar into your mouth, while Seattle’s Best Korean division appears to have been on sick leave the day brand awareness was being discussed. Too long to get into this one, but I am of the opinion that most coffee being marketed these days is done so according to branding, not taste. Therefore, people are not just paying for the taste, but also for the name and the “experience” offered by that name”. Seattle’s Best has been struck from my Daegu Coffee Hotspots list. They are now serving their in house and take out coffees in dodgy white paper cups, office style, with what appears to be the corner of a cardboard box around it, supposedly to prevent your pinkies from being exposed to first degree burns. But seeing as the coffee there only ever reaches the startling heights of tepid, they might as well just do away with the cardboard altogether and save another few won. I was most outraged when I ventured in there a few weeks ago for a sit down coffee only to be thrust a white paper cup with luke warm froth and coffee that barely made it to the half way mar. I, of course, threw a suitable strop. So, I have been forced to turn to Starbucks and what a mixed bag of emotions it has proven to be. The two or three outlets downtown are being run by coffee nazis. Every coffee must be made half an hour ago and well and good if the right blend happens to make it to the correct cup, as long as ze queue keepz movin’ jah!! However, my Starbucks in Jisan is perhaps the best coffee shop in the world. The assorted staff are the happiest staff I have ever encountered, always greeting me with a cheery smile and odd pronunciation of “hello”, while doing all they possibly can to make the best coffee they can. I quite like when the new guy gets his quantities all wrong and I end up having to drink the excess before the lid will fit on the cup. I hope he doesn’t receive anymore training as I feel he is making a sterling effort and needs all the encouragement he can get.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Snort, snort, snorty, snort snort.

I am so irate. I have bought hair straighteners here twice and each time they have proved to be useless. It would be more effective if I put my hair between two pieces of hot toast. I decided that the only thing I could do was convert my hair straighteners from home, which are the be all and the end all of hair straightening. I brought my three pronged plug to work yesterday and I might as well have brought the lost treasures of the Sierra Estrella, such was the fascination shown. Everyone wanted to know what the third prong was for and by casting my mind back to Junior Certificate physics, I mumbled something about it preventing a person being turned to fried bacon of fried human and then claimed stupidity when asked to explain. Afer much inspecting and internet referencing, it was determined that my hair straightners would not be straightening anything. I was not deterred. The school manager got the things thrust at him and was told to work some magic on them. So, he brought them to some electrical store ( I am convinced he brought it to the guy who hides behind the paint shelves when foreigners enter his store), returned an hour later and said it couldn't be done. Now seeing as this is the country that claims there is no such thing as homosexuality I am refusing to give up on this one. If you hear nothing from me in the next few days, it means I bought an adaptor, plugged it on and promptly got hospitalised from the incompability of the three prong with the two prong.
Everyone keeps moaning that the worls is getting too small, globalisation is taking us over and cultures are being wiped away by the need for uniform living. NOT HERE. Why oh why do countries have different voltages and plugs and other electrical oddities. I have the appliance, I have many sockets, all I am missing is a negotiator