Thursday, March 30, 2006

So, I was at a local family's house this evening. How nice you say. Indeed, it was and it wasn't just nice, it was rather intriuging. The father is, what can only be termed a "chain smoker". His medical background has done nothing to stop him nor have the pleas of his wife and mother. Anyway, this evening he stood out on the balcony of his apartment while I chatted with his wife. I noticed that he had exited the living room with cigarettes AND a carrot. Yes. A carrot. When he finished his cigarette, he put out his cigarette and replaced the vacant space between his fingers with a carrot. He then started chewing ferociously on the raw vegetable. Naturally, I was rather curious so asked him if he had a particular fondness for raw carrots post inhalation. "No", he said, unamused, "Carrots prevent lung cancer". "Eh?", I spluttered. "Yes!", he responded.

The man has himself convinced that a carrot is going to save him from early death and nothing I said could sway him.

However there does appear to be a grain of truth in what he says!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The baseball game was being recorded for TV and what better attraction than a row full of foreigners. Maryanne captured this shot of the camera man filming us. He actually climbed up over the seats to stand in front of us and run the camera from one person to the next.

I lamented my lack of wardrobe and makeup for my Asian TV debut.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Last weekend, Ian, Corie, Maryanne, Adam ,Chris, Jeff, Hyron and Jenny and me went to a baseball game here in Daegu to watch the local team, the Samsung Lions. It was a beautiful, sunny day so we figured what better way to spend an afternoon, than sitting out in the sun watching a nice game of basball. A game which I do not understand, (and still don't) and a game that is more dangerous than equestrian sports and extreme mountain biking combined, what with the "balls", (more like lumps of steel wrapped in pretty white sweaters)that kept missing me by inches. Bah. They should learn to hit the balls in straight lines. Below is photographic evidence of the wild day had by all.

So, as we can see, there was quite the crowd at the game

However,nothing was stopping the resident cheer team

What with the hectic on field play and the roaring, heckling crowd, it was impressive that Ian and I were able to fit in this inpromptu photo session...with our sunglasses.

We never really worked out why the entire team was sent out for "circular movements" 20 minutes before the game ended.

AND LOOK!!! NO BASEBALL. This is a few of us at a local brewery bar after the game. It is called the Ariana Broi and is famous for its "All you can eat buffet and all you can drink brew". It even has a dodgy Eastern European band..complete with Eastern European inspired hair and Eastern European inspired clothing and non Eastern European inspired Abba numbers.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A few weeks ago, Ian and I went to the tradtional market in Daegu called Seomun Market. It is a huge bustling area where you can buy everything from dried fish to bedding. If one peruses any of the literature for the market, one is informed that one will be exposed to local goods, foods, embroidery and the famed Korean friendly manner of the stall workers.

Or so they tell the tourists.

I had heard that there was a little known section where I could see caged animals waiting to be sliced, diced and minced. Little Miss Innocent here though that there would just be the usual hens, etc., sqwaking about, trying to aviod the axe of death. I had tried to find this area before, but had been unsuccessful in my hunt.

Perhaps I am more of a Little Miss Wierd, seeing as I actually wanted to see such a place.

So with Ian leading, we started to meander through the mazes of stalls and finally came across a little alleyway that was lined with stall workers selling a mixture of fish, dried fish and an assortment of veg. Further ambling, revealed more stalls displaying the Korean delicacy of chicken feet. Yum, I hear you say.

It was the stench that got me first. Then the sight of the caged animals, then the listless uncaged rabbits, thrown on boxes, making no attempt to escape. The caged, dirty puppies, whining for attention almost broke my heart. The tear jerker was seeing the kittens thrown into cages with dogs and rabbits. The little balls of dirty, bloodied fur were clawing at their little metal cells and clambouring over the apathetic puppies, mewing with desperation.

I think any future I had in an abbatoir has come an abrupt end.

Also, it wasn't until I had left the Kitty Killer area did I wonder who on earth would purchase the clothes that were hanging directly opposite animal blood, faeces and entrails. Ick.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Today, a dog and a child followed me home.

How do I interpret that?

For all the ex- Ding Ding Dangers, (hee hee, sounds hilarious), you will be delighted to know that the Susung premises has been extended to the third floor. I know! I passed by today and was astonished by the sight of exposed wiring and piping on the second floor, whereas the third floor is painted in reds, yellows and purples, showing more vibrant hues compared to the original yellow and dirt.

Now the tense, unpleasant atmosphere has been upgraded to techicolour!
So perhaps my last post was a little unfair.

Anyway,you know when a cat is trying to cough up a hairball? Yes? Well that is the sound old men and women make here when they are spitting on the street. Their whole body seems to suck the contents of their lungs into their mouths and nasal passages and with one great "hwwaawhhhcccckkkkghhttth", the nasty produce is ejected onto the street for all and sundry to step on.

Monday, March 13, 2006

So I had to be told by my Canadian boyfriend that this weekend sees St. Patrick's Day. I had completely erased the date from my memory.

However, I don't fancy spending the day with a bunch of people who are drinking to the memory of their Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Aunt Peggy who survived the famine, rowed from the Old Country to the New in one of those cute Irish boats, set up an Irish souvenir stand in Manhattan, made her fortune, married a German, moved to Wyoming to run a ranch and spawned a series of generations of offspring that are CONVINCED they are Irish for a whole 24 hours and are terribly disappointed that I won't drink myself stupid, jig and reel myself to death and end the night with my personal rendition of Danny Boy to make the hearts of the masses melt and see Great Aunt Peggy turn in her grave

If you don't have an Irish passport, don't go flaunting your Irishness.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Korean parents think that learning phonics is a waste of time.

I am teaching a young class phonics, as they are new to the language and are incapable of identifying letters in the alphabet and so it is essential that we focus on this area. However, this week a number of the parents have phoned the school, complaining that the teaching of phonics is unnecessary and irrelevant and that they expect their children to be able to read a basic level reading book by the end of the month.

The Korean teacher has tried to explain the importance of first learning the alphabet and associated sounds before beginning the reading process, but the parents are refusing to change their stance on this matter.

Therefore, we have to change the entire course to suit the whims of these parents. Schools here should rid themselves of the "school" title and instead employ " Institutes of we will acknowledge all idiotic demands made by parents".

Friday, March 10, 2006

It appears that only those who have eaten more than their RDA of carrots will be able to read the below description of Gatbawi.

I could fix it...
A weekend or two ago, Ian and I hiked up to Gatbawi. To save on typing I have posted a photographed description below. How smart of me! However, here is a brief rundown-
Gatbawi is placed atop one of the many peaks of the local mountain range and is a worship site for local Buddhists. It was rather tiring climbing to the top, but the eventual view was magnificent and we met so many kind people on the ascent. One family gave us oranges, others showed us how to trick the little birds to sit on our hands and we met a clinically insane old man who proved to be quite friendly. Perhaps we caught him on a non maniac day.

Anyway, below is the Buddhist image in acid rain polka dots

Here is a description of the above Buddhist image

And here is me with a view.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It was almost pathetic to see me mow down old ladies in my rush to get to the bagel stand at Wal mart tonight.

Although, perhaps even more pathetic was the idiotic grin I sprouted when I actually got to bring the bagels home with me.

I have been having some pretty bad reactions to the local cusine here, again. I thought I had built up some sort of an immunity to the burning red spice of death, but apparently not. I do not want to go through the pain I had last year, so I have decided to abolish certain Korean foods from my diet.

I give myself two days. Tops.

We have a new teacher in our school, a very nice American boy. He has only been teaching a few days and so is still adjusting to the zoo like lifestyle of a hagwon, what with the incessant screaming, the neverending stream of questions starting with ,"But, why teacher?", and the ant like attention spans. Today he had to deal with a very excitable, young class that are oblivious to the sitting still concept and find rolling around on their desks far more entertaining. After this class, he strode into the staff room and flopped onto his chair whispering, " Birth Control".

Still though the kids can have their good days............... and is that a pig I see soaring overhead?