Saturday, May 27, 2006


The rain has now become a crazy big storm! Lightening! Thunder! I love storms!

This is the second big one since I moved back to Seoul. The last was at night, which is when I like them best, though it always makes me think of Lucky and how scared she was of storms. Which makes me a bit sad.


It is a rainy Saturday in Seoul. And it is 5 pm. All I have done today is slept in and surfed the net. I am sitting here reading blogs, eating chips with salsa and drinking coke in my undies. And I am content.

I have more ambitious plans for the evening and tomorrow. And I did go out to the Loft Thursday and played the Sex in the City trivia game with the girls at Amber's last night (and I suck!). We watched the last episode of Season 1 of the L Word, which gives me hope that Season 2 might start next week. Carnae Station tonight is in the plans and undoubtably some dancing. Lindsay's ticket has been purchased, so summer plans are shaping up nicely. I will be eating Italian food tomorrow for lunch.

Life is good. It is funny to think that these sorts of lazy, nothing going on days used to be depressing for me. Now, they are perfect. It's all in my state of mind, I guess, and just now my state of mind is pretty damn good. Thanks to everyone who has been helping me get to where I am now. I appreciate you all more than I can say.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why I was right not to clean

So, I moved into an apartment that had been on fire only a week before. It had been professionally cleaned, but still, there was a ton of fine black soot in weird places (for example, I had to wash my hangers before I could use them). So, I did a ton of cleaning but the bathroom was more of a prefuntory clean at the time and I hadn't gotten around to anything better. I took a brief glance under the washing machine and saw how badly the drains drained and I knew these things had to be dealt with but I had been ignoring it. This morning, I decided it was time.

And I buggered my ankle fairly comprehensively. Lying on the bed in pain wondering how I was going to teach comprehensively. I sprained it originally two weeks ago tomorrow, after a night at the Loft. That's right, I am admitting to a drinking injury. That said, in a country of sidewalks that are anything but straight and weak ankles, this was bound to happen. I am a klutz. But it was healing until I stood on it in just the wrong way at the end up my cleaning session.

So now I am wearing an extremely sexy ace bandage. But I wanted to wear a skirt out dancing on Saturday, so I am not pleased. I doubt dancing will occur without the bandage on though. Sigh.

Apparently I shouldn't have cleaned...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I am a book that I haven't yet read

You're Love in the Time of Cholera!

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by
sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give
consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the
one hand, you've loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions
barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff
could get you killed.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

100 Statements

Here's how this works. Frog had a list of 100 statements that she got from Les, who got it from Em, who got it from Dana, who got it from Dea. The list Frog got had some things bolded--those were statements from Dana's list that were also true for Em. Anything that was true from Em's list, Les bolded. Anything that wasn't, she replaced with a statement of her own. Below is my list, based on the one from Frog.

01. I need more cardigans.
02. I don't get enough sleep.
03. I eat a lot of cheese.
04. I get cold far too easily for a Canadian.
05. I am often late.
06. I love the Loft on Thursday night.
07. I like anything that makes me think... Even if it's something I don't agree with.
08. I didn't eat much today.
09. I love toast.
10. I love jean skirts.
11. I love soft sweaters.
12. I love email.
13. I love the springtime
14. I love Sex in the City.
15. I wear glasses
16. I don't know where I'll be on Christmas Eve
17. I don’t know how to knit
18. I have a lot to learn.
19. I wish I could speak Spanish better
20. I think it’s funny that the Wright memorial flight didn’t fly.
21. I want to live near the ocean.
22. I think Conservative Republicans are destroying society.
23. I love muppets
24. I love going out to dinner with friends.
25. I write thank you notes for everything.
26. I want to take a nap
27. I sing along to music constantly
28. I wish I spent more time with good friends back home.
29. I have interesting photos on my computer.
30. I rarely dream.
31. I like to read before bed
32. Both my grandmothers are still alive.
33. I don't drive.
34. I love my coworkers.
35. I love to shop.
36. I love the snow.
37. I think I am slowly learning to stop worrying about what other people are thinking.
38. Myspace is an addiction.
39. I find myself incredibly funny sometimes
40. My middle names are the names of my grandmothers.
41. I love going to the Lantern Parade in Seoul for Buddha's Birthday.
42. I have never seen Carnivale.
43. I have at least one scar.
44. I love taking a taxi.
45. My eyes are blue.
46. I never know what day it is.
47. I like signing up for classes, but don’t like attending them.
48. I love board games
49. I have kissed a girl
50. I've seen snow before.
51. I love being on the internet.
52. I stare too much at this computer screen.
53. I love rum and coke.
54. I get impatient with stupid people.
55. I am happy to have caller id on my cellphone
56. I want to spend christmas in Vietnam.
57. This is way too long.
58. I hate people who don't think for themselves.
59. I like when my friends write me letters and emails, it makes me feel special.
60. I am bad at yoga
61. Rollercoasters are amazing.
62. I love dancing.
63. I’m a teacher.
64. I am a stickler for spelling and grammar.
65. I adore music.
66. I love eating.
67. I see the dentist once every couple of years.
68. I like to talk on the phone
69. I need to charge my ipod
70. I don't believe in god.
71. I love the thought of someone loving me
72. All of my parents who are living are married
73. I'm a Radiohead fan.
74. I love family gatherings
75. I have little patience much of the time
76. I never have enough time
77. I've never had a chocolate chai.
78. I love pineapple
79. I think homosexuals should be allowed to get married and that abortion is a right
80. I am tired.
81. I love fruit.
82. I appreciate chocolate more than most.
83. I haven't seen enough of the world.
84. I like apple pie.
85. I like open minded people.
86. I daydream a lot.
87. I love snacks.
88. My friends are amazing.
89. My job has nothing to do with what I got my degree in.
90. I've never had a surgery as a direct result of my drinking.
91. Mty students make up their own words to songs all the time.
92. I know the words to many Beatles songs
93. I've learned a lot from people who have hurt me.
94. Very religious people freak me out.
95. I have lost touch with most old boyfriends.
96. I procrastinate on things that I don't want to do in hopes that people will forget about them.
97. I'm a list maker
98. I love being warm
99. I am in hiding from the news.
100. I love giving advice

You know what is silly?

Every night I tell myself that tonight I will go to bed early. And every night I stay up late on the computer. And what am I doing right now at this late hour on the computer? Messaging Athena, who works with me and lives just upstairs. I am such a goof.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Student Loans

Do you know what annoys me in this article? The fact that people make it sound really helpful that they will tie repayments on loans to income and hence lower them in some cases. And sure, in the short term, if you have no money coming in, that seems helpful. But if your payments aren't covering your interest and taking a bite out of the principal, all you are doing is extending the length of the loan repayments and significantly increasing the total amount you will need to pay back in the end. There has to be a better way, I think.

Ottawa farming out bad student loans to agencies
David Akin, CTV News

OTTAWA — The federal government is spending millions of dollars to collect outstanding student loans, resources that critics say could be better used to make a post-secondary education in Canada more affordable.

CTV News has learned that Ottawa has signed 176 contracts with 12 collection agencies to collect student loans.

Those agencies earn a commission for every dollar they collect.

The combined value of those contracts is $180.8-million.

The contracts were signed on behalf of the government by Service Canada, a relatively new government department set up by the Liberals last year to be a sort of one-stop shop Canadians could use to access a variety of government programs and services.

In its first six months of existence, Service Canada signed contracts with third-party suppliers worth $217-million, including the $180-million designated for collection agency fees.

"We're the only OECD country that doesn't have a grants system and yet all this money from Service Canada is going to collection agencies. You've just got to shake your head," said Denise Savoie (NDP-Victoria), the NDP's education critic.

Government officials say that while the government must account for and publish the full value of the collection agency contracts, in truth, only a fraction of that amount will be paid out because many of the accounts turned over to the agencies will be uncollectable.

Still, with millions of dollars up for grabs, there is a strong incentive for collection agencies to aggressively pursue each account.

"The first person I dealt with was rude, demanding payment. He told me to go take out a loan, to get my family to get the money, to do whatever I had to do to get the money," said Marcel Wattier, who graduated in 1998 from college owing more than $30,000 in principal and interest on his loan.

The lending bank turned his account over to a collection agency after he had moved and changed phone numbers. The bank believed that, in changing phone numbers, he was trying to evade lenders.

In fact, he continued to make payments on his loan and now owes just $4,000.

Once, a collection agent challenged a decision he made to move, asking why he moved to a place where the rent was more expensive.

"I told them it was none of their business," Wattie said.

Another agent working for the same firm, Accounts Recovery Corp., told him to cash in $1,200 he had saved in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

"He basically hounded me almost every day for about a month until I finally relented and said, ok, I'll go cash in the RRSP," Wattier said.

He is now working at two jobs to pay off his loan.

"I haven't been able to save any money. I live paycheque to paycheque to paycheque to pay the bills."

The collection agency contracts were signed while the Liberals were in government. The Conservatives have taken steps to transfer responsibility for collecting the loans from Service Canada to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Diane Finley, the Minister of Human Resources and Development, says transferring the loans to the CRA will be more "efficient" and should cut down on the frequency with which the federal government has to hire collection agencies.

Finley also says she plans to meet with her provincial counterparts and other interested parties to make the student loan system, including re-payment terms, more affordable.

"There has to be a balance," Finley said.

Last week, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report calling on the federal government to change the system so that repayments would be geared to a graduate's income level.

The study's authors say income-contingent repayment schedules would allow students to reduce the risks associated with investing in higher education and increase access for students from low-income backgrounds.

Kimchee for the Soul

Apparently my boss may be right:

Koreans' Kimchi Adulation, With a Side of Skepticism
Many see beneficial powers in the national dish, and some scientists agree. Critics keep quiet.
By Barbara Demick, Times Staff Writer
May 21, 2006

SEOUL — One might call it the chicken soup of Korea.

For years, Koreans have clung to the notion that kimchi, the pungent fermented cabbage that is synonymous with their culture, has mystical properties that ward off disease. But what was once little more than an old wives' tale has become the subject of serious research, as South Korean scientists put kimchi under their microscopes.

Last month, scientists at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute unveiled a kimchi especially developed for astronauts to prevent them from getting constipated in space. A researcher at Ewha Woman's University in Seoul reported that kimchi lowered the stress levels of caged mice by 30%.

At the Kimchi Research Institute in Busan, hairless mice fed kimchi were reported to develop fewer wrinkles. With a government grant of $500,000, the institute is developing a special anti-aging kimchi that will be marketed this year. Other new products are anti-cancer and anti-obesity kimchi.

"We are proud that we can use scientific methods to confirm the health benefits of our traditional food," said Park Kun-young, who heads the institute.

Kimchi specialists abound here. The library of a kimchi museum in Seoul holds more than 2,000 books about kimchi and thousands more dissertations. ("A Kinetic Model for Lactic Acid Production in Kimchi" was among the recent titles.) New theses are being added at the rate of 300 per year.

Kimchi is a matter of great national pride, and much of the research has been government-funded.

"I think kimchi practically defines Korean-ness," said Park Chae-lin, curator of the museum.

Understandably, perhaps, dissenters on the topic of its healing power are circumspect.

"I'm sorry. I can't talk about the health risks of kimchi in the media. Kimchi is our national food," said a researcher at Seoul National University, who begged not to be quoted by name.

Among the papers not to be found in the vast library of the kimchi museum is one published in June 2005 in the Beijing-based World Journal of Gastroenterology titled "Kimchi and Soybean Pastes Are Risk Factors of Gastric Cancer."

The researchers, all South Korean, report that kimchi and other spicy and fermented foods could be linked to the most common cancer among Koreans. Rates of gastric cancer among Koreans and Japanese are 10 times higher than in the United States.

"We found that if you were a very, very heavy eater of kimchi, you had a 50% higher risk of getting stomach cancer," said Kim Heon of the department of preventive medicine at Chungbuk National University and one of the authors. "It is not that kimchi is not a healthy food — it is a healthy food, but in excessive quantities there are risk factors."

Kim said he tried to publicize the study but a friend who is a science reporter, told him, "This will never be published in Korea."

Other studies have suggested that the heavy concentration of salt in some kimchi and the fish sauce used for flavoring could be problematic, but they too have received comparatively little attention.

Even the most ardent proponents say that at times, kimchi might be too much of a good thing.

Nutritionist Park, who in addition to the Kimchi Research Institute heads the Korea Kimchi Assn. and the Korean Society for Cancer Prevention, said that traditionally, kimchi contained a great deal of salt, which could combine with red pepper to form a carcinogen.

Nowadays, with refrigeration, less salt is needed, Park said. Instead of preserving kimchi by burying it in earthenware jars in the garden, many Koreans own specially designed refrigerators to keep it at ideal temperatures.

The beneficial power of kimchi comes from the lactic acid bacteria (also found in yogurt and other fermented foods) that helps in digestion and, according to some researchers, boosts immunity. In addition, the vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C and antioxidants, which are believed to protect cells from carcinogens. The high fiber content aids bowel function.

Although the most recognizable kind of kimchi is made with Chinese cabbage, other variants are made with radish, garlic stalks, eggplant and mustard leaf, among other ingredients. In all, there are about 200 types of kimchi — plastic models of which are on display at the kimchi museum in Seoul.

Korean pride swelled when the U.S. magazine Health listed kimchi in its March issue as one of the world's five most healthful foods. (The others are yogurt, olive oil, lentils and soy.)

In fact, interest in kimchi's curative properties has risen proportionally with fears related to diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian flu.

During the 2003 panic over SARS, people started remarking that Korea seemed curiously immune, and speculation revolved around kimchi.

In March, LG Electronics put out a new line of air conditioners that have an enzyme extracted from kimchi (called leuconostoc) in the filters.

Healthful or not, the kimchi industry is booming, abroad and at home. South Koreans consume 77 pounds of it per capita annually, and many people eat it with every meal, according to industry statistics. Koreans traveling abroad seem to take it with them everywhere.

And that will soon include outer space.

"Koreans can't go anywhere without kimchi," said Byun Myung-woo, head of a team of scientists who developed a specially sterilized form of kimchi for astronauts.

The idea came about because taste and smell are greatly diminished in low-gravity conditions, giving astronauts a preference for strongly spiced foods. And astronauts often suffer from digestive problems.

"The kimchi will prevent constipation and enhance their digestive functions," Byun said.

Space kimchi is expected to make its debut in 2008, when the first South Korean astronauts are scheduled to travel on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Movies and fun

So, I went to see the Da Vinci Code today. I wasn't a huge fan of the book. But the movie wasn't bad.

I have a cold. I guess that comes with the territory when you teach kids and live in such a polluted city. And perhaps my lifestyle doesn't help ;) Too little sleep, weird eating habits, a love of the free drinks at the Loft on a Thursday night...

And I do love the Loft. Thursdays are the best part of the weekend, in spite of the need to go to work the next day. It isn't just cause the drinks are free either. It's because the other girls there are so friendly. I always end up talking to new people and having a great time. The pics from this past Thursday are hysterically funny. And then there is the whole dancing on the tables fun.

Aside from that, it hasn't been too crazy a weekend. I met a friend at Geckos on Friday and then went and hung out in Brixx in Hongdae. It is the most amazingly laid back place to drink. And the shots are so creatively named!

Saturday Athena, Lucia and I had lunch/dinner with their friend Pedro, who is really cool. Then we sat in Gecko's Garden and drank some sangria. Anther laid back place. The weather is perfect for it right now. We went to Brixx, Tinpans and briefly went dancing at Stompers. But I was glad of the early evening, cause the cold is driving me mad.

I want to be healthy for the coming weekend, after all, as it's Athena's last. And Julie has even signed a contract promising to come out to Ladies Night :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I put on lingerie for a squirrel!

And that line is a prime example of why the show Joey got cancelled!

I got a present from one of my students today. The explination given by my boss was that it was because she had been off due to a car accident. She is in an car accident and I get a present? Seems a bit backwards to me.

I bumped into a student on my walk to work today too. First time that has happened this year.

My latest bizarre dream

Normally, I don't recall any of my dreams. But lately, I've been dreaming like crazy. I dreamt that aliens came to our staff room and made us all dress up in costumes (toga, pioneer, etc.) and then we had to fight them. I have no idea what it is that my subconscious is trying to tell me!

Crazy Canadians in Seoul mentioned on Leno

I missed the show myself, but there was an ad put in K-Scene here in Seoul as a joke that sparked lots of discussion and apparently got a mention on Leno. Here is some info:

Canadians banned from group for cultural understanding

"An organization that promotes cultural understanding and brings together people from different nations is open for anyone in Seoul to join. Anyone that is, except Canadians.

In a classified ad in KScene, a free biweekly magazine, World Class describes itself as a group that "brings together all nationalities to discuss world issues and break down cultural barriers and prejudices."

Breaking down the prejudices, however, doesn't extend to all countries. "No Canadians please," the ad continues.

When contacted by a Korea Herald reporter by e-mail, the organizer of the group, Bernard Carleton, elaborated further, "The thing is, CANADIANS ARE SCUM! They are self-loving, welfare supporting, over taxing, work ethic hating scum!!! They are not welcome in our group."

Anyone who would like to join the meetings with Carleton in order to break down prejudices, dissolve stereotypes and have an enhanced understanding of people from other countries can contact him at "

Monday, May 15, 2006

Julie wants my cheese!

Lately all of my dreams have been set in the staff room. Which is weird by itself. But the funniest was one where we were all fighting over one package of cheese stringers in the fridge and Julie started pulling hair to get at it. Can you tell that Korea is a bit short in the yummy cheese department?

Another weekend has gone by

Another weekend of dancing and eating western food.

Thursday I met up with Val and her friends at the Loft with Athena. I had a great time dancing, but unfortunately kinda hurt my ankle. I am pretty clutzy anyway, so the combo of the uneven sidewalks in Korea and a bit of drunkeness proved to be too much. I sort of rolled it and now it is all swollen and bruised. Not pretty.

In spite of that, I spent Friday out to dinner at a nice pizza place in Itaewon and then had drinks in Geckos. It was an early night, cause there was no way I was dancing on the ankle. Saturday Athena, Lucia and I met up with some people for dessert (we had been out for Italian food already) and then went to Tinpan's in Hongdae. I love Tinpans, as long as I avoid the tequila. Then there was some weirdness at Stompers, so we didn't dance long. Smoked another hookah at Bricks.

Sunday was lazy. Didn't make it out of the house until 3ish to go and eat at TGI Fridays and then played some pool. I discovered that there is a Korean version of pool that has no pockets on the table and two red balls and two white ones. No idea what was going on.

Saw some very funny signs...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Seoul Questionnaire

1. Whats your favorite part of the city for partying?
Itaewon or Hongdae

2. Name the first club/bar you went to.
I think it was Polly's Kettle. Or maybe Q-Vo, back when it had another name.

3. Where were you first drunk in Seoul?
At a norae bang, in my first 24 hours here.

3A. What is your favorite bar?
I seem to spend an awful lot of time at Geckos. Or the Loft on Thursday night.

4. Have you ever gotten lost in the city?

5. Have you ever gotten a parking ticket?
No, don't drive. I've been stopped for jaywalking though. That happens if you jaywalk to get to work everyday right in front of a police station. Have yet to be fined.

6. Loft or Helios on a Thursday night?

7. Be honest Have you ever bought silkworm larvae from a vendor?
No. But, I do buy other stuff from vendors.

8. Ever been to see the soccer team play?

9. Whats your favorite restaurant?
a little Italian place in Edae

10. Where's the best place to shop?
Doota in Dongdaemun. B1

11. Outback or TGIs?
Outback for the cheesy fries

12. What's your favorite English bookstore?
Abby's in Itaewon. I like my books cheap, so it's secondhand all the way.

13. How often do you get into the city?
Every day on the weekend. This week, a lot during the week too.

14. What's better Seoul or Busan?
Busan was nice, but I do love Seoul.

15. Have you ever been to the Coex Mall?
Yes, but not recently.

16. Have you ever stayed in a love motel?
Of course, I am all about budget travel.

17. Have you ever been to Apujeong?
Yes, but not often.

18. How about Everland?

19. Do you keep up with the news back home?
not really

20. If you could live anywhere in the city, where would you live?
Closer to Hongdae/Sinchon

21. How many palaces have you been to?

22. Have you been on an army base in Korea?

23. Itaewon or Hongdae?
Both and often in the same evening

24. Could you find The Bar in Sinchon?
Been there but no.

25. Fav Korean Food?
jjim duk

Men and Women Reading

April 30, 2006

When Lisa Jardine and Annie Watkins asked hundreds of British female academics, teachers, writers, publishers and literature students what book had changed their lives, many respondents wondered whether there would be a male version of the survey as well. Jardine and Watkins complied: The results were fascinating in their own right, and more intriguing when juxtaposed with the findings for women. Not only did men and women find different books to be meaningful, but they approached reading in divergent ways.

Men's Fiction

Top Five

1. "The Outsider,"

Albert Camus

2. "Catcher in the Rye,"

J.D. Salinger

3. "Slaughterhouse Five,"

Kurt Vonnegut

4. (tie)

"One Hundred Years of Solitude,"

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"The Hobbit,"

J.R.R. Tolkien

5. "Catch-22,"

Joseph Heller

Women's Fiction

Top Five

1. "Jane Eyre,"

Charlotte Bronte

2. "Wuthering Heights,"

Emily Bronte

3. "The Handmaid's Tale,"

Margaret Atwood

4. "Middlemarch,"

George Eliot

5. (tie)

"Pride and Prejudice,"

Jane Austen


Toni Morrison

Other findings:

? No male authors made the women's top five, and no female authors made the men's top five.

? Only four books made both top 20 lists.

? Six male authors broke the women's top 20, but only one book by a female author made the men's top 20: "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

? Older men were more likely to cite female authors as influential.

? Men were most likely to have read their formative books as adolescents.

? Women were more likely to read books to cope with difficult times.

? Men were more likely to cite particular authors as "mentors," particularly, among these British residents, George Orwell.

? Women liked shared, hand-me-down books; men liked new books and hardbacks.

? Women had a more diverse list of favorites ?400 women named 200 books.

? Men answered the question of what book marked a watershed moment more reluctantly than women.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm a mad socializer

I went into Itaewon to meet up with people at Gecko's on a Tuesday. A Tuesday, people!

I finally get paid today. It's been awhile.

I found this interesting:

MySpace is a social networking website offering an interactive network of blogs, user profiles, groups, photos and an internal e-mail system. According to Alexa Internet, as of March 2006 it is the world's fifth most popular English-language website and the eighth most popular in the world. Note that this is based on exceptionally intense usage by a relatively limited number of visitors, many more than five English language sites have a higher "reach" measurement, that is they are visited by more different people each day. MySpace has outstripped competitors such as MSN Spaces, Friendster and LiveJournal to become the most popular English-language social networking website with higher traffic and roughly 75 million registered accounts. It has become an increasingly influential part of contemporary teenage culture, especially in the Anglosphere. MySpace has 250 employees and projects a 2006 revenue of US$20M.

So, at least I am not alone in my new addiction.

Check out the Evolution of Dance Moves that Jenny altered me to. I still dance to Baby Got Back at Stompers ;)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Long Weekends are where it's at

I had a great long weekend, thanks to Children's Day.

Started at the Loft for Ladies' Night. The only thing better then free drinks on a thursday is free drinks on a thursday when you have friday off! Had a great time and didn't drink too much, so I was able to get up on Friday to head to Itaewon to get my hair cut and then meet up with Lucia. We had drinks at Gecko's Garden, to take advantage of the lovely weather. Then we went to Gecko's Terrace for food and girly drinks before meeting up with Athena. We decided to head back home for an hour to refresh before going out. It was a good night out, except for the rain that curled my hair in the dashes between bars. We went to Gecko's, Helios, Route 66, Bricks and Stompers. Had fun. Saturday we managed to squeak into Outback before the lunch specials ended (and since that happens at 4 you can tell that no one was moving fast!). Another night of Gecko's and Stompers. I love to dance! Sunday we had Italian food, went on a search for the sex shop in Itaewon (unsuccessful), went bowling on base and then had a few drinks at Geckos. On a Sunday, we stayed late enough to be kicked out! Was busy laughing at this odd Canadian from Waterloo who was dancing and drinking and just generally being odd.

The funny thing about Seoul is that as massive a city as it is, you bump into the same people everywhere. I saw Patricia and Julie all four evenings I was out!

It was back to work today. We went to a seafood restaurant for dinner tonight that just opened and had the all you can eat bar. I am stuffed! And broke. 7,000 won to last me until I get paid on the 10th. Thank god that is Wednesday.

Funniest Things Ever

SNL Narnia Rap

Titanic Two

Natalie Portman Rap

Random Survey

I like these things because when I read them years later, I find that my responses amuse me and remind me of where I used to be.

1.Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the face of the Earth?
The Korean telemarketers who keep calling me at 9am. I don't get up until 11 at the earliest!

2. How do you flush the toilet in public restrooms?
In Korea, it depends. Western toilets, with my hand. Squats you use your foot.

3. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?
Only the front seat in Korean taxis even have a seatbelt, so no.

4. Do you have a crush on someone?

5. Name one thing that you start to get tense about if
you are close to running out of it:
money, time, toilet paper, reese peanut butter cups, minutes on my cell phone (handphone for the korean audience, mobile for the brits).

6. What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble?
I don't think any.

7. What is your favorite pizza topping?
Potato pizzas here in Seoul, pineapple and corn in Scotland, goat's cheese and spinach in Canada.

9. Do you crack your knuckles?

10. What song do you hate the most when it gets stuck in your head?
The song that plays as our bell at school. the lyrics my students sing to don't cha (don't cha don't cha don't cha don't cha e wha fait, don't cha pretty girlfriend feel like me)

11. Did just mentioning that song make it get stuck in your head?
Nope, thanks to iTunes being on.

12. What are your super powers?
controlling a classroom of hyper korean kids

13. Peppermint or spearmint?
i am not sure i could tell the difference in a blind taste test.

14. Where are your car keys?
Don't have a car.

15. Whose answers to this questionnaire do you want to hear?
Dude, everyone of course.

16. What's your most annoying habit?
I have too many to mention. But that's why you all love me. Right? Right?

17. Where did you last go on vacation?

18. If you could punch one person in the nose and get away with it, who would it be?
Can't think of anyone at the moment.

19. What is your best physical feature?
Dunno. Depends on who you ask, i guess. I like my hair after it's been straightened.

20. What CD is closest to you right now?
I don't have any CDs here, but Nelly's Da Derrty Versions is playing on iTunes at the moment. I have 6420 songs on iTunes in total.

21. What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator?
Water. That is the only constant. Sometimes milk, occassionally cheese or eggs. I don't cook much in Korea.

22. What superstition do you believe/practice?
None, really.

23. What color are your bed sheets?
sheets are pink. I didn't choose them.

24. Would you rather be a fish or a bird?

25. Do you talk on your cell phone when you drive?
I don't drive. I walk and text though, which is probably not the safest thing in korea where the sidewalks are not even pretending to be straight and smooth.

26. What are your favorite sayings?
they change all the time. i pick up other people's sayings really easily.

27. What song(s) do you sing most often in the shower?
I don't. But I like singing that Buttercup song. And I like trying to sing rap/hip hop at norae bang. Trying is the key word.

28. If you could go back or forward in time, would you and where would you go?
Ancient Greece maybe.

29. What is your favorite Harrison Ford movie?
Star Wars

30. What CD is in your stereo?
Nelly on iTunes

31. What cd will be in your stereo in a few minutes?
maybe black eyed peas.

32. How many kids do you plan on having?
Anything from 0 - 2. Haven't decided yet. would rather adopt, i think.

33. If you could kiss anyone who would it be?
Myself ;)

34. Would you really want to kiss someone you didn't know, even if they are famous?
why not?

35. What do you do when no one is watching?
Lots of stuff. People are seldom watching.

36. If they made a movie about your life, what actor/actress would be the best for this job?
No idea.

37. Would you rather die in a blaze of glory or peacefully in your sleep?
A blaze of glory in my 90s!

38. Have you ever started to fill out a survey on Myspace and then thought "this is stupid" and exit without sending it?
Not yet. Give it time.

39. Coffee or tea?
Coffee and tea. I have no intention of choosing!

40. Favorite musician(s)/bands you've seen in concert?
I love concerts. So all of them! Esp Lilith Fair, Radiohead, REM

41. Have you ever been in love?

42. Do you talk to yourself?
Doesn't everyone?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Productivity and all before noon!

I can not make my cold go away. It irks me. Bizarrely, when I am out all weekend, getting too little sleep, in smokey bars, drinking, i feel okay. it's during the week that it all comes back.

on another note, I finally got my act together this morning. I have an alien card, a multiple reentry in my passport, and a bank account. and i am going to go check out a gym tomorrow morning.

now if i could just bring myself to clean my apartment... and do my laundry...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lazy in Seoul

I am sure you are all asking yourself "She has a computer, she is piggybacking off of someone else's wireless connection, so she can surf for free, she has tons of spare time, so where are all the blog entries???" The answer to the lack of them is simple: I am lazy and I am addicted to myspace. Between the two, I can stay up until 4am (yep, that would be the time chez me right now) and yet still not blog. For awhile, my excuse was that I hadn't downloaded my photos yet to add to the posts, but that isn't exactly taxing either!

Anyway, I was meant to go to bed early tonight so I could go pick up my alien card tomorrow in Mokdong. Didn't happen. Such is life, I guess. Need to get on that, so I can open a bank account, which will allow me to get paid on the 10th. Which is kinda key... Instead, I hung out with YunJin for a bit, had galbi with Athena and then spent far too much time doing god only knows what on the internet. This year I have several English language tv channels, rather than my one AFN channel of last contract, and yet I never watch tv cause I'm all about wasting my time on the net.

So, what have I been up to? First there was my birthday weekend. Crazy ass. We went on Friday, the actual day of, to Tinpan's. I had no intention of drinking tequila, as I always swear off tequila after a night at Tinpan's. I thought I would try and head that off at the pass. But we were sitting next to a table with three korean guys (and later one guy's wife joined in) who bought two bottles of tequila and decided to share with us. Between that and the long island iced teas, well, let's just say I enjoyed myself. We also went to Stompers, where I once again misplaced my free drinks card. It was like some sort of weird birthday repeat of last year, but with different people. I went into Itaewon for lunch the next day, which was nice, an omelette at Gecko's, but left me exhausted, cause I didn't sleep much. Then I got home, met up with Athena, Marisa, and Julie and ended up heading right back to Itaewon. We ate some (for Korea) really good Mexican food and then went to Gecko's. After some weird-guy incidents, Athena and I ended up at Stompers yet again. On Sunday, Athena and I went to Outback, to eat the goodness that is cheesy fries, and I think I brought back more food in the doggie bag than I ate at the restaurant. And then YunJin stopped by with the most adorable ice cream cake ever. It was a great birthday weekend.

The week at work flew by, the only notable thing being that I lost my favourite class, as they are finished the book. Tomorrow I will meet my replacement class, a grammar class. More new faces to attach names to!

As Athena is leaving soon, she is in the mood to go out. As I have just arrived, so am I. We went out with Lucia this past Friday (Lucia used to work at Heritage, but is also leaving soon), starting at Route 66 for a long island to start the evening off right. Met a rather drunken Korean man who told us he wanted to have Sex in the City with us. It was interesting! Then to Stompers yet again. Saturday I met up with Robyn and two of her friends (who replaced the old Poly crew, so odd to meet people who work in the job that I once did). Had a great time shopping with them but I was very tired. I met Athena and Lucia in Starbucks after Robyn left and then went to meet up with Amber and Sean and their friends for Sean's birthday. We had dinner and girly drinks at a place in Itaewon, smoked a hookah at Bricks in Hongdae and drank the free shots kindly procured by Tom, went to Halaboogies (one of the Hodge Podges back in the day), and then Stompers to close out the evening. I know you are all now thinking "She said before she left that she was going to drink less this time round..." Thing is, I sort of am. I go out a lot, but don't necessarily drink all that much (my birthday being a rather big exception!).

Sunday we went to Insadong for the Lantern Festival for Buddha's Birthday. The temple that had been covered in scaffolding last year is looking good now. Amber, Julie, Marisa and I all got face painting, made lanterns, and got some nail art. We met up with Lynn and Patricia, from Glasgow, Tom, Julie, Matt, and Sean to have dinner, though we split into two groups: Korean food and pasta (at that place Kim discovered with the baked cheesy pasta!). Tom managed to find a BC Lions foamy hand thing randomly. The parade was cool, but pretty much the same as last year. One odd moment was when we were walking down the main street in Insadong and passed some scantily clad women. Didn't realise until we got a pamphlet in English that they were Raelians, the people who believe that humans were created in a laboratory by aliens. Weird.

The other photos of the Lantern Festival are here.