A Disclaimer

This blog will hopefully be an interesting and relatively witty account of my time in Korea. If this turns out to be false, please don't read it, and accept my apologies.

Also, I have lived here for 8 months, so I don't have all the amazing 'I've-just-got-here-wow-look-at- that' stories. But I saw a woman walking down a street with a dog on her head. Stood up. On her head. These kind of stories I will share.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gyeongu (finally)

Here we go again.........

I promised, or threatened, to write about moustaches. Unfortunately in the intervening weeks my interest in facial arrangements has subsided. Interestingly enough it subsided around the same time North Korea shelled that lovely island. There's no space for daydreaming about moustaches when World War 3 was about to kick off.

Turns out everything's absolutely fine, as soon as the USA brought over a fantastic floating war machine that is the USS George Washington and parked it on North Korea's doorstep, they quietened down. Alot.

Family, don't be alarmed. We in Iksan are sensible people. We have formulated a retreat from Korea, which so far includes some petty theft, a car journey, so-ju, choco pies, and the purchasing of a yacht. My preferred destination would be Cambodia, but it's not yet decided.

So, without further a-do, I will now talk about my wonderful trip to Gyeongju.

I arrived in Gyeongju like I do any other city I visit in a foreign country; confused, bewildered, with a fair amount of guesswork and inevitable rushing. In my defence, the bus stopped at the side of a road, not a bus station, and was about to continue it's reckless, neck breaking-speed journey (Korean drivers are speed addicts) to somewhere else before realised a the last moment I had in fact arrived.
I gave thhe driver a hearty 안녕히계세요(goodbye, thank you) which was met with the vacant stare used by many drivers, as he shut the door and pulled away.
He gave me an uglier, meaner stare about fifteen seconds later when I ran after the bus, banging on the sides of it to get it to stop.

Alas, I had left my camera on the bus.
Happy he was not.

But I had arrived, and had my camera to document the weekend.

Basically, Gyeongju is a great city. It's great for many reasons, but the main one is, with the exception of the 25 story love motels around the bus station, quite traditional. And, for once I'm not met with the high rise after high rise. I'm not criticising Korean cities, but most of them are concrete jungles of uninspired messiness. With little planning.

These are some pictures from the historic area of Gyeongju. The mounds in the pictures are tombs.

My Rough Guide tells me that the reason for all this low-rise, lots of green space city is due to 'a bit of good, old fashioned dictatorship.' Which I think that's the Rough Guides idea of a 'tongue in cheek' remark, but I'm not as witty as them, so I cannot be sure.

The dictators name was Park Chung Hee, if anyone is interested, and his popularity in the South East of the country is matched with the opposite feelings in the South West, who were angry about many things, but the perceived exclusion from the economic advancement was a chief concern. (I've always thought Gwangju to be an angry city, and the province in general to be poorer than most, so this makes sense.
I suppose dictators are only good when your on their side. He jailed people for criticising his rule, but he did introduce economic reforms that laid way for the economic advancement that was to come in the future. He argued that 'you peasants cannot have your cake AND eat it'. Probably.
However, all love stories must come to an end, and this was did quite abruptly for old Parky, he was assassinated by members of his intelligence service, succeeding where North Korea failed. Twice.
However, when he wasn't abusing human rights or being generally corrupt, he introduced building regulations, and that is to be commended. The roofs are also very pretty.

For me, the biggest advantage of not placing eyesore high rises everywhere is that you can see the natural environment. Korea is beautiful. Sometimes it seems they are trying their hardest to spoil the beauty, but Gyeongju proves that it can be done. To quote a man who recently left remarks on my facebook account questioning my sexuality, 'too much concrete, it all looks a bit shit really.'

Not the most eloquent quote you'll ever hear, but he does make some sense. Concrete everywhere is not a good idea. How can I say that in Korean? Or 'Are you sure you want to build a massive concrete bridge over that beautiful lake? You might regret it later'.

Gyeonju is a very bicycle friendly city, and cheap (7000W) for the afternoon, and an excellent way to see the city. There's ancient Kings and Queens from the Silla Kingdom, and in one bizarre instance they 'believe' (i.e. guess) someone importants family is buried there. However, these sites are everywhere and they are beautiful.

And yes, this was the only colour available.

Up early Sunday to catch a bus to Bulguksa and Seokguram Grotto, which were both extremely busy with tourists. In Bulguksa, as elsewhere in Korea, you see people pushing and shoving to get onto public transportation. Koreans are united in an absolute steadfast refusal to queue. In a good mood I like to join in, half crush an adjumma, face slap a child, or elbow an adjaussi in order to get on a bus we all easily fit on. Rightly or wrongly, I do it to feel part of their culture, to 'fit in', as it were.

But in Gyeongju, it felt a bit weird. A bit wrong. There was me and some Japanese tourists waiting for the scrum to finish, and then we got on.
The atmosphere of the place, away from the bus-stops, was quite tranquil. The landscape was open. The air was good.

Bulguksa was fantastic. If, like me, you have an unhealthy interest in old buildings and stories about those buildings, you will find it incredible. If not, you might just appreciate looking at something not built entirely out of concrete.
A short, rattling, unnecessary fast bus journey away was Seokguram Grotto. A wonderful little place. It was also unique in that is was the only historical place I visited in Gyeongju, perhaps even Korea (so far) that the Japanese hadn't burnt to the ground. My guess is that they couldn't find it as it's way up in the mountains. Or they ran out of matches. They probably would have burned it and danced on the ashes if they had found it. Nothing racist in that, I've never met any Japs before, but judging by their track record they would have either
a) burned it, or,
b) 'relocated' it, to, say, Tokyo.

I want to say 1692 as the year the Japs set fire to everything they could, but I can't be sure. I do remember reading the same year again and again. 'This was burnt down in 1693 but was reconstructed in the 1960s.'
Anyway, as it is, its an 8th Century Buddhist Grotto, originally erected, ironically enough, to protect Korea from Japanese invaders. (No pictures allowed though I'm afraid)

Oh, and the bread in Gyeongju is delicious. I has the red bean paste stuff, but it's not that sweet. For comparison, it's about as sweet as a Korean -purchased French baguette.

And that was it really, a 'cultural experience', as they say. And just to top off the weekend when I was at the bus station, a little boy ran over to me. I bent down, waved, and said hi.
He pointed, shouted 왜국사람 ('foreigner' in Korean) and ran away.
What a great weekend.

Edit: the 'Japs' reference was in tended as a joke. There's a fair amount of hostility towards Japan in Korea, and I was trying to reflect that. Indeed there's a lot of anti-Japanese feeling amongst many older people in many different countries, (Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malayisa, USA, Australia, UK, mainly) Indeed, even my Uncle (not real, a friend of the family, but incredibly kind) fought them during the war. He got taken prisoner and was in such a state once he was released he had to have half his stomach removed. Fair to say he used terms like 'those sneaky Japs' quite often.
However that was along time ago, I suppose.

I really have never met anyone from Japan though. I assure they are all peace loving people, with warm hearts, filled with kindness, open-minds, are generous, understanding, and polite.

And tall. Very tall.
Peace and Love
p.s. I've promised myself to update this more in the new year. However, I'm off to warmer climates for a while, so don't expect anything new anytime soon!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My School, Moustaches and Gyeongju. Without moustaches. Or Gyeongju.

Hello friends!

As I'm such a considerate man, I'm going to write a long blog today, and split it into 3 parts. It's 10am and I have finished my classes for the day, so I have what some would call a little free time on my hands. Of course been a teacher I am fully prepared for my classes for the coming weeks, and so I feel like I can do this. Plus, all this typing makes me sound like I'm working my arse 'bottom' off. (Theres a rumour going around that Mother is online these days, so I'm attempting to improve the language. Not the quality or spelling, just less language deemed 'offensive'.)

Right, 3 1 parts, My School. Moustaches, and Gyeongju.

My School

I made a lesson on shopping. There was an activity where the students had to guess the name of companies from a single letter. (Your probably thinking, 'Jesus you lazy bastard, get a real job', but it was way better than I'm describing it. I'll email it to anyone who wants it).

I began to feel bad, because I had to break the horrifying news to some students that McDonalds is not a Korean company. Or that Puma is from Germany. Some looked genuinely shocked. I almost felt like apologizing, which would have been ridiculous. I learned as much about Korean teenage boys as they did about where companies were from.

Also, the week before, I did a lesson on Tourism, with London as the location. I was considering Middlesbrough as the location, , replacing the Tower of London with the Transporter Bridge, Buckingham Palace with the Town Hall.

I could even replace the 'Ghost Tour -a magical bight time walk amongst the haunted streets of London' with 'beat-up-on-a-Saturday-night-outside-the-Hairy-Lemon-for-no-apparent -reason.' …..... the Queens Guards with Ray Mallons 'allegedly' corrupt policemen.

I say allegedly, as he was suspended on full pay (for 4 years!) for 'activities that could be construed as criminal conduct". I love this quote. This could basically mean anything from taping songs off the radio to a killing spree. Anyway, after the 4 years he quit and ran for mayor, and won.


Then again, London elected Boris Johnson, so maybe it's a mayor thing.

Anyways, I digress. For fun, the students had to name the 5 teams from London in the Premier League.

No prizes for the first name shouted;

'ManchesterUnitedParkJeSung!' (Apparently the full name over here)
'No, Manchester is a city in northern England (draw map of UK, draws Manchester on board)


'No, Bolton is a another city in northern England'. (Draws Bolton on map)

'Real Mad...no, no. Lisbon?'

'No, Lisbon is in Portugal.' (Draws an arrow of where Portugal is in relation to the UK)
'Manchester City?'

'No. Manchester City and Manchester United are from the same place. (Points at Manchester)

'Erm, Bbb, Lllll, Bolton!'
I'm not even going to begin to describe my discontent over the amount of coverage Bolton Wanderers get. There are adverts where the world famous superstar Lee Chung Yeong, playing for the Football giants that are Bolton Wanderers, scores a goal, and then the advert ends. That IS the advert. It's not FOR anything! Of course, he doesn't score that many, so it's the same bloody goal!

They have started showing Scottish football on the TV, as there's a couple of Koreans keeping Celtics bench warm. I'll leave my thoughts on that for another time. I will say this though, they won't be positive.

I was talking to my students in class the other day, and one had almost a pained expression on his face. So, naturally, I asked him if he was hurting. Was he sick?

He just kept shaking his head.
Then he blurted out,

'Sausage water.'

'OK, sausage water. I don't understand.' (But it WAS English, so I was determined to work with it, I'd get him to speak an English sentence if it kills me!)
'Sausage water, sausage water!'

Another student translates for him,

'Teacher, he needs to use the bathroom.'


The thing is, it kind of makes sense!

A Change of Heart

You know what, I'm going to leave the moustache blog. I fear it's totally irrelevant to this blog, and completely pointless. The only reason why I wanted to write it is because I love facial hair.

I'm also going to leave the Gyeongju blog until next time, it's too long. However, unlike the moustache story, it is relevant. You never know, it might even interest some people. I even remembered to take my camera. Although I did leave it on a bus. But then I ran after the bus and got it back again. Result!

For those of you who can't wait, (theres at least 4 people, including my Dad) heres a little morsel to keep you excited about the next story....

Gyeongju has nice bread.

One last thing, I found this online (again, in my free time, and ONLY after ALL my lessons were FULLY prepared.)

This is what I imagine a fight would be like between me and a Korean, except the sizes would be reversed. I love this video.


So there you have it, some 'scraps for the masses' for you all, as my aquatic friend suggested.

Now leave me alone, or I'll write about moustaches!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reversed Awakening

****DISCLAIMER. *****

This is not me writing, but a friend of mine who wanted to improve the quality of the blog. I tried to talk him out of it, asserting that I was happy with the poor standard, but he was persistent.
It's actually quite clever, as I don't actually have to write anymore.

Plus, it's quite darn good.

So here it is. Drum roll please for the first guest writer............

An.nyong.ha.shim.ni.kka? This is not Dave writing, but a guy who sees the world about 12 inches south of your normal writer. My name is Lex. Hailing from America and living in Iksan for about 18 months.

I was telling Big D last night that I wanted to write something for his blog, probably for the sole reason that it gives me something to do other than inspect and chase down where the moldy food smell is coming from in my room. I preceded to tell him the following story, and he agreed to turn it over to you netizens via D’s blogsite.

I spend most nights in my chair; hit the tunes, watch tv, studying various things. And Tuesday was no exception. Still drained all over from a weekend vacation and heavy soccer and MMA training, I decided my night would end with a few shots of Soju and I’d hit bed. As planned, I was in bed quite early, proud of myself and looking forward to an easy Wednesday!

Fast forward to Wednesday morning at 9:30am. My eyes open to the alarm and the room is spinning. Now stop! Imagine this scenario so you can understand where I am. You walk into your house, put the keys on your little key holder, you mechanically toss you phone on the counter and you reach into the fridge to grab a lil snack before dinner. As you are munching you head towards the bathroom, open the door and flick on the lights BAM! On the other side of that door is no longer your bathroom. You are somewhere in France, with a bag of squid in your hand. You know this feeling because you have been to France before, but the sun is unusually bright for this time of year. You are in a field, but there are empty boats sitting in a meadow and you know they don’t belong there. You question where you are. There are six bees in your ear, three in each just buzzing away like they were performing for a crowd, yet your hands are so heavy you can’t swat them away. You just moan. Long and loud (that’s what she said). Now keep that weird feeling, and change the elements.

You aren’t in France, you are naked in your bedroom yet you never sleep naked. That’s not squid in your hands, it’s an empty bottle of BBQ sauce. The sun, bedroom lights. The boats, empty soju bottles decorating your room like balls on a Christmas tree. The alarm clock, which already shows you woke up two hours late, is ringing with no intentions of stoppingMaybe it was confusion, the soju, just the AM in general, but I just sat there looking around the room. I had just been hit blindside. I went to bed sober, and woke up drunk. It didn’t matter, because when you are two hours late you just scrub your poophole, (What the!?-Ed) brush your teeth, wear anything that is clean-ish and jet to work.

I spent the whole day trying to understand what happened to me. I started learning a few things. I remembered there was an apple core and tons of egg shells in the sink, empty soju bottles, a plate that had salad on it at one point, and all my chicken was missing from my fridge. I thought someone would text me later saying they had fun. Maybe I just didn’t remember waking up and got so quick that I blacked out before waking up. But no messages, no emails, no phone calls.

If you don’t know what soju is, it’s a traditional Korean alcohol made from potatoes. This stuff sneaks up on you, similar to jell-o shots or maybe a wet stain in your pants when you thought you were pushing a dry ‘fluff’. Normally people are in a bar, and don’t leave soon enough before it sneaks in for the power punch and leaves them sleeping beside their friends at the bar. But this is ridiculous. Cousin to the Sock Monster that sneaks into your apartment and takes that one sock, the Soju Monster hit a game winner sometime between 10pm Tuesday and Wednesday two hours after I should have awoken…. Needles to say, I have changed the locks on my front door.

'Go on then, I'll stay for a couple.'

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Jisan Music review. Kind of. PLUS -16 Things I Learnt in August.

Alright me old muckers

This will be the first blog in a while, apologies for that. As a special treat, this one will be short, with no pictures! This special, no picture blog is due to a 'what happens in Jisan stays in Jisan' rule which came into force immediately after the festival, and was passed by the majority of Jisan attendies.

Plus, my Mother wouldn't approve.;)

A Jisan Music Review, kind of.

With my tennis rackets, tambourines, and various inflatables packed, (including a blow up Dolphin named Desmond) I trudge off to the bus station. On the way the taxi driver turned to me and said, 'you have a very beautiful face.' I knew right then it was going to be a great weekend. 'You too fine sir!'

I got a bus to Icheon, where I waited for the rest of my gang. 2 of them nearly went to Incheon, but I talked them out of it. From my experience, there's very little need to ever go to Incheon, I went once for a couple of hours, then went back to Seoul, wondering if I'd ever get that time back. It hasn't even got a train station, even Iksan has one of them!

So, we arrive on the Thursday night, and there's no queues! As a UK festival goer I'm used to big queues that don't move for no reason. The last one lasted approximatley 3 hours. In fact I'm so used to them I look forward to them! (Thought process: 'right, I've got my tent, sleeping bag, now then, what should I take for the queue? The Complete works of John Milton perhaps? But will that be enough? Maybe the latest Stephanie Meyer book? This could also double as toilet paper.' But will that be enough toilet paper, etc.')

Despite us been on of the very few people to arrive on Thursday, our arrival seemed to cause great surprise and confusion, even though we could be seen walking down the hill for about a mile. Massive panic ensued, and it took about 15 minutes and about 8 people to find our tickets. At this point I got all teary eyed about the 'Leeds experience.'

Then, without warning, they were found. And we walked towards the campsite.

On our way in we were asked, 'Excuse me, have you got any bottles, knifes, alcohol?'


'Enjoy the festival!'

'We will! (wink)

That's one of the great things about Korea. They HAVE to ask, but, ya know,......

Where was the suspicious rummage through the bag? That inevitable moment when they pull the bottle of the certain glass liquor you just told him you didn't have. Then the embarrassment as you search the ground for empty water bottles and attempt to decant as much as you can before you give in and hand the remainder over to the guy who by this point is sharing a joke about your misfortune with another, bigger, possibly stupider accomplice.

However, if and when you do get in, it is worth turning round, pick the biggest hippy in the crowd, and watch him sweat as he gets closer to the search area...........None of that in Korea though. You'll die if you get caught. Maybe. Or something else slightly less horrific. Maybe they send you to Leeds Festival every year for the rest of your life. Sweet Jesus.

Anyway, we walked in and I picked up my rented tent. Yes, you can rent a tent, and give it back at the end. Possibly, this was to counter Koreas out of control tent burning at previous festivals, but I very much doubt it. I remember waking up on the last morning of Leeds festival 2004 and I thought I'd walked into some apocalyptic nightmare, fires, helicopters circling, toilets expoding, fireworks, naked people fighting, police, naked police, tents burning, and the SMELL from it all.

I remember people would burn tents for no apparent reason, and I'm afraid to admit I was an accomplice to a tent burning incident in my youth. It was our tent though, I'm not a twat! And it was broken. I'm not wastful. And I kept my clothes on. Sensible.

It's strange what Leeds does to people though. That's Leeds for you I suppose; tent burning heathens. Perhaps the citizens of Leeds burn the tents reaction to the fact that it was different to their normal dwelling of a cave. OK OK, it's all relative. Middlesbrough havent got caves yet!

Where was I. Right, so the only tents available were 4-man (or 5 ladies) tents. Which was a relief, as I was unsure where I was going to put 4 women AND Desmond; my aquaintence, friend, and soon to be midnight lover...........

Right, I don't have the time or desire to ramble on about the entire festival. Safe to say, it was awesome!

Instead, here is a condensed list of what I learnt in the month of August.

16 Things I learnt in August

  1. When camping at a festival, it is not necessary to sleep in a tent, when there is a perfectly acceptable rest area conveniently located next to the bar.

  2. Saying 'stronger please' to the bar lady before you've tried your drink is not always a good idea.

  3. Ruth can dance to the Pet Shop Boys 'Go West' better than anyone alive.

  4. Koreans jump at music festivals to every kind of music. There are no exceptions.

  5. Kula Shaker are not shit!

  6. I like Knights of Cydonia WAAAYY too much.

  7. Dancing in the sand to electronic music can cause the speakers to catch on fire.

  8. Crashing other peoples birthday parties is easier and more fun than it sounds.

  9. Finding out your friend has a 512MB SD card is hilarious!

  10. Dropping your camera in a puddle is not.

  11. I realized that if I was anything, I would be Buddhist.

  12. Singing in a Naraebang is usually a good time. Listening to a friend power through 'Everything I do' by Bryan Adams is not.

  13. Clapping your hands in a taxi whilst trying to sing a Korean birthday song with your friends on the way to a bar does make you forget about how dangerous the driving is.

  14. When the driver starts clapping, you remember very quickly.

  15. 'Hey babe' sounds similar to 'hey Dave' when spoken by Americans.

  16. The answer to that puzzling question, do bears shit in the woods? (They DO!)

Im ganning fa a nap liek pet. See yas laterz! Ma next 'un will be liek mor aboot korean n that, justa bin keenda busy n that liek pal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wonderful Korea, Breastfeeding, and Thierry Henry.


I turned up at school yesterday to men in white suits walking around. I thought for a minute they had finally caught up with me. Luckily, they were just doing an incredible amount of painting. It was the last day of school, so afternoon classes were cancelled and then we went hiking. It's well over 30C. Unbelievably difficult to walk up a mountain in this weather. I was with a group of middle aged Korean men, so I felt as though backing down would be seen as some sort of abject failure as a man. So I stayed, and we climbed!

Afterwards, all the teachers, (about 150) ate and drank and sang at a Noraebang that was set up outside. I managed to avoid singing, although one teacher was convinced that me singing Candle in the Wind would make the whole event more enjoyable. In my avoidance of the stage I did attract the attention of some middle aged Korean women who took a liking to me. 'Cutey boy.' Apparently. There was also a teacher who speeeksh englishh verish wells. I could'mt believe how great his english was, although bizarrely he's picked up a strong Dutch accent along the way, so I had to try my very best not to laugh in his face! 'Iss reallys wantsh to be friendsh wish you. OK?' It always amazes me how many teachers only speak English when they have been drinking, and then theres nothing at school, until the next time everyone meets up. Good and bad I suppose. Overall I had a fantastic time, I met lots of new great people and I'm reminded that this is why I like Korea.

(other great Korean experience; bumped into one of my teachers at the supermarket, he was buying ice-cream and looked a little worse for wear. We walked home together and he was making very sure I wasn't hit by a car; arm around me at all times, almost throwing me into the bushes when he thought a car was near. Then he held my hand, before we parted ways. I saw him at school the next day, and he acted like nothing happened! Loving Korea at the moment! )

In 10 days I have Sean and Laura over for 2 weeks of Korean Experience. I just hope the Dog restaurant is open when they arrve, the traditional way to introduce people to Korea. If the rumours are to be believed, it enhances the sex drive. So I may well have 2 jet-lagged, tipsy, horny people to take care of, which I can't say I'm looking forward to. Anyway, 10 days guys, it's going to be emmense. Just don't forget my Colgate toothpaste.

The co-author of Korean Capers complained the other week, saying I wasn't making enough references to North Korea and Kim Jong Il. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, here's a picture of him relaxing at home. (Caption suggestions welcome) The thing is, I'm starting to doubt some of the stories. 'Kim Jong Il is the only person in the world that can play all of Mozart's compositions with the harmonica while standing on top of a mountain breastfeeding a duck in 30 seconds.' Humourous? Possibly. Accurate? Highly unlikely. Andy, I'll release a little known fact about Mr Kim every time you publish a blog post. Anything will do, even some banal tale about buying a fan, or eating spicy food and getting the trots, or strange Korean women licking your fingers in bars on Saturday nigh....oh, wait a minute, that was me. Cycling stories though. We want more of them.

In other news, Thierry Henry reitred, sorry- moved to the MLS. Heres an American chatshow interviewing him. Very thoughtful. It starts really well. 'So, OK, so, you've just won the world cup, right?' and, 'where are you originally from?' Fantastic interview, I wonder if he regrets it yet. Actually, I'm not that bothered! Bye Tierry!

Assalaam-O-Alaikum to you all!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

England you are a complete disappointment. Cheers!

'England fans! Don't be disappointed about all those unused St George flags, simply paint the red cross white and sell it to the French to use.'
Ah, how jokes get old fast.
One thing I will say is that the World Cup has reminded me of how overwhelmingly dull our national anthem is. No wonder Gary Neville never sung it.......

Ours is about 300 years old, sounds like a nursery rhyme, and reminds everyone how we should pray to God to save the Queen. It's 2010. Two people I feel I couldn't have less in common with. Neither, it seems, does Scotland. Not a God or a Queen to be heard in theirs. Although plenty of anti-English rhetoric. Around 1996 they decided to use the Flower of Scotland as their unofficial anthem. (yes, as bizarre as it seems, god save the queen is shared by everyone.) Well, not everyone, anymore......On that note, a big happy independence day to all you Americans out there.....Your welcome!

A simple idea to help make the World Cup more enjoyable for English people.
Decrease the quality of refereeing.
It's simple, and, as Capellos bulging package (wage package, you dirty buggars) will attest, much cheaper. All you need to do is reduce the amount of referee training; in 5 years you would be able to save money AND see a noticeable drop in footballing standards. This would also be a great time to begin and reduce referees pay. Then we will have a level of refereeing similar to that in South American countries. Unfair? How very dare you!
Take this example; the (Brazilian) referee for the England v USA game was suspended in the Brazilian league for, as Flemengo eloquently argued; an 'unambiguously inconsistent, unfair and inequitable technical performance.'

Not to be outdone, the Palmerias chairman piped up, calling him a
'a crook, a scoundrel and a shameless bastard.'

And he was the referee that Brazils FA picked to officiate at the World Cup. He was their NUMBER 1 man! If England are going to be outplayed in tournaments for the foreseeable future, the least we can do is make it a bit more exciting by sending an incompetent, possibly corrupt, refereeing team. This would mean we could cheer on 'the boys' well into the semis, and possibly even the final.

Man it's been a funny one at work. Had the students making World Cup Posters;
So, what's your team name?
'Excuse me?'
Erm, you can't have that.'
'But I like them.'
'I'm glad you do, but you have to change it.'
'Oh, Ok.'
They had to write English on the poster. Heres what we got.....
Height: 189cm
Age :29
Position: Defender
'He played Bridge wife very bad boy.'

And Joseph Yobo?

We got this.
Is that racist? I recall Sarah Palin refering to the country of Africa. Is that racist? Or just naive and innocent? Thing is, Palin wasn't, and to my knowledge, still isn't, a Korean high school boy.

I think I might have to do a lesson on the different races and countries in the world. Could be fun, will definitely be an eye opener! Sarah, your invited to my School in South Korea (Asia).
In other amazing news, I got Air Conditioning! Unannounced, obviously. My mentor teacher, who is a HERO, took a phone call, turned to me and said, 'You will get air con today. Lets go to your apartment now.' He was slightly concerned about the state of my apartment, too many water bottles being his chief concern. However, despite all the bottles, it was successfully installed, and I am now enjoying sleep at a reasonable temperature.

I bought a new camera, so I will really try and get some new snaps up soon. As soon as I see anything that interests me. We'll get the ball rolling with this sticker on the back of a car. Can't work out what it means really.

It says

'At the celestial body is personified god, at dawn he rises up across the sky from the Eastern Ocean, the Oceanus to the Western. In the night he sinks under the Western, crosses the ocean by golden boat, and turns back flow of the ocean to the East. He goes around the sky, and is known to the witness of pledge and oath as being able to observe everything of the world.'

For those Marvel fans with a keen eye, yes, the sign below is indeed the top of the Spiderman logo. Is the text describing Spiderman, or is it some religious thing? I genuinely have no idea. It could be a Korean Christian thing........Arrrggghh!!!! (PLENTY more on them next time)

Catch you crazy kids next week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Football, Sexy Ladies and Hairdoos. A mans blog.

Greetings comrades!

Right then, lets get the world cup out of the way..........

Congratulations on Englands 0-0 against the great footballing nation of Algeria. And the 1-1 defeat against the U S of A. Bloody useless, the lot of them! Thankfully, as an Englishman, I crave disappointment so in a way I'm content However, my week at school was frustrating, 'teacher, Rob Green, very very stupid', and demanding they see the 'highlights'.

That's right (Ex) England goalkeeper Rob Green, there's South Korean children laughing at you, my ball catching-challenged friend.

However, there was some payback on Friday when I showed the defeat against Argentina. That 4th goal really quietened them down, and I recommend all teachers in Korea to show it to noisy classes.

I watched that game in a park, and the atmosphere was amazing! An incredible turnout, and lots of fun. To top it off at full time there were fireworks at the end and we all cheered, although I'm not entirely sure why.

Kim Jong Il's boy narrowly lost to Brazil. Made better by Jong Tae Se crying like a baby before the game. Not sure why, as he was born in Japan to South Korean parents, but there you go. Maybe he realised that to play for North Korea you have to live in North Korea. (Update; he actually lives and plays in Japan.) One of an elite group of people with a envied North Korean passport. I mean, with that you can go pretty much everywhere!

The North also shipped over some cheerleaders for the event, which was, erm, different.

I might send Kim Jong Il an email suggesting he should change his nickname from 'the peoples Wayne Rooney' name to, like, someone decent. I recommend Torres or either of the Slovenia strikers. He probably gets a lot of emails, given his popularity, but he is an internet expert after all, so it should be no problem.

It appears the South Korean President commented on my last blog, insinuating Mr Kim enjoyed gazing at pornography in his free time. Thank you for you post Mr Bak. However, as an (incredibly) unofficial spokesperson for North Korea, I would like to state for the record that Mr Kim takes no satisfaction from watching a ridiculous amount of pornography, it is research for his next book entitled 'Porno; I watch it, you can't. Deal with THAT peasants'. It's not available yet, but in my role as unofficial spokesperson I am obliged/forced to assure you that the first draft is 'incredible', and 'contains lots of anti-American sentiments'.

As a disclaimer, as my new role as 'Very Unofficial Ammbasador of North Korea' grows, this blog will be sprinkled with pro North Korean comments. My aim?: to get one of these nice little badges.

There was a BBC documentary the other week on the the Glorious Democratic Peoples Amazing Republic Awesome Korea, and a fantastic moment when a worker is explaining how the country is completely self-sufficient, and a tractor with an EU sign pulls up. Sad yet funny. Made funnier with him trying to stand in the way of the flag and getting the driver to 'fuck right off' (the Korean is still a bit patchy), before admitting they had 'some problems' in the past. Understatement doesn't even begin to describe it. (Up to 800,000 died of famine in the 1990s.)

Quite shocking. (Although in my new role I feel obliged to point out that the tractor in question was in fact part of last weeks 'paint a flag on a tractor' competition, in which it finished 2nd. The worker drew the correct number of stars, and was rewarded with an a day-pass to Euro Disney and a large glass of milk.)

On a happier note, I've had a haircut. So thank you to Ruth for that. I'm sat in a flat full of hair, but I'll deal with that later. Also, thanks for hacking my account. Someone said I'd been 'face-raped', which is a new term to me. And quite unsavoury one at that. Kids these days with their face-raping!

Anyway, they have a wonderful blog I recommend you read ( http://koreancapers.wordpress.com/ )which unlike mine, is very well written, although I will warn you sometimes her boyfriend writes on it so the quality fluctuates. It's good in that it actually talks about their experiences in Korea, rather than defending Kim Jong Il's alleged pornography addiction, but I will warn you; there's a lot less swearing. I read it and actually had to add in my own swearwords. For me, it reads a lot cock smoother.

So, what else, I made a band called the Willy Wooden Dilcocks. All members have to have phallus-related surname. There's someone called Frick, so she's a possible addition, although it probably has to go to a democratic (Peoples Republic of Korea) vote. I think she's got a foot in. For those of you who don't know, we are a folk band that does Weezer covers with a female singer. Watch out PLANET EARTH!

In other news my school declined my request for air conditioning.

There's my answer to THE most popular question for the summer...

'how are you?'

'Hot. as. Fuck. '
(Sean and Laura, I'm not giving up on it, I'll get something sorted.) One of my teachers suggested I could 'maybe open the window', so I could always try that.........

Finally, last week one of the English teachers, to preserve his anonymity we'll call him Mr Park, told me there was a sex education class. Oh, so....my class is cancelled then?.....

It was mandatory, for all the teachers.

'Will it be in Korean?'


'I can't speak Korean.'

'I know. It's mandatory.'

'That's ridiculous, I've had sex like 6 times.'

OK, Ok, the last bit I made up. Turns out it wasn't as mandatory as they thought it was, and as a treat I taught an extra class. But man I would have LOVED to have gone. I had lots, and I mean LOTS of questions after, but they were a bit reluctant to tell me. I could only think it was because they picked up awesome tips.

Wouldn't happen in the North, that's all I'm gonna say...........