Monday, 17 December 2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Snowboarding Season

Armed with some fresh second hand snowboard gear I have hit the slopes of Korea.

The closest resort to me is Muju. I first visited this little wonderland last Christmas for my first snow adventure.
I'm closer to the resort now so a mere hour and a half and I'm there bright and early to hit the morning slopes.

As I write this I am recovering from my third trip in as many weeks to the resort. For a mere 67000 won (about 40 quid) you can get a pass from 0830-1630 and a bus to and from resort. It's a bargain. So I'm devoting time, energy and body parts in the name of progression. 

Today by far has been my best day on the cold, wet, glittering, lovely snow. Never have I felt more at alive than strapped into a board and flying down a hill, narrowly avoiding all manner of obstacles. Carving and turning with poise, precision and dumb luck I make my way from top to bottom with a carefully selected playlist that inspires genius.

Ok there may be a little truth to this but clumsy ol me is suffering from a very sore toosch and possibly a bruised rib or two. These injuries, however, weren't my fault.....honest.

I'm devoting this winter to boarding. I'll even head up to pyeongchang. Which for those of you in the know will tell you, is the home of the 2018 winter Olympics. So for now just a teaser with more to follow.
I took this photo after some girl ran into me and i fell, bum first, onto the edge of her snowboard. Photos of the bruise to follow.....jolly sore!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Turning 30 in Korea

I hadn't expected to still be here in Korea for my 30th. Last year I really thought that I would be done and back in Brighton ready to celebrate with friends and family. Turns out, obviously, that I was wrong.

What better way to turn 30 than celebrate in Seoul, it's just awesome! Hongdae and a night out with the boys. Well it turned into something a little bigger than that. You see, it was Adnan's birthday two days prior to mine so it was a double celebration. Wait, there's more....It also falls on the week where a lot of my friends were about to leave Korea for good and probably never see many of them again....triple celebration. OK so now it's getting messy....

I get to Seoul on Saturday early to pick up my own birthday present of some snowboard gear. I decide to go check into where I am staying and go for a little nap..About 7 hours later I wake up to a lot of angry people trying to figure out where I am. I set em straight and we all arrange to meet up.


I wake up to people trying to break down my door. Owen and Andrew come in and we try and piece together the night. Needless to say we don't get very far. Time to leave....where's my phone...jacket...hoody? Nowhere to be seen and haven't been seen sine.. BALLS.

T shows me a video of last night that includes me, him and Adnan drinking straight Jack Daniels dentist chair style at a bar. My lack of memory is now a little more understood.

From what I have pieced together it was a fun night had by all and I appreciated everyone who came to see me. But this is by far the worst hangover I have ever had and followed very strongly into Monday. If you have ever taught kids hungover then you'll know it is not fun.

As I write this I have also had a bag stolen from me yesterday. In my bag was my wallet, and clothes I wore down to a running track....Some C@*T knicked it and I had to walk back half an hour in the bloody cold in shorts. Thanks a bloody lot.

So items lost in October:
wallet with every card I own in there
favourite jacket
favourite hoody
favourite beanie
tracky bottoms
post-workout hoody
eastpack bag that I've had for about 6 years

fear not, they didn't take everything. They left my water bottle....thanks cunt! (or cunts!)

Stay tuned for halloween fun

Monday, 8 October 2012

Chuseok, Japan, Osaka....WOW

I've fallen in love.....with an entire country. Chuseok is Korea's version of America's thanksgiving. Depending on what day it falls means you can have up to 5 days off work. Just turned out to be one of those years. 5 glorious stress free days and I decided, along with a few mates, to go check out Japan. Tokyo was looking too expensive but Osaka, Japan's second city, was looking pretty good.

The culprits:
me (of course)
Andy (or T, a fellow Daejeonite)
..............3 Brits and an Aussie.

The flight was a mere hour and a half from Seoul. It takes longer to get from where I live to the airport than to fly from Japan. But I've started ahead of my story. Let me take a few steps back to Friday night.

Friday night and T and I were supposed to head up to stay with Adnan cause he was throwing a happy Chuseok house party. We check the bus times, get there in enough time to find all the buses to Chuncheon are all sold out. Oops....not a great start. So we decide to stay hang out in DJ and proceed to celebrate Chuseok early....maybe a little too early .... with soju. Needless to say there is a blur for a few hours after this, but I know I almost lost my phone and the sun was up when I went to bed. We remember saying "crap...let's make sure we set an alarm for out 2pm bus!"
Responsible me sets my alarm and through the crack den of my apartment get my stuff together and hall ass to the bus terminal. I got a good half hour...phew...right now where's T???? First message goes, then the next, then the phone call at 1345 "hello....fuck what time is it? I just woke up naked on my floor".
After compsing myself from fits of laughter and having Koreans look at me strangely, I realise he isn't going to make the bus. One of the great things about Korea is that customer service is paramount and expecting a fight I go and change our tickets for an hour later. Good thing we gave ourselves a barrier. Again, not really the best start..
T shows up, after throwing up half his bodyweight, not looking so great. 20 minutes or so to spare...we grab a quick bite and then wait for out bus...1500...where's the bus??? 1515...1530...1545..errr where's the bus???? 1603 (exactly) the bus shows up...Bloody hell!!! Good thing we had a big barrier. I guess we won't have time for airport beers. NOT THE BEST START....
As we wait for the bus that's an hour late we get a message from Adnan saying "funny how we haven't even booked the hotel yet!" He had one job!! His excuse "my card wouldn't work"..... Iphone to the rescue....all hostels sold out...BALLS... check hotels, ok for not much more money we can stay somewhere in what appears to be a good area. Gotta love smart phones, cause I got it all booked whilst on the bus.....Worst start to a trip ever.

Finally after 3 hours on the bus we get to the airport....We all meet up and it's golden. HAPPY CHEWSOX everyone.

Onto Peach Airlines (????) and this was probably the funniest flight ever. Only an hour and a half flight but I laughed pretty much the whole time. I was sat next to that apparently T hooked up with...she was fugly....but T was sat next to two really hot Japanese girls. Proceed to outragous flirting from all, ridiculous banter and lude behaviour from all. Except Mitch cause he was miles away....kkkkk..Throw in some witty banter with the Japanese trolley dolley as well and it was a naughty time had by all.

Finally we get to Japanaland....Osaka..after an hour bus trip into the city we get to our hotel, which is actually awesome....and better yet in a really central location. Bags dropped, Mexican shower and we are out on the town at 1am....a beer or two might have been drunk, I think there was a cocktail in there as well..but let's just say that going to bed at 11am Sunday morning was the result of a truely awesome night out. Clubs open til 10am....crayyyyyyy zeeeeeee!!

We mustered around about 5 530...What a waste of a day I hear you say...well NO!!! There was a bloody typhoon coming though Sunday, which I knew about, so we wouldn't really have been able to do a whole lot. Plus, the night was worth it. Epic proportions of fun.

By the late afternoon (evening really) the rain had buggered off, we'd some food in our bellies and we were wondering around the central delights of Shinsaibashi, Osaka. Wicked little area. Lights, outrageous haircuts, beautiful people everywhere, scandalous people everywhere and 4 drunk waygooks causing as little trouble as humanly possible. Again another awesome night was had, not sure it was 11am, but the sun was up and we crashed out.
One story I would like to say from this night included T and I going for a midnight offering of sushi. Someone pointed us in the direction of a cheap sushi place and in we went. Upon our arrival we were greeted in the friendliest fashion by two chaps chewing on some raw fish. As soon as the chap with half the teeth left in his mouth sees it he starts smiling and pointing. I smiled nicely, hoping he wasn't some kind of Yakuza...but it all seemed friendly. T and I tuck into some unreal seafood when suddenly more food appears and toothy has sent us over some sushi on him....ended up sending over about 5 different dishes. It was so nice of him so we send him over a couple of beers to say thanks. Then we were stuffed. Excellent...we go and get the bill....this place was 'supposed' to be cheap...turns out to be about 8000 yen...about 100000 won....about £80. OUCH...Toothy pops over and pays our entire bill. "WHAT??!!" He gives me a little bow, shakes my hand then goes back to his friend. Amazing....I love Japan.
We managed to get up before mid day and after an epic lunch, we head off to one of Osaka's main attractions their Aquarium. It's huge. They even have a whale shark!!! Loved it. I also feel very hypocritical by enjoying aquariums but really disliking zoos.
Now off to Osaka Tower for some 360 degree panoramic views. Subway rides, help from strangers we get there and it's a touch of a let down. The views are good but' a city.
Back to the hotel quick nap...and yes you guessed it out again. More amazing food lots of drinks and another sunrise bed time.

We get hoofed out of our hotel because we've booked into capsules for out last night...fortunately they're just down the road....because again we're hungover. We battle through we go to Kyoto. Home of the Golden Palace. It's awesome, and again getting help from loads of people to find our way there and back was brilliant. I think the level of English is higher in Japan than Korea. 
Last night so that means more good food and a few drinks. Problem is now is twofold....1) we have to get up at 430 in the morning and public transport doesn't start til 530...2) we'd run out of money...and I couldn't take any out cause my cards wouldn't work...we'll figure it out. So we agree an early (ish) night...4am rolls in and we stumble into our pods for a half hour of kip. Hirarious. OK now a cab to the airport 10.000 Yen...err "who's got any money???" silence..Mitch the hero grabs his credit card and bails us all out. phew....
The way home is killer, and the rest of the story is basically filled with me asleep in a taxi, asleep on a plane, asleep on a bus and then asleep in my apartment. 
So overview. It touched my heart. It has a lot more variety than Korea. More different types of people. An ability to show some kind of independence and be a bit different. People had said that Japanese people weren't friendly, I disagree with this entirely, and throw down the fact that their English speaking ability shadows Korea making us less threatening to talk to. I would say that Koreans are probably the nicest people on the planet to me, but the lack of communication makes it hard sometimes....Japan is also really clean and well maintained. This may seem a strange thing to point out, but they have a more variety of architecture. Korea is all the same and a bit grey. On the down side to Japan, well there's not a lot from what I saw. It is outrageously expensive, I can tell you that. 
I will have to go back, and it currently ranks as my favourite country at the moment. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

I'm back. Korea round 2....this time it's Daejeon. Shit just got serious!!!

After a really nice month off work, going back to England and seeing everyone and a nice little Thailand break it was back to work time. I've joined an organisation called EPIK (English Programme In Korea) who are the main providers of native English speaking teachers to Korean public schools. The application process is a ballache and they don't allow you to chose a destination so ending uo in Daejeon was a really nice surprise. It's a city bam smack in the middle of the country so it's got great access to the entire country. 

EPIK provided me with an eight day orientation to help ease into the Korean way of life and learn more about the school system. It's really just an excuse to meet new people and go out party. Which of course we tried our best to do, but were hindered by Nazi bootcamp style behaviour from the organisers who implemented a 10pm curfew. PSSSSSSHHHHH! That's never gonna fly. I'll leave out the gory details but it was a laugh.

The last day of the orientation is the nerve recking one. Not because you have to stand up in front of your fellow new teachers and deliver a condensed lesson into 15 minutes. No. It's because you find out where and what grade level you'll be teaching. And by rights, where you'll be living. I get my package......nerves kick the envelope......there's a picture of a school (that's a good start, at least it has a roof).....and there it is, big bold font....Jungri Elementary School. Phew. Elementary is what I wanted so I'm happy. OK, now where the hell is it. We all get given bus routes and maps so I ask the Korean supervisor to read the address of the school. She scours the map for a few minutes then points to a massive big green patch past the city limits..."mountains, countryside" she says. My jaw drops, my bum clenches and I get a sweat on. "countryside???????? mountains?????????" I get a little Chubb style panic on and try and figure out what is going on...."there's no way I can live in the mountains." 
The other Korean supervisor sees my face comes over and I explain the situation. He laughs (always nice...dick) and then has a look. He laughs again (dick) but this time at the fact that the other chick had got the address completely wrong, and in fact I am not in the country but nestled in Jungnidong, inside the city.  Phew. Bum unclenched. 

The next day we all go off to our schools and it's a roll of the dice to see what you end up with. From my experience happiness in the workplace in Korea is defined by two things:

1) Your co-teachers. These are the Korean teachers you work with in your class. A good co-teacher is basically one that can speak English and takes a general interest in your life. They want to include you in things and appreciate your work. 
A bad co-teacher is one that doesn't want you to be there and are over controlling. 

2) Your principal. This person essentially is your God and if you want anything then they have to approve it. Leave early, holidays, desk warming the lot.

So onto my co-teachers. I have three. One head co-teacher to help me with paperwork and if I have any questions about anything I need to go to her. So Hyun. She's a nice lady that treats me with mild indifference. Everything I have asked me with she has helped me, and by no means is she at all nasty or rude but i'm just treated with normality. This is certainly a better scenario than having a bad co-teacher so I'm happy with this. 

Onto the principal....he seems pretty jolly so that's a good start. Doesn't speak a lot of Engrish but says a few words. Two of my more interesting experiences in Korea have come from the principal. The first was when we were introduced. Due to a typhoon the kids didn't come to school but the teachers had to.  They had all congregated for a snack in the dining hall. I'm taken in, and i'm met with an applause from all the female members of staff....which was all of them. There were no male teachers there bar the principal. I turn a rosy shade of red as I walk down to the front of the dining hall on what feels like a catwalk. Then I meet the Boss and we have an awkward handshake that just wouldn't end. After which he grabs my hand like a child and leads me to the head table, makes an introduction (pause for applause) and then gives me a shot of soju. Booze in school???? WHAT????!!! 11am???? Just mental
The second story basically involves eating live prawns!! Actually pretty nice. 

So all in all it's been a pretty fun introduction back into Korea. I've met some really cool new people and I'm excited about the next year in a public school. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

Tattoos and the Police

I like tattoos...simple. So being so close to Japan and being a massive fan of Japanese art work I had to jump at the chance of going to the Seoul Tattoo convention....Ink Bomb 2012!!! A full weekend of tattoo culture related activities. Artists from all around the world, body painting, piercing, live artwork, live music, motorbikes, half naked girls, booze and food and of course live tattooing. 
I've always wanted a Japanese hannya mask so after a lengthy search through the Japanese artists I find one, Horigyn from the Sword of Rebel tattoo shop in Nagoya, Japan. Email the guys at Ink Bomb get an appointment booked and then it was waiting time....I had a good idea of what I wanted and the guys work looked good so I left it at that.

Fast Forward a few weeks....

The big day. I meet a friend at the event and also randomly bump into someone I know from my small Korean city. It's like Christmas for me....

I go meet Horigyn when I get in tell him what I want, he says he's gonna draw it up gonna take half an hour or so. So we go check out the place. It's awesome...people are getting tattoos everywhere and you can watch everyone at work. There's a BBQ outside and some amazing  beer on tap, a home-brew IPA. If you haven't been to a tattoo convention I'd highly recommend it. This was my first so I can't compare it, but it was great...

OK Tattoo time...(eventually... his time keeping was pretty casual)


So the hours tick by, people come and go. There were a lot of foreigners passing through so I could chat to a lot of them. Some people freaking out (which is never nice) and some people really complimentary....cause I have no idea what is going on back there. 

After a little while a steward for the event comes along and asks the guy to stop....hmmm ok...then a while bunch of people go outside. 10 minutes. 20 minutes.....Horigyn comes back and flashes a massive X at me...."Police...we stop!" 
"wha...come again???"

this is what my tat looked like at the at stage...

I was so close to being finished. He says..."ssshhh, ok we finish" 

He closes a curtain to the cubicle, turns the speed way down on his gun which makes it almost silent, and yes this means it hurt a lot more. But alas after 5 minutes the steward comes back and tells us to stop..."police come. You must all go!" 

The urgency with which everyone was moving gave me the impression that everything was pretty serious...but hang on my tattoo isn't finished...

Horigyn catches my facial expression and says "we go back to hotel!" and carries on packing up.
Wait what?? Whose hotel..cause I don't have one?...yours then? Wait what???
What's more rock n'roll than finishing a tattoo in some guys hotel room....I'm in!! Horigyn and his apprentice pack up the gear and we head out to the road where 5 or 6 police cars are pulling up and making their way into the building. I believe a few nice gestures are said between a few folk but I didn't really have time to get involved cause I was jumping into a cab with two random Japanese guys. 
We get to the hotel after a few Japanese/Korean/English words with the cabbie to get there it's on. I'm reassured by the presence of a lot of the other tattoo artists and their customers coming back to do the same thing. No idea what the hotel staff thought, but who cares really...

Ok lets make this place into a tattoo shop....GO!

Only took about 20 minutes and then it's all done....And it's awesome the guy rocked it out. So happy....
I scoot and make my way back to the convention to see what's going on and to get a few answers....I get told that the reason for the convention being shut down is that tattooing in Korea is illegal without the necessary medical license. You need this to stick a needle in someones body. So over 3/4 of the artists there don't have this license and the popo shut it down. I hear you say "then why have a tat convention?"......well normally the guys that run the show bribe the coppers to look the other way. Something must have gone wrong this time cause it did not work!!!! 

and here's a little eye candy...

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Muju....Go Hard or Go Home

Jarrod made this video of our second trip to Muju. He also has some clips from our first trip from Christmas Eve......1min 42secs is my favourite part...


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bad guts, Hospitals and My First (and hopefully last) Colonoscopy

Right folks...I've had a bad stomach for a few weeks. I went and saw the doctor and he had it diagnosed as diverticulitus. The basic description is that there is an inflammation in your intestine. It's pretty uncomfy and I was on meds for a week but that didn't really cut it. So I go back to the doc who in pretty good English says "well I think we should admit you and you shouldn't eat food for a couple of days"..."piss off" runs through my brain and I have the teeth marks on my tongue to prove how controlled I was. I turn to my Korean teacher..."So Jun, is he serious?" Jun:"yup...our health is very important" "BALLS"

So now not only do I have to go to a Korean hospital, I can't eat for two! not eat! unheard of. Actually turns out that this was a blessing in disguise. 

In I go...a few amenities..I say a few cause I have no idea what the hell to pack. I kind of presumed I would have a nice little room to myself where I can read and chill. HELL NO. I get to my first room, it's 2 million degrees and the average age was at least 80. As I write this i'm fairly confident the chap in the bed next to us isn't part of this planet. So I ask to change rooms. Room 712 is a much better option. It's only a million degrees, so that's a start. My Korean teacher is still around to help me out, and very politely asks the four chaps in the room if any of them spoke any English so as to help poor little Chubb should he require assistance....'yeong-eo opsoyo'! Basically translates to not a bloody lick of Engrish. Oh well. 

Nursezilla turns up. time for my drip to be set up....attempt 1: FAIL  attempt 2: FAIL attempt 3: FAIL.. c'mon seriously!!! So she makes a personal substitution and gets in what I presume was someone with half a minute's experience because attempt 4 goes in...and we're off! Now I'm not too manly to admit if there had to be a fifth attempt I might have fainted. My body did not like being stabbed repeatedly. I had the sweats and shakes. 
Nursey number 2 then hangs the sign that have my Korean roomies giggling food allowed! BALLS
Day 1 not going so well! 

I finally get to eat some 'food' after 2 days. It was some kind of rice soup. I image they basically blended up some rice added some more water and served it to me....F*&K ME it was just awful. The next day wasn't much better. I was allowed 'soft food' Korea (and most of Asia) they crazy buggers eat the same thing for breakfast lunch and hands up if they think Western Chubby wanted 2 pieces of unknown fish )with bones) boiled rice, spicy fish soup and picked radishes at 7am...let alone at 12pm for lunch and then again at 6pm for dinner. 

The chaps in my room turn out to be a great bunch of guys. Cannot for the life of me remember their names, but despite the language barrier, tried to help me out as much as possible. We would go for cigarette walks (I didn't smoke, just went for a walk) In a Korean hospital you can go pretty much wherever you like...We would go round the block on good weather days. I had my drip, a guy on crutches, a guy in a wheelchair and one guy ok to walk although probably shouldn't have been smoking cause I think he was in there for some kind of chest infection?!

But as much as I loved these guys and they really helped me out, my God they were a pain in the arse to share a room with...the farting, spitting, snoring, slurping and just general bodily noise that came out of the three of them was by the end just too much to take. 

So I spend 4 days 3 nights at the hospital. Get me the funk home. Doc gives me meds for another week. No booze (what!!) no spicy food (what!!) and not too much no fun!

A week goes by and I still have problems. I go off the meds for the next week with no real improvement or signs of it getting any worse. So I go for a second opinion. I go to another stomach specialist recommended by a co worker. Unfortunatly she says there's not much she can do. I should have had another scan before I left the hospital. But I didn't.  So back to the doc (who by the way is a fucking arsehole) who now reckons I don't have diverticulitus. No shit Sherlock! Then the dreaded statement that i'm pretty sure i'll never forget...."i think you should have a colonoscopy"....hmmmm "anything else we can try first?" doc: "nope" (arsehole). I get it booked in for the next day. I get a lovely package of goodies to take home with me as well in preparation.

I now i've gone on a while but this REALLY IS THE BEST BIT!

Between the hours of 9pm and 11pm I have to drink 2 litres of what I shall call 'purge solution'. This stuff is advertised with a little lemon flavour sign on arse. This stuff is rank. I go through the first hour struggling to keep it down the front end and worrying about the back even more. But nothing really happening. 11pm comes along and I finish the last of the PS. "hmmm this isn't so bad"

"HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"............................WOOOOOSHHHHHHH!

This continues basically through till about 230am.

Round 2:
6am. 2 more litres in 2 hours. 

There's not a lot left in me...i'm really tired and as you can imagine pretty grumpy. I get through maybe 5 sips before 'all systems are go'....for the next 2 hours I basically just sat on the loo. In one end out the other in the matter of seconds. And no matter how much I drank there was always more coming out than going in.

I have a moment of comic genius and decide that seeing my arse would be scary enough but seeing a day of arses can' be fun at all. So I draw this on my right bum cheek.

The broken damn finally dries up and I make my way to the hospital with Jun (Korean teacher). 
"you have the option of being awake or asleep"... "knock me the funk out"

Get to the bum section of the hospital and check in...almost like a hotel. Nothing like a hotel.

Get hooked up to my drip in preparation for the event. Then of all bloody things to happen the last swoosh of water in my stomach wants to come out. Quick run to the bog. I walk back and they're calling me name...AnDaRoo...

They wheel me in and hook me up to a heart rate monitor which suddenly jumps to about 150 beats a minute when the nurse brings in the python camera that is bout to go up my bum..."there's no way that's going up it?" NO ENGLISH! BALLS...but they know what i'm saying and have a right ol giggle...'funny Westerner"...hmmmm 200bpm. Sleepy time now. Knees up to my chest start counting. I have no idea how far I get.

My next memory is hazy. It consists of two Korean  nurses holding my shoulders down I presume telling me to 'chill the fuck out and lie down'. I have a vague memory of just wanting to get up and go to the loo. They eventually get me to lie back down and I'm out for the count. No idea how long. 

I regain consciousness to find myself still having the urge to purge. So I try to get up and Bambi legs kick in. The same two nurses come over and help me out. Of course the funny thing is that there is not a morsel of anything inside my intestines. But I go to the loo anyway and let out a massive fart. With the amount of air up there i'm surprised I didn't fly away. It's at this point I realise what damage 'the python' has done to my poor little anus....pain didn't really come close to how I felt..."dear God I need to lie down" Back on the bed and out for another nap.

I regain consciousness this time in what seem to be normality. Under the watchful eye of one of the nurses place my legs off the bed and successfully stand up unaided. Apparently this is all that is required for you to be discharged. So, with Jun, off to see the doctor. for my results. It took maybe 3 or 4 steps to realise that I was in quite a lot of pain. My anus was in Meltdown...what on earth did they put up there. My guts are screaming out to me to be cured by some kind of narcotic that would make everything ok. But it never comes. And not only that but I had to wait 20 minutes to see the doc. That was a long 20 mins. The doc says he has good news...."I didn't find anything in there". My immediate reaction was to think "then why did you send an aircraft carrier up my arse you putts??!!" In hindsight thought I am happy there is nothing majorly wrong going on down there. 

"So it is my opinion that you have IBS", was the next thing out of his mouth. BALLS. He then has what felt like an hour long conversation with my co teacher about my meds and all I can think of is "oh god my arse hurts"... I spend the next 15 hours in pretty much anal agony watching shit on tv and napping the pain away.

I do not know how gay men go through this for pleasure. Or how women agree to let scumbag men put their whatsits into option B... Mine is now purely an exit only orifice. 

This pretty much takes us up to the present day (21 April) where I am slowly feeling better and trying to watch my diet. 

More to follow I guess

Thursday, 16 February 2012


So getting my hair cut in Korea is the second scariest thing I have had to do after getting off the plane. It's  a funny experience. Not being too fussy I found a cool little place on the main street. They don't speak a blip of English and it wasn't a bar situation so my Korean here is very limited. So hand gestures and smiles and the chick gets that i'm here for a haircut...yes I also thought this might have been obvious seeing as I was in a hair salon. So here we go..."cut short please" .....................tumbleweed! Crap! So I find a picture on my phone and point...smiles and hand gestures. So a funky haired guy takes me to wash my hair.....all pretty standard so far. We mumble a few phrases...yup teacher....English....oh you like Radiohead and Park Ji Sun, that's nice, me too...yup teacher...

OK hair cut time....i'm sweating profusely at this stage...what am I gonna end up with??!!! she uses the phone for reference and everything seems to be going as normal....until one of the helpers comes along and is standing there just watching....ok....then another helper comes along and just starts watching me!!! hmmm ok....guys, there's a really big mirror right in front of me...I can see you watching me!!! They have a little chuckle now and then (I assume at me expense)...and every now and then the help brush some hair from my face. And then the cutting stops. Thank God...It looks OK....I'm half expecting the helpers to start applauding...but no....i'm taken back the the wash station and they wash my hair again....ooohhh fancy. Thanks.....oh you're washing behind my ears as well. Finally it's back to the chair to make myself look fabulous darling.....and it;s all over.

I go to pay...I'm joined by the girl that cut my hair, two helpers and the cashier.....I pay they all grab the door give me a little bow, we say goodbye and I feel like so overwhelmed getting a haircut....I felt a little bad cause all the time I was there no one else had the same attention....

SNAP!!! What the!!!!!!?????!!!!!!!

As I walk out a random Korean girl takes a photo of me and walks off!!!

What a bizarre afternoon

As far as haircuts go it was OK...I had the obligatory Korean cut around the ear...Look it up.Every Korean has no hair in the vicinity of his ear lobe

I'll leave with another picture
It's been cold lately

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

10 things that a waygook-in finds tough in Korea

1: I’d say the thing that just kicks me in the ass every time I hear it is old folk hocking their guts up. These old codgers do it everywhere. They smoke a lot in korea and you can really tell when they hit a certain age cause it’s completely acceptable to “aaacchhhh…..toopth”…and send some phlegm across the street. You’ll be on the subway, and if you are lucky enough to be near the old, preggers and disabled section then these chaps will unload sneeze after cough after hock….truely gross!

2: Korean Logic…..sometimes I ask myself how these guys have made it this far??!! Their sense of logic is mindboggling. Ok, example, Traffic lights in most intersections will only have a green light on for one lane in one direction at a time. So when you're sitting there in your cab at a red light for 5 minutes trying to catch your you want to kill someone!!!! 

3: Korean work ethic…Whilst I respect how hard these guys work I need to point out that there are builders working outside my bedroom window EVERY DAY! And have been for weeks now. And it never stops! It’s Sunday guys, 7am….PUT…THE …F*&$%#*…..DRILL….DOWN!!! It starts from a young age. These poor kids are working all day all the time. They get up at 6 and normally are in some kind of school until at least 10pm. These are 12 year old kids…It’s no wonder why Korean lack a certain social awareness. 

4: Food. 2 words…silk worms. END

5: K-Pop. You go out and you basically hear one long song by Koreans that basically look the same (in the same outfit. Not a racisist comment) and are adored by kids here for reasons unknown. The lyrics are hilarious and never appropriate…’bringing all the boys in’ always going to be a classic, but when its being sung by a wee 11 year old girl you have to ask what the heck is going on here. 
It’s a way of life over here….nutters

6: The Korean Bullet train. It's pretty cool and dead fast but to get a seat on the bloody thing you need to book 7 or 8 years in advance. I exaggerate, but when a one and a half hour journey turns into a 4 hour journey you're left a little miffed. This also relates to korean logic. Buggers are a right pain sometimes. 

7: Korean insulation....doesn't exist. It's getting very cold here. 

OK so i'm really picking at straws now. I can't actually think of 10 things just yet. I'm really enjoying my time in Korea. 

I'm going to leave you with a picture of Seoul Tower....

Some photos from the Last 5 months

Just some random photos i felt like uploading...

S is for SPAM

Leaning Tower of SPAM




Start of Autmn

"Gimme Five!"

Happy Birthday


The Great Wall of SPAM

Palace Wall

Do I need to say anything here??

Double Dragon

Beer anyone?