Sunday, 30 November 2008

I WILL kick arse.

Apparently I have to wait another month for a new colour belt. It is not because of anything I did wrong, but just the way things are. I was actually complimented for my by sparing skills and apart from two mistakes in the Moves, I was told I did very well.

That is all fine and dandy, and the system is the reason it took me four months to get to where I am now, but why does that not go for the others. Why did they get their first belts one month after starting, and why does another member get a second belt in his first month to put him on the same colour as myself?

I know I am here to learn and not for the belt, but I can’t help being at least a little miffed at this. The belt is a symbol of your skill and doubles as a motivation in terms of status and bragging rights. My status symbol and bragging rights are now equal to Eddies, and I already mentioned what his level of ability is. I am now seen as equal to someone who can’t do anything.

The way I am is to either give up or work harder. I will not give up. I was here first and I like being here. I will work harder. I might not have the bragging right with the belt colour, but I will silently make the others, who are getting their belts free, look as bad. I will have the true bragging rights. I will train my moves until I can do them perfectly with every little detail included. I will stretch until I look like a gymnast and I will practice my kick until I can do the basics as well as the black belts can.

Master Jo mentioned that as part of the next colour belt I will have to show that I can do things like the front flip. At least I know I am very far ahead with that and with the holidays coming up I will have more time to study all the things I want.

Speaking of studying, one of my adult students decided that I needed to learn Korean and she is giving me a lesson every week. She has now decided that I need two lessons a week. I am pretty sure this is her first time teaching Korean to someone, because the keeps on teaching me something and then changing it in the first practice run. When I look at her like she is speaking Greek she doesn’t always realise she is changing thing. At some point I will have to ask her to go a little slower. I am still a real beginner at this, after all.

Here is something I am working on already.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The healthy way to smoke.

I found out today that KT&G, a big company here in Korea, stands for Korean Tobacco & Ginseng.

Let me get this straight. Korean ginseng is supposedly the healthiest think in the word, despite the lack of any real evidence, and you sell it alongside tobacco? Sooooo, if I dink ginseng tea while smoking, does that mean all the negative effects are neutralised?

Lower down on the Wikipedia page the following three cigarettes are listed at their products:

  • Humming Time
  • Timeless TIME
  • Timeless TIME Light
  • THIS
  • THIS plus

    Really? I tried a quick search for these products, but nothing to be found.

  • Friday, 28 November 2008

    Another Month. Another Test.

    We will have another belt test today. Hopefully I will not make a mess of it like I did last time. From what I have figured out so far, Hapkido belts are based on your knowledge of Self Defence Moves. Kicking, punching, tumbling and weapons are not part of the pre-black belt requirement. I could be wrong, but there are children here at the dojang who are useless, so it must be Moves.

    Normally it takes one year to get through the requirements for your first black belt. In other martial arts it can take as long as four year, so I don’t put to much faith in the value of this particular black belt. Never the less, a thick black will sure look cooler than a thin yellow or thin red or thin anything. We also get our names embroidered on our black belts, and I like that a lot.

    Right now it seems that we foreigners are being fast tracked through these moves and thus through the belts. At the rate we are going now we are all set to get our belts well before the end of one year. The others might get theirs in an even shorter time than I will.

    Eddy is one of these “lucky” ones. Eddy joined one month ago. Because of a competition (in which I won gold), we had our October belt tests in November and Eddy joined one week before that test. During that week we studies self defence, so Eddy was lucky enough to get his first upgrade after just one week. If he gets a new belt tonight he will have received two upgrades in one month. I had my first belt test one month after I started and the actual test that included the requirements another month later. That is two month for my first belt.

    Eddy sound like he is fantastic, right, but here is the thing. He was lucky. He joined in the particular week when we studied the requirement and now, with the extra foreigners, we are moving much faster than when I was alone. Eddy can’t kick, while my spinning kick is gaining height. I am this ( àß) close to doing the forward flip while Eddy is afraid of rolling forward on the floor. Master Jo points out small thing that I do wrong while he corrects Eddy once and then seems to give up, letting him do whatever he wants. I studied TEN moved to get my orange belt while Eddy needs to know only five. I am assuming he will get his new belt tonight with just the five. This is Korea, after all, and failing someone is just not done, so I’m pretty sure the five will be all he needs. I got my belt even with the mess I mad of it last time.

    I’m, you can see why I would be upset. I work my arse of and have to do more than double what Eddy does, but I am not upset at all. When I get my black belt, and Eddy gets his one month later, I will be able to kick his arse in fifty ways that he doesn’t even know about. He will BELIEVE he is a black belt, but I will KNOW I am a black belt.

    I didn’t join in order to get a black belt. I joined because I wanted to learn something useful while getting fit, and the gym just boring. Eddy keeps on asking be what the next bet is for me, but I don’t know and I don’t really care either. Why care about what colour your next belt is if you can’t even do a stupid little roll on the floor? Why should I care about when I get my black if I still lose my balance when I try to kick to fast or to high? It will come when it comes.

    There is another foreigner with us who wants to be able to KNOW she is a black belt. Pinky is still kicking like a girl, but in a short time she has already surpassed Eddy. Eddy kicks like the guys in the clip at the end. I will be happy to have Pinky with me as a black belt, knowing that she knows how to kick my arse.

    Thursday, 27 November 2008

    Palli! Palli!

    This is so typical, but it is also still amusing.

    This morning at about 09:30 I was told that my adult class will have their closing ceremony tomorrow at 11am. I suppose the school have known about this for a while already, but in true Korean fashion everything is left to the very last. Suddenly it was important to find out who actually attends the class and phone them to inform them of the event.

    The school gave me a list of the initial attendees in the beginning of the year. A third of those people never showed up and many of them didn’t come back after the first lesson. I am not sure what the school is telling the people, but it seems they don’t realise I only speak English. I made my own list at the beginning f the year, but quite a few people have come and gone, that I just got fed up and didn’t update it any more.

    The teacher in charge brought me the initial list and asked me who was still in my class. I don’t know anyone’s Koreans name! I have 500 middle school students with Korean names and their names all sound the same. All the names are combinations of just ten sounds. In one class I have three girls with not just the same names, but the same family names as well. There are girls with the same name in a few other classes as well. Anyone who has been here for a while knows that it is nearly impossible to remember all these names.

    I happen to have the phone numbers of two of the adults on my phone, so I gave him those. What he does with it is now up to him now.


    Found through Roboseyo.

    Wednesday, 26 November 2008

    Evil Foreigner

    Derek, who appeared on the SeoulPodcast again this week, spoke about this photo he took of his father on the Seoul Subway.

    They are all sitting in the section for the old and cripple. I find it hilarious how the other two just stay there, all squashed up like that. And the Evil Grin. He knows what he is doing!

    Korean Dinosaurs

    Brian posted something relating to an article about dinosaurs in Korea. At one point in the article someone refers to Korean Dinosaurs. KOREAN Dinosaurs! Because we all know that a few million years ago, when Koreans were hunting Raptors…

    Like the Korean Jesus in Myeongong I thought I would tray to find a picture of a dinosaur and edit its eyes so that it will look Korean. After a short search, I realised that my skills were just not up to doing that sort of job in any time short enough to make it worth while. I did find this though:

    Could this possibly be a Korean-like Dinosaur?

    Tuesday, 25 November 2008

    Luke! Luke! His our man!

    Ryan at listed what he things to be the best and the worst of South African Rugby this past season. It was an OK piece until I got to the Special Merit Award.

    To understand the award you have to remember that nothing in SA sport is untouched by politics. The Springbok, previously the emblem of SA sport was taken away because somehow it was racist, or whatever stupid reason they had. Rugby managed to keep the Bok because that is where it all started a bunch of decades ago. The other sports had no real claim to it. The SA rugby team is known as the Springboks. They ARE the Springboks. SA Rugby recently wanted to take the Bok away and just use the national symbol, like every other sport. The national emblem has been there for a very long time already, but now they want to have just that and take the Springbok away.

    In light of that, this award was included:

    Special merit award

    This one goes to Luke Watson for his unbelievable service to South African rugby. We salute you. His decision to avail himself for the Springboks again after the King Protea was confirmed as the national emblem (rather the vomit-inducing Springbok) was a godsend. The Springboks would have been dead and buried without Watson. A top player with a personality that endears him to all.

    Sunday, 23 November 2008

    Anti Snow Measures

    During the week Two Thousand City broke out the Anti Snow Measures. The measures come in the form of yellow containers next to the road. Inside the containers you will find bags of course sand, possibly mixed with salt.

    When there is snow on the road, someone, and I do mean someone, because I haven't actually seen someone doing it but only the end results, will take the sand and throw it on the road. This has the effect of melting the snow and even before then it will add traction in the snow itself.

    Saturday, 22 November 2008

    Nice weather we're having today

    I read a blog post a while back, I’m pretty sure it was Brian, about how the Korean text books say stupid things about other countries. They mentioned things like the obsession Western countries seem to have with the weather and that the likely reason is that they don’t have nice weather like Korea.

    First off, have you ever been to South Africa? I have never seen below zero in my home town, EVER! OK, maybe once, or twice, but I can’t even remember when that was. It rarely goes over 35 Celsius, and if that sounds hot, consider that the humidity there is low. 35 there is like 30 here. Now tell me again that Korea has great weather? I sweat my arse off in summer and I freeze it off in winter. Go on, tell me.

    Secondly, show me ONE Korea who has not complained about the cold, and more specifically, the sudden cold. Show me one Korean who doesn’t complain about the hot summers. I can show you a few who even complain about the short spring and autumns.

    At least Korea can say that now they have five distinct seasons.


    And now for the more on the nice side of Korea...

    Friday, 21 November 2008

    Certificate of English Communicative Ability

    I walked past the secretary earlier and she was busy typing names for the “Certificate of English Communicative Ability”. I personally helped Romanize the names, and I had to do it for all the students who got 120 and over out of 200. It seems these students are classified in the “Top Qualification” bracket.

    120 is part of the top bracket? I hope I was mistaken. I know these students. In the middle school third grade there are about 10 students, max who can actually get their point across. I include the broken English in this. There are about 25 more who can, with single words, gestures and a lot of guessing on my part, tell me something that makes no sense. Even the work that they study in my class normally does in one ear and out the other. My favourite example is when I ask many students “What is most important to you?” in a test nogal, they answer with “YES!” Sure, those students didn’t get in to that top bracket, but I didn’t see any 0 or 10, or even 20 point scores.

    I know we don’t want the students to be discouraged from learning English, but do we really want them to live under the delusion that they can actually speak the language? Even worse, do we want to give them the ammunition to give potential employees and schools the impression that they can communicate in English?

    I didn’t say anything when I saw it. I went to my desk, opened my little fruit juice and finished watching more P&T.

    Thursday, 20 November 2008

    P&T B*******

    I have always looked at Koreans in amazement, and sometimes, I am sorry to say, distant, at the way they let their little ones walk around without anyone to look after their safety. Being from a Western culture, my main concern is with adults who might abduct, molest or even kill.

    I’d say that in this country road safety is a bigger issue. I cringe every time a little one runs across a road, even a quiet road, without any concern for possible cars. We all know how taxis drive in this country and very often other drivers are just as bad.

    With these ideas in mind, I stumbled upon the video clip and though it had some relevance to Korea. I include part one and two because there are a few other things in there.

    I love statistics, and this clip uses it in a magazine type way. Sure, statistics, or numbers if you prefer, can be made to show anything, but the numbers here are still interesting no matter how you look at them. I also find the statement by the interviewee right at the start of the second clip interesting. Sure, feelings do matter, but just because something is horrific does not mean it is more likely. Unfortunately though, if someone WANTS to believe something, then the truth is irrelevant. Dare I mention religion here?

    P&T Bullshit Stranger Danger Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3:

    Tuesday, 18 November 2008

    Save the English!

    After a loss to Australia this past weekend England lost a position in the International Rugby Board world rankings. It is not that serious, except that the now number 4 team is Argentina. I am sure there are very few people who don’t know that Argentina loves football, or who don’t know who Diego Maradona is. Argentina is not however, know as a world power in Rugby Union.

    The normal situation in world rugby is that you have the five “big” Northern hemisphere teams, and the three actual big Southern hemisphere teams. They are known as the (previously) Five Nations and now the Six Nations, and SANZAR or the Tri Nations respectively. There has been a traditional battle between the two groups with the South generally accepted as historically stronger. In the North there is usually one strong team at a time and at times two or three. Traditionally England and France are the two strong teams. The three teams in the South however, had always been strong and dangerous at the very least.

    Argentina had always been a team to be ware of, but they were never a force in world rugby accept for a few spurts. Whether their current form can be classified as a spurt is still to be seen.

    What is nice is about England dropping down is that, instead of just the first three spots, the South now occupies the first four. Fiji is down there as well. For a country with no money, few people, and who plays the 7s version more often than the full version, tenth place is quite amazing.

    IRB World Rankings:

    1. New Zealand 
    2. South Africa
    3. Australia
    4. Argentina
    5. England
    6. France
    7. Wales 
    8. Ireland 
    9. Scotland 
    10. Fiji

    92.41 rating points

    Just in case you were wondering, Italy is the sixth Northern nation and was only recently knocked down to eleventh. Other teams that might be of interest to people in Korea find themselves in these positions:

    15. CANADA
    16. JAPAN
    19. USA
    22. KOREA
    44. CHINA


    The points might make it seem that here isn’t that big a difference between, say, China and South Africa, but I would not be surprised if a very strong SA high school team, or a under 23 provincial team at the very least, taught China a few lessons about the game.

    Maybe the current situation will give Argentina more ammunition to become part of the Tri-Nation. I wonder if it will then be called the Square Nations.

    Friday, 14 November 2008

    Min Dae

    "Min Dae", Afrikaans for “Few Days”, is what they use to say in the South African military when you were coming to the end of your service. Back then service was compulsory. Lucky for me if was abolished the year before I finished school. I would not have minded going for one year, but it was a two year service, with the second year seeing you sitting around counting your toes. Back to Korea though…

    While I was working on my schedule for the remaining weeks, it hit me that I will not be able to finish the work I wanted to do. I think I have about three weeks before the end of year exams. There will be one of two days where my classes for the day will be inexplicably cancelled. There will be days where the teachers will ask me if they can take the class to catch up with tings they still have to do and then there will be days that, well, I have no idea what will happen on those days. All in all, when I look at my time for the rest of this year, I calculate that I have about two weeks of actual classes left, maybe even less.

    Korea has this amazingly effective system where students will write their final exams and then still have about two weeks of school to finish. In those two weeks I, and I am sure the other teachers as well, will be unable to teach anything. The one problem is that there is nothing to teach. The FINAL exam already happened! The other thing is that the students just don’t care about anything other than tests. They care about tests because they must get the scores to scratch out their little place in this society. Just before you forget, this year’s FINAL exam is already finished! Therefore they have nothing to make them care about school any more.

    Right now I am counting the day. Just a couple of weeks to go and I will be free to do almost anything I want. Sure, you would think that I would prepare for next year, but we are getting new textbooks, so I have no idea what the lessons will be. I will use the time to get motivated again to teach in a system that rewards students for doing nothing at all and puts the students who do at a disadvantage because of those students who DO NOTHING AT ALL.

    * Update: One third year class taken away without explanation, a few more to go.


    My "interesting" Clip for today is from YouTube. It is actually just audio so be sure to have stereo headphones and be very sure to listen with your eyes closed.

    Thursday, 13 November 2008

    Attending an Open Class

    I attended an open class yesterday. The “native speaker” claimed that they did nothing special, but we all know how it goes with open classes. The Korean teacher will plan for weeks, if not months in advance to make this the best class ever. Sometimes they will combine the best students from two or three classes and they will even have a practice class. When all is done the school’s head master will be happy that his school was portrayed in the best light possible and all the other teachers and education department representatives will pretend that they don’t know what is happening and be full of admiration for the fantastic class.

    This particular class was odd for me because it was at an elementary school. I’ve never even thought at that level. My co-teacher who went with me taught high school and this is her first year in middle school, so she was just as lost. OK, maybe a little less, but she did admit that she knew next to nothing about elementary school. Add to this us being about 20 minutes late because of, well, I don’t know why, and the whole thing was just a waste of my time.

    One good thing that came out of it was that I got to go home early. I have a bad cold and was able to get an hour’s sleep before getting on with the normal evening activities.

    The normal evening’s activities include Hapkido. We did front flips again tonight. Just a few more sessions and I will have it down pat. The new girl joined us today. We are now four adults/foreigners and it is turning out great. We get attention together that I never got while I was alone. Everything is now explained in detail and taken in small steps. Maybe it is because it is now worth separating us from the others or maybe the Master has learned a few things from teaching me, the Westerner. Whatever it is, I am learning things I never learned before and am improving faster than the others because I have a bit of experience already and now I am being show what I didn’t know before.


    Did you know there is something called a Memoriad?

    Tuesday, 11 November 2008

    Dark Secrets: Inside the Mind of a Mafia Hitman

    I was waiting for my class to start so I clicked the Stumble Video button on my browser. The very first clip that came up was a clip called Dark Secrets: Inside the Mind of a Mafia Hitman where a psychiatrist interviews Richard Kuklinski.

    Right of the bat I felt uncomfortable with the guy and the feeling of horror over his actions did not help at all. I admire the braveness of the psychiatrist doing the interview. It could not have been easy.

    Another thought I had was how the psychiatrist had to have empathy, but not sympathy. In short, empathy is to understand or to put your self in someone’s shoes. That is that psychologists and psychiatrists need to do. People who never studied psychology or related subjects tend to believe you need sympathy. Sympathy is when you feel with the person.

    Imagine if you were feeling with someone like this. Imagine how messed up you will get. Remember that he will not be your only client/patient. Imagine, if you feel with every lonely wife or depressed husband, what you would look like at the end of one month. I can understand why people would like to think that you need to feel with your clients, but in the end you will lose all objectivity, not to mention your ability to help others.


    Pronunciation: \ˈem-pə-thē\
    Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion — more at
    Date: 1850

    1: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
    2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner ; also : the capacity for this

    Pronunciation: \sim-pə-thē\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural sym·pa·thies
    Etymology: Latin sympathia, from Greek sympatheia, from sympathēs having common feelings, sympathetic, from syn- + pathos feelings, emotion, experience — more at pathos
    Date: 1579

    1 a: an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
    b: mutual or parallel susceptibility or
    a condition brought about by it c: unity or harmony in action or effect <every part is in complete sympathy with the scheme as a whole — Edwin Benson>
    2 a: inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord <in sympathy with their goals>
    b: feeling of loyalty : tendency to favour or support <republican sympathies>
    3 a: the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another b: the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity <have sympathy for the poor>
    4: the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their vibrational energy to one another through some medium

    Monday, 10 November 2008

    One Black Eye

    EinsteinI’m not exactly seen as someone who stares at himself in the mirror. I consider the mirror something to make sure I don’t look like Young Einstein after my shower, or like a cow just gave birth to me after I take my helmet off.

    Imagine my surprise when I looked in the mirror after lunch and noticed my one under eye was darker than the other. I didn’t sleep well last night due to a bout of coughing, so a little colour was to be expected, but there was a definite difference.

    On Friday we were practicing the Ee Chul Bong, aka Nanchuks. Somehow, out of the blue, I managed to hit myself just under the left eye. I still have no idea how I managed it. The move I was doing when it happened should not even make that possible. Even worse, how did I not see it in the mirror? Really, how?

    Sunday, 09 November 2008

    Seoul Forest

    I found out of the existence of Seoul Forest from a post by Roboseo. I had set aside this weekend and possibly next weekend to look for autumn photographs, to I was not going to let the change go by to see what a forest in Seoul looks like.

    I have to say that I was a little disappointed. It is a "forest", is it not. Turns out it is more like a biggish park. Apparently development started about 10 years ago with the idea that it would be something like New York's Central Park. I am sure that in about 10 years from now, when the trees are bigger, it will be more impressive, but unless I have been misled about Central Park, I doubt it will be that nice.

    There were 23 photos worth keeping, nothing fantastic, but enough to give you an idea of what it looks like there. Keep an eye out for the recycling of art pieces, the trees that "grow" in straight lines and the sight that, I think, says you are not allowed to walk on the water in imitation of Jesus. the very last photo is of an old man on the subway with a pink phone. Oh, Koreans do love their pink.

    Saturday, 08 November 2008

    Xenophilia in Korea

    Today was the first time I listened to the new Wonder Girls song from start to finish. I heard the chorus a few times before and it is a catchy song, but I swear they are being xenophiliacs. I listened very carefully and I am VERY sure that they are saying: “I wont nobaady nobaady baa JEW” (wont = want). What is so special about the Jews? All I know about he Jews are stereotypes and that basically translate to not knowing anything, so what is it? What? WHAT?

    Of course, there is the possibility that they are saying: “I want nobaady Baa Jew.” It might be changed to: “You know, Baa Jew, I wont nobaady.” That, however, makes even less sense.

    You know, just watch the video. I like the way they change between microphones during the song. It looks nice. Watch out for the tasteful and all time Korean favourite toilet humour at about 1:30.

    Friday, 07 November 2008

    About South Africa

    I suspect these questions were tampered with, but it is amazing how stupid questions can be, especially about a country like South Africa. I would not be surprised if Australians get similar questions.

    Korea knows as little about the RSA as we know about them, so I've had a few amazing questions already. My all time favourite is "Where is South Africa?" The possible answers are endless.

    Before you start on the list of questions, note that Hillbrow is a notoriously dangerous place with very high crime rates.

    Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
    A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die

    Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
    A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

    Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
    A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometres. Take lots of water.
    (It is likely more like a thousand, but what is a thousand between friends?)

    Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa? (Sweden)
    A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

    Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town, Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay? (UK)
    A: What did your last slave die of?

    Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa? (USA)
    A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

    Q: Which direction is north in South Africa? (USA)
    A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get there and we'll send the rest of the directions.

    Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa? (UK)
    A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

    Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
    A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is.. oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, straight after the Koala Bear races. Come naked.

    Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa? (France)
    A: No, WE don't stink.

    Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa? (USA)
    A: Anywhere where significant numbers of Americans gather.

    Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
    A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

    Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa? (France)
    A: Only at Christmas.

    Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa? (Germany)
    A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.
    (Actually, the African bee can be VERY aggressive and thus dangerous in groups, but not on the scale you get with the mutants in the Americas)

    Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
    A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

    Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
    A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
    (I hope I get a change to tell someone this some day. The best I ever did to was to convince someone that Cape Town is a county on it's own, as it should be.)

    Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? (USA)
    A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

    Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA)
    A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

    Wednesday, 05 November 2008

    Trey Parker - I'm So Ronery

    I'm So Ronery
    So ronery
    So ronery and sadry arone

    There's no one
    Just me onry
    Sitting on my rittle throne
    I work rearry hard and make up great prans
    But nobody ristens, no one understands
    Seems like no one takes me serirousry

    And so I'm ronery
    A rittle ronery
    Poor rittle me

    There's nobody
    I can rerate to
    Feel rike a bird in a cage
    It's kinda sihry
    But not rearry
    Because it's fihring my body with rage

    I'm the smartest most crever most physicarry fit
    But nobody else seems to rearize it
    When I change the world maybe they'll notice me
    But until then I'rr just be ronery
    Rittle ronery, poor rittle me

    I'm so ronery



    And while we are on the bad English, why not play thing one again. I doubt anyone can ever get enough of her:

    Tuesday, 04 November 2008


    Translating can be a dodgy business, especially when the one party knows nothing about one of the languages. The BBC posted a story that I can see playing of somewhere in Easy Asia. Read about how things went wrong in Wales.

    Monday, 03 November 2008

    I deserved what I got.

    I was hoping to wear an orange belt when I go to Hapkido today, but alas, I still be donning the lowly yellow. Eddy and I were assured that we did well in Friday’s test, but I personally feel that we sucked. I know I did. I should have done a lot better. Part of the reason is that Eddy was wasting my practice time by talking all the time, but that is not a good enough excuse.

    In case you are wondering how Eddy talking can be a problem, “listen” to this:

    Doing a strange, almost familiar move and making a weird sound.

    “Eddy. Make space for yourself. Lift the arm up and out so that you have a wide door for yourself.”

    “OK.” Doing some strange limited space movement crunched up movement.

    “Nope. Not that. Let me do is so that you can feel what it feels like from my side. Then you will feel why you need to make space for yourself.” Showing the move.

    “Did you feel that?”

    “Yes. You know, that is the circle movement I read about. And if you do this right then you can really help yourself to kick someone’s arse and I am feeling more confident already (after 5 days) and I really like this except for the right muscles, but you know…”

    “Eddy! Speak while you do.”

    For every 5 seconds of practicing he is content with talking for 30 and still not listen, or feel.

    I learned my lesson and have taken steps to rectify the problem. From now on I will be tell Eddy to focus on what he needs to do as often as I have to. Also, over the weekend I sat down and wrote/described on to paper every self defence movement I have learned up to now. This way I can go over it often so that it becomes second nature. I doubt the other students can remember more that the current level that they were studying, but then again, trying to remember the previous 50+ when you have to learn 10 new complicated moved in four days is not easy and even less when your partner is learning something else.

    I am also working on memorizing the names of the kicks and pushes. That might be more difficult, but I have to do it. Next time I want that stupid orange belt and I want the one after that quickly. I’m working on getting more foreigners to the dojang and I want to be the boss of them when they start. *wink*

    * Update: We were handed our new belts on Tuesday. Needless to say, I was surprised and a little embarrassed.

    Sunday, 02 November 2008

    Super Cow

    I managed to get my hands on a cow suite earlier this week. From the start the intent was to get a photo like this. It did not come out the way I expected, but then again, I had only a tripod and a timer to help me. Luckily there was no one around to see me do this. That is what you get when you go out at 8am on a cold morning in a tiny city.

    Saturday, 01 November 2008

    USA in the world cup again.

    For a country where no one seems to even know that the sport exists, The USA is doing well. Granted, their only competition is Canada, but the have qualified for the World Cup a few times now.

    The results from the World Cup Qualifier:
    USA 52 Mexico 0
    USA 31 Bermuda 0
    USA 35 Trinidad 10
    USA 41 Guyana 7
    USA 55 Bermuda 0 (Semi Final)
    USA 21 Canada 12 (Final)

    Read the whole article here.