Monday, 25 May 2009

What kind of a Kim are you?

I did a search for “What is your Korean name” and got this. Sure, it is not hilarious, but it is still funny.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Something strange happened to me on the way to Friday

We took our annual teachers group photo today. Everyone was all dressed up. Even the Physical Education teacher was wearing a suite. I, on the other hand, was wearing my normal summer clothes, a dress shirt without a tie and rolled up sleeves. Can you guess why I was not dressed appropriately?

This makes it 4 out of the five days this week that thing were just forgotten. I wonder if I will get a 5/5 soon?

At least I can live with the knowledge that no one told the Korean first grade English teacher that I would not be there this afternoon. I guess I shouldn’t think that Koreans tell each other what they need to know either. Next time I will just have to tell her as soon as I know myself.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Shoot me now, please.

Let’s see if we can make it five days of UNANNOUNCED effing schedule changes in one week.

I’m still feeling a bit down, and hence I’m still feeling a bit peeved at the stupidity of yesterday, and then I get to school today just to see everyone heading outside for, something, which will undoubtedly cause the schedule to change, again.

When was I told about this? As I’m writing this everyone is outside and I’m still ignorant to what is supposed to be happening.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Oh brother!

Usually after lunch I take my cup, get water from the water machine, and brush my teeth at my table. I rinse and clean the brush in the cup. I know, it is not the most desirable way, but it is not THAT bad. Afterwards I just damp the water in the basin inside the office and wash everything away.

Today I was told/indicated that I should either not dump my water in the normal basin or I should brush my teeth outside. I am not sure which. Either way, I don’t see the point. I am not being rude. I am not dirtying the basin or the water, so what is the issue. It is one of those “We do it because we do it” jobs?


My co-teacher just explained to me that they don’t like it if I dump the water in basin. I don’t get it. If brushing my teeth did nothing to clean it, then why brush it. If it DOES clean my mouth, then surely the water is not unhygienic, is it? It is not clean, but neither is my day old coffee. There is nothing in there that will make you sick.

Apparently the idea is that the basin is for public use where people wash dished. What makes them think that washing dished and having microscopic food scraps in the sink is somehow cleaner than my just brushed mouth?

This is not going well with my day that has already been screwed up by the school.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

“…ek bly ‘n Bull. Laat staan die Sharks en…”

Bulls are No. 1

The Bulls finished on top of the Super 14 standings when they ground out a 27-26 win over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday, a result which knocked their compatriots and rivals on the day out of the competition.

The result means the Bulls will be at home, in Pretoria, to the Crusaders in the one semi final next week, while Chiefs swill host the Hurricanes in Hamilton.

This was a nail biter and one of the most exiting games I have seen in a very long time. Things like this can turn you from a supporter in to a fan.

** The post title is from a song that us the unofficial anthem of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union. The part in the title says “…I’ll stay a Bull. Never mind the Sharks and…”

Saturday, 16 May 2009

How is business?

Granted, it is raining in Myeongsong and it is only mid day, but it still seem strange that I'm the only person, other than the four, yes four, people who work at 충무김밥.

Oh, wait, we are now two customers. And there she goes. "Snack, smack!", all the way from across the room.

Enough Pride Already

I'm on the Seoul subway and an old man gets on. He looks at me but moves on, so I'm thinking he just does not want to sit next to the Waegugin. I'm mistaken.

He moves past and tries to sell a packet of gum to a lady across from me and when she declines his product he moves on.

The next tarket happens to be a mother and daughter. They decide that they don't want any gum but still want to help, so they take out quite a hand full of change to give to the man. While the daughter counts, the mother tries to give the useless gum back.

The old man, however, does not want the gum back, but neither dies he want the money. It would seem that the are not giving the amount he is asking for, even thought the are giving the gum back with the money.

He ends up walking away, looking back indignantly more than once while the two women fume at his behaviour.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

No, I don’t want any. Thank you.

Friday is Teacher’s Day. I doubt it will affect the teachers at this school much because we will all be on various field trips. Interesting thing is that the Gym will also be closed. The even more interesting thing is the reason.

Master Jo is closing the Gym precisely BECAUSE it is Teacher’s Day. He says he doesn’t like it when all the parents turn up with gifts and say thank you for teaching their children how to kick butt. I’ll say it again. The Gym will be closed because Master Jo does NOT want presents and thanks.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

BBoys? Pah!

Intercourse Korean BBoy’s! They ain’t got feces on these old timers:

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Big Bang ft. 2NT1

Sometimes, when the students did well in class, I allow them to any clip on YouTube. As long as it is not pornographic I will allow it. One class today asked for Lollipop by Big Bang(빅뱅).

For those of you who don’t know them yet, Big Bang is a Korean pop group, a mix of boys and girls. My students tell me they are all boys, but I don’t see how that can be true. In this Music Video they are joined by a group that I have not heard from before. Apparently they are called 2NT1(투애니 원)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Getting back to life

You know how your life just goes on to a useless direction every now and then? For various reasons mine did just that. For the last few months I was just lost in Korea. My apartment was a pig sty for weeks at a time so that I could hardly take a step without breaking something. Just try to keep things clean when it is that untidy.

The untidy room was just the most visible evidence, but the problem with that was it put you in a mindset of not wanting to do other things. Who would want to DO anything IN such a mess? It was my excuse for not studying in that I would clean for five minutes instead of study and then get bored. In I room like that I didn’t feel like keeping track of my photos, never mind editing them, and lost quite a few of the originals. At least I still have the edits. I didn’t want to cook and washing my clothes in a timely fashion was just not happening.

My health took a hit as well. For the last two weeks I was constantly tired. During the last two weeks I would get home from school and sleep for three hours, missing about half of the Hapkido classes for the period. I didn’t have any food for breakfast for almost a week and consequently I was not eating breakfast for that whole time. Needless to say, I didn’t have food for dinner either, so I ended up eating rubbish at various restaurants.

For no apparent reason, somewhere around Wednesday, I realized I really had to make a choice or things were just going to get worse. Since Wednesday I’ve been cleaning my apartment a little bit every day, packing things away to get it off the floor and where it belongs, vacuuming constantly to get rid of all the little bits that fall out of the stuff that was strewn on said floor and constantly taking out the full bags of junk.

I went shopping for fruit and other breakfast to make sure I get a good start to the day. I started going through my Korean every day. I even installed a decent TODO program on my iPod to keep track of all those things I tend to forget. This morning I went as far as doing a bunch of push-ups, sit-ups and back extensions to get the blood going.

With some direction in my life again, I seem to be getting four times as much done now and I feel the energy flowing again. For a bit if proof of how I am getting things back on track, just have a look at all the photos I uploaded on to Facebook lately. Now to see if I can get the blogging back on track again. If I can keep the photo editing up then I might start using the blog to display them.

New Facebook Uploads:

Korea, Hub of Pia (Three new)

Icheon - Part Two (A few towards the end)

Icheon Ceramics Festival (New Album)

Korea All Over (Rugby at the end)

Seoul Motor Show 2009 (Older, but still new-ish)

Thursday, 07 May 2009

Sick Piggy and the like

I was looking at the Wikipedia article about the current Sick Piggy problem and saw a few interesting things

Source of the virus

Growing evidences are pointing to a US-owned industrial pig farm in the central Mexican state of Veracruz as a likely source of the virus. The virus is derived in part from a North American swine flu virus that originated on a farm in North Carolina in 1998, possibly due to the increase in the number of pigs per farm over the past 40 years from 50 to 1000. La Jornada, one of Mexico City's leading daily newspapers, reported in an article on April 6, the statements of municipal and national authorities, which traced the virus to a massive feces lagoon at a factory farm owned at 50% by Smithfield Foods, world’s largest pork producer.

That is disturbing.

Government actions against pigs and pork

Main article: 2009 swine flu outbreak action against pigs

Although there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted by food, and influenza A viruses are generally killed by heating, some countries banned import and sale of pork products "as a precaution against swine flu".

Several countries, including Serbia, China and Russia banned the import of pork products from North America in general as a response to the outbreak, despite assurances from the WHO that the disease is not spread through pork. On April 29, the Egyptian Government decided to kill all 300,000 pigs in Egypt, despite a lack of evidence that the pigs had, or were even suspected of having, the virus. This led to clashes between pig owners and the police in Cairo.

It smacks of a cleric taking advantage of the situation, don’t you think?

Prevention and treatment

Further information: Influenza: Prevention and Influenza treatment

Recommendations to prevent infection by the virus consist of the standard personal precautions against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public. The CDC advises not touching the mouth, nose or eyes, as these are primary modes of transmission. When coughing, they recommend coughing into a tissue and disposing of the tissue, then immediately washing the hands.

Troubling thought in Korea, where adults find it OK to cough over a table with open food, never mind with other people at the table.

Airborne transmission

There is so far little data available on the risk of airborne transmission of this particular virus. Mexican authorities are distributing surgical masks to the general public. The UK Health Protection Agency considers facial masks unnecessary for the general public.[165] Many authorities recommend the use of respirators by health-care workers in the vicinity of pandemic flu patients, in particular during aerosol generating procedures (e.g. intubation, chest physiotherapy, bronchoscopy).


For a bit more general overview of the problem, have a look at this entry.