Thursday, December 23, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Lu Lu La La Land
This is an expression on of my students used years ago to describe how Koreans react to world around them. It may come as a surprise for many but South Korea has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. You can walk around at 3am and you will be fine. (As for women, a bit of caution is needed)
In Philly I was robbed, chased, beaten up, the list could go on. If I were out late returning home, I was afraid, and was very cautious. If I saw someone walking on the other side of the street, I kept an eye on him, and kept a good distance.
Korea is at war. It is no joke, it isn't a game, its the real deal. I think that there are more exchanges of fire across the DMZ than the government would like to admit, or rather let the public know. Yesterday afternoon while I was chilling at home, eating lunch. North Korea fired 200 arty rounds at an inhabited island. 2 Korean marines died, and others were wounded, some of them civilians. It was an act of war.....oh but wait there is already a state of war. The general reaction from most people was: It makes me feel angry, but I am not worried about it.
People here including myself are living in a lu lu la la land. I need to come to grips with the reality that it isn't “safe”. Just because it was 200 km away doesn't mean that North Korea can't launch short range missiles at lets say.....Gunsan? I think if North Korea hit a more populated area, South Koreans might actually wake out of this lu lu la la land that they and myself are in. I just hope that there is no loss of life. I know it is stupid to think that way.....in war there is death.
Through out history man has been bring man to ruin since Abel murdered Cain. I hope I stop hearing "North Koreans are part of our nation, there is no need to fear violence from them."
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Wow time sure does fly! There will be another wedding, this time it is our little Abu. I know she feels quite nervous about getting married. I also know it will be an exciting, while sometimes stressful transition to make. I am hoping that we will be able to keep in touch as well. I love technology and I know that my brother in law has a love for tech as well. It would be nice to trade notes.
We are moving to a larger apartment near where we used to lived. It is much better furnished, and well I love it. It has 3 bedrooms, so I am thinking of converting that small room into something. I don't want a office, as I am used to having my pc's in the master bedroom. George in time will be given a desktop (no net access though), and we will have all of his books ready for him. I plan to take him around to various museums, and outings. It is amazing how educating a trip outdoors can be. We might even hire a tutor to help out with math.
Next month we will be taking a flight to India for the wedding but I will post more on that as time passes.
My car on other hand has been through the ringer, I had to have the timing belt changed with the water pump. In addition the cam guide valve gave out, so oil was leaking into the combustion chamber....white cloudy smoke! It is all good now. Oh and she got a new bumper .
Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Finally we can feel winter here in Gunsan! Today was cold, and very windy. So we are getting ready for a long cold winter. This year I have made made a promise to myself, and my family; no driving if snow is on the roads. Its that simple. I don’t care if we have 1 or 2 cars, they will remain in the underground parking lot, where one they are protected from the elements ice, and snow, and two will never require digging to get it out.
I paid about 1.5mill won in damages to my car because I decided to drive. Not this time around. Another thing I am noticing that my Korean co-workers having been following this very simple rule for years. So it is that simple...NO DRIVING WITH SNOW ON THE GROUND...PERIOD. We will take taxis, or buses.
I mean in Alaska obviously people would tell me to get my head checked. Alaskan roads are much safer due to major arteries being cleared, and salted. Here.....even the inter city roads don't get enough attention. One student told me how due to snow not being cleared, dozens of cars were involved in a huge pile up!
Well that will not be us...not this time!
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Oh well all is well that ends well. Winter is coming and although I realize that it is fall, here in Gunsan it is a very short season. Fall began quite early for us, so I am thinking that winter will also come earlier that usual, and last for a longer period of time.
Jeyo is on the road to recovery thanks to Mom, Dad, Abu, and even George helped out! There is a possible wedding coming soon, so we are getting ready for it. I think I will have to take extra time off for this one. Ok I have to run! I still have pictures from Yeo-su that I need to post.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
I am happy we did not go, in Seoul they received HEAVY amounts of rain. So much rain that in picture it looked liked cars where swimming! It is not common for Seoul to get so much rainfall.
Yogita and I rested, talked alot, rested, talked, played eve, called family. I forgot to get nice phone cards.....my fault.
Now I feel like things will return to normal. Normal was about 6 months ago. A new teacher will arriving. We will do our best to help the new teacher settle in. I think all will go well.
This weekend we will venture out, and travel. We haven't been traveling since our road trip, so I am eager to get out and take Yogi somewhere. She really loves to look out of car at nature as we drive by.
Overall I would say this chusok was the best in terms of time spent getting to know each other. Previous years it was all hustle and bustle, traffic jams, and basically the normal stress related to traveling during a peak season.
Sometimes it is nice to just kick back and chill!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I love being out..... close to nature and pondering about a gazillion things that tickle my more intellectual and philosophical side from time to time...
so anyhoo we were near these majestic absolutely beautiful mountains filled with all sorts of different trees.....spruce, oaks, birch, pine, bamboo, palm, alder...bursting with various shades of green.....and it got me thinking of the beauty of Jehovah's creation and how truly amazing it is...and no matter how tiny and insignificant we may feel next to the wonders of creation we are the most important creation of all.....and every experience in the course of our life whether good or bad shapes us into who we are....and where we are.... right at this point in our lives.
And the experience they are also a wonderful thing...during our trip we saw the beautiful shapes carved out in the mountains and the cliffs..due to no other reason than erosion.....i will share the analogy one of my students gave...we are like these jagged stones and these life experiences good and the bad ones smooth the rough edges and shape us into these beautiful gems and makes us who we are ...precious and unique!!!!!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
We took a 2 day vacation and it was Fun.....we visited Sunchon, Yosu, Pusan, Taegu, and Taejon...Beautiful scenery, majestic mountains, wonderful beaches, amazing valleys.....here is the route we travelled...we will be posting a series of post complete with pics. and a bunch of insights from our trip!!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We really like this place so we might stay another night here...but we will see.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Our apartment would really feel great because air gets trapped in it. So one hour of cooling might last for 2 hours or more, until we feel uncomfortable enough to switch the unit back on. Oh well the search is on!
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
“The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present.”
When we are living in the past we see people through a veil...our judgement is colored by their actions in the past...so in reality we don't see them as they are rather what we think they are....we overlook so many chances of loving and really enjoying the present because we are truly not free of the past...The Bible tells us that we need to look to the future....i catch myself doing this more often than i would like to admit.....but i am trying to let go of past grievances, enjoy the present and optimistically look forward to the future....not easy but worth it!
Sunday, August 01, 2010
It reminded me of the all time favorite melody "life is but a dream".....it is an interesting way to look at it...and just like in a dream we have the power to change things...we have the power to make choices and turn it around..change the outcome....
this is so true (Astrid Alauda): " Dreams are free, so free your dreams".
Thursday, July 29, 2010
We have a dinner tonight with the staff I was planning to head out early but well that will not happen.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Amazing! amazing! just absolutely amazing...
rice cookers are very popular in Korea what with rice being the staple food and all....
anyways, i am totally blown away by the fact that there are so many things you can prepare in a rice cooker besides rice...for example the other day i made a full breakfast of french toast eggs and bacon in the rice cooker...last week for dinner i made chicken and vegetable stew and the other night i make pork and vegetable stir fry in the rice cooker....
Also in the past i have even cooked lentil soup and pulao( Indian style rice based dish which often also includes ingredients like vegetables and/ or meat) in the rice cooker..
i did a search on the web and sure enough there are gazillion recipes you can cook using the rice cooker including some traditional recipes like Jambalaya and Gumbo...i love it because its a no sweat easy way to cook delicious food.
Friday, July 23, 2010
It reminds me of monsoon rains in India, so heavy and would come down not in burst like here but for 30 minutes straight.
So if this weather system stays with us until tomorrow, I think I will take Yogita to a video room and watch some movies. Maybe stop by subway before watching the movie.
I think my listening students will not come today. Well perhaps one or two will.
Well enjoy your weekends people.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I will take my laptop, with controllers (MAME32 kicks butt!). Of course I will bring books, we are nothing with our books.
So this Saturday might be action packed, if not then I will make sure we get out of the house during the hottest part of the day. Perhaps we can go to movie room, or even a pc room for a while. Gotta love it there, people battling others in cyberspace the sounds of Internet battle raging through the air.
Ok I gotta go...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
well not really....i am being overly dramatic...but honestly it is very very very hot and muggy here....yesterday was actually the hottest day here in Korea...most Koreans eat either dog meat(boshin tang) or chicken soup(samgyetang) on the hottest day...
The chicken soup is very mild with ginseng and other herbs so the broth is really delicious..it is usually a whole chicken (small size) stuffed with herbs, garlic, chestnut and rice..the chicken is then boiled in a stew pot until the meat is falling of the bones..it is garnished with green onions and served usually with radish kimchi
yesterday, we had some chicken soup it was delicious...
on the bright side, i LOVE watermelon...and i had a ball having it yesterday and today...CHILLED WATERMELON...YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Koreans seem to be happy at first glance, almost carefree. Under the surface there is more than what meets the eye. Students are under enormous pressure to do well on their exams. Here in Korea it is impossible for you to fail, or rather flunk a grade. However, the points, or your test scores are what matters.
In one class suicide was being discussed, the students were all middle school students. Some of them thought to be able to carry out the act of taking your own life was heroic. WHAT? If I do poorly in an exam, or lose large amounts of money (stock market, private business), it is heroic to throw your life away. Strange, very strange, but that is how it is.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
By-the-way, Jemal and I are in love with the Madea movies....they are fun..actually we like all of Tyler Perry's work...the movies, the sit com....Mr. Brown is hilarious...Jemal can mimic Mr. Brown pretty well....if you like some light hearted comedy trust me that's the show for you....really funny...we love it!!!!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
- To venture upon; undertake or try.
- To expose to danger or risk; hazard.
- To take a risk; dare.
- To proceed despite risks.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
But the funny thing is most of these kids and over worked...some of my students don't get back home until well after midnight.....they go to one academy after another as soon as they finish school...these kids have no time to relax or have a social group or play or do anything that kids basically do...sometimes i woder if thats the reason why most of them have little or no imagination...who has the time to go daydreaming when there is a pile of books to deal with....
Monday, July 05, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Another incident: A elementary aged girl was gang raped by a group of middle school boys. My goodness.
Hearing about the above incidents reminds of certain people in Korea who will deny, no strongly deny that such acts happen in here. I had one woman tell me (not 3 months ago), that there are no homosexuals in Korea. Well times have changed because the other students quickly spoke up, much to the womans embarrassment. She even had the nerve to say this: "Well not with me, not people around me, not in my neighborhood". A big fat LOL to her cause her hood is a major one in Gunsan perhaps the biggest.
When I first came to Korea I was so naive. I believed everything people told me. From those comments I thought Korea must be a utopia. I really should have known better.
Koreans are known for hospitality, and being warm hearted. However, there is an area where people do not want the "dirty laundry" to be known to foreigners. I have heard that is common in cultures that have been largely closed to other cultures. In fact Korea's nickname was "Hermit Kingdom".
Today those that want to pull the wool over peoples eyes are finding it harder and harder to do so. The younger generations don't seem to care as much, and seem more open and free about expressing their opinions. Even if they are not popular or "accepted" norms.
Anyways just another rant from yours truly!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
When I first came here, I saw a count down to the 2002 worldcup I never thought that I would be here when Korea hosted the world cup. I remember when I would ride the subway they would have these huge countdown posters. As I stayed here longer, and sort fell in love with the place, I felt a foreboding that I would not be here to see the event.
As I stayed longer I saw the number count down. I remember we moved to Ulsan, and when we were there I lost contact. It was not until the year its self. We were back in Gunsan up to our necks in work and a student told....the world cup is next week. I just smiled to myself.
I love were I am at. I love what I do. I love the place that I have in this place. The friends that I have made. The different perspective that I have. I can't go back to what I was before. I just can't. When I came back from England....I remember in the room on the third floor. I looked at the ceiling and I thought....wow....everything is the same as when I left. People, places, the general attitude. Now this is not a bad thing...it is perfectly normal. However, for me I felt like I did not belong. I needed to go back overseas to find what I wanted to do. I have found it. I was always fascinated with India....well my wife is Indian. I have been to India, and lived there....awesome experience which will be repeated over and over again. It is a different life as an expat, but it is FULL of adventure, discovering new things. There is only so much you can learn from a book, I have learned to live the adventure!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The 10 year mark for my Korean saga, is August 26th. I know Mike was really into dates, back in the day. He would remember the exact date that certain things happened. I wished I had kept a blog at that time. Now our memories of those early years are all jumbled up, and we often argue on location, and time. Or who said what, where did we eat that night in 2002. This year I have not been as regular updating this blog as I was last year. I want to change that.
Ok back to web surfing, and time for class prep! Sundays is when I put it all together for my classes, during the week I make small modifications to my weekly curriculum.
Ugh I feel like a klingon, dry throat cause I sleep in front of the fan all night. Oh I think I will check on my pacific mini series torrent!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Movie stuff...we strongly recommend that you all see Dragon....personally I was not all that impressed by the teasers. BUT...it blew my socks off in 3D!!!
Watch this in 3D if you can....it actually brings the movie right to you!!
Ok a little later we are going to dig into our whoppers, a rare treat for us!
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
Anyways this week is over, I think I will go to Pusan next weekend. I am getting itchy feet again. I want to enjoy the sand, ocean, and this time unlike Seok-cho more seafood!
Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Sunday, April 04, 2010
We had a nice relaxing morning and then made our way to Gwangju....we were there last weekend and had fun so we decided to go there again but this time just for a day trip....
after we arrived in Gwangju we found free parking in the Shinsegae department store...actually in Gwangju the Shinsagae department store, E-Mart and the CGV I Max are in 3 separate buildings right next to each other but are connected to each other...it's really cool we could walk from one building to the other...
we ate at the reststop on the highway so we were not hungry. We decided to watch a movie. Yesterday was the first day the movie 'The Clash of the Titans' was showing...it was nice...we also rode this 3D ride...it was Awesome...we chose the star trek senerio..it was like playing EVE in a way...
while we were waiting for the movie to start we went to the coffee shop on the same floor as the movie theatre and read our books...i enjoyed it!!!!!
We headed back to Gunsan around 7 p.m It was a very enjoyable and relaxing day....we really needed it...now we are ready for another insanely busy week...oh and we finally got some Salsa from E-Mart..YEAH!!!!!!!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
I am here in a PC room, which is located in the same building as our institute. It is very nice, the non smoking section is actually smoke free! The ventilation is very efficient . The staff is very friendly. I am downloading a 2.3gig file....should take less than an hour. Boy how times have changed. In the past a file that big was unheard of. Today, many pc games take up that much hhd space and more.
I like it here, I might come here every tuseday and friday.
Ok now on to face book....Omorro here I come!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
So um yeah I have wanted to post this for the longest time. We were heading downhill with a layer of ice under the snow. I will never admit this to anyone here in Gunsan, but...it really was my fault.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
Monday, February 01, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I have 2 plans that i want to discuss with Jemal and see how he feels....like Jemal mentioned some teachers want to go to the ski resort in MuJu.....we have never been to the resort and we do want to go tubing and stuff so we might go with them...my other plan is to go on a road trip around Gunsan, stop by the Asian grocery store in Iksan on our way back and do some shopping...ofcourse I want to have some coffee and a blueberry bagel with cream cheese.....YUMMY!!!!!!! we will have to see about that...