Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some recent happenings....

Sigh, what is Gunsan coming to? Monday night a middle school student fell to his death after hanging out side of an apartment 7 stories up. He was actually doing pull ups while his friend filmed him on a mobile phone. The boy soon tired, and at that moment (according to my students), the boy who was filming, received a call. He could not hear his friend asking him to help him up, and well....he fell.

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!

/tata

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ARRGGHHH KOREEEAAAA..........

Uh so like...everyone so excited today....there is a big game...Korea will take on one of the strongest teams in the world....and well...they got pawned. I want to cry. Personally I love the worldcup season. There is a bit of history as to why I love this season.

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!

/tata

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World news...

It is quite weird when I compare my news watching habits that I have now to that of about 10 years ago. At that time, local news, or national captured my attention. Now, I am looking at news from all over the world, with a keen interest, in Asia. Here I am now it is 7am on a Sunday morning. Yogita is knocked out, and I am doing my usual web surfing for current events. Of course the huge oil spill is a major issue, but it reminds of Korea's oil not 2 years ago. It was MUCH MUCH smaller! I think many back home likely have heard little about it. It raised so many issues here. I even went to help with the clean up. I got sick afterwards, and I think I should have driven my own car, because sitting on that bus all cooped up with no windows open....it make this chicken quite green! I had a fever the next day, and had to miss the sunday meeting. Oh and not to mention the aches and pains.

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!

/tata

Saturday, June 12, 2010

linux.....

ROCKS!!! I got a t43 IBM think pad as my portable solution. It kicks anus. I love it. I usually run vista, or xp. BUT I have been converted. I will download Eve online and see how well it runs. I will also see about upgrading the ram further. Wow. This CPU is not a dual core, but running on a centrino based motherboard (very good power regulation), I get very nice results using linux. Linux is very very light on system resources. Vista is a HUGE hog! Xp can get really heavy. Linux I think once I get over the rather steep learning curve I will have much more control, meaning that this system, will always run at optimum speeds.

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!

/Tata

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Nutty day...

I go to a kindergarten only 2 days a week. I feel that they want more and more out of me..but..I am not there a full week. Working at kindergartens can be a challenge. I do not think the little kids are the major source of headache. It is the teachers, and the parents. Or perhaps the owners. In Korea Kindergartens are privately owned. That means that is a business, so foreigners can boost income by making parents feel that they should pay higher, or additional fees, for "English classes".

It is totally nuts, totally. Kids are kids. I know that I am basically just a center piece in such a setup. It rankles me because I have to travel some ways to get out there. UGH. Kindy in Korea is very very frustrating. In Alaska when I was substituting for kindergarten classes there, it was so...awesome....no...normal. Kids were expected to be kids. In Korea.....the amount of studying that goes on is insane!!

So it does not seem so far fetched that Korea has the highest suicide rate in the world! 40 people commit suicides every day! However, while living here you will notice that heavy drinking in the norm for adults. Drinking private, or in local restaurants, your will people drinking quite a lot of soju, or beer. Google soju, and you will find that is as sake is to Japan, as soju is to Korea.

well...rant off/

Tata!!!

Friday, June 04, 2010

End of a 4 day week...

Well the elections are over. Actually it is a relief. The noise, the blaring music.....argghhh. It really got to me. In addition, the canidates would stand on corners and bow to passing traffic. This is usual for me. BUT this year people were in the back of pick up trucks, waving to the drivers behind them. So I am in my car, and looking at the candidate (and his wife) waving to me. Sounds like nothing right? Well the light changes, the pickup truck lurches forward, the future of Gunsan is about to be rolled over by my car. Now, if you know about Korean liability laws, and traffic regulations you would be as scared as I was. If the mayoral candidate fell off the truck, and was struck by my car....I would be paying him a butt load of cash, or making new friends behind bars. They had no kind of safety harness, no real support bar. Even if they had, they wouldn't have been using it. They waved with both hands, while bowing at the same time. They really ought to learn a lesson from the dancing girls who advertise some store opening, or a new club in town. Those girls dance and dance, and never seem close to falling off the trucks they are on. Wow.

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!

/tata