아싸!!! Moving to Seoul

Took off to Seoul this last weekend to go for job interviews as well as to find a home. It was one action packed weekend but talk about choosing the wrong weekend to do such things - it was like the hottest weekend in Korea! So I decided to live in Haebangchon which is close to the foreign areas and the notorious Itaewan, but hey I did my time. I’m also moving in with Su-hee a friend that I met back in 2000 during my first contract in Daegu it will be nice to be not so alone.

The job interviews… Well a little disappointed but the best thing that I did was network which is really what you need to do, as it’s more about who you know to get a great position here. I have been getting phone calls and e-mails everyday about job openings but they’re all the generic positions in generic Hogwans (private language schools) I’m so tired of these offers, I could almost predict the next thing that the person on the other line will say, but the thing that gets me is how they also add that it’s the norm here and that it’s pretty slim that I can get anything else. Yeah, whatever! I have worked for great places in Korea; I’m not about to go down the ladder just cause I’m moving to Seoul. They say that the norm for vacation time here is ten days; however the current position I have is six weeks. I know it will be hard to find a comparative position but hey I think I’ve earned that right. So many people also call and offer positions in Daegu, even though I stressed I’m looking for positions only in Seoul, then they say how about another city – SEOUL!!!

The home… Well Su-hee and I found a place. We went looking in and around Haebangchon, for those that don’t this area it’s one of the hilliest parts of Seoul! It’s right next to Nam Mountain. We walked up so many hills in such hot weather as well as some serious humidity! I couldn’t believe how much one could sweat in fact I’ve developed some skin problems on my arms and now I have really dry skin under my eyes that is actually irritating and I can’t scratch. Anyway back to the place, I posted some pics for your pleasure. It’s a three bedroom place with a bathtub, my first time to have a one in Korea! It’s large but I can’t wait to have light in the mornings or to open windows and to see a view rather than a brick wall. The one bad thing is that is it is quite a hill to walk up, but hey I got used to my college, which is up high on a hill too.

I shall post more at a later date.


Birthday Boy

Boy it sure is Birthday season, this time it's a real special one that goes out to my brother. I miss you Andrew!


Happy Birthday

I’m blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. But today is their day… Young-joo and Jerry are celebrating their birthday one may be vacationing on an island south of Korea while the other is busy training for their future on this day, but I want you both to know that I’m thinking of you and hope the very best for you both.


More on Shanghai

Already the trip seems so long ago, why oh why does it wear off so fast???

Well let’s see... Ah, yeah we went to the textile market searching for a bunch of stuff that Colin had a list for from people back in Cowtown. We looked and looked, but it’s bloody hard shopping for other people. I ended up with a few metres of fabric seeing that it’s almost impossible to buy clothes in Korea for a giant like myself. Colin however ordered himself a tailored suit! Ooh la, la! We looked at some magazines and chose a suit then checked out the stall for the fabric; ooh some bold pinstripes that make him look even taller… He’ll soon be a very smart looking and sexy Colin! As simple as CDN$80 that’s after some hard bargaining! LOL

Next was Yu Yuen Gardens, more shopping! There were tons of places selling souvenir things as well as some interesting stuff and some of the kitchiest stuff on the planet! I can’t stand those crystal thingies with some image on the inside that may have been sandblasted or something… Or who needs a spinning top that can spin a cm high in the air or how about a pair of plastic binoculars that are right next to the chopsticks which are packed in tightly to allow some space for the knock off watches that don’t allow space for the cool stone looking Buddha head which I actually eye up; the stall owner notices me but offers me the lighter with Mao’s head stuck to the side with some glue gun!

However after all that, I did have a few bags of whatnots!

Ah, yes we were a little hungry and found a place that seemed ok I took a ton of photos for your viewing pleasure… The place turned out to be just like a food court but buffet style. You walk in one end and take your tray and just pick up what ever you want, however I can’t guarantee you how long the food had been sitting on the counters, the place wasn’t so packed and the staff didn’t look busy, but there was tons of food all laid out.

We picked a few dishes in fact we had three trays worth of stuff (all seemed to be fried except for the kinda looking cabbage rolls). We sat down and a girl with a trolley full of odd-looking drinks came up to us for our order, I immediately spotted dong-lai-cha (iced milk tea) however there was no ice and was warm, eeewwww! Well ok the truth is she did offer ice but I refused cause who knows where the water for the ice came from???

For some reason many people in Shanghai wore their pajamas out, interesting fashion, or many men just wore some skimpy shorts to let everything hang out. I know it's hot but...

Anyway the trip was nice it was just good to hang out with Colin and his family. I had company for the weekend I didn’t have to do all the talking I could just listen… ah what pleasure!


Remember I'm the one that's out of place!

I enjoy Korean food however monotony kicks in and the cravings for something different becomes an ordeal to suppress… so what does one do??? Let’s go to Shanghai!!!

I met up with my mate Colin, now this is a guy that I have known since first year of Art College back in the 90’s… eeew that sounds old already! Anyway let’s congratulate this man for making it to Asia, not that he visited me, but he did however visit his father who is teaching English in Shanghai.

We basically hung out with his dad and step mom who entertained us with their stories during the almost three years in China, but that wasn’t the only reason for hanging out in their funky historic home part of old the French Concession. It was bloody hot as well as humid, it was almost unbearable I felt a hundred times heavier and moist all over!

The first day Colin and I ventured around the corner, ooh how brave we were well let’s just say our stomachs dictated how far we could go. We ended up in a funky restaurant that should consider in having a DJ in a corner spinning some vibes, as it’s a 24/7 kind of place that has contemporary funk. I checked out the menu and felt like I was back in Hong Kong and quickly decided on getting my all time fav… dong lai cha (iced milk tea) the food came later. The food came in its typical sea of oil, but it was FOOD, asah! However have you ever tried to eat honking big pieces of kale (veggies) that’s slimy with oil with chopsticks??? This is almost impossible but hey we all love a challenge right?

We took off for a long walk after, wondering around, basically looking at the shops and stuff; the busyness was overwhelming but exciting but the best thing of all was the wonderful and awesome air conditioning that you can feel as you pass by large department stores even though you’re on the street. We found Xiangyang market where you can pick up allsorts of stuff mainly knock-offs but the most annoying thing about the place is the constant barrage of wheelers and dealers that approach you to follow them for DVD’s, bagger (bags), watchers (watches), and everything else… I got a little annoyed and started asking them for ridiculous things such as a bathtub, which they then told me “no problem”! Ha ha ha ha!

Anyway I will post more about the trip tomorrow, to be continued…

Chicken anyone?
Originally uploaded by Shazzbazz draws the Line!.