Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Break (from) Dance

Well, after 7 months of Salsa training and winning an award at a major competition, I've decided it's time to take a rest.

I've really, really enjoyed my time at Bamboo so far, but the summer weather's call is too much for me to withstand. While the weather is so nice, I want to go outside and play other sports and spend time with my friends.

There is also at least one other reason: I'm going to America at the end of August. That takes an entire week out of that month. I also have vacation the first week of August, which is another week I won't be going to training.

After I get back from America, I'll need at least a couple weeks to refill my tank and get re-adjusted.

Because of that, I'll be taking August and September off for sure. I may take October off too, but I'm not sure yet.

They key is being able to take advantage of being able to go outside without terrible weather. So my plan is to go back when the weather gets cold again.

When the weather is great, I don't really want to train inside. But dance is a great thing to do during the winter. Of course, the trip to the studio isn't really fun in that weather, but I'd much rather be inside when it's freezing outside.

So my rest time has arrived, and I plan on taking full advantage of it. I'm traveling with Jeong Mi and her parents on Monday, and possible with some friends next weekend. While nothing is carved in stone, it's nice to have all these options, knowing that I don't have to go to practice.

This weekend will be pretty relaxed. Josh Castonguay submitted some pics to a local magazine and got some in there. We'll celebrate his accomplishment Friday in Bucheon with some friends.

Vacation starts Friday at 4:30 p.m. Brace youself, because it's going to be fun.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wolmido Again

Saturday was the second time since June that I went to Wolmido. This time, we took a friend excursion that included my lovely girlfriend, Jeong Mi, Popper, Jong, Josh, Alex and Kate.

We headed over to the coast of Incheon at about 3 p.m., grabbed some snacks and found a great table outside of a convenience store that happened to be directly across from the music stage.

We spent a few hours there as we listened to music, drank some beer and played some games. We even broke out the hacky sack a couple of times. That is something we should've waited on, because it made me a sweaty mess for a couple of hours. The heat was just blazing on Saturday, but I'll definitely take that over the rain.

After we had our fill there, we got some galbi at a place right off the boardwalk.

Then, it was time to hit the rides. We went on the viking and bumper cars. Then, Popper and I hit the sling shot. I've never been on one of these before and it was worth the 10,000 won ticket. They strap you into the car and shoot you up in the air. Going upside down and seeing the lights along the boardwalk is really stunning.

After that, we went on the ferris wheel, which gave a great view of the lit-up area. We then went on a ride that is similar to Cedar Point's Demon Drop. After that, some of the guys bought some fireworks to launch off the pier.

By that time, it was almost 11:30 p.m. and had been an incredible day. Note to anyone new to Korea or someone looking for a close adventure: Wolmido is definitely worth an afternoon/evening trip. It's alive with action and there's a lot to see and do. You'll be happy you went, for sure.

Check out all the pictures here!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Will Push Come To Shove?

The US and South Korea ran some of their dumb ship practice today in the Sea of Japan (yes) in response to North Korea's supposed sinking of a South Korea ship a few months ago. 

Even though the North Koreans are warning of a nuclear retalition, the US and South Korea went ahead with their drills.

So how do I feel about it? Ummm ... I could use a sandwich. I'm hungry.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hambak Island Trip and Dinner

There are no students coming for morning classes this week because it's the start of summer vacation.

So on Monday, I went on a trip with Ridia, Sunny and the rest of the Hambak staff. We chartered a bus and took a trip to a small island next to the island on which the Incheon Airport sits.

It was about a 30 minute bus ride to the airport island, and then a 10 minute ferry ride over to Sindo, where we hung for an hour or so.

Sindo is a super-small island. Its claim to fame is an art sculpture garden of sorts. All the sculptures are weird and erotic, so the Korean teachers were a bit uncomfortable. I thought they were funny, though.

We pretty much just relaxed on the island, chatted and took pictures.

After that, we headed over to the set of one of Korea's many dramas. I had never heard of this show. The title is something along the lines of "The Sad Love Story." The Korean teachers all knew it.

The set was basically just a big house overlooking the inlet. If you could choose any place to live in Korea, this would have to be near the top of any list.

After that, we drove all the way to Bucheon and went to a restaurant called Vikings. It was a seafood buffet, but also served nice steaks. It was all you can eat, as well. I think it's a bit pricey, but I only had to pay 20,000 won for the entire trip, so I definitely got a good deal.

I got to know some of the newer teachers a little bit and caught up with the other ones. We haven't done a group dinner or anything like that in awhile. I also got to sit next to the principal at dinner, so I got to talk with him some more.

While I've had some rough goes in Korea, I'm truly happy to be a part of this elementary school. Between Ridia and the administrators and the other teachers (excluding possibly one), I really feel good here.

It was a great trip for sure.

The rest of the week is simply prep for summer camp. It starts next week. We also have afternoon classes on today, Thursday and Friday. On top of that, we have to get a health check-up tomorrow. Let's home I'm still disease-free!!!

We'll have one week of summer camp, and then a week-vacation. After that, it's two more weeks of camp, and then Jeong Mi and I go to America for my sister's wedding. It's going to be a busy couple of months, for sure, but I'll have a little time to rest, so it should be good.

Check out the pics from my island trip here!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Whose Penis is Bigger???

Well, I'm pretty sure the world knows the answer to that question. But the United States and South Korea are continuing their pants-dropping war with the North.

I get it. The North probably sank a ship from the South. Is anyone surprised? You're still at war, you dumb pussies! Quit being lame and do something about it. Or you can continue to be undermined by a guy who wears jumpsuits like it's 1984.

The U.S. and SK are doing drills next week to show their strength. You know what would show your strength: Blasting that worthless country from existence. Stop being babies and do something.

Read the broken record of a story here and groan at the repetition of it all.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paper, Rock, Scissors Tournament

Have fun playing what we're FORCED to do on a daily basis. This game is especially hilarious because they're Asian. Love it.

Check out the tourney here.

More Sad/Weird Stories From The North

An AP story today says that patients in North Korea are getting body parts amputated without the use of any anesthesia. Yikes.

From the story:

'North Korea's health care system is in shambles, with doctors sometimes performing amputations without anesthesia and working by candlelight in hospitals lacking essential medicine, heat and power, a rights watchdog said Thursday.'

Wow. That is just frightening. As much of a toilet as South Korea is, it's insane to think of what people are living through up there.

Again, how can this be helped. Any money given to North Korea goes directly to Kim Jong-il's train and liquor. Helpless.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dad and Mom's Last Day in Korea

I'm a couple of weeks behind on this, but here is the link to Mom and Dad's blog on their last day in Korea. We had a really great time together, and they offer their views on the trip in their final post. Enjoy it!

Parents' Blog

Last day photos

Friday, July 9, 2010

K-Pop Back To Its Roots ...

... of stealing other peoples' songs.

Jae-beom, former member of 2PM, is back on the scene with a solo album. Jae-beom was famously tarred and feathed last year because he called Korea gay on his MySpace page. Jae-beom was an American over here just for the dumb band, and was either a teenager or in his early-20s when he posted that.

And to be fair, Korea is totally gay.

Anyway, his solo album sticks with the long K-Pop tradition of ripping other people off. His new solo is basically stolen from American singer B.O.B.

From the story:
'The new single, titled ``Mideojulle (Will You Believe Me),'' features a reinterpretation of American rapper B.O.B's ``Nothin' on You.''...
 '``Though the songs are based on the hit number by B.O.B it's Jae-beom's first solo album under his own name,'' said Warner Music Korea.'

Based on the hit? Under Jae-beom's name? I could steal a Queen song and put my name as the author, but I'm still just some music thief stealing a Queen song.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

South Korean Prime Minister Offers Resignation

So South Korea's PM has offered to resign after his failure to move the governmental offices about 100km south of Seoul.

The article says he currently doesn't hold any decision-making power anyway. He's simply becomes the next president if something were to happen to the sitting president.

This is just another sign of President Lee Myung-bak's current instability. He's out as soon as they can get him out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Go Nationalism ... ???

South Koreans are well-known now for the nationalistic pride they show in their soccer team. That's clearly a good thing. I mean, if them cheering for their country annoys me, they must be doing it right.

But they're also showing that the herd mentality has its nasty side. Korean "netizens" (I hate using that phrase. Whoever came up with it is worthless.) banded together to cyber-attack the coach until he resigned.

South Koreans are notorious for being total fuckfaces on the Internet. I realize that's harsh, but it's true.

Cheering on a team is fine, but they clearly are clueless about the actual game of soccer. This coach led the team out of the group stage in second place. It's a group that had Nigeria and Argentina. Now, South Korea played fairly well, but that's a big accomplishment and expecting it to happen might have been considered foolish before the tourney started.

So, congratulations to Huh Jung-moo and his boys for punching above their weight. And congratulations to Korean computer fags for being such heartless, clueless dickholes.