Monday, December 22, 2008


Going to Shanghai next week for another Chinese Christmas...

Then back to Korea for three weeks to teach English camps...

Next stop after that is the Philipines for about a week...

Me and Matt are gonna meet Sam and Lana there...

Ju ga lay?????

Here's something that happened a few weeks ago... Below is an email I wrote to my mom about it... Rather than write about it again, I'll just post that email...

So, last week I'm teaching my last afterschool class of the day.

It's 4:30 and I'm about to start class when this crazy woman and her ajumma friend bust into my classroom. The woman starts yelling at the boys and then slaps 1 boys in the face REALLY hard. I run back to try to stop her but before I get there she slaps another boy just as hard. These boys are only in grade 4.

I really just didn't know what to do. I don't know the rules in Korea. I dont' know if I can push this lady out of the room, etc... So I just room to find the Mrs Park (my Korean co-teacher was still in the classroom but she was stunned).

So, the Mrs Park and a few other teachers run back to my classroom and take control. It was unbelievable! She was an expert. She was telling the crazy mom to shut up and she just commanded everyones respect.

By now, 5 or 6 kids are crying because they are so afraid of this mother of this girl Angela. Angela is also in this class. Her mom said the boys tease her daughter and sometimes steal her shoes after class. But, Angela never told any teachers about this she just told her mom. So her mom came to school to kick some ass or something.

Mrs Park tells her to apologize to everyone and if she leaves right now, it will all be over. So, she apologizes to the boys, to my co-teacher, and to me. But I didn't really want her apology and I just ignored her when she was speaking to me.

Anyway, Angela quit that class so that shouldn't happen again....

The only thing I heard from the mom that I understood was Jew-ga-lay...

It means "Do you want to die?"...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Told you so...

Here's some clips of some financial guy. They are from a year or two ago and he pretty much predicted what was gonna happen to the US economy, but all the other "experts" just mock the guy.

Not that I know anything about any of this, but interesting video none the less...

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I went to Club DGBD (AKA Club Drug) with a friend and we watched a Korean rockabilly band called the Rocktigers.

Not really my style, but they are a really fun band to watch live, and the singer is super sexy. There were a lot of foreign guys at the show and I think half of them were there just to watch her. Definitely not a bad idea.

Thankfully my friend is a cute Korean girl so I didn't feel like a big loser there just to watch that girl singing!


A couple weekends ago I met some friends near the foreign language university. The area is called Waedae and it's not far from my home. There were people from China, Poland, Belarus, Uraguay, America, Canada, Germany, and maybe a few more countries but I can't remember...

So, when the party was over we walked around looking for a good bar. We walked for a good while and didn't really find an interesting bar, but we did find something interesting.

We came to Cheongnyangni Station and thought we saw a place that may have some bars, but what we found was a giant red light district. I looked it up online and it's called "Cheongnyangni 588." Prostitution used to be legal here, but supposedly it's illegal now. Well, you would never guess it's illegal if you came across this place.

This place has five or six intersecting roads and on both sides of the streets are buildings with windowed walls, pink lights, and scantily clad girls sitting inside the windows.

The crazy thing is that this is so wide open, right next to a subway station. We walked around there and even found a police station right next to it. Apparently it's ok for Koreans to get service there, but not foreigners (and that is backed up by the link above).

I really wanted to take some pictures, but I was too chicken. So I took this picture for a sketchy alley in between the main streets. You can see the pink glow.
I went to Google and this was the best picture I could find. That's it right there I think. And if it isn't, it's exactly like that anyway.

I like this picture. That guy looks so sad. Shouldn't it be the girl who looks sad?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Neither of us were overly excited about seeing that band and then we found out the tickets we 60,000 Won (about $60 give or take). That was a bit much to see a band we didn't really care to see.

So as we were walking away from the ticket counter with no tickets some old Korean man came up to us and said "I can get you in 30,000 Won." After a little consideration you said no and walked around outside the festival grounds.

The concert was in Olympic Park so there was a nice hill where it was possible to see the stage (without going in to pay the 60 bucks). We went to get something to eat and planned on watching the show from the hill. $60 was just too much.

As we walked around we decided to go check out that $30 old man again. We were kind of afraid of getting ripped off so we made a plan. We would bargain with him and get him down to $20. Then, one of us would go with him and if the scam didn't work, we'd split the loss. I could deal with losing ten bucks.

So, we approached the man and got him down to $20 each. He reaches in his pocket and takes out some plastic armbands. Once we knew how he planned on getting us in, we just went for it. He put the plastic button on armbands on our wrists and then put one on himself. He said "inside you give back."

This guy had a pretty decent scam. Although the real armbands were just paper, the people at the door aren't gonna look that hard to notice the fakes.

We walked in with the guy with zero problems, gave his fake armabands back, then met our friends who all paid 60 each to get in.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Don't mess around...

Somehow I ended up watching videos of the LA Riots and came across these... Don't mess with the Koreans...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The economist...

1000 Won versus The Canadian Dollar

Not only is the Canadian dollar doing really well, but the Korean Won is the worst performing currency in Asia this year.

This shit shouldn't matter to me.

But it does.

It really really really really does...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Wow... This is harsh...

I can't even really understand how it is possible...

And, who knew Slovakia were so good?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I see the nuns are gay...

Rolling Stone Magazine's website had a feature of the 25 funniest videos on the internet. Some of them aren't that funny, but this one is pretty good.

Monday, September 01, 2008

For your new lifestyle...

I changed apartments and moved to a new part of the city. I'm now North of the river and pretty central. The area is called Wangsimni, or at least that's the name of the subway station. It has three lines passing through so it's really convenient to get to school (just take the purple line) and go just about anywhere because the green line also passes through here (the green line is the main line that makes a loop through the city).

The big circle is where I live now. The other ones are where I used to live (Munjeong) and where my school is (Geoyeo - pronounced guh-yuh). Yeah, my school is still in the same place and it looks far because it kind of is, but I only gotta leave my place about 20 minutes earlier to get to school on time. The subway is like lightning or something. You can click the pic to blow it up.

This is the view from my window. I'm only on the fifth floor and wish I was a little higher, but at at least I have a bit of a view. I don't have a picture of the outside of the building yet because I never take my camera with me. I'll probably take a crappy cell phone picture someday soon.
The living room/den/recreation room/bedroom. The hardwood is real. For real.
Here's the alternate angle.
The kitchen/laundry room.
Bathroom. Check out that toilet!! It's got a computer on it.
Oh yeah. It sprays water up your ass. But... I got the it unplugged from the socket... I swear.
Now I just gotta figure out how to use it.

The only thing I know how to do is heat up the seat...

Which is pretty damn awesome!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Straight south coastin'...

Newfoundland is actually bigger than South Korea, yet has about one percent of the population of Korea. 50,000,000 versus 500,000.

So while I was home I subconsciously decided to go to somewhere that is the polar opposite of Korea, especially Seoul.

That place ended up being a small, isolated fishing village only accessible by a four hour ferry ride. The town is called Francois, supposedly pronounced "Franceway."

The town is in a giant cove surrounded by evil looking mountains. It has a population of 125 people. A waterfall goes through the center of town. There are no cars, just ATV's and snowmobiles. There are no restaurants or hotels. And the two stores close for two hours at supper time, which really sucks when you've spent the last five hours on top of a mountain talking about how awesome it's gonna be to get to the store and get an ice cream sandwich.

We arrived in town at 7 or 8 PM and asked some people where we could pitch our tent and set up for the night. They told us to go behind the church where there were a few camp sites. We checked it out and found out spot. We set up the tent on some slanted, rocky ground next to a stream. Our lot was surrounded by mountains and rocks keeping us well protected from any mainlanders that may try to siege the town.

See the tent?

We spent the night having a few drinks and cooking processed meat over the fire. When we finally went to sleep, we woke up with the tent caving in on us. The tent a little small for the four of us and because we were on a slant, when someone would stretch out, it would cause the tent to roll forward. Hard to explain. We all woke up at different times throughout the night wondering what was happening to the tent until finally the tent had rolled so much that the door was flat on the ground. We got out and straightened up the tent, then went uncomfortably back to sleep.
The next morning (actually, maybe it was the afternoon) we got up and cooked our breakfast on the fire and it was really good. Bacon, balogna, beans, and bread. Then we hiked up the mountain and checked out the scenery. Spence took a swim in his underwear and although it looked refreshing, no one else is as brave, or as strong as Matt. So... we didn't swim.
That's the waterfall. We climbed up to the top and found a small lake. That's where Matt's swimming hole was. It kinda reminds me of something from Narnia, although I've never seen Narnia. I have vague recollections of the TV show from a child and it looks like this with a big white lion, right?

Here's a picture from the lookout.
On one side of the lookout you see the cove heading out to the sea, and on the other side you can see the town, and on another side you can see the waterfall and small pond. One of the best views I've ever seen. Too bad Matt is kinda ruining my picture. I'd post a different on but it's the only I got. Sorry buddy.
Here is a shot of downtown Francois. It was happening down there. The place doesn't seem real. Now that I'm back in Korea, I'm 99% sure it isn't real.

And, finally, a picture of me and the b'ys. My brother looks tough. Maybe he's becoming one of the good ol' b'ys, but he still gotta prove himself a little more. But, just a little.

So, that's that. Francois, Newfoundland. A great place to go if you wanna see a place that really has no reason to exist anymore. The ferry service is pretty much a giant waste of money. It's $7.50 each way and when we took the boat there was about ten people on the boat.

Maybe it'll end up like Harbour Deep but hopefully not.

Although the teenagers who live there would probably kill to live in an urban center such as Deer Lake.

But it can't be that bad. They do have high speed internet...


I just got back to Korea less than a week ago. I spent three great weeks back in Newfoundland and I had a better time home than I could have imagined. Enough of my friends were around and the Deer Lake bar scene is kind of retarded in it's own messed-up small town way.

There are also ridiculous bar specials such as "Toonie Tuesday" where one bar has three drinks for five bucks and the other bar has two dollar drinks all night.

The Rockwood has three for five and you get some sketchy peeps there every Tuesday. My parents and brother refer to that crowd as "Skully Monsters." I'm not sure what that means but it fits.

I don't know where most of those people crawled out of, but man, it must have been a dark, deep hole. I've never felt intimidated in DL but this crowd makes me uneasy.

Some other night is ladies night and girls drink there for two bucks or less. I can't keep track.

And at the other bar they have "Beat the Clock." $1.65 a drink and the price goes up by ten cents each hour or something.

It's cheaper to drink at the bar then buying your booze at the store...

But, it's probably much much safer to just buy your booze at a store and drink at home...

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have been lazy...

I'm gonna try to write a few things in here now that I've been to Canada for my summer vacation and I moved to a new neighborhood in Seoul.

The new 'hood is called Wangsimni and it's kinda seedy and pretty much the exact opposite of where I lived before. And my apartment/officetel pretty much kicks ass.

I have a Samsung computer toilet. More on that later.

There is also a Subway restaurant around somewhere. I saw it when I was apartment hunting and can't seem to find it. A Korean friend sent me a map so hopefully I'm smart enough to find it.

I also have a new co-teacher at my school, and a new after-school co-teacher.

While I was in Canada, the principal fired my old after-school co-teacher (she was awesome and so was her English... my principal is a dick) and he hired some lady with very very average English (and I'm being nice).

I said this to a teacher at my school and 2 hours later I was told I had to do an interview with the lady who was the school's second choice.

I interviewed here (awkward) and her English was much better. So she got the job and the other lady got fired before she even started working.

I feel awful about all of this but that's life in ULTRA-competitive Korea.

And my vacation home was great. More on that later too.
I'm too lazy to write about it now...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Gotta go to Romania...

Best ride on the subway ever?

Yup, I think so.

Can you relate...

Did you ever work in an office?

I worked in an office in Calgary for a couple months. I didn't like it too much, but I definitely didn't hate it as much as this guy.

----Turns out this is fake... Some Russian made it to promote his new film... Lame... - Watch more free videos

Monday, May 19, 2008

True love...

Maybe I've mentioned somewhere before that Korean men like to get completely shitfaced. And I've always maybe mentioned that the Korean culture is much more close and personal than ours back home.

You'll regular see girls (just friends) holding holds walking down the street. It's really cute, and kinda hot.

Personal space is non-existent for the most part, and it's normal to see drunk men in suits stumbling arm in arm walking down the street.

This next picture isn't really typical, but it's nothing shocking. And I can gaurentee you almost 99% that they aren't gay.

They are just wasted "salary men."

Super dude??? Nah...

I came home one night with two Korean girls. One of them is my friend, and the other girl is her friend.

We were out drinking and they just crashed at my house but the old Korean man at the restaurant was damn proud of me.
The next time I went in there he put up two fingers and then made the hand gesture for sex (different in Korea than at home).

Yeah I wish he was right haha...

(I may as well mention the old man and woman at the restaurant. They only work the night shift the so only time I see them is after a night out. She sometimes hand feeds me kimbap when I'm drunk and the old guy tries to get me to slap the old woman on the ass. I'm still working up my courage to do that, but some night I will. )


I bought a shirt today.

It fits perfectly.

Then I read the tag and this is what it said (click the picture and look for the English).

Maybe all of the Korean food is reforming me.

Or I've just been here too long...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baby seals...

In the last 2 weeks, I've went to a dance club 3 times. This is something I've never achieved before.

The first club was a small place in Sincheon that was small and really generic. 10 bucks cover.

Friday night, I went to "Answer Club" in Apgujeong. This is in the rich part of town. 30 bucks cover. It was a cool club with lots and lots of hot girls and strong drinks.

Last night (Saturday), I went to "Club Volume" in Itaewon. 25 bucks cover. This was by far the best club I've ever been to, not that I really know anything about clubs because frankly, I seldom go. But that seems to be changing.

The thing about Volume was that the sound was amazing. I'm not into dance music or techno or whatever you call that, but it sounded so good. Really loud, but really crisp. And even though it was loud, it wasn't uncomfortable because the sound system is just so good.

The setup is also really impressive. There are lasers everywhere and a giant LED wall.

Man, I'm tired today...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

You bet...

I got a couple people from China on my MSN.

One girl had an interesting MSN name yesterday...
Tibet, is, was, and always will be a part of China.

I don't have much of an opinion about Tibet.

"Before 1959, the present extent of the Tibet Autonomous Region (comprising Ü-Tsang and western Kham) was governed by the government of Tibet headed by the Dalai Lama" (Wikipedia)

I just ain't down with government and religion cuddling up with each other so I'm gonna ignorantly side with China I s'pose.


...the Sixth Dalai Lama was only enthroned in 1697. The new Dalai Lama did not really live up to expectations: he would blackmail the Panchen Lama to let him return to the lay class, and afterwards grow long hair and spend the nights outside the palace, with women of his choice. He gained fame for writing love poetry. (Wikipedia)

Apparently, this dude used to hang out in the street and get drunk and pick up chicks. Says he lived in a park in a tent for a while too because we all know chick love tents.

Hmm, on second thought, maybe I side with Tibet...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

There's hope...

This is the best thing I read in a long time...

Maybe the best thing I've ever read now that I think about it more...

Now, we have to get more girls to read it...

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I'm usually pretty heartless but this story in the Korean Herald struck me.

Some random American teaching here in Seoul got severely burned by a fire in his apartment building. His Korean girlfriend died in the fire as well (this isn't in the article, but it's apparently true). The medical bill is gonna be at least $100,000 US.

I even made a donation. It's the first time I've ever made a donation.

I started reading the comments after the article to see if I could find out more. There sure are some sour Koreans out there. I'm not generalizing here, and most Koreans are best kind. I know some Koreans don't like foreigners because we are more handsome and steal their women, but some people actually have the gall to bitch on this dude who is almost dead, lying in a hospital bed with burns on 70 percent of his body. I'm not gonna paste their comments here because they make me too angry and disgusted.

I am gonna paste one comment made by a Korean though.

skella ( 03-07-2008 01:22
I am sure that happened by arson. Dont come Korea if possible. They are very clever.And they hate foriegners. And the Samsung problem is the secret that everybody knows except under elementary school child, like santa. Have a good day. And I like you Americans very much. At least you guys are very naive compared to Koreans. Have a safe day and dont come to Korea if possible.

Shit like that. What the fuck is that all about? And the Samsung problem?? At least you guys are very naive compared to Koreans???

It's time like this when I don't feel Canadian, I feel North American. I'll take my jabs at Americans (or anyone else for that matter) when the context is right, but this "skella" dickhead makes me angry. Korea would be a communist wasteland if it wasn't for America, or at the very best they would still be under Japanese control.

South Koreans owe so much to America and the countries who fought here during the Korean War. You can argue that they made the separation that led to the war yada yada. Maybe that's partly true, but at that time the Koreans would have done just about everything to get out from Japanese control.

Anyway, I'm on a rant here and I shouldn't be.

Fuck all you Koreans who are gonna say shit about some dude who almost died just because he is a foreigner. I'm not generalizing here, I'm talking to specific people who posted comments on the Korean Herald site.

And to the American guy, hope you fully recover. Best of luck.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Number 1...

Yesterday I had to find out the hours of the laser eye clinic that gave me back my vision. I had to go for a check-up.

The name of the clinic is Hello Lasik. If you search it on Google, my blog entry about my surgery was the first link!

Today it's the tenth link. How lame is that?

But on the upside, the doctor told me my vision is better than 20/20.

That's a good and bad thing. Now I can see hot chicks from far away. But when I get close I can see every imperfection glaring out at me with these super eyes of mine.

I suppose there's a price to pay for being better than perfect.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

He probably did...

Back in the driver's seat...

I solved a lot of my problems today. I've wrote a bunch of blogs. They are below.

I got ESPN back at my school. I can log into my blog. I can go to I've practically beat the whole friggin' system mang.

Thanks to some dude on the SMOE message board, I found a program that will get you through any content filter. Here's the advice the guy gave me and it worked.

"the easiest way to unblock anything has got to be tor.

install the tor software then the torbutton extension for firefox and you're done.

after your set, you'll see, in red, 'tor disabled' in the firefox statusbar at the bottom of the firefox window. click it, it turns green and reads 'tor enabled'. now you're unblocked. myspace works no need for plugins on youtube. everything should be good. click it again to disable tor and go back being blocked.

the one bad thing is that it slows your access down a little bit but since it's so easy to turn on and off it doesn't really bother me."

So to all of the people out there tryna watch porn at work but your network won't let you, install these little programs and you're home free.

Well, until your boss catches you beating the old hot dog...

The man's keeping me down...

So Korea had an election a couple months back. The dude who was elected is nicknamed The Bulldozer. Maybe I wrote about him before, or I intended to. I think hes awesome, mainly because of his amazing nickname.

Anyway, turns out they have some strange election laws here in South Korea, and writing things about candidates online can be a violation of these election laws.

You can go to this page to get a vague idea about whats going on and how some people are saying it is corruption and even anti-democratic. Heres is what the link leads to:

Kim Hye-jin from Global Voices online has an interesting thread on the National Election Commission (NEC) in Korea and their attempts to censor online discussion of the presidential candidates. According to some, this smacks of dictatorship (link to the Korean):

Frankly speaking, it is insulting people who died for democracy.
Why did citizens and students have demonstrations and march? It was to let people know about corruption in politics. Now it has been developed on-line.
Do we have to get a permit in order to write on the internet?

or as this commenter observes:

. . . they just send a notice, “Your writing violates the election law and therefore it will be deleted.”…. I have doubts about whether Korea is a democratic nation or not.

If you follow this link you can find the full discussion and some more detailed information.

I just came across this today while I was trying to figure out a way to get on the ESPN website. Yeah, my school or district has a block on that site, along with the NBA site, Rolling Stone, and even the login page to my blog.

I can understand blocking sites that students may be trying to access in the computer labs, but come on, blocking a sports news site that is in English! How many kids at my school are trying to access that?

So in my quest for sports news, I’ve stumbled across government corruption related to elections. Interesting isn’t it?

Oh, just got word that it isn’t my school blocking these sites, it is the district server. I have two options here. I can bring it up to my principal who loves me. He told me yesterday, right after he told me how handsome I looked, that if I have any problems, even something completely minor, I should tell him and he will fix it. My second option is to write a letter to the district and tell them I’m not a baby and I’d appreciate the “freedom” to be able to check sports scores during my lunch break (or during all of the time I sit around doing nothing!).

Man, I hate being oppressed…

Welfare 2006...

The plan fell apart. Im not sure where it all went wrong.

I remember back at MUN and maybe in Deer Lake our big plan. It was called Welfare 2006. That was the year my friends and I were all gonna graduate from university and then take a break together. Some people go on a graduation trip, say to Mexico or somewhere, and others go back to their hometown, and some immediately start looking for jobs. Our plan was different.

Here is the idea. We planned on getting on da welfare and just chilling out, drinking, playing video games and such, for a year. Wouldnt that be nice? After slaving away at university (ha, yeah right) for four or five years, Itd be nice to take a year to recharge on the government tab.

It didnt quite work out and I dont even know if any of my friends got on da welfare! We always had troubles accomplishing our goals!

Now I have friends who are nurses, teachers, geologists, doctors, carpet cleaning technicians, airplane mechanics, businessmen, pipe fitters, haul truck drivers, car salesmen, Army Commanders, and engineers.

The closest thing Ive got to Welfare 2006 being realized is happening in Alberta I guess. I know people who have become crack heads. Thats kinda welfare. I know people living in trailer parks. Thats kinda welfare (although, not really in Alberta). I know people who live in Ponoka. That at least sounds kinda welfare. I know people who see people living in RV campers using piss jugs. Thats really welfare. And I know lots of people who sit around playing video games all day. Thats not that welfare, but it was a part of the Welfare 2006 manifesto.

So while I dont consider myself to be a complete failure in life, I will always be living with regret knowing that I did not accomplish my one true dream

Welfare 2006

Normal people...

I cant stop reading the SMPA webpage. Another great post yesterday.

In Japan foreigners must always carry local-government-issued ID with them at all times. Failure to do so results in them being locked up.

Has Korea ever thought about doing something like this? It would be nice if foreigners were more regularly locked in jail.

Any guesses on the cops response?

This next one isnt that great but I enjoy the response from the police so here it is (and, well, Im bored at work so this gives me something to do, and look busy while Im typing in MS Word).

Recently I was walking around Seoul when I noticed a number of Christmas decorations up. There was a department store that had Christmas wreaths, and I even saw a Baskin Robbins playing Christmas carols.

As you know, Christmas is very offensive to non-Christians. It makes them very violent and dangerous. In western countries, we no longer celebrate Christmas. Instead we say Happy Holidays and decorate festivity trees.

We are at war. Displaying Christmas decorations could force the Islamic and atheistic forces to attack. For the safety of the country, I think you should cancel Christmas and make Christmas decorations illegal.

And the boys in blues response.

Thanks for visit to SMPA homepage

We understand what you want to say

However, normal people here could know what is good or bad,
so they are not affected by the celebration.

Normal people. I really enjoy how they imply that this guy isnt actually normal, but all of the actual normal people know what is good or bad.

Really??? Like leaving the bar (with your wife) but insisting that you drive because you are the man, BUT you are totally shit-faced. Normal? Its pretty normal in Korea.

Or pushing and shoving your way onto the subway, bus, elevator, set of stairs, or just about anywhere else. Normal? Yup, see it everyday.

How about this one? Making your ten year old kid go to school all day, then go to the private institute for another one to five hours to study English, Math, Science, etc. Then this child continues the routine through junior high and high school, has no social life (or social skills), writes the big exam they write in high school that practically determines your fate, does pretty average on this exam, cant get into the program his parents wanted him to get into (I mean, um, the program he wanted to get into), sees no hope in his future because he will never get a job with a company, so he jumps off a building. Normal? Im not gonna go as far as saying that this is normal over here, but it happens because there is so much competition for every job and placement.

And one more. Your dad works hard and goes to work every morning at 7:00 AM. He comes home every night at around midnight, give or take, completely smashed. Your mom puts up with this for some reason, and you dont even know there is something wrong because this is just how it is. Your dad has to live like this because its how business is done in your country. Normal? Sure. Typical? Pretty much.

Dont take this the wrong way. Thing is, Im not even tryna bitch about Korea. Im just explaining what normal people do here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Chungking mansion...

So I went to Hong Kong and China.

I've been too lazy to write, and unfortunately I can't get logged in to write at school which sucks because I'm there all week from 9-5:00 without any classes all week. But that's another story.

So the place I stayed in Hong Kong is called Chungking Mansion. This is what Wikipedia has to say about the place. I can't describe it any better so here's some cutting and pasting.
Chungking Mansions is a building located at 36-44 Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. The building is well known as nearly the cheapest accommodation in Hong Kong with a single bed of US $8 one night. Though the building is supposedly residential, it is made up of many independent low-budget hotels, shops, and other services. The strange atmosphere of this building is sometimes called by some "the scent of Kowloon's Walled City".

Chungking Mansions features a labyrinth of guesthouses, curry restaurants, African bistros, clothing shops, sari stores, and foreign exchange offices. It often acts as a large gathering place for some of the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, particularly Indians, Middle Eastern people, Nepalese, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, Nigerians, Europeans, Americans, Pakistanis, and many other peoples of the world.

The building was completed in 1961, at which time Chinese residents predominated. Now, after more than four decades of use, there are an estimated 4,000 people living in the Mansions.

Chungking Mansions is 17 stories tall and consists of 5 blocks, A, B, C, D, and E.

The age of the building, the diverse ownership, and management structure are the cause of the building's reputation for being a fire trap. The unsanitary conditions, security, ancient electrical wiring, block staircases contribute to the hazards.

On February 21, 1988, a fire broke out in the building. A Danish tourist who was trapped inside was killed. The fire in this building, as well as a blaze in a similar building provoked a review of rules and regulations concerning public safety.[5]

CUHK anthropologist Prof. Gordon Mathews revealed that there are people from at least 120 different nationalities who have passed through Chungking Mansions in the past year.

With this lively mix of guest workers, mainlanders, local Chinese, tourists and backpackers, the Chungking neighbourhood is one of the most culturally diverse locations in Hong Kong. Chungking Mansions was elected as the "Best Example of Globalization in Action" by TIME Magazine in its annual feature The Best of Asia,[6] although racial tensions are known to boil over occasionally.[7]

It is also known to be a centre of drugs, and a refuge for petty criminals, scammers,[8] and illegal immigrants. For example, in a Police swoop in June 1995, about 1,750 people were questioned, 45 men and seven women from various Asian and African countries were arrested on suspicion of offences including failing to produce proof of identity, overstaying, using forged travel documents, possessing equipment for forging documents, and possessing dangerous drugs.[9] In "Operation Sahara" in 1996, 52 men and seven women from 14 countries were arrested for violating immigration regulations.[10]

A murder took place there.[11] It was later revealed that Sushila Pandey, a 37-year-old Indian tourist was killed in a domestic dispute with her Sri Lankan partner Attanayake Wasala Dangamuwa, 54.[12]

The Chungking Mansions served as one of the filming locations for Wong Kar-wai's movie, Chungking Express (one of Quentin Tarintino's favorite movies).

So staying at this place was probably the most interesting thing about the trip. When you are outside the front entrance, it's like you are being attacked by a swarm of killer bees, but the bees are Indians and Nigerians and random other dark races trying to sell you shit ("copy watch, suit?"), rent you a room, or get you to go to a restaurant (these pics aren't mine... I didn't wanna be taking out my camera there, but I'm sure it would have been ok). We called it the gauntlet.
This picture doesn't do it justice though. Multiply it by at least seven to get the typical day when we'd walk by.

It's kind of crazy chaotic outside the front entrance but I didn't feel unsafe. They have security at the door, outside the elevators, and at a security desk in the middle of the long, narrow lobby.

One day the Chinese (or Hong Kongian, um, what is a Hong Kong person?) security man at the elevator just started yelling at this BIG black dude out side the elevator. The black dude was like "Are ya yellin' at me maan? I deedn't do nuttin'!" And the short fat Hong Kongite didn't back down and kept yelling. I didn't know what was going on and I'm pretty sure the black dude didn't so shit.

It actually reminded me of "The Wire" because this dude's friend looked just like Marlo Stanfield and he was chewing on a tooth pick. I was waiting for Chris and Snoop to come around the corner with a nail gun and a roll of plastic...

Speaking of violence, me and Cousin It, I mean, Daniel, were in front of the mansion with our two Hong Kong friends, Debbie and Claire.
We were all on our way home after a dinner and a few drinks. Fifteen feet away from the entrance this Nigerian dude says some shit like "Oh, so that's how it's gonna be" and he hauls off and smacks/punches the chick in the head. There were a few people around but no one did anything. Not our business, and you don't wanna make shit your business late at night around there.

It was pretty intense. Debbie and Claire weren't overly phased by it, and just crossed the street to walk back home. We offered to walk them home but they are locals and probably know what not to do better than us!

Anyway, go to Facebook and see my pics there if you're interested, although I don't have many pictures of Chungking, but a few.

My first room sucked at the "Taiwan Hotel," the second room was good (in Chungking terms) at "The Welcome Guesthouse", and half the price, if that makes any sense.
For a really vivid description of the place read this story called Hope and Squalor at Chungkindg Mansion.

The story is a little sensational but it sums up the feeling of the place, and gives a bit of history.

"Copy watch."

"Tailor made suit. Cheap. Good quality."

"Hashish. Bullet man."

Those phrases were banging around my head for days after I left...

Friday, February 22, 2008


Just got back from Hong Kong.

I found a flyer in my pocket and remembered someone took mine and Diggz picture at this bar called drop.

The site is Life Style Hong Kong and me and Diggz made the cut, as did everyone else by the look of it.

Click here to see us in all of our glory... 'specially Diggz...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Stop snitchin'...

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) has a website. The have a section called the Foreigners Room. Its pretty much just a message board where people can ask (in)valid questions to the police, and snitch on people for shit.

Earlier today, there was a post titled Illegal Hockey. Its gone now. The complaint was that there is a foreigner illegally coaching hockey here in Seoul.

See, most of us foreigners have an E-2 teaching visa that clearly states that its illegal to have any other job or any other form of income. Even if, for instance, you are coaching a hockey team of six year old Korean kids, you are technically breaking the law when you accept pay.

The guy who wrote this complaint actually gave the arena address and the time when he will be coaching the kids.

Just imagine it. You are a six year old kid and the police storm onto the ice and arrest your coach!

Hopefully, someone who knows this coach saw the post and managed to tell him that the SMPA are onto him.

Besides stupid pricks ratting on people, there are also a lot of asshole foreigners asking many a dumb question. I dont intend to be one of these foreigners, but I dont know if I can resist.

This is maybe the funniest post Ive read thus far.

Bearded man in Sadang area

I would like to report a sighting of a bearded man in the Sadang area. I saw him entering Sadang subway station at approximately 6pm on Saturday. As I am sure you are aware, beards (especially ginger-coloured) are illegal in most countries in the West. I assume that the same laws exist here in Korea. I await news of action taken.

Funny? Yes.

But what validates the humour is the reply by the police.


Thank you for visiting the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency(SMPA) Website.

As you know, Korea is a democratic republic, so people can make they style as much as they want. That is definitely legal style.

Thank you

Do they have shit like this in Canada??

There are so many problems with this that I dont even know when to start. Any site where people rat on people just pisses me off.

Also, what if there was a real criminal out there, but he checked the site everyday? He could, in theory, know what the police are up to.

Ive heard stories of people who have been reported for drug use. Someone saw their names on the SMPA page and told them before the police came. Apparently, those people left Korea immediately, breaking their contracts and disabling all cell phone, Facebook accounts, etc.

Whether this is true or not is not really the point. My point is that its fucked up that some Korean with a chip on his shoulder can potentially cause a lot of problems for something that is not causing any problems.

Lets say you break up with your Korean girlfriend. She knows that you were back home a month ago and probably smoked some pot. She logs on, anonymously, and soon the police are at this guys door. Maybe she doesnt really want him to get in trouble but she is pissed off and emotional and makes a rash decision.

Not sure if that would ever happen, but anything is possible over in these parts, especially with girls (but that goes for any country).

Anyway, its a funny site. I cant say that I discovered it. I was reading an online zine called Broke in Korea. I guess you can call it a punk zine and it has some good articles.

There are some really interesting pictures of abandoned buildings and a good rant about the Korean punk scene needing an STD, but what I really want you to check out is the section The Seoul Metro. It is a collection of some of the funnier and more outlandish posts made on the SMPA webpage. Definitely a great read. Beards, prostitutes, DJs

I also have to say the guy who put the zine together was very helpful for helping me (shit, I couldnt figure out a better way to write that sentence) figure out how to post on the SMPA page. The trick is, you actually dont need a user name or password. Just type some random shit. But more importantly, dont use any punctuation, such as apostrophes and quotation marks. Apparently, it may mess with the pages code?

Now you have the power to get anyone you want harassed by the police!

Unfortunately, my first post was only there for an hour or so and then it disappeared.

But Wayne Lemieux will not rest until ice hockey is stopped here. I dont want Korea playing Canadas game, but more importantly, mastering Canadas game, and then kicking our ass in the next Olympics.

So Im on a mission.

And yeah, thats definitely legal style.

Racial superiority...

Im bored at work again. No afternoon classes for the past two days and time is dripping by.

Ive discovered a few interesting things during my extended internet scouring.

1. Koreans are the smartest, most sophisticated and best educated people.

2. Koreans are culturally superior compared to other countries.

Just click the links for proof of both.

HANMI Semiconductor chairman and CEO Kwak Noh-kwon is a smart guy. Heres what he said:

"While I was traveling around the world conducting semiconductor business for over 40 years, I realized Koreans are the smartest, most sophisticated and best educated people. They are just right for the semiconductor business."

"But what I am sure of is that if we rule the semicon(ductor) industry, we can rule the world, just like human's brain rules the whole body."


If Hitler only focused on semiconductors instead of wiping out those pesky Jews

Next, we have Han Kyung-koo, a professor with Kookmin University's Division of International & Area Studies. This is what he has to say to say about Korean culture and superiority:

These days, too, contemporary South Korean society treats people from advanced regions, such as the U.S. and Europe, very differently from those from developing countries. Foreign workers and spouses are suffering discrimination not because of our society's notion of pure-bloodedness, but because of our society's preposterous sense of cultural superiority over their countries.

It will not be enough to break away from ideas of pure-bloodedness or the mythology of ethnic homogeneity because our society's racial attitudes and biases are more deeply rooted than this. The problem is our tendency, based on a preposterous sense of superiority, to thoughtlessly despise and discriminate against foreigners merely because they are different from us and their income is less.

Alright, agreed with you right up until that last sentence. My income is the same as a Korean teacher, buddy. AND, your government is paying my rent, so I guess that means Im making more loot than my Korean co-workers.

Suck on that Professor.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I've been slack here... So I'm just gonna copy and paste some emails I sent people about what I'm up to all the time... Here goes... This might be rather dry... If you wanna read in order start at the bottom...

January 28th

Yesterday I went to Kyobo at Jamsil and bought a book about Hong Kong. I was gonna buy the big China version but I thought I didn't wanna carry that around with me on my trip. There was a Korean-American girl there with a notepad reading the same China Lonely Planet book as me. She had too many notes made. She said she never buys the books. She just goes to the bookstore for an hour or two and makes notes from the book.

I think she is typical Korean. She loves studying so much that she enjoys making notes and acting like a student. I think she was offended when I jokingly said that to her.

I should have asked her if she ever heard of those places called libraries...

January 22nd

Today I went skating with the kids at my school English camp. It's fun being the best skater on the whole ice rink.

I also booked my tickets to Hong Kong for February when my Diggz comes. Gonna meet my Sam from DL in Hong Kong because she lives in a nearby city so she can take care of us. That means I barely have to plan anything because she's gonna book the places for us to stay and take us around the city! That's my kind of travelling.

So we're gonna spend the weekend in Hong Kong then go to Shenzhen. That's the city where Sam lives. She has to work, but her Phillopino boyfriend works at a bar in the bar district so we can hang out in that area and meet him when he finishes work, if I'm not too wasted. Once again, no planning.

Then we'll head back to Hong Kong for a few days on our own. So gotta make some plans for those couple days, or but a Lonely Planet book.

God, I really really really really wanna go out and drink. All this camp and sick stuff has gotten the better of me. I've been at camp for two weeks, then I got sick the weekend I came back. I haven't seen Matt or Karen in weeks so it should be good to see them, especially Matt because I still haven't heard about his trip to Canada.

I'm pretty sure I can predict what he did there...

Unknown Date

Very weird.I'm listening to this band called Windir. A folk metal band from Norway. The singer died when he was 25 walking to his families cabin in the forest. I was reading the lyrics to the album that he wrote when he was 22 or 23. Creepy...
A fate, a destiny,
an inevitable early death
Finally I'm dead,
And the vision is revealed for everyone else

Dying with sorrow not in hand,
Welcoming my gods, an equal I am,
A travel awaits before me,
Encircled as a God, dead as a man
He must have been listening to a lot of Biggie and 'Pac 'cause he knew, just like two of the b'ys, that his time was coming...

January 17th

I'm back from ENGLISH camp!!!!!!!!!!!!


But a little bored because everyone I know has to work because they don't work in public schools so I don't have much to do. Last night I went to the Wa Bar near my home and drank with my bartender friend. She drank a lot while she was working. It was fun!

My apartment is such a mess!!! I still haven't really unpacked from camp and there is stuff everywhere. When you live in a box it doesn't take much to create a bad state.

Some students asked for my email address so I gave it to them. I already have about five emails from students. One kid already sent me three emails. He said "Why didn't you write back to me yet!" He sounds angry. But I'm not writing them back until next week because I don't want to think about those kids. Then after that, never writing to them again. Trying to forget the most of the last 2 weeks of my life!!!

The last night at camp we all went out for dakgalbi (spicy chicken... GOOD), beer , and soju. Then we went to a noraebang and it was so much fun. One of the foreign teachers called Jin a dickhead. We had two seperate rooms and when Jin would come in our room we (foriegners) would all leave and go to the other room. But we started smoking in our room so all of the Koreans left only and one or two stayed. One of the Korean teachers is such a giant flirt!! She liked all of the weigooks (foreigners) so much, but she has a boyfriend. She was the best thing about camp.

Everyone left the noraebang at about 2:30 so me and the foreigners went around the town stealing firewood. We had so much wood and our fire was burning until 5am! We were so drunk and happy and angry all at the same time! Happy to be going home... Angry about Jin and the old men who were yelling at us last time. One of the weigooks got crazy and started knocking over the barBQ and picnic tables and benches and just breaking stuff. So we shortly left because all of us were starting to go crazy.

We also bought a bunch of fireworks and put on a show for the students the last night. They loved it!!!

Today, I ordered 2 pizzas from the same place. I got my co-worker to call and order and the delivery guy just laughed at me because it was the same guy both times. DELICIOUS!!!!

Freedom is great...

January 10th


I really need to get out of here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just when things seem to be going good, something bad happens.

Last night, me and the weigooks had the night off so we had a fire by the river near of prison. We lit the fire with Pringles chips but we didn't have enough wood. Matt, the Aussie, went looking for wood and he broke into someones shed and came back with wood!!! He said the wood was actually a part of the shed. I don't know...

Then we wanted to sit down so we saw a bench in someones garden. So Matt went to get the bench and when he was walking with it, the old man came home and got out of his car and started yelling at Matt. Matt tried to explain we were just going to sit on it and put it back but he just kept yelling...

Then we bought MANY fireworks and shot them at the bridge!!!!! About an hour later a different old man came and started yelling at us and we were a little drunk by now so we started yelling back at him. Everyone was just yelling but no one understood anything... So he left.

Then we tried to cook frozen pizza on the fire but that didn't work?!?! Stupid weigooks...

When we came back to the prison it was midnight. We went in the staff room and the Koreans were having a party but they didn't tell us?!!?!?!??!? AHHHHHH a Korean teacher just snuck up behind me and scared the shit out of me while I am typing... She's one of the nice teachers...

Anyway... we went in the staff room and they looked so surprised that we were there. We started drinking their beer but we didn't really feel welcomed but we stayed anyway...

Now, on to Jin. So Jin apparently has a crush on my co-teacher. I actually had a crush on her when I taught with her this summer but now she has a boyfriend, and she isn't as cute. Jin is about 40 years old and she is 25. Jin is also married, but he is always kind of following her around and trying to sit by her. So, because I hate him, I decided I'm always going to flirt with her when he's around.

So I came into the staff room last night and there was no room on the table by her (Alice) but I went and told her to move over and sat by her. Jin looked so angry. Then I kept going "cheers" and drinking and joking with her, just to make him angry. He looked so cold. Next, I congratulated Jin for his wedding anniversary that was only a few days ago and said "you are so lucky to be so happily married."

I'm an asshole, but he deserves it.

Jin, and this camp, make me kind of hate Korea a little bit. All of us weigooks just complain about Korea and the culture when we are here because we are treated like 2nd class people at this camp (kind of, well, not really... hard to explain).

I just can't wait to get back to SEEEEEOUUUUUUUULLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How muchee...

This morning was awkward.

I got to the bus stop a little bit late so I thought maybe I would be late for school. I was waiting for a couple of minutes, then I saw a familiar looking man coming to the bus stop. It was my vice-principal!

I've never seen him at my bus stop before. He knew he was a little late too, and he knew I was a little late. He asked how long I was waiting in his broken English ('Bus. Wait. How muchee?') and I said 10 minutes. Really, I was just there a minute or two but I didn't want him thinking I was late. I wanted him to think the bus was late.

Then we waited together and it was the longest 7 or 8 minutes I've had in Korea. He speaks no English, but I felt rude being there with him listening to music so I took out one headphone, but then I couldn't properly enjoy my morning music. The song I was listening to had the guitar and bass and vocal harmonies and on different channels so I only go half the song. Maybe it would have been better if I took out the left ear, not the right.

So the bus finally comes and we get on. Then we have to transfer to another bus but it pulled out in front of us so we couldn't catch that bus. So we went one more stop to catch another bus. We should have went one extra stop, then we wouldn't have to walk to transfer but he wanted to get off one stop before. Then we had to cross the road and run because the bus was coming. Thankfully, I was with an old Korean man because the driver stopped way before the stop and picked us up. That wouldn't happen for me.

Thankfully there weren't two open seats next t o each other so I didn't have to sit by him.

Played 'The Price is Right' all morning with my grade four kids. My students liked this picture...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A bad case...

I'm gonna incorporate this into my teaching somehow...

Bad Case Of Diarrhea - Watch more free videos

Home free...

Oh fack... Just got back from two weeks in English Camp Hell.


As expected...

One of the Korean teachers, a 37 year old man named Jin, was a total dickhead, and I had to work with him on a club performance.

The club practices were supposed to be one hour a day, but this guy made the kids meet after lunch and each day the kids practiced for about 2-2.5 hours. No other club did this. Pissed me off because the kids were tired and just wanted to play with their friends.

Also, he might be a closet fag. In Korea there's this song called "Tell Me" by a group called Wonder Girls. Picture a 16 year old version of the Spice Girls with, dare I say, less talent. For some reason, this 37 year old man knows the "Tell Me" dance. That is definitely questionable.

Jin Jin Jin.

He also monopolized the stage even when he wasn't using it so no other groups could practice. He knocked over a snowman that grade 5 girls made. He had an annoying voice. He was married but was constantly flirting with my cute co-teacher who is just 25. He learned to play guitar after a previous English camp because another teacher played guitar and his wife was impressed by that dude. He called one of the foreign teachers rude because she was waiting for 25 minutes to use the stage and he just had his kids sitting on the stage talking to them.

I had already had a run-in with him before but the rude comment really pissed me off. The first time I told him that it is unfair to the kids because he's making them work too hard and taking away too much of their free time. I questioned his motivations for doing this, telling him I thought that he just wanted to show everyone up during the performance and that it's not a competition. I pretty much told him I thought he was a selfish prick without saying that.

Then I told the supervisor all of this, but she's been friends with him since high school. Anway.

After the rude comment, I pretty much said the same things again, but by now he had pissed many people off and I told him he was completely inconsiderate to anyone else's needs. I told him I thought he was a smug prick who used "Korean Culture" as his scapegoat for any problems he had with the foreigners.

I then went to the supervisor and told her I will never teach another camp again if Jin is there. I told her she wasn't doing a good job at this camp compared to last year, and the other foreign teacher told her the same thing (and that teacher has much more experience and clout than me). I told the supervisor she put us in uncomfortable situations by asking us if we were having problems with Korean teachers while Korean teachers were in the room. I told her the Korean teachers didn't speak barely any Korean last year when the foreigners were around, but this year they were mostly speaking Korean in the staff room. I told her we don't like it when they speak in their secret code and then we hear our names in their conversations.

So that was that.

I put up with him the rest of camp and barely spoke a word to him even though we worked together for almost 2 hours each day.

The kids at camp were great, just like last year. My class of girls were less snobby so that was nice, and my boys were kinda pansies (but kicked ass at soccer) so they were no trouble.

My co-teachers were much better this year. I worked with both of them at a summer camp, and the young teacher Jin liked is extremely cute, so that made my days more enjoyable.

We had a foreigner party by the river one night. We had no wood so the Aussie broke into a shed and came back with some lumber that he actually tore from the shed. It was the shed. Then he went to borrow a bench from some dudes garden and the dude came home and got out of his car freaking out. Funny.

Then another old man came freaking out at us but by now we were drunk and lacking respect. We tried to say "It's ok" etc. but he kept freaking so a few choice words were flung his way.

The last night of camp we went out to dinner, then to a noraebang, then to the river again. This time, we knew where to get wood. One morning we went on a bike ride and I scoped out a dude splitting wood near the river. Soooo, we borrowed a little wood from him and had a kick-ass fire until 5 in the morning.

It's good to be back to civilization and back to a place where the food isn't utter shit.

That's it for now. Maybe I'll eventually write something more about China but meh... Probably not. Just look at the Facebook.

I ain't down with redundancy...