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 NBA.com. 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...