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...