Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I feel like a 蜗牛 ! right now. Today is Wednesday, though; that makes it semi-O.K. I have a two-and-a-half-hour hiatus between classes, and Somnolence seems to have the best of me at the moment. >,< As per usual, the mocha mix has had no effect on me (yet).

My weekend was not incredibly eventful, but I did monetarily make a profit. I Rosario-ed on Saturday afternoon: I cleaned one of my coworker's house for 50,000 won. It wasn't difficult in the least: I had to clean the very slightly unclean bathroom, sweep the floor, wash the dishes, and ensure that the dog wasn't desolate--none of which was hard to do at all.

Then I went to Gangnam, in which another Kyobo bookstore is located. I left that one rather vexed, for there were hardly any other books in English that were for learning foreign languages (there were none for learning Arabic). I know that I'm a foreigner in Korea, but I would still think that there would be an array of books from which I could choose that weren't about learning the Korean language. I'm not trying to compare Japan with Korea, but there was an ample amount of these books in Kinokuniya. I appreciate Korea and the opportunity of being here, but I also value bookstores (and the books that are available in them). Nonetheless, I do have my eye on a book that teaches Hanja (the Chinese characters that are used in the Korean language). Besides, my experience at that bookstore was possibly tainted by the fact that it was cold and raining outside. :(

Later on that night, I went out with my coworkers to Hyundai. Some of us parted ways at the first floor: Gogo's was upstairs; FF was downstairs. Brian and I had gone to Gogo's, but we then decided to join the others at FF, since 10,000 won = free drinks for an hour. I mean, the free alcohol came in small Dixie paper cups, but $10 for all the rum and coke and gin and tonic you can imbibe in an hour... was more than satisfactory to me. Of course, Smart Me would have five different cups (total, between the two drinks) on a rather vacuous stomach. Regardless, I still enjoyed myself...until I had thought that everyone had abandoned me in the basement-club.

Of course, I really disliked that feeling. Therefore, I was rather aloof for the rest of the night that I had been among them. As I went to mingle with other patrons of the bar (during one of the many times that we were in and out of the bar), I met two fabulous girls, one of whose names was Ana. I remember one Korean man telling me that he would have sex with me (he wasn't repulsive at all, so I have no idea why I didn't) and another grabbing me and holding his fist up as if he were ready to punch me. Storytime.

Somewhat Tipsy/pixilated/whatever Me and one of the girls were talking to this one Korean man. She was telling me how he apparently sports a pretty hot body underneath the sweater that he had been wearing. He lifted up his sweater to humor her (and me? Maybe?). I pointed and giggled, but it wasn't a fleering giggle; I just couldn't see anything but part of the stomach, which had some hair that resembled a trying but failing happy trail. Anyhow, at that moment, he took me by the collar of my shirt blouse and held his fist in the air. I was spared, thanks to my somewhat new(ly-made) acquaintance. (I recall not even being remotely fearful of him, lolol.) After the "misunderstanding", he tried to ingratiate himself with me through apologies, compliments, and . I suppose that this was in hopes of convincing me to convince my newly-made acquaintance to go home with him that night. Or morning. Either way, I clearly was to have none of his cajolery. So I distanced myself from him.

All I remember transpiring after that is...well, being awoken by a Korean woman with a broom in her hand. The sky indicated that it was indeed around that time that the sunrise usually begins. "Shit," I thought to myself, "everyone else has most likely been gone for hours." What did this mean? No division of the taxi fare among the four or five of us...because of the lack of an "us" part.

Auf Wiedersehen @ another 11,000 won. :(

This is a rather expensive taxi ride in Seoul, but roughly $11 would get you approximately two miles(?) in Tokyo. However, this is my first month in Korea, and I still have fifteen days (as of today) before my bank account is replete with won! Ergo, I must be thrifty with the little amount of won that still remains in my bank account. (which likely won't be happening).

That was Saturday/early Sunday. I didn't do much of anything on Sunday because.



It was also cold. What a discombobulating combination, if I may say so myself. So I took Rebecca to a nearby 김밥 restaurant, and we both had donggasu. Then, we both returned to the apartment complex and parted ways. I furthered my knowledge of Persian and watched House for the rest of the day. (One more episode, and I'll finally be finished with the first season.)

I really need to stop posting these entries the day after I started them. Though, between last night and tonight, I had to deal with an unruly class, and I partook in Random Wednesday Night Intoxication--which happened outside of a 7-11 that will be closed in two days. Boisterousness and some vandalism by one of us that was there did land us in a little bit of trouble.

...and right as I finish this, the bell for class ended. That means that I have eight minutes until one of my classes actually starts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So I'm looking into traveling to Mauritania.  Slavery still exists there, albeit it was "outlawed" three times in the past.  The punishments to which the African slaves are subjected are utterly inhuman:
"Routine punishments for the slightest fault include beatings, denial of food and prolonged exposure to the sun, with hands and feet tied together. "Serious" infringement of the master's rule can mean prolonged tortures, documented in a report by Africa Watch. These include 1. The "camel treatment," where a human being is wrapped around the belly of a dehydrated camel and tied there. The camel is then given water and drinks until its belly expands enough to tear apart the slave. 2. The "insect treatment," where insects are put in his ears. The ears are waxed shut. The arms and legs are bound. The person goes insane from the bugs running around in his head. 3. The "burning coals" where the victim is seated flat, with his legs spread out. He is then buried in sand up to his waist, until he cannot move. Coals are placed between his legs and are burnt slowly. After a while, the legs, thighs and sex of the victim are burnt. There are other gruesome tortures--none of which is fit to describe in a family newspaper" states Africa Watch. Another report states that some slaves caught fleeing are often castrated or branded like cattle.
In addition to accounts like these and other accounts that I've read, I still want to try and visit Mauritania--staying in Nouakchott, of course.  This doesn't make it seem bad at all to visit--it actually makes it seem quite worthwhile to visit!  If I were to travel in July, then the lowest available price for the round-trip flights would be $2800...which doesn't seem to be bad at all!
Mauritania, will you be graced by my presence?   hmmm ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Best kanji character ever. :)

Last weekend was a pretty eventful weekend. Friday night was incredibly and intoxicatedly entertaining. After ending work at 11 p.m. on Friday (as per usual), I ended up meeting with my boss (foreigner) and my Korean coworkers in a restaurant near the workplace. It basically resulted in my coming out to my Korean coworkers, which is uncommon here in Korea, apparently. A few seconds of awkward silence ensued, but they all seemed--and seem--to be rather accepting of my homosexuality. The night continued with copious amounts of beer (:/), Korean dishes, and karaoke.

Flabbergastingly, I achieved a perfect score after singing Billy Joel's Just the Way you Are. It's interesting how every ability of mine surfaces--and oftimes improves--after alcohol penetrates the Anarchopolis that is my brain, and basks in its transient rule over the (normally) idle little fuckers.

(Aside: Why the hell do I feel as if I'm Alzheimer'sing at age 25 20? I'm only a quarter fifth of a century years-old. Perhaps this is a portent of a death or complete vegetation before 30?)

Saturday morning consisted of tense neck muscles and a slight-but-noticeable pain in my head. I overcame it without the assistance of Excedrin Tension Headache! :O Then, I went to meet a fellow American homosexual in Korea. He was accompanied by a vivacious gay man, who was insouciant to any fleers and glares of opprobrium that may have been sent in his direction...and he projected a gayness that is more typical of the his gay, black counterpart. Every second of it was amazing, and I happened to be more fond of being in his company than I had been of being in that of the guy whom I had actually gone to Hannam to meet.

We proceeded to Itaewon, and between taxi rides, went shopping for a green shirt for the Vivacious One--which consumed much of our time, ate at a McDonald's in Itaewon, and then we returned to B's (the original guy with whom I had planned to meet up) complex on the base. There, the two of them invested so much energy in prettifying themselves...whilst I was clearly "pre-gaming" for the bars by sitting on the couch, letting my ears take in the house music blaring from the speakers, and (twice) falling asleep whilst waiting for them. I was hoping that my time with them would actually be worth it at the bars.

Fail. While they did keep checking up on me and made attempts to involve me, they spent a vast majority of the time talking about common acquaintances and times from the past. They also used to date, so that also seemed to be an obstacle to my completely having fun. Anyway, they are regulars at the bar (Polly's), so everyone seemed to know them (and pretty much everyone else but me) pretty well. Given my feeling terribly underdressed among the aforementioned situation, it just was not a fun time. B also seemed to be expecting me to invest in his drink!! gjhlkuytudgfs ! Cya. No, I didn't say, "Cya", but I should have. :S I had a Kahlúa milk (again), and then we went to the gay area. (Yes, they have a Boystown/Ni Chome-esque area in Seoul.)

Ser. En. Dipitously., I saw my coworkers in one of the bars. It was on my way to the subway station. Despondence totally disappeared. I joined my coworkers and had a vodka cranberry. :D I even danced atop the 'couch' in the center of the bar. There, I met one of my coworker's gay friends, Michael...and the rest of the night consisted of barhopping between Itaewon and Hyundai, the openings up that only come from alcoholic imbibition, yet another Kahlúa milk, a Long Island iced tea (wow, potent), and the expectedly long taxi ride home. :/ Hyundai was so fun, even if it we did end up there from impulse.

Sunday consisted of two of my coworkers, Michael, and me going to brunch in Itaewon. There, suspicions of Michael arose. While he is articulate, opinionated, and efficient when it comes to his relations, he also seems quite judgmental and quite disapprobatory of me. Perhaps I had misunderstood what it was that he was trying to convey, but nothing was necessarily clarified later--since I didn't really feel like exchanging semi-vacuous insults. I have mixed opinions regarding him, but I'm not going to just write him off as just Another Social Statistic...I don't necessarily want to do so, either. There could just be misunderstandings that need to be resolved.

The food was de-lectable. I had banana and walnut pancakes, and I only succeeded in consuming half of the plate. Banana slices and an undulation of syrup adorned the plate's circumference, and walnuts were sprinkled atop the pancakes, which also had walnuts in them. :)) Also mounting the stack of two pancakes was a mound of vanilla ice cream. I had never had pancakes with ice cream before, but it didn't deprive the pancakes of their delectability in the least. The caramel macchiato that I had been drinking with the pancakes was also superb. It was probably the macchiato that rendered me farctate too soon. :( However, the others indulged in satiating themselves via my leftovers. Albeit it was 17,000 won, it seemed to be well worth it; I'm planning on returning to that place this Sunday as well.

After that, we proceeded down the road and up the street to a bookstore in which all the books are foreign. I bought an Arabic book in there for 3,000 won, since it was cheap enough. Then, we went to the theater and saw 10,000 B.C. in Yongsan. (It only took me three weeks to go to the theater here in opposed to some seven months or so in Japan.) It wasn't historically accurate, but it was a great movie nonetheless. The sight of primal, manly men certainly lead to the surfacing of my concupiscent nature, and the intertribal liaisons were, for some reason, rather relieving to see. Digressing, I wish that the color of Evolet's contacts (sky bluish) were my natural eye color.

ahsfasldkfhsdlfkashd mmm


- 10,000 B.C. caveman look

Steven Strait in Warner Bros. Pictures' 10,000 B.C.

(Steve Strait is his name. wowowow)

Well, that was my afternoon. The movie was nearly three hours long, but it was worth the 8,000 won that I had paid for it.

Oh! So, as everyone else went back to their apartments, I headed to the bookstore to check out the collection of foreign books that was available in Seoul. I.


They had just a vast range of books, aside from their Arabic language/Persian language/Middle Eastern-related books. That was somewhat of a disappointment, because I'd really like to purchase a good book about the Middle East that I could read. As for the Arabic language, there was an English-Arabic dictionary for 50,000 (approximately $50). However, there are many Kyobo bookstores within Seoul, so hopefully there are more books that are available at those locations. By the way, how masochistic I must be: going to the bookstore during the first month of my stay here, knowing that I'm working with a rather limited budget set (even post-advance). There are just so many books there whose prices are lower than they even are in the United States! :D I was certainly taken aback by the fact that I didn't buy anything while I was there on Sunday. Hopefully, I will be able to continue to refrain from bankrupting myself in Kyobo.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Firstly, 안 녕 하재 요.  
I'm here at work again.  This time, I had my MacBook accompany me, because the Windows version installed on the computers runs in Korean...and I am a tad bit illiterate (I know a good portion of the alphabet) and semantically challenged when it comes to the Korean language.  Therefore, I have no idea how to download the Japanese and Farsi fonts that I'd so wish to utilize during my hiatuses from teaching.  Besides, I don't even have to download said fonts on the MacBook.

I came to work nearly an hour-and-a-half early, since there are infinite opportunities available to those who have 1,000 won to their names (i.e. me).  However, I just talked to my boss, and he said that I'd be able to receive an advance, which I knew would be possible.  I just have no idea how long it would take for the company to actually invest in my...survival.  I'll basically be sustaining myself on Oreos tonight, since they cost less than 1,000 won.  

I partook in fun times for the majority of this weekend.  I drank with coworkers--and amazingly finished a cup of beer--and gormandized on a plate of fried chicken on Friday.  Subsequent to investing in Pinguescent Me's well-being, I purchased this delicious blueberry-flavored vodka drink from Family Mart.  It was amazing, and I was quite tempted to further deplete my funds by purchasing another one.  Had I not been too faineant and willing to go down seven floors, then I very much would have done so.  Ugh, too good.  =(

I idled around the Seocho area on Saturday, in hopes of finding the Costco that apparently is located in the area.  Three wrong directions later, I noticed that there was no way to facilely traverse the mountainous area (i.e. by foot).  The idling wasn't a complete waste of life, though, for I was able to become somewhat more oriented to the surroundings.  I then headed to Yongsan to buy necessary items from the inexpensive department store E Mart.  Yongsan is where the military base is located, but the base is being displaced further south because of the problems with those in the military.  Military men *shimmies*.  Anyhow, I think that I am going to purchase the clownfish that I saw there...when my influx of monetary goodness actually starts one month from now. =)  It will be rather costly to maintain it, but I've wanted saltwater fish (especially clownfish) since my more youthful years.  The clownfish itself is only 15,000 won, which doesn't seem like a bad price at all here in Seoul.
Anyhow, after returning to my apartment, I was ready to go to Itaewon with my co-workers and co-tenants Rebecca and Brian, and co-workers Steve and Michael, who are from a nearby apartment.  Itaewon is the Roppongi of Korea:  saturated with foreigners and, sometimes, trouble.  I only enjoyed the Moroccan restaurant Marrakech.  I had Tobauly, and the owners of the restaurant were quite polite.  However, the bar to which we went afterward was filled with foreign people--many of whom seemed to be homosexuals.  Well, our group actually sat next to a gay couple that was heading to another location in the area.  Speaking of homosexuality, it was once again made known to me that I'm noticeably gay, even when first encountered.  =S  Perhaps I am still naïve when it comes to others' gaydars, but I've always thought that my gayness only effulges after having known and befriended someone.
Well, since Steve, Rebecca, and I were not really fond of the Itaewon area, we headed to Hyundai, where we patronized a bar called Gogos.  Hyundai also seems to have quite a number of foreigners, but there were a number of Korean patrons at Gogos as well.  I had a Milk.  =D  It reminded me of Kahlúa's vast amazingness.  It was the only drink that I had, though.  It lasted me for about half an hour, since I was rather frugal with its consumption.  During that time, Steve and I fleered at this one guy who was trying too hard to be a scenester:  he sported the black tie (likely a clip-on), black-framed glasses, and the short-sleeved collared shirt.  (He actually ended up introducing himself to Steve a few minutes later.)

After Gogos, we went to Ska, and we danced for a while.  It felt great to dance again, albeit I'm relatively out of shape (as if I were ever "in shape").  Rebecca can dance to Latin music really well; I've been inspired to take lessons...provided that I actually remember to do so at some point, I'll actually learn.

Later that night, we haphazardly ran into Brian in FF, where we spent a few minutes before deciding to head back home.  Having been three or four in the morning, we were starting to become rather fatigued after the alcohol consumption and dissipated energy from gyrating and jumping about the place.  

Yesterday (Sunday) was rather eventful.  After a breakfast buffet (thanks to Brian), we went shopping in Jamsil (sp?), which comprised a huge mall with indoor rides, a place that seemed like a miniature amusement park, and an area where one can try out an array of guns.  Then, there was the huge outdoor market at ? Station (Hyoroyeong??) in downtown Seoul, near Seoul Station.  However, I went back to my apartment after that, knowing that I'll be returning to that area to satiate my materialistic needs.  =P  I learned some more Farsi, and blew out the power supply to my external hard drive.   That infuriated me, for I loaded that hard drive with a shitload of files--so I'm really hoping that the power supply is the only thing that was ruined...due to the voltage differences (?).  If the entire hard drive is ruined, then I. Am. Fucked.  (and that would mean that I lost a crap ton of information.)  

Well, that's a synopsis of what happened this weekend.  Since I have about 50 minutes until class, I'm going to go and actually prepare for them.   Auf  @

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So, here I am nearly two years later on Blogspot. In the interstices of time between posts, I completed my year-long contract with NOVA Group of Japan (only to have residual problems of a pecuniary nature with them), existentially atrophied for a little over half a year in my home town, and I serendipitously was found and called on by a Korean English-teaching company. So I am currently amidst a melange of Korean and foreign English teachers alike, taking the time to archive a bit of my life here in central Seoul.

What I find particularly delightful is the fact that I won't be depleted of a significant portion of my income each month, as I do not have to pay for it. Complementarily delightful is the fact that my purchasing power has been expanded here. W00t. However, the frigid temperatures and a perceived paucity of physically allicient and relatively complaisant men have been sort of a cock an assblock...which I've seemed not to mind as much as I possibly should. However, my friend Rebecca and I have been enjoying each other's company as often as is possible, since the division of labor has landed us on separate floors of the building.

I'll try to frequent this blog as often as I had been frequenting my LiveJournal, but I won't hold myself to it.

lol @ posting this message the day after it had been started.