We are english teachers in Incheon, Korea. This is our life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Where'd we go?

Hey, haven't posted in over 3 months...please visit my facebook.com blog/homepage instead, for all kinds of interesting stuff.

My Facebook Page

Be back someday,

P

Monday, November 20, 2006

K-Food Part 2

I have yet to try this, but I found a little video on Korean dog meat soup (Boshintang). This is a culturally acceptable, albeit unpopular dish in South Korea. The recipe is simple: dog + red pepper paste (kochujang) + vegetables = Boshintang. I hear it's good for stamina. Check it out:



Please note: though it is often thought of as a Korean phenomenon, the eating of canines has been a part of food culture in many areas of asia for quite some time.

Oh, I almost forgot. I ate this stuff, raw baby obtopus, freshly chopped and still moving. The little buggers fight your chopstick and go crazy when you dip 'em in wasabi. The taste was bland, and they were suprisingly easy to eat (made sure I chewed 'em dead before swallowing of course.) Here's a video from youtube:



A video on Kimchi:



Red pepper paste is the star of the show, though Kimchi can be made with many different herbs and spices. It is essentially vegetables quickly fermented at low temperatues (most common is radish and cabbage kimchi.) The spicy red cabbage stuff is served with nearly every Korean meal. For the foreigners I've met during my stay here, you either love it or hate it....Chris and I enjoy the stuff, it's addictive :-P



That's right, a kimchi refrigerator for quick preparation. Advertised with a snippent of a Tammy Wynette song. West meets Faaaar east, eh?

Cheers,

P

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blog update - I need to do this more









So, my last 3 posts were talking about how I need to update the blog more... I've heard some people (thanks dad) call me lazy, and say I don't write here enough, so let's get started...

Trip to Gangchun
It turns out that 4wheeling is one of the most fun things on the planet, and we took a trip, to go an 4wheel in some mountains smack dab in the middle of korea. Our tour guide was hilarious, because #1. He spoke no English.... #2, assumed that we were all pros #3 took us on some dangerous-ass terrain up and down mountains, some so steep that you think you're going to flip over the handle bars (of which our friend Sylvaine actually did). Of course it was his own fault, because he was pulling lots of stunts. However, my stunts were much cooler, and I didn't get thrown 3 metres off of my bike. BEST TRIP EVER - i totally want to get one when i get back. 40$ for 3 hours, best money i ever spent.

We met random Korean people and played a game called ring-around-the-soju. You put the soju in the middle of the ground, and run around it, so the person who is most drunk falls over (koreans can't retain their balance while drunk, much like the irish) and coincidentally it was always the same person falling over every time.

Also, Sokcho for Chusok which was WWWAAAAYY back in the second of october. I was supposed to write about this, and then once again... my usual self, slacked. So we went to Soraksan, on the East coast, went swimming in the Sea of Japan, at 4am drunk as hell. This would be fun, and it was, but the waves were 7 feet tall, the undertow was dragging us out toward japan, and there was a woman crying on the shore, because we thought we were going to die. Which is kinda cool i guess. Then we had a big audience watching us, with the phone camera's out, all thinking to themselves "wow, weigooks (foreigners) are pretty stupid arent they?"

We went to a buddhist temple, and chilled with Buddha for a bit, (here they call him Buulgyo, and we drove around on minibikes (as seen in the picture) and i kinda messed mine up real bad by taking it down stairs maybe 8 or 9 times. Apparently minibikes arent designed to travel down stairs. It was a hheeell of a lot of fun.

Gotta go to HaMing, and get some ChaJengMyun, (restraunt for noodles) PEACE
-Chris

Friday, November 03, 2006

Itaewono'ween


















So we spent the saturday before Halloween in Itaewon, let me fill in those who don't know on what it's all aboot:

It is essentially a 1-street area of the city designated as a 'foreign tourist' area, but has become much unlike that over time. The area is near the big US Army base in aSeoul, however their curfew is pretty early so we didn't see many of those types around. Itaewon is like a 'foreigner town' in Seoul, much like finding Chinatowns and so on in western cities. It's a great place to find ethnic food from all over the world (and the only place to get a damn good hamburger I've found so far), and is a popular shopping destination for western clothing (that fits ME, no korean sizes). However, I digress.

Itaewon is an awesome place to party. Let's go back to Halloween. The original group consisted of Paul, Chris, Kristy, Lori, Amanda, Chung-Hw, Connor (new teacher from Ireland) and we met Lori's friend and ex-roomie 'Mimi' and her husband in Seoul. We arrived at the 'Rocky Mountain Tavern' about 8pm, after a long bus ride and subway jaunt. This place is run by a Canadian dude, and it shows. Hockey Jerseys on the walls, Tragically Hip on the playlist, and poutine on the menu, all that nonsense. We started with a meal and some pitchers of beer. 8000 won ($9.50) for 'chicken tenders', which included way too much phat and juicy chicken fingers and homemade chips (that's right, potatoes cut fresh like a potato chip, no one bothers to do that in Hali eh?) Enough about dinner....

Chris came dressed as the 'devil', sort of...he bought a girls' devil wig, which was actually kinda cool, devil horns and curly red hair. Aviators, and a fu manchu. I had bought some vampire teeth and a mustache and dressed in black, aiming to be a vampire. However the teeth and mustache were crap, and Amanda happened to have costume makeup, so Kristy made me up as what i christened 'the undead'....the pics speak for themselves.

Spent a couple hours there, proceeded to get a little tipsy on pitchers of korean beer (in plastic cups, they don't trust us with glass, reminded me of Canada). The party picked up, more people showed up in costume. The group planned to see a few live bands and come back later, so Chris and I tagged along.

On to 'Big Electric Cat'. In the basement of a restaurant complex, black paint job, reminded me of a typical rock bar. They had Sam Adams beer which was nice (expensive at 6000 won), and good R&C. Saw two bands, one made up of foreign expats (Brodie the guitar player was from NS) called 'Taste of Dinomite', and a Korean blues band called
'Electric Soju King'. Both bands were entertaining, TOD playing solid mainstream-ish vocal rock, and Soju king blowing my mind with spot-on covers and an amazing lead guitarist. Paddy and Jay (new teacher from England) showed up at this point; this party's just gettin' started yo!

After Soju King's second set, we head back to Rocky Mountain Tavern. At this point it's wall to wall people, 90% foreigners. Did I mention they had mooshead lager, and poutine? But I digress, again.

Chris and I started drinking harder stuff, long island and whatnot (and some tequila, I think) and were at that point pretty smashed...then Paddy exclaims 'Let's check out hooker hill!!!!' Insert colon here -----> :

Hooker Hill is like Seoul's red light district. All kinds of small establishments, with many attractive (not kidding) cute women calling you, grabbing you, begging to show you their, umm.....wares. We had a laugh, but there were girls with us, and we're good boys, so no debauchery (sorry fellas).

At the top of the hill is a bar called 'Polly's Tavern'. Pool table, video screens, Sean Paul blasting, wooden chairs, dancefloor filled with a mix of young people, pervs, and nigerians.....am I at the Palace back home? Naw, cant be....I'm drinking soju and orange pop from a 1.5l pop bottle with four straws in it. Had a blast there. At that point Chris and Chung-Hwa had 'hooked up' so to speak, it was cute :-)
Lots of running around trying to find people, talking to nigerians and suprisingly being told not to smoke so much or do drugs, and dancing like it was 2001 again. I was bombed, it's 5:30, time to head back to our hostel room we booked (well, Kristy made us book, good idea nonetheless). Made it back to the room around 6:30, after Chris insisted we goto the corner store for food, and he spilled ramen noodles all over himself (he don't remember this by the way). Slept from 7ish until noon, didn't feel like we slept at all.

The three of us met Amanda back at Rocky Mountain Tavern for a WESTERN BREAKFAST!!! That's right, kids- two eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast. First time I had that since I got here, would've been more satisfying if I wasn't still tipsy and in desparate need of sleep.

Split a cab back to our part of Incheon for 36,000 won. (9 bucks each, not bad considering it's 60+km). Crashed for a few hours, woke up and went to the rehearsal space and jammed. And so it ends.

There have been many crazy nights in this country, but this was by far the craziest. Anyway, it's 3am and I need sleep...I'll check in soon.

P

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oh Shit...it's been that long?

Sorry guys and gals, a posted comment from Mr. Hull reminded me it's been a month since I updated this fucking thing! Lots to say, but it's 4am and I need some beauty rest, so key points now, pictures and details later. Speaking of photos, please click/bookmark this link as all the pics we've bothered to upload are here- Photobucket Page

Let's go:

1) I am not afraid of Kim Jong Il, or his tiny, broken nuclear arsenal. For the time being we are as safe here as in any other country, and I have registered with the Canadian embassy and will be notified upon any major crisis/issue upon which evacuation is suggested. The currency/markets have stayed solid, and the general climate among the locals is....'whatever, we'll get through it'.
Some waygooks (foreigners) are talking about their 'get out' plans and acting quite paranoid, some have already left, but they are a small minority. For most of us its business as usual, and business is good.

2) Our band is now a four-piece. Andrew from Miramachi, NB has joined on 2nd guitar and vocals and brings a wealth of experience and confidence to our little outfit. We played as Goose Goose last Friday and it went well, covering the Beatles, Cream, Led Zepplin, and some general jamming. Hopefully we'll get paid for this shit soon enough.

3) We're moving in a month! Even though Chris' and I are best buds, our apartment is shite, and living together is causing us to bicker like a married couple. And all who know me well know I'm an asshole sometimes inadvertenly... our own studios in Yeonsu-dong will be a welcome reprieve. Speaking of studio, once I get my own spot Pandemic Productions will be back in business :-)

4) I now know more people in this part of Incheon from Nova Scotia than from USA. I'm fucking serious.

5) I have a webcam, but have yet to try it out, if you wanna try cross-coastal techno telecommunication of the future, email me or something.

6) I have to dress up for Halloween at my Hakwon (Academy) on Tuesday...and Korea doesn't even really do Halloween like Canada does. Good luck finding a costume that fits my fat ole' ass!

7) I'm getting pretty damn good at speaking pidgin Korean, and so is Chris. We get by pretty well and don't get ripped off anymore.

8) I miss donairs.

Good Night, and stay tuned for pics and adventurous stories!

P

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Im not dead! I'm just lazy!

Hey everyone? how are things? this is one of those, i meant to call, i really did, but didn't posts... Things for me have been going great. I don't have any new pics, becasue i lent my camera to my bud pat, so he could go to Japan, and he didn't use it, and I keep forgetting to take it back.
One of my greatest memories in recent times is making fun of passed out drunken businessmen... we got really into it one night. (I think he was pretending), but something told me he wasn't.







Teaching is going great, but there's a game her called DongDongChen or something like that where the kids try and jam their fingers in your ass when you walk by, and its very violating. You'd just be walking down the isle reading page 26..."I went to the house, h-o-u-s HOLY JESUS SHIT!!" well, now im used to it, but my counter is to chase them, and then swat them (in a playful manner) with the book. I'd wet willy them, but im afraid if i show them that, they'll constantly use it on me.

Anywho, sorry for neglecting the blog after the title of my last post was "Neglecting the Blog no more!"

Signing off
-Chris

Monday, September 25, 2006

Update No. 5 - Lou Bega Sucks

A few points of interest, no theme to this post:

1) Updated the 'Jimmy Jam Jam' post with pics of Studio Pulse, our rehearsal space. Musicians prepare to drool (scroll down a bit), I've never seen anything close in Halifax. We still haven't hacked out any originals yet, but have been working on some classic rock covers befitting a 'Blues Jam' night at the local bar. Thiss friday will feature versions of 'Sunshine of Your Love', 'White Room', 'Whole Lotta Love', and 'Jailhouse Rock' (the Jeff Beck cover). I've posted two vids below for your enjoyment, thank me later :-)





2) Had my first private lesson today after classes, went to her house. She is 10 years old and spent 3 years in Wisconsin, it was surreal as my director and her two parents were sitting next to me for most of it; they seem to think I did a great job though I was fucking clueless, the director advised me of it with no prep time and I had to wing it, checking her level with a textbook I grabbed from school (she was almost flawless with level 2 stuff though, may have to up the ante). I think I'll play alot of games and have her read stories and talk about it, maybe go over phrasal verbs and idioms and all that fun stuff you can do with higher level kids/adults. Still, 150,000 won a month for 6 hrs ain't bad considering.

3) Put a deposit on another bass today, $485 for what would cost almost a grand back home...custom finish on the body, the neck is all pearlized, and active pickups. Active pickups, and it plays like a dream. Don't need it, but I'm a sucker for a good buy. Going to put that Fender up for sale, it's nice but isn't fit for my tiny bitch hands lol. To anyone in Korea reading this blog, I'll take 350,000 won or best offer :-)

4) Going to see Suck Stuff (a korean punk band) this or next Saturday, whichever works out better. One of the guys runs a label here and I'm pretty sure they own 'Skunk Hell', the punk bar in Hongdae, Seoul. Bought the album a few weeks back, it's like Rancid Meets the Clash meets....well...Korea. Fun stuff, here's a taste:





5) All in all, up to the same old stuff here, teaching, drinking, and taking in the sights. Been here 2 months but it feels like longer. Korea is like Keith's: 'Those Who Like it, Like It a Lot'. And I fucking like it, that's the truth. Here's are some pics of us I had kicking around, and don't get me wrong I miss all my Canadian boys n' girls too!




Cheers,

P