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29th Apr, 2008


(no subject)

So I know I haven't updated in forever, and I know I really should, but you know what - I don't think i will that often - I have enough trouble maintaining one blog - two is just not working for me.

But I though I would have to post this entry here for those few of you who still pop by to have a look at what I'm up to.

copied from my other blog:

I've just got back from four fabulous days in Jeju. An island off the south of Korea. So good to get away from the kids. So good to get out of Seoul. Unfortunately, I didn't get to do any beach bumming (too much other touristy stuff to do, not-so-fantastic weather, and ill-fitting board-shorts to blame) but it was most definitely fun.

We got lost multiple times thanks to my lovely friend (who was driving) somehow speaking a very different Korean to the Korean that the GPS navigation system was speaking in (these things are cool!!! I want one!). I will be posting photos of some of the highlights over the next few days, though I think the best experiences were love-land (giggle), Hiking up Mount Halla and the food.

Now the food. The food was good. The food was interesting. The food pushed my boundaries... hell, they've been stretched beyond recognition.

Firstly, I would like to remind you all that this is coming from a person who will not eat steak that is anything less than medium-well done. I like my meat to be cooked. If I stick my fork in it, and it moos, there is a problem. I have issues with eating animals that could be bought back to life by a good vet. I expect my meat to be cooked.

Being an island, Jeju has some food specialities that are different to the mainland. The first day we had a different sort of Pork Galbi (grilled pork - though it didn't taste that different). Pheasant was the next day's special dinner. It was quite good - to get a good tasting of it, we had the meal set that was prepared in several different ways - shabu-shabu (hot vege soup that you cook at the table and then dip shaved meat in to cook) which was quite of, some fried pheasant (not-so-good), fried pheasant balls (yumm) and raw pheasant (actually quite good, and I don't appear to have acquired bird-flu)

The highlight of special dinners came on the Sunday when we went hunting for a horse-meat restaurant. I don't really have much of an issue with eating horse as it really is just another animal. I know some people see them as pets rather than food, but I've also had pet cows, sheep and goats - all of which are also very tasty animals. Given my thoughts on horse (an animal I like less than others I have eaten) I was not really that put-off by the idea of eating horse. However, I did still have that little socially-conditioned voice in my head screaming out "OMG you're going to eat horse, OMG!"

So we went to this fantastic horse restaurant where we were very warmly treated (Jeju has some really hospitable people). Like the pheasant restaurant we decided to get the set so that we could try horse in a variety of ways (it was expensive but we nearly had to be air-lifted out of the restaurant). This included Horse steak, horse stew-type-thing, horse casserole-type-thing, horse shabu-shabu and then there were the other two dishes. One which I can't remember the name of. The two dishes - indeed the first two to come out, were horse sashimi and horse strips marinated and chilled served over frozen strips of radish. Yes people, not only have I now eaten horse, I have eaten it raw!

The horse sashimi was quite good. Nice little piece of raw horse dipped in either oil an pepper or soy-sauce and wasabi. My preference was for the oil dipping sauce. It was actually quite pleasant - subtle flavour and it just melted in your mouth. The second dish was amazing. I don't know what it was marinated in, but it was fantastic.  When the dish was brought out it was semi frozen and I think that it was much better this way - as it defrosted and came to room temperature, it was less delicious, but still good. So there we go - I have now eaten two types of raw horse. And frankly, every time I walk past a horse now, I will be tempted to lean over, hack off a chunk, dip it in oil, dust it with pepper and garlic and let it dissolve in my mouth. YUMM!
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2nd Jan, 2008


A student gets revenge (and I piss my pants laughing)

So this is what happens when you use students as examples in your class. They start to flame you. I have taught Alice for about a month and I have viewed her as a fairly average student. She is smart, she generally behaves in class. She is cool with a little spunk. I no love the kid!!!! When I used her and Harry to make examples she said I should be prepared to receive an email from her, and looky here I have! This is brilliant!

This is the email I just received....

25th Sep, 2007

Urbane DuckSwain

Happy Chuseok with Heeah and family

Chuseok UpdateCollapse )

And photos that match with the above news are here

15th Sep, 2007

Urbane DuckSwain


So I have discovered that World Cup Park is not actually A park, but rather a collection of 6 or 7 parks that are all linked. The park that features in this album ( I forget it’s name) is a load of rubbish.... literally....

Some years ago, before Korea jointly hosted the World Cup, Seoul was quite happily dumping their refuse on the banks of the Han, forming a mountain of rubbish. It was decided that this would not do for a city that was preparing to welcome millions of international guests. A solution was needed. Seoul answer? Lets grab that mountain of rubbish, wrap it up in plastic, cover it with some dirt, put in some plants, and call it a park....

The results, and actually quite impressive.... Photos

I had previously joked that the mountainous nature of Korea could possible as a result of millions of people wanting to hide all their rubbish in a very small country and not having much room for landfill... I had no idea that I was actually on to something there... I wonder if my slightly more morbid joke about some of the mountains being mass cemeteries has any relation to reality???
Urbane DuckSwain

Another Month Already!?!?

Well look at that.. it’s been another month already.

Clickity click click clickCollapse )
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12th Aug, 2007

Urbane DuckSwain

Photo Update

Photos from the last two months or so...

Life in Seoul

And a day at World Cup Stadium Park
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Urbane DuckSwain

Another month (and a bit) gone by

Wow... time is just going by so quickly here, I can’t believe it. Work has been intense of late... I don’t know how I used to pull the workload I did at uni, because what I’m doing now is less, but it is still draining. Children - they are like energy leeches. Thankfully they are cute energy leeches. I have noticed that I am a lot less patient with them when I have taught morning classes too. I think they have noticed it too.. woopsies.

I guess i haven’t had that much to update of late. The weather has seen me turn into something of a a recluse. If it’s not raining then the humidity is utterly unbearable. I walk home from work at 10pm and it takes me all of 6min; yet, by the time I get home, i am drenched with sweat from head to toe. The heat is fine, yet I am using my air con far more here than what I ever did in Australia. I am beginning to wonder if, rather than steaming my mandu (dumplings) on the stove, I could simply hang them out the window for a few minutes.

With thanks to the weather, adventures have been very few these last few weeks. The most adventurous I have been is to visit Olympic Park with Steph, which was a rather nice little outing over the other side of Seoul. The park is very nice there, and it is a good way to escape the city without actually leaving it (which seems to take hours to do). It inspired me to go in search of a cool park a little closer to home, and thus I discovered World Cup Stadium Park. Whilst in is not as grand as Olympic Park, it definitely offers an escaped from the city and is quite a nice place to spend a day. I would be there today if it weren’t for the rain and general yuckiness of the weather.

To make up for the lack of day time adventures, I have been going exploring at night instead, Saturday nights in particular. I am slowly discovering many cool bars and cafes. I am especially loving the North African and Indian styled venues. one bar in particular I love as it makes me feel like I am sitting in some 1920s opium den (only there is Hookah instead of opium). Seoul appears to have me finding the all nighter in me again. No matter how good my intentions may be, I seem to see the sun rise before heading home on a Sunday morning. It was with this knowledge in mind that I made the decision that I was not going to leave the house at all last night. It was good. I slept, I slept lots. It was needed. And yet I still have giant dark rings under my eyes... will my eyes ever be non purple again!?!?

A very special thing happened to me a week ago. Something that made me really feel like I belong. I went to my usual little cafe (another place I would likely be now if it weren’t for the weather *glares out the window*). On this particular day, not only was the owner there, but also his brother. His brother, as it turns out, is a snowboarder and has been to Aus/NZ/Can/Anywhere in the world where there is snow, and thus has a smattering of English. Thus with his help, the owner took a polaroid of me. That polaroid is now placed up on the wall of the cafe along with other regulars. It made me feel sooooo special!! YAY. The owner (whose name I only have a vague idea of) obviously read the little message i left on the polaroid as when I visited the cafe yesterday, he greeted me with a “hello Wayne”. needless to say, I was most chuffed :)

Today has been a continuation of my lazy weekend. I just went to Kyobo book store and did nearly $100 damage by buying 8 books. I am slowly getting back into reading after uni - this is making me rather excited.. It feels like years since I have been an active reader of non-academic material. Though, two of the books are to help me learn Korean, and another is The Wealth Of Nations so there is academic material in there too.

All in all, that’s about all there is to tell.. I’m sure I could dig up some juicy gossipy stories if i thought hard enough, but that may have to wait until I am feeling a little more inspired (read: when the humidity actually allows my brain to function).

I’ll try not to let it go more than a month before the next update.
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2nd Jul, 2007


Ahhh Korea....

Marriage in Korea

24th Jun, 2007


Another Cafe Sunday

Update hidden behind these words. Click it watch it appear like magic. Magic!!! Collapse )

13th Jun, 2007


Über Update

Ok, so here we go… lets see if sitting in this glorious little café will keep me in the right mood to re-write the massive update that I wrote over the weekend, only to have my computer gobble it all up when I went to post in online.

For those who don’t have a few hours to spare (ok, an exaggeration, but it is a long one), I am doing well. Teaching is for the most part quite enjoyable, Seoul is good, Life is good. For those with the time, click to read on...Collapse )

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