Thursday, 30 July 2009
Monday, 27 July 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Woke up late today, but still managed to catch the full-on almost-full solar eclipse from my roof, through the clouds. The 'pinhole in a business card projecting the sun-crescent onto a calendar' technique worked pretty well. It didn't get fully dark here on the Jej, but it was pretty eerie gray/Jeju United orange for a while. I noticed that the birds started singing their dawn chorus during this darkest of eclipse moments, before shutting up as the dogs barked.
On Sunday I met and birded with a Dutch birder who was on Jeju on an 'eclipse cruise' stop. An entire boatload of American and European obsessive eclipse-watchers packed this ship to the gunwales with the single-minded goal of seeing the eclipse mid-ocean. Hey, people with obsessions are usually cool, unless they're stalkers. It's un-boring.
In other news, it looks like the rainy season is finally lifting - blue skies and no humidity today. Thank Odin for that.
What else? I ate sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner today. They were ham and cheese, fried chicken on pita, and tuna respectively.
Monday, 20 July 2009
Sunday, 19 July 2009
This picture was not taken on Jeju. I took it 3 years ago in Seoul, but I recently re-found it, and thought I'd share it with the entire world. That adorable green bottle is filled with make-believe soju. Soju, for those lucky enough not to have tried it, is a poisonous alcohol that is cheaper than cola. It is a vile liquid that makes people crazy, and is consumed in prodigous quantities in Korea. "Hey kids, your daddy didn't come home last night because he was playing with me in fluffy soju-land! Have a shot, toddlers!"
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
I stumbled across this place, which is 2 blocks from my hovel, nestled between a fishing store and a scooter place. It's a mail-order bride shop. The yellow banner says "China, Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal, Uzbekistan" - all countries from which they can procure beautiful young submissive wives. Apparently Korean men, especially in more rural settings, are finding it increasingly difficult to find Korean women willing to marry them. Something about Korean women being overly-materialistic. I'd wager the constant spitting, smoking, swearing, drinking, whoring, fighting, mysogyny, spousal abuse, and poor fashion sense has a bit to do with it as well.
I've heard that these international matchmakers usually end up pairing 18-year old girls from one of the aforementioned less affluent nations with 50-something Korean construction workers, who end up using them as sex-slaves and housekeepers. I guess the same sort of thing goes on with Russian girls in America or wherever. Bring this up the next time a Korean complains about all the annoying foreigners polluting the pure-topia of Korea-nificent.
Monday, 13 July 2009
On the way to the shootin' yesterday we drove though sick thick fog in the foothills of Halla. I mean it was THICK. I was eating it. As we drove through the crap, hazards flashing, a strange thing occurred. At every intersection there suddenly appeared 8 tiny reindeer. Them, and Korean guys in red shirts, army hats, and ground-control lightsabers. We passed one every mile or so, and we were on a tiny back road. Where did they all come from so fast, all dressed the same like that? Why were they doing nothing, when obviously they were there to do something? Most looked at us with slack jaws, one smiled at us like we were treasure, and at least two yelled at us like we were going the wrong way. Later, Cobain saw a lady cop he liked.
KOTOR II update: I'm off Peragus, recovered the T3 unit, but was never able to free the trapped miners or find the smuggled blaster, as I didn't have enough experience to make mines using the workbench. I hate it when that happens. In other news I'm finding it increasingly hard to interact with actual humans - my thumb keeps trying to push the phantom 'communicate' button. PAUSE
Sunday, 12 July 2009
I almost stepped on this awesome beast. With it's two front legs forward like this, it was longer than a pencil. It was just sitting in the hallway of my hovel near the stairs, so I used a hangover pizza box to fling him out the window and into some bushes. Badass!
Played at an open mic a bit ago. Was the first time I've played without the safety nets that other band members and distortion provide. I did 'Asshole' by Beck, 'Runaway' by Del Shannon, and 'Swept Away' by the Avett Brothers. I played ok, but I should have gotten new strings, as the ones on the sexy blue Yamaha I inherited were all rusted and moldy. The seaside venue was pretty sweet, and it was packed.
Shot guns again today. Sweaty times at a new compound. This calls for a Jaws. Also inherited an Xbox, and I've been spending way too much time playing KOTOR II. I'm almost off the Peragus mining colony, I just have to locate my missing T3 unit, and re-find that workbench so I can make a few more mines and medpacs.
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Got some frozen delicacies. I was hankering unreasonably for a Jaws, so I bought 4, but I also impulse-bought a Hershey's 'roasted almond veil', and to my surprise, I ate that one first. Not bad, but it's no Magnum. Then, the bouquet finale. Jah-suh. Sleek and toothed, gray-blue on the outside, red on the inside - nothing beats a Jaws.
Optimus and I spotted yet another Roe Deer the other day. Got pretty close before she pounded away though the woods. I've seen 5 on Jeju. And a Siberian Weasel. It was reddish. And some garbage-eating cats. Right, I'm off to the store for a popsicle. Expect a full report.
Still hot and sticky out. Grey skies. All day. Drank beer yesterday. Need a popsicle. There's nothing on tv. It's rainy. Shooting tomorrow. Cobain and I, having already bought matching uniforms, are thinking of getting patches made for our 'squad'. We were thinking of naming our hardy band of foreign dogs of war 'Fighty Whities'. I have to stop watching 'America's Next Top Model', for the sake of my very sanity. My throat is sore.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
I hate summer. Sorry, but I do. I hate the heat. I hate the humidity. It makes me lathargic. It makes me bitchy. It makes me grouchy. It makes me wanna sit around and drink cold green bottles of Beck's, from Bremen. The best summer I've had in recent memory was last year in Australia, which was actually winter. Give me fall. Give me winter. Winter winter, oh mightiest and most honest of seasons, why hast thou forsaken me? Where art thine wintry chills and icy mists today, when I bloody need them? I'm gonna have to give in and use the aircon tonight. Damn you summer. Damn you.
Monday, 6 July 2009
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Koreans love it. So much so that they've erected monuments in its honor. The first picture represents the average monthly garlic consumption of a Korean man. Seriously, Koreans love the stuff. The last blurry pic is from a cute garlic incident that happened about a month ago. While on a foodstuffs run for beach bbq purposes, I saw an ancient crone spreading her garlicky wares on a city-block length of rural sidewalk. I offered her about 75 cents for a few cloves, but she said no, it had to weighed, and this wasn't how it was done. I thrust the money into her hand, and she sighed and let me have it. Then she gave me another 6 handfuls - as much as I could jam into a huge cargo pocket (the picture only represents what was left after a feast.) Garlic.