Friday, November 28, 2008


As I write to you right now I am in a "Gamer's Paradise." A PC Bang (the word "bang" means room in Korean. Hence Noraebang-singing room, bangbang-just kidding, get it.) There are about 50 leather chairs with Korean guys playing what look to be the coolest f-ing games ever made and chain-smoking. They are all playing online together as I make use of the internet (as my cable guy gave me 3 English speaking channels, but cut my internet). Anyway, you and I would never leave this place sane. High tech stuff.

This ones for you buddy. No pun intended in the title of the song (as you are an architect):

The Masterplan

Take the time to make some sense
of what you want to say
and cast your words away away upon the waves
sail them home with acquiesce
on a ship of hope today
and as they land upon the shore
tell them not to fear no more
say it loud and sing it proud today

and then dance if you wanna dance
please brother take a chance
you know they're gonna go
which way they wanna go
all we know
is that we don't know how it's gonna be
please brother let it be
life on the other hand
won't make us understand
were all part of the masterplan

I'm not saying right is wrong
it's up to us to make
the best of all the things that come our way
cause every thing that's been has passed
the answers in the looking glass
there's four and twenty million doors
on life's endless corridor
say it loud and sing it proud today

and then dance if you wanna dance
please brother take a chance
you know they're gonna go
which way they wanna go
all we know is that we don't know
how it's gonna be
please brother let it be
life on the other hand
wont' make us understand
we're all part of the masterplan

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seoul Survivin' in the City

I had actually been a little absent-minded since I've been here about the title of my blog. Seoul Survivin'--I am doing it; but it's not easy. As survival never is. Coming off the great weekend I had, this week so far has been really tough. I am very sick and have a Doctor's appointment to rid myself of Asian Bird Flu I got from the office (READ: Just Kidding). Yeah, not necessarily the way I want to start my first full workweek. I almost called in sick on Monday but held strong. In the meantime, before I see a doctor, this Korean girl at work hooked me up. She was so nice, and went to the pharmacy to get a "Korean" tonic that settles the nerves (which have been a little rattled with the shock of everything good and bad) and helps with flu symptoms. I don't know if it's the placebo effect, or she really got it from Mr. Miyagi down the street. Either way, I'll take relief from the symptoms.

I've been having some serious growing pains. I dream about my family and friends at night. I miss my dog. A lot. Work is stressful, and this city is MASSIVE. I have to (and am) am extremely careful as I walk aroung this city. I know i've mentioned how crazy people drive around here, but I actually saw a woman get hit by a car on my way home from work today. Not pretty. I'm no doctor or anything (or am I? Didn't Doogie Howser M.D. become the first blogger?). But yeah, she definitely had a broken pelvis. I keep two eyes in the back of my massive

Anwyay, I am doing better after a steaming shower in my "shoebox." Right now I'm going to get some good food down the road and bring some maps so I can plan my takeover of this vast, crazy, and yet alluring city.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anyong haseyo,

Thank you all for leaving comments on my blog. It makes consolidating my communication so much easier. So, I cooked tonight for the first time since I've been here. They have gas stoves which scare the living shit out of me. Thanks Mom. I know, the "Korean Fire" of 2009 has been keeping you from sleeping. Me too. It's going to happen. I'm going to blow this whole f-ing city up by not turning off my stove and lighting a candle. It's actually pretty cool to see the flame come out from the burner.

So, there is an open air market that sells seafood. Now, I love seafood. I usually have seaweed hanging from my lip (Paul, you know what I'm talking about). So I bought these Prawn (if you did'nt know that Prawn are a type of shrimp than you should really feel sorry for yourself). I cooked those little bastards. Delicious. Healthy. The side is a side of rice with a some special hot sauce/dipping sauce in the middle. Sooooo healthy. So tasty. It's really not hard to like it in Korea (again, did I just really fly around the earth?). Anyway, I am thinking about every single one of you throughout each minute. I miss you all, but I have spread my wings and am flying. I have not flown in so long and am enjoying the ride. You are all with me; And I with you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Miss you all- I am Strong

I was just listening to this song and had to send it out as a special request for my family. Mom, Dad, and my Bro's. Here it is:


Something is about to give
I can feel it coming
I think I know what it is
I'm not afraid to die
I'm not afraid to live
And when I'm flat on my back
I hope to feel like I did

‘Cause hardness,
it sets in
You need some protection
The thinner the skin

I want you to know
That you don't need me anymore
I want you to know
You don't need anyone or anything at all

Who's to say where the wind will take you?
Who's to know what it is will break you?
I don't know which way the wind will blow

Who's to know when the time has come around?
Don't wanna see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye

In summer I can taste the salt in the sea
There's a kite blowing out of control on a breeze
I wonder what's gonna happen to you
You wonder what has happened to me
I'm a man, I'm not a child
A man who sees
The shadow behind your eyes

Who's to say where the wind will take you?
Who's to know what it is will break you?
I don't know
where the wind will blow
Who's to know when the time has come around?
I don't wanna see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye ----U2

Here is an acoustive performance of the song:

I Love You Bro

It's 10:30 on a gloriously beautiful Korean morning. Words cannot describe the excitement and hope I have. Bear with me on these crazy posts. It's funny when Dan tells me about being repetitive on my blog. Sorry, dude. I did talk a little too much about jetlag, but I was seriously shocked with my situation. I know you never repeat yourself Dan....ever. You're true patience and talent for self-control is something I appreciate and have strictly admired. What's Renee's nickname for you again? Oh---"One Track Jack." At least there's traffic on "my" track, and sometimes a nice layby station. Also, I know how easy you think this is for me. You know, the quick life adjustment; new job, new country, new city, new language ect. I want you to know that I take your criticism very seriously and think about it constantly. After all, you have travelled and explored more than 3 miles off of the Long Island Expressway. I'll call you for directions from Gangnam to Itaewon. Just let me know what to say to the cab drivers in Korean..................................................SARCASM---my new best friend. Love you Dan. After all, our conversation in the pool led to this. I miss you man, you are the man. There's an opening in my band and you're "majestic" vocals are required. Also, you get to drink beer in the studio. I'll call Renee immediately and have her set up the flight date, and lodging requirements. I am sure she will be soooo happy for you!
p.s- The photos above represent our secret cloned body doubles. You got Rob Lowe. What did I get..............Oh shit. Andrew Zimmerman. I guess I lost at rock, paper, scissors. I will, however, be making a nice dish of broiled Prawn and King Crab legs tonight---IN YOUR FACE. Actually Koreans call me "Bruce Willis." I'll take what I can


Rock and "Seoul" Star

Yes. I know. The ridiculously overused and over-run Seoul puns are getting to you. Me too. It's seoul annoying! Seoul, let me tell you what's been goin on. I went from being unemployed and living at my parent's house last week (God bless them both for that), to becoming a "MAN." Employed. Medical. Dental. My own place. A new experience. A culture shock. My own rules. A new perspective. Seoul Survivin" (that's it.... swear to God.)
So, one of my dreams of coming to Seoul was to join, or just plain jam with a band. Fate has made me two new friends and coworkers: John (David Gilmour from Pink Floyd on guitar), and Ryan (a great drummer). We went to a recording studio and jammed out for two hours yesterday. It felt like I needed that for seoul damn long. AHHHHH>
So, becoming a "Rock Star" was apparently in the mix as well. Seoul......what haven't you given me so far? I didn't even mention the most adorable Korean girl is going to be taken out by yours truly next week for dinner and "noraebang (singing room)."
Here is what I'm really feeling like: Supersonic (by Oasis).
Yeah, Man Up and listen to this song.

Friday, November 21, 2008

“Time is not on our hands people. Time is slipping through em’. We gottta transcend the bullshit. And fast. But hey, no point bucking your heads bucking the system. Let em’ get all snarled up in their dreary eyes.

Hate to mess with your groove New York, but we’re about two years ahead of you on the coast. We already graduated from what’s been going on, to where it’s going.”

-Bono (as Dr. Robert from Across the Universe)

Strength, Light, and Hope

"All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all that wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost,

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king." -Tolkien

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Route to Work

Here are some pics I shot on my way to work which is an interesting 2o minute walk. I saw a garbage truck crash into a parked motorcyle yesterday. It was pretty cool. Don't worry though, I am soooo careful. I don't trust anyone and ALWAYS watch my back.The people here drive and park on the sidewalks and motorcyclists go wherever the hell they please. Getting to work is like a real life version of the game Paperboy for Nintendo (I know you guys While you're looking at the actual clip of the game, realize it's the grown up version of me......I promise you will laugh your ass off.

Interesting Drinking Customs in Korea

This is some interesting wikipedia citation on the drinking of Soju (distilled Vodka drink), and drinking in general. No, loyal readers, I am not drunk, but just passing the information to some who may be. Here ya go male Richter's (except Bry and Chip)

No, really though, it's pretty interesting:

"Soju is usually drunk in group gatherings while eating, unmixed and portioned into individual shot glasses. It is against traditional custom in Korea to fill one's own glass. Instead, it must be filled by someone else at the table. This promotes a spirit of thoughtfulness and camaraderie.
In Korean culture, using two hands to offer and accept items is considered an act of respect. Accordingly, if one's glass is going to be filled by a superior, one should hold the glass with both hands. Similarly, when pouring soju for an elder, one holds the bottle with both hands.
To pour a drink, hold the bottle in the right hand with the left hand touching the right forearm or elbow; this peculiar arm position originated from the practice of holding back the sleeve of the
hanbok so that it wouldn't touch the table or the food.
Similarly, when receiving a drink, rest the glass in the left palm and hold it with the right hand, perhaps bowing the head slightly to show additional respect. You can also hold the glass using the same hand positions as when pouring. Pouring and receiving with just the right hand by a senior, or between equals, is common in normal situations.
Koreans often say "
one shot", a challenge to everyone in the group to down their glass in one gulp. A glass should not be refilled unless completely empty and should be promptly refilled once empty; it is considered rude to not fill someone else's glass when empty.
Some special rules apply when drinking with someone of much higher status, i.e. greater age or rank. When drinking in front of elders (people older than you), the junior is expected to turn away from the elder first. Drinking the shot while directly facing the elder is considered disrespectful.

On occasions, an elder gives an empty soju shot glass (usually his/hers) to an equal or junior. A junior may also offer an empty glass to a senior after they have established a closer relationship.
Giving the glass implies that the person is going to fill it and wants the receiver to drink it. It is not obligatory to finish the drink immediately, but it is impolite to place the glass on the table without at least pretending to drink from it.
After finishing the entire glass, it should be returned and refilled. It is not necessary to return it immediately, but holding it for a long time is considered rude, as it deprives the giver of his glass.
Among friends of equal social status, it is not necessary to use both hands while pouring or receiving a drink, but may be done out of habit or politeness, or if the situation is considered a particularly formal one."

My New Little Young Jedi's

I think I had my first real day of how it's going to be for me workwise, and into the grind type of thing. First of all, I was kind of "thrown to the lions" so to speak as far as work goes. The teacher I am replacing had his "year up" and was done this Wednesday. My orientation and "training," if that's what some will call it was a bit insanely ineffective. I observed all of the teachers that teach in the school. I'm no rocket scientist, but I wished I could have strictly observed him in every class (which would be mine), meet all of the students and get to know their personalities, strengths and weakness (again, my future students), and learn how the curriculum, discipline, structure, assessments, and classroom materials are recieved distributed and checked. Oh, yeah, the big thing I wanted to know was what the hell was on the schedule for them to learn this week and how the hell I could get it. No answer from anyone. They sure are cute though these little bastards. Smart. Funny. Adorable. I know I'm going to love this job as soon as I just get organized and have somebody set me on the page I need to be. By the way, these pics are of my "young" class. I have older kids that speak English like they're from the American Midwest. Scary, but absolutely entertaining and respectable. Think about it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's the Story Morning Glory?

Alright. Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. WHaaa. I know. I'm not going to delve into the beauty that Jetlag does to one who just flew 8,000 miles to a new home, job, culture, and life. (although I just kinda did) You get the picture.

Here's the good news. I am on top of the world today. I came home last night from work after stopping for some bottled water (that's all you can drink over here and I AIN'T touching what's coming out of my faucet unless I'm like Frodo Baggums in the deep hell of Mordor). I went to my neighborhood open air market and went for a Healthy dinner as I've already lost a little weight (it's still like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic though). Some of my goal's for this Korean Oddyssey are to become as skinny as possible, as healthy as possible, and find out what the hell is waiting for me here. Oh, ya, and having the time of my life. Is that too much too ask? Well here's a little quote from yours truly.

"Hunt down your dreams relentlessy and with reckless abandon. After all, complaceny is always hunting us, and there will be a victor."

The meal I took home was Kimchi (fermented cabbagge with spices and some other unrecognizable veggies, and this vegtable type of slimy noodle and seaweed that I have had in the past with Bry at Kotobuki. Bry knows what I''m talking about. I think it is a vegtable, although it's slimy, noodly, and tasty. It's all about the texture. Anwyway you can see the picture of it on my stove. Hella good! Supposedly Kimchi is the healthiest food you can eat. It has amazing healing powers (so say the Koreans), lowers blood pressure and helps tremendously with digestion. Also is an anti-cancer agent. The older Korean lady, or "Ajossi" gave me small order, about 4 pounds of it in a plastic Here's some text on this "superfood" that I think Dan will appreciate:
"A staple of the Korean diet is kimchi. Kimchi is a fermented mixture of ingredients such as red pepper powder, cabbage, green oni on, radish, and garlic. Its efficacy is well known, and Koreans consume 22-33 pounds (10-15kg) of kimchi per person per year. According to the Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MIFAFF), kimchi is highly nutritious, strengthens the immune system, prevents cancer, lowers blood cholesterol levels, and delays the aging process promoting longevity. The MIFAFF also states that Kimchi contains ingredients providing antibiotic effects, preventing hyperacidity, and restricting the growth of undesirable bacteria in the intestines. A medicinal ingredient in prepared kimchi is garlic. Garlic assists in preventing cancer, reducing the risk of heart disease, and minimizing the effects of aging. Garlic is known to lower cholesterol levels in the body. It can help maintain lower blood pressure levels by thinning our blood. Thinned blood deters plaque build up in arteries and veins. It is known that regularly eating garlic can add up to four years to a person's lifespan."

So why the morning glory today? 10 hours of sleep. I came home and unplugged my phone. Ate dinner and turned the lights down. I still woke up every few hours but was able to get back to sleep again. I feel INVINCIBLE today. Woke up at 8. Took a walk to Starbucks. Apparently these crazy Koreans feel that no one should drink coffee before 9 AM. I was pissed, but I found this gourmet coffee joint with this really cute Korean girl behind the counter. I really need to work on my language skills. I did however, manage to say coffe, thanks, please, and pronounced the right amount of Won.

I start teaching the Super Koreans today. My little students who are ridiculously cute and smart. They have to call all of their teachers by thier first name. Like this: "Hi Chris Teacher." A little annyoying, but it's better than being called "Hi Chris teacher who went to school for 10 years and is unemployed living in his parent''s house with no money and bored out of your mind." I'll take the former. By the way, my sense of humor and the "therapy" I get from this blog is keeping me strong. Love and miss all of you. I'm glad most are enjoying it.

Oh ya, my weekend plans involve exploring this crazy city, jamming out with two-coworkers at a recording studio, having some Soju (responsibly..uh..hum), and asking out my neighbor who goes to Seoul University. Life beckons......Hallelleju (or however it's spelled) Anyongheekasayo.
"All you're dreams are made, when you're starin' in the mirror with the razor blade, today's the day that all the world will see, another sunny afternoon, walking to the sound of my favorite tune, tomorrow never knows what it doesn't know too soon." - Noel Gallagher

Crappy day f-in Jetlag/sick/sleep deprived

Today was a mess. I feel horrible. Jetlag is killing me and I didn't get more than a few hours of sleep. I'm going home and taking some Nyquil and going to bed. Feel like dogcrap and cant concentrate which works out perfectly because my first day of teaching is tomorrow and I have so much stuff to take care of and am STRESSED OUT. I'll post tomorrow some pics of the school and kids.

"Nobody told me there'd be days like these. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar."-J. Lennon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm a Cash Won Millionaire (Bitch)

MC Korean Chris has some millions. Won that is. I am officially a millionaire. It feels good. What feels better is how cheap it is to live over here. O.K., I had the best lunch ever of Kimbap with meat, egg, and assorted veggies. There was also a neverending tray of Kimchi and other veggies that would be swooped up and restocked for my fellow coworkers and I in an instant. The price...KRW 2, 500...each. Works out to less than $2.50 (lockness monster references appreciated). Better than that, the official drink in Korea is called "Soju" which I've mentioned before. This shit is like having my dad make you a drink at the old Richter house (miss you Pops, take care of my pup, she loves you and It gives me a real sense of happiness that you're her new master.) I'm sure you're enthused. Anwyay, on my way home from work today I hit the open air market where they sell anything living in the sea. I swear to God. So, the bottom line is that the 2 bottles of Soju cost me less than 2 dollars. Let's add it up over here, a gourmet meal of neatly wrapped Kimbab, never ending Kimchi and veggies, 2 bottles of Soju.........Less than $5. No tip. Koreans don't even know what tipping is. Amazing and frickin awesome. I just got a map of the city and there are going to be some Craaaaazy posts. Trust me on that one. I am insane, and totally going to work this thing. Anyongheekaseyo!

My Royal Shoebox Awaits


So....You want to see the shoebox that I'm living in. You want to laugh..I know you do. But guess what. I actually Love this empty happy meal container I will be living in. It's on the first floor off a side street in Gangnam (the nicest area of Seoul thank God). Just because I can sleep, work on my computer, cook breakfast, take a shower, and use the toilet at the same freaking time means nothing to me. I am sooo proud of this place. I like to use the word "cozy" only so often, but I love it in here. I feel like a man. I got my own place and it is about time. It still needs some work, but they say that "Home is where the heart is." What's interesting about that quote is that for me it's not true. My true home is where my Seoul is (along with all of you), but this is going to become a temporary "Bachelor Pad" in what I think I consider the most amazing city in the world. Seoul, I am courting you and we are going to make sweet, sweet love together. You are a gem.
P.S- That hot, wonderful and aroma-rific meal on the stove is called "Bolgogi dope bap." It's not as exquisite as it sounds. It's just some marinated sweet and tangy flavored beef and seawead slowy blending itself together with rice to create an authentic Korean meal. Healthy..yes. Amazing? I'll soon find out. Then it's Lord of the Rings for the 22nd time because I only brough t two mentionable movies. The others were Shaving Ryan's Privates and Flashcrack. What the hell would I do without my sense of humor?????Love you all and please leave comments on my blog. Maybe one of my six year old students can show you how to do
"He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." -Von Goethe

Alright alrigh alright. I am making my way in this crazy town, and work is very interesting. Very laid back compared with New York schools. Actually, as I am known to be a laid back kind of guy, and hold a Masters Degree in English (did I mention that It looks like some smooth sailing. Organization will be the only challenge I see coming. The school is nice (3-4 floors) and I will be posting some pictures of these adorable and absolute genious students. As I've said before (what me repeat myself?), these kids know more about the world and everything in it and around it than I did at the ripe age of 12. The thing is, they are 5-7 (I observed my younlings today). No big deal right. So they're a lot smarter and razor sharp with responses about anything. The catch is, they are not fricking native English speakers. They are Korean and can speak, pronounce, understand, and are actually learning how to "master" the English language. This may seem undescribable but they actually "think" in English. I hope that makes sense for the layman. Bottom line-I am absolutely impressed with all the classes I observed and hope these students have a bright future and will use this language they are learning for something. They can spell better than almost all of my former students from New York. Not really a big deal unless you consider the age difference and fact that they are Koreans. They are better at our language than the students in America, and I'ts not thier native tongue. What's more is that they have personality. You all know that goes a long way in my book.One student today quizzed me on the ecomical downfall of the United States, the sub-prime loan scandal and what it's fallout would be. He's 6. (no I kid but you get the picture). I felt so welcomed today as they were walking up the stairs I heard "Chris teacher, you coming to my class again today. Please?" This little bugger looked so funny and cute. He had on the what I guess is the YBM ECC uniform. Grey vest and pants that have a little YBM log on the vest. These kids are friendly and I know I have truly found my calling as a teacher. It's funny because my nephews and nieces showed me passion for working with kids. Thanks guys.

The city of Seoul makes New York City look like a younger brother. I live near the Lotte World Department Complex and it is just absolutely phenomenal. The people in this city----I never told anyone before I left, but I had heard they actually were a little racist (like that elder woman on my first night that I had to "persuade" a drink from with jetlag stubborness.), but I am so happy to hear "anyonghaseyo" when I walk in a restaurant, and they take their time with you about ordering food and everything. They generally are a unique people and I think this is all going to lead somewhere. I'm a pretty friendly guy myself. I'm soo happy right now. I can't believe I left all of you 8,000 miles away. Comment on my blog. It means the world to me. Also, there are going to obviously be good, great, OK, and horrible blogs. Last night I woke up at 2 am with 2 hours of sleep (Jetlag is a literal nightmare). I've been up since. I wrote some crazy furucking emails with doubt laced upon them, and mustered up the courage to complete the day in pain and misery, but nonetheless successfully. I came home to my apartment/shoebox and am venting right now. It's a beautiful thing. This blog has actually given me so much outlet. It is truly helping me. Anyways, I could write for hours (see, you all said I should be an English teacher but never expected the responsibility of the stack of personal joke) Tomorrow's lesson for my readers is how to stay alive while walking around Seoul. Cars, buses, bikes, motorcycles, people, children and pets will all be out to get you. I swear to God. These people make New York drivers look like Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy. Unbelievable.

My co-workers are very chill. The guys are from all around America and the girls are all from Korea and have studied in America. I't so cool to see the various ranges of teachers and hear about their different stories of their journey from the U.S. to South Korea. We all share a common bond (I would like to believe) in the fact that we left everything in search of something. The reasons vary and are quite interesting. I still can't believe I am here and have a million things I want to tell everyone about.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hello Growing Pains

Alright. What's up. Yeah, I'm really feeling great right now. I slept for 2 hours, woke up at 3 AM and have been up since. The Korean sun is rising, I have a big day of work in a foreighn country that I have basically just been dropped off on. And I can't spell. Here comes the pain. I look and feel as if I have been partying for several days and I passed through Jabba the Hutts lower intestines. Jetlag. It's the worst hangover you've ever had without the exciting extasy of the actual partying. Good times. Actually, my soul (no pun intended) was just saved by listening to Roger Waters' song Every Stranger's eyes. Talk about genious. Do yourself a favor and take a look and listen to this song on Youtube:
If you can concentrate on the lyrics and get past the cheesy 80's video and actually not like this song, then I think you don't have a soul and should be shot on sight. Once again, Kim Jong Il is very close to my current position and I can make things happen.

Back to this craziness. Did I really fly by myself to Korea for a year? Hmmm. I got some serious balls. I've always said that I appreciate a person that can suprise themselves. After all, what is life without the ability to surprise oneself and make it entertaining. Complaceny has it's drawbacks. Been there and done that. The Korean sun calls me right now to a future so uncertain and unpredictable. I like that. I am going to find out why the hell I came here, and what I was missing in my complacent life back in New York. Jetlag or no, I am standing my ass up right now and facing a day that could have any possibility. Yeah, I feel like donkey dog shit, but I grow stronger day by day by day. I am alone. But I am truly not alone. You are all with me. Plus, I have little future South Korean Nobel Peace Prize winners that are waiting for me. Unbelievable.

4 AM- Jetlag Really Furucking Sucks

4 in the Morning. Jetlag. Sleeplessness. I feel constantly hung over and only wish to sleep. My body is in f-ing meltdown. The only thing keeping me going is the emails from Paul and my Madre, and the comments on my blog. Certain people need to really step up and let me know how much they miss me by actually sitting down for five minutes and writing me. I'm not being narcissistic. I just want to hear from anyone right now. I'm in the middle of frickin South Korea for God's sake. Alone. My bed is actually really comfortable and the city does infact sleep at night. I hear the sound of a few passing cars but there is no chaos like New York City. That's cool. I have been drinking this drink called Soju over here. It is like Vodka and sprite and it really makes you feel like shit after two of them. Is it the jetlag? Probably. I am in the mood right now for some of these rice cakes they sell at the market. They have a spicy sauce in the middle and are absolutely delicious and cheap. Food in Korea is cheap in general. You get a gourmet meal for 5 bucks. No tip. I have not even begun to explore the city. My neighborhood is like a clean Brooklyn street ( except for the open air market that is awesome and indescribable). When I walk to the closest big road, however, it turns into what Manhattan should look like. It's huge though. I think several times bigger than Manhattan. I am a little taken back by it, and a little scared. I am very lucky that I found my way home from work today. A lot of stuff is in English and a lot of stuff is not. I'm still doing alright. I'm Seoul Survivin', but I need some sleep. I wonder if it would be cool to knock on my cutie Korean neighbors' door right now and see if she wants to chill. I bought her some Kimbap and delivered it to her as an "American" housewarming gift (which I kind of made up because it's usually the "new person" that's supposed to get the gifts). But after all is said and done, I really am a genuinely nice person that's just trying help a beautifully lonely Korean girl out. I hope I don't scare her. I have that tendency. I'll come back to my place with a bag full of food and a chopstick lodged in my eye. It wouldn't be the first time.

Anyonghaseyo mo fo's,

First of all, let me tell you that the internet is the new T.V. Living without it really sucks. I have been trying to get on my blog for the last 48 hours since I've been here and It has been so nerve racking. By the way, these past 48 hours (actually 42 HOLY SHIT!) have felt like a lifetime. I can honestly say I am a new man. Seoul is beautiful. For all of you waiting for calls, please give me time. I don't know how to use the phone yet. There's numbers involved and it gets I emailed my telephone number to my mother, so if you want to call me, please give that beautiful, brilliant, and excellent woman a call. I'm not sure how to dial internationally from America, but find out and wing it. Keep in mind this jetlagged mind is on the fritz. Basically wha t I'm trying to say is that there's a 12-13 hour time difference and if you call me when I'm sleeping I will get Kim Jong Il all up on your ass. He is sooo ronery.

Here's how this blog is going to work. I am going to tell you about my first day of work, and then I'll post what I wrote the last day or so because I couldn't send over the internet. First day of WORK. Here we go: The teaching profession has called me. I've waited tables, I've sold cable door to door to f-ing door. I've worked as a salesman for the most shady advertisement company imaginable. When I mean "fly by night," I'm talking "fly by evening." So, some sort of calling to Korea has obviously called me. For reasons I can't get into, this opportunity stared me in the face for so long, and I know it is the right one. Being jetlagged and strung out, 6 AM called me to wake. I walked out of my apartment building to this little side road that I live on. Koreans are setting up their fish markets, walking to work, and getting ready for the busy day as I find out that Starbucks doesn't open as early as a tired man truly needs coffee. To wake up in a city like this that I'm going to call my home is truly exciting and invigorating. Manhattan with a broom. I swear to God. Amazing. You'll hear about that later on in my post-blog of my first day. I know, the anticipation and flashback is so alluring!
I arrive at YBM ECC Education building at 9 AM so I can unsuccessfully email everyone and post this blog which I am doing afterwards.....and enjoying a wonderful Soju (Vodka drink for the layman). Bachelor life does indeed have it's privelages. One of my co-workers, a good guy walks me the 12 minute walk to our building. The building is really nice. We have 4 floors that we work in. One a library, the others just classrooms. I realized I truly am meant to be a teacher when I observed the first class. These little Korean kids are the cutest f-ing things I've ever seen. Thanks to my brothers Bry, Dan, and Chip for having such adorable kids. That has truly led me to see the beauty and innocence of children. That made teaching a whole lot easier. So, these Korean kids range from kindergarten to middle school, and they make American kids look like Corky from the show Life Goes On (it's a joke relax). These little kids were years ahead compared to with the students I've been working with. The highlight of my day was talking to Thomas ( all Korean students choose an English name that they will be called....thank God!). Thomas spoke to me more intelligently than my 7 year old nephew Devin (miss you buddy). He was only one year older, but it was in a language that was different from his own. It was like he grew up in the U.S. I could not believe it. Also, regarding teaching, I will be teaching my students basic stuff like science and drama and music. One of the classes I observed memorized an entire play and did a read through of it without looking at anything. These kids are smart. These kids are friendly, and they have personality to go with it. I am looking forward to getting to know them.

As far as my co-workers go, they all seem cool. Some of the women that work there are absolutely beautiful. The guys seem cool and I'm sure I'll make a good friend out of one or two of them. Some of them play instruments and are looking to make a band. Hmmmm. I wonder where they'll find a guitarist and singer? I'll let them know about this big, bald-headed American I know that knows how to jam out.

Alright, eneough already I know. I'm chewing your eyes up. This blog is my therapy and my outlet. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do writing, but I'm not stupid. Above are my first pics, and my flashback posts (I'm a Quentin Tarintino novelist) should be below. Did I mention that there is a really cute Korean girl living in the apartment next to me who's only wish is to learn English and move to Canada? I know, I can only help so much. Canada.

The Flashback:

Greeting from Seoul/Anyonhaseyo,

Days like these come few and very far between. The bittersweet farewell I said to all of you was exactly just that. Bitter, because I will miss all of my loved ones tremendously, and sweet, because this journey is already turning out to be what I so desperately needed.
The traveling involved leaving JFK International Airport at 7 AM on Friday morning. When I said goodbye to my father and brother at the airport and walked alone through the gates, all the anxiety and uncertainty left me immediately. I felt a cool calmness, and looked to what I like to call the “wanderlust” that I am in such need of. To go off. To say goodbye to the comfort and complacency that has coddled and warmed me, and a soul that needs to expand and search. Spread my wings. I have said that jokingly for quite some time now but do any of us truly believe and appreciate the metaphor? I know at this moment my wings are resting and they have felt the thrill of an 8,000 mile journey into the unknown chasms and storms of life. They have been so broken and disregarded that the feel of them opening up as I looked out the window of the plane (for a mere 21 hours) not only pulled them open uncontrollably, but made their master realize there is a plan for these wings and they must fly… I saw more of the earth than I ever imagined. From concrete jungle to concrete jungle, I saw the in between. The snow capped Rocky Mountains and Sierra Desert. The San Francisco Bridge up to the Icelandic and majestic Alaskan white desert. Then, the Pacific Ocean forever and ever remaining the horizon. All of this beauty and untouched country with the soundtrack of a Malaysian infant crying, and screaming, and crying, and screaming next to me. Nonetheless rendering epiphany.
When I arrived at Incheon International Airport near Seoul, Mr. Shin (my own new personal Mr. Miyagi and boss) drove me an hour and half to my apartment in Gangnam (pronounced kangnam and just below the Han River in the middle of Seoul). I talked to him as if I had known him my whole life. Not as a person who is from a different country, but someone from the same world. He is a truly exceptional and genuine human being. Very nice, very courteous, and answered all my questions (while congratulating me on my Korean knowledge and pronunciation---who the hell would have thought….right? Chris--in the middle of Korea ready to show the world what he‘s made of…lol. I have had a lot of time to study. Or as some call it “research.” Who’s laughing now Bry, Dan, and Paul…IN YOUR FACE!….lol.

Mr.Shin took me to my apartment which is basically like a dorm room with a bathroom. I have a gas stove ( from which I hope the 2009 Korean Great Fire is averted), and that’s pretty much it. Oh, and a most comfortable bed that has new bedding thanks to Shin. After that, Shin took me up the street and up some stairs for my first authentic Korean meal. They serve about 7 dishes in little bowls that everyone shares. Let me tell ya, 10 years of eating with chopsticks made me look like I was the American Ambassador to Gangnam (which I now am), and that food was ridiculously healthy and sooo good. In Korea, their food is furuckin SPICY. Mr. Shin took me back to my apartment and left. To be seen Monday morning at work. That’s it. I asked him if it was safe to walk around as I saw many people hanging around at the markets. He said I would be very safe. He was off, and my first mission of grabbing some Kimbap (sushi roll with meat, egg, veggies) and Soju (Korean Vodka drink) was on. I walked out with some Won (money) in my pocket, feeling like I had just awakened from an ignorant slumber (which I unfortunatley have) and made my way into the dark Korean night. The signs were alight, but they blended into one. One step into the unknown that I have been searching for. Stagger and an uncontrollable confidence in the steps.

I walked around the block and found darkness. Big streets, no one driving on them. I remembered the market area and went down there. Markets were closed with tarps on everything. I looked further down my road (as I didn’t plan on leaving this one road that had become my sudden home) and saw people. It was on.
I finally found a “pa” (bar) and it was packed out with nicely dressed 20 somethings. They wouldn’t give me a seat, so I asked the older counter lady (it was a sit down and serve bar) for a Soju. She was busy and not happy. She was about to tell me some bad news. Being an older lady, and from what I have “researched” about elder ladies feelings towards foreigners, I felt unwanted but I kindled my stubbornness. Thanks Karen. What she didn’t know was that I woke up in New York on Friday morning and traveled 8,000 miles for this Soju. I charmed her. The smile, my atrocious attempt at Korean. The smile again. Her dismissal. My smile again that pierced her wall. She smiled. She gave me Soju and a barrel of nuts. I took a sip of the Soju. She was offended. “You no eat nuts?” “Eat them”. I smiled. I enjoyed that Soju. The nuts, not so much. But a thirsty foreigner should be a hungry one as well. I looked at her in the eyes and realized the true beauty of human nature. She looked at me as a mother who knew she wouldn’t get her way. I bowed to her and said “Kamsahamnida” (Thank you).

After that, some young Koreans were outside and I made acquaintances with them as Chris Farley or some out-of- place clown would. It worked. They bought me some Mek Ju (beer) and we laughed together about many unimportant things. The communication barrier was a fun challenge to take a stab at but was worth it. An interesting day.
Today I woke up after 4 hours of sleep (????). The sun was shining through my shoebox window ( I mean apartment) and I embraced it. Who the hell would know that I have a Starbucks 2 blocks away. Thank you Big Man in the Sky. Lunch consisted of me ignorantly trying to find a sushi joint. Mission failed. What I did have was a great lunch of Kimbap: Rice, veggies, egg, meat, seaweed slices wrapped in toasted seaweed and looks like what Americans would call sushi (served with never ending Kimchi and soup) for a whopping 3,000 Won (less than 3 dollars. Holy shit. Me Likey!

Supposedly my American co-workers are going to be contacting me this afternoon. So far, I have never been so alone in this world as of the last 48 hours. I look at it this way: I have never felt so alive, and I know I am in good company. Anyongheekaseyo-
"The key to change is to let go of fear" -Rosanne Cash

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Great Farewell

Well This will be my last post before I leave for Seoul on Friday. This past weekend was my "farewell" party where I hung out with my friends and family at the Irish Times Pub, had some good food at my house, and then went to my brother Bry's with everyone and had a campfire until the wee hours of the morning. It was quality stuff.

Right now I'm off to meet my family to "break bread" one last time before I leave for this logically expert yet crazy journey I have gotten myself into. The airlines said I can bring 2 fifty pound bags and a carry on. I'm going to be living over there for a year so that's like putting "me" into a lunchbox. I'm wishing myself luck.

The rest of the week has been bittersweet. Saying goodbye to everyone and knowing that I will not see them for a long time. I'm keeping strong, and I know that a phenomenal world changing, life adjusting, crazy Korean adventure awaits me. Seoul is my oyster and I plan to schuck it. No, I said schuck it.

"Wherever you go, there you are"" -Some brilliantly simplistic philosopher

Friday, November 7, 2008

One Week Left

In exactly one week I will be on an airplane headed to San Francisco and then to Seoul. I'ts going to be a long 21-hour journey to the "land of the Morning Calm," and I'll probably be in good spirits but cranky as a person that has just travelled continuously for 21 f-ing hours. I'm also a little claustrophobic.

On a better note, I woke up this morning feeling really pumped about everything. These last few nights I haven't really slept and I've been freaking out. Today, however, I feel very confident in my decisioin and the great experience that awaits me. This whole thing is definitely a roller coaster ride of a lifetime.

When all is lost, all is left to gain" -Matt Kearney

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The New Messiah of the United States of America

So, history has been made. Obama is the first African-American to become President of the U.S.A. On my way to the voting poll I actually had second thoughts on voting for him (as I am a Republican), but I think the economy and our foreign policy need a Democrat right now. So, I put aside my differences, and as a true American have to back up the Big Man in the White House. So here's to the Messiah/Antichrist. He'll truly become one or the other. God bless America. We need it right now.

As far as my anxiousness goes, I did'nt sleep to well last night. I think the dream I had definitely made me pumped to embark on my journey. I can't go into all the crazy details (I have some crazy dreams all the time, as I''m sure we all do). It did involve, however, a cage around my head and me wishing to get out of it. Freud could have a field day. I think it's a metaphor for my readiness to go face the world and become what I need to. Let's leave it at I have a lot to do before I leave, so let me get to it. Good luck Obama. I defiinitely would not want your job right now, but with that vote I gave you I expect a lot.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Final Countdown: 10 Days!

As America readies itself for the election that is supposedly going to change our course, I am changing my course in the most drastic of ways. Several (long) months ago I accessed numerous teaching websites that offered free housing, good money, and the opportunity of a lifetime. Of course, this opportunity was Teaching English more than 8,000 miles away in South Korea (a.k.a. Korea from here on out in the blog). Called the "Land of the Morning Calm," Korea offered me what the schools in New York could not. Everthing: a job, my own apartment in Seoul, good money, and the chance to explore the world. Being that I've been in quite the slump in many ways and am completely in need of a full sweep, fresh start, new experience, or whatever you'd like to call it, I am moving to Seoul from New York for one year to teach English. I'm taking my Master's degree (Teaching English), guitar, some clothes, x-box, and leaving everything I've ever known: My town, my loved ones, my friends, my pup, and the complaceny that has built up to this moment.

Am I scared? Am I nervous? A true man tells the truth, so...yes. I know, however, that this is exactly what I need. I am confident in myself, and know that my past experiences will help me with my new ones. 10 days. It's gonna be rough, but I have no other choice to do some serious Seoul Survivin'. So follow my crazy journey/adventure. Write comments. Let me know your'e watching. I guarantee it will be interesting! How the hell could it not???