Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ride's Over/ I'm Coming Home (The Last Post)








The roller coaster has made its last lap, its last plunge, and the conductor has taken the metal bars off. My exit is Incheon International Airport in one week's time. It's destination....JFK New York City...........wow!
This most likely will be my last post living in Seoul, South Korea. Strange but good....

Of course, I should tell you that they shortened my contract due to a new teacher coming early to replace me. Communication via school adminatrators and directors is more than a joke over here, and the President of my school wondered why I acted so surprised that I was to be done so quickly when I found out that I would be leaving in two weeks instead of five or six??? Didn't the Director tell me? Of course not, why would they want to give me important life-changing information that I could use to my benefit? Ya know,,, close some ties over here and get ready to go?? Well, as I've always said, there is a very strange and unbalanced difference of culture. I told them that since they told me on such short notice that unfortunately I'm going to need a day off from work to get all my financial and government stuff taken care of before I leave. Yeah.....thanks for telling me. You couldn't of told me the day before you scheduled my flight? You probably wouldn't know the difference....lol............I swear to God these Koreans are ass backwards.....but I will miss them............

hese last few days have been another reason why I look to come home. As much as I love this place, I have been sick here too much. The other day I went to a "convenient store" that wasn't so "convenient." They gave me "free" mussells (shellfish) that were bad. So a few hours later, I had (and am still feeling the ramifications of) FOOD POISONING. I was delirious (and not in the good way), and all my crevices turned into volcanoes from Satan. I could not even get out of bed without falling over. So that's a great way to end my stay here I guess.........I knew those mussells smelled rather peculiar when I cooked them, but I use many marinades ect..

Anyway, its seems my lust for this city has taken a 180 degree turn, however, I blame that on my defence mechanism...we all have them, and now is my time to use my own. As my blogs always posted, I love this city, always will, and have had some of my best memories here. But in my mind I want to come home to see and engage my family and friends that I have not seen in a long time...I have had the most life altering experience here that has made me become free, independent, and more than a man than when I left. I have dated many beautiful Asian girls (which was goal number 1...ha hahahha ha), enjoyed and experienced a foreign culture (even picked up a little of the speaking and writing), and had a job and made some money (very important coming from an unemployed college grad!). Of course, all of my goals were not accomplished, but the majority were, so I am proud to come home and say that the mission was infact successful.

Thank you to all who wrote on my blog and kept in touch. To the ones who just looked on, I hope I kept you entertained and showed you something you may not have otherwise seen. To my very close family and friends: I miss you, I love you, and I'll be home before you know it.

I leave you with two things important to me: 1) a list of the things I may miss in South Korea, and of what I can't wait to come home to. 2) Some of my photos that will be sketched into my memory and summarize my great experience here:

Things (some)I will miss about living in Seoul:

-$1 bottles of Soju Vodka (of course)
-Eating out at Korean restaurants because they are so Goddam cheap
-Friendly Korean people
-My awesome, cute, and smart Korean geniuses that I teach
-Awesome and cheap Healthcare (that America will never see..hahaha)
-The awesome Ajoshi (Old man) who walked me across the street under his umbrella while it was raining
-The cleanest Subway ever
-The great friends that I made
-Going to Hongdae to jam in a recording studio for a few dollars on the hour (and recording the cheezy yet awesome single we all wrote)
-Friday night's at the Dweji Galbi (BBQ'ed Steak and veggies in cooked in front of you)
-Having my own place (even though it was a small shoebox;it was home..lol)
-Asian Women (Why I didn't put that at the top of my list I don't know, this is after all a defence mechanism like I said)
-My fresher than fresh Korean Market street a stone's throw away (fresh octopus and seaweed is great to have around the corner)
-My various trips and vacations I have taken seeing the Korean countryside
-Being free and independent/broadening my horizon and taking risks unmeasured before in my life

Things I have missed and can't wait to home to:

-My great parents
-My brothers whom I treasure even though how messed up we all are....lol
-my nephews and nieces (I may have missed them the most because I'm sure they grew a lot)
-My dog (who apparently is not disciplined.........yet) wait till I get home.
-My House
-Bry's couch(and Family Guy Sunday's /Robot Chicken ect.)
-Dan's strong hand at pouring Vodka..lol (and his awesome cooking)
-Chip's (Paul's intelligent advice, and seeing him and his family)
-All my good friends and the times we share
-X-box (and the one addiction I will never stop)
-Having a house that doesn't resemble a prison cell with a kitchen (or a bathroom that doesn't resembles a 3-in-one shower, toilet, and washer without a bathtub or DRY floor. Thank God finally....)
-German Bolagna and real coldcut sandwiches....with American cheese???? (I can't explain that one??)
-BBQ'in with Pops and Dan and Bry
-Watchin' Jeopardy and getting all the right answers (hell yeah..Korean TV is like root canal)
-Not having a Landlord tell you that he's "remodeling" your apartment right before you have to take a shower and go to work
-(Very Imortant) ***Understanding conversations as you go ANYWHERE (a big one)
-Having bosses and administration actually do their job and "communicate" what's expected of you and also the things that may "help" and "inform" you as a professional working for their organization (otherwise......it's unorganized...........maybe they'll get that after the North attacks, I just don't get they're blatant lack of communication......I digress............)
-Clean, healthy air (that's gonna be a treat)
-Family Holidays


**Christmas 09' in Jamaica for a week with my whole extended family (Damn Right)

Signing out from Seoul, South Korea,

Chris Teacher

11/3/09

Quoting Garcia: "What a long strange trip it's been"













Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Belated Chuesok (Korean Thanksgiving)

Happy belated Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). Many things have changed in the last time since I've posted, including my lust and wonder of my surroundings. I'm ready to come home, I have 6 weeks left, and find that perfectly matched with the way things are going. I almost signed on for another month, and I'm very glad I did not. I love it over here, but it seems that life infact IS like a Roller Coaster...............and I kind of feel like the ride is done...............

What helps this theory, is that I will be coming home in a matter of weeks....hell yeah............so I am trying hard not to hold onto anything here; which will help me grab that plane on time, and will help me get back to my family and friends.

I've enjoyed the culture; women, food, customs, religion, work-mentality, and all the rest....I think it's about high time that I dream of coming home, and this dream awaits me.......................................see you all soon.................................

P>S- My Ghengis neighbor was kicked out for breaking the guard's window, but now is back again, so I just give him a quick "Anyonghaseyo" and then give him the EYES........................Tks DannyBoy...it's working.............

Anyonghakeesoyo,
Chris

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New neighbor (Ghengis khan)

Hey hey, how are you? Well, I'm doing okay. Apparently Ghengis Khan is living next door me. A new neighbor; quite a character you may say. My first meetings met him with his door open, exposing his shanty apartment that makes my "Shoebox" look rather lavish. He sleeps on a 2 inch thin mattress, and sits "Indian Stlye" all day. Hey, to each his own right??? Well on Saturday I did play some music and kind of Rock Out in the afternoon, and he called the landlord to tell me to quite down. We had an awkward look like Rocky and Drago from Rocky 4 (Which I've watched on Korean TV about 15 times since i've been here.) But, I'm laid back... No problem, I understand that I play my music too loud.

Tonight was different. While I was phone teaching (My much hated duty after work while, at home, I'm calling up students and talking about how much rice they had for breakfast and lunch) The second Korean War broke out between my poor old landlord, who has always helped me out (and yelled at me from time to time due to my lack of recycling observence, and having an x-girlfriend camp out in my hallway until I came out; messier than I care to go into now), and Ghengis apparently screamed as loud as I've heard anyone yell at anyone. I even heard him banging his fists. I so much wanted to hang up the phone and give him a "MacArthur". In Korea, this is especially RUDE because the landlord is an old "Ajoshi", or respectable elder man, and Douche-bag Ghengis apparently is psycho.

Unfortunately, I was working and had a schedule of 7 students to talk to back to back and would have had my balls busted if stopped my calls. What I really wanted to do was go "straighten" out my new Korean neighbor for "messing" with my very old and kind landlord who's become my buddy over these 10 months. He loves these kittens around our apartment and seems as content as anything when he feeds them, so of course I buy him tuna and say "KEETEN MASHEETA" and give it to him once a week. That translates to the kittens think the tuna is delicious. Even though I hate cats, I see the purity of joy in his eyes as he feeds them.


So basically, if my Korean-Hulk-Ghengis-Khan niehbor Fucks (excuse the language) with Mr. Miyagi again, I'll incorporate my excellent diplomatic skills, or I'm gonna drop him like a boiling pot of Kimchi Soup.........lol.


Sadly, this is the first true negative douche-bag experience of a Korean man I've encountered. 10 months in and my purity is lost.
PS-When I came home he calmed down apparently; he had his door open and was pissing in his bathroom with both doors open. Too much "Soju", or just a Napolean-Complexed douche??? I'll find out..........Even if I have to wax my landlord's car and take a small boat so he can kick me off and show me balance.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Swine Flu Survivor ( Not Really)


Aaah. What would shadow be without light? Happiness without sadness? Love without hate? Pleasure without pain???? You get the point, I hope. Well now I'm in health after sickness...again. I woke up on wednesday night with a severe fever, the shakes and I almost fainted taking a piss in the middle of the night. My first thought, I must call in sick to work. For many reasons, I was not at first content with this decision, even though certain death was approaching (LOL). I felt "Fluish," and Korea has a mass panic of "every foreigner has Swine Flu and infects their precious purity" policy. I swear to God it's true. When I cough on the street 10 people jump out of my way which actually makes my commuting to work through 10 million people a little easier.

The students' parents have made ECC install hand sanitizer machines on each floor of my school. My students only use the sanitizer 30 times a day and that keeps the old Ajummas (helper Grandma teachers)on their toes. They have to earn their $4 an hour somehow...lol.

My dilemma was, however, is that when a teacher calls in sick the whole school goes into chaos because of the fact that we don't have substitute teachers and we are teaching at least 8-9 classes a day, some of which are hour long classes; all your "friends" have to pick up your classes which somehow reminds me of basic training when that one dude cries for home, doesn't crease his pants, and has the rest of the platoon punished on hi behalf. My pants are clean and creased, but, like we all do, we hate resentment when we can't help ourselves..... but, I could barely stand up and go to the phone without a blanket over me. Shivering and ill. Just imagining the "warm" words of my boss, only in her mind thinking of the massive amount of delegation-giving among my co-workers to what they probably thought was a hangover. Their Nazi ways of keeping sick days at a minimum is purely Third-Reich. And like Totalitarianism, has many people crawl into work, throwup, and go home after painful hours. Me.....I have a theory: If I can't get out of bed and take a piss without feeling like shit through a blender, I'm not going to work. After all, I have less than 2 months and have done and outstanding job (Self-Kudos used to be few and far between..sorry).

I called my boss really early and she didn't get back to me until 5 minutes before my first class started. What I told her was a white Lie that made perfect sense. Here it goes: I have a severe fever, can't walk or get out of bed (all true), it may or may not be Swine Flu, but I "talked" to my Doctor brother and he said I should "quarantine" myself from everyone (especially my students and staff) for a day. If my symptoms got more "flu-like" that I should check myself into a Hospital to be checked out for the H1 Swine Flu Koreans are shitting about.

Well, it worked out the way I expected. She had nothing to say about her worries for my health, especially not the courteous "I hope you feel better,"and I returned into my coma for 36 hours of viral hallucinations; some of which were quite interesting. I woke up this morning, no Flu symptoms except a fever and achiness, and roughed it to work.

PS- You think you have it bad when your home sick and have to watch dull TV? Try watching untranslated Korean TV for two days in bed. I looked in my Korean translator book for "Suicide" and it directed me to the KBS cable network....shit....at least I feel fine now.

I guess my two main points are as follows:

1.) Don't expect any sympathy from a Korean boss about your fever, pain, hallucinations, and lack of walking capability, and:

2.) Every time I get sick or feel pain over here alone, it only makes me a stronger person...........hell yeah!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Aiden (My Boy)



Dear Aiden,
My little buddy. I miss you so much and want to wish you a very happy birthday! I'll be cooking you egg sandwiches very soon when I come back. Also, be very afraid because I heard Man-Bear-Pig is coming to your house probably at the same time I do..........and yes, Chucky Cheese is definitely in the future.........


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall has Fell


Fall has come to Seoul and I am very happy. The humid and horrid Summer is over, and I can finally walk a block away from my apartment without being drenched. It's good times as usual over here. I love the Fall weather and living in this city at this time is great because it reminds me of New York in the Fall. My friends and I just grabbed some beers at at the equivelant of a "7-11" in Korea, and they actually have tables where you can just sit outside, have a drink, chill out and people watch. It's a great concept, one of many over here that I think the states should consider.

Anyway, the start of the season when I will return has approached, and I'm very happy to look forward to my journey back. But not yet.......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Dan and Olivia




Happy Birthday Dan and Olivia. I'll see you guys soon. I hope you have a nice birthday, and I know we'll have a good time when I return...........................................................

Thursday, September 10, 2009

8 Years Later

Anyone who knows me knows I am very passionate about what happened in New York 8 years ago. The innocence lost, the recognition of vulnerability, the new era of pre-emptive strike, and all that followed. I was lucky,...I didn't lose anyone that I know that beautiful and horrific day. I remember it so vividly. I will never forget it. It was one week before I was to start my work at Saturday Night Live. I thought the subways would be scary; my fears took a stronger side.

Religious "fanatisism." Ain't it a bitch. No God I have ever studied, including "Allah" has condoned suicide in the name of religeon. It's interesting now, my mindset. I had a great friend over here who was more than liberal always justify the acts of the people against America. I understand now more, that I'm overseas, that Americans think all they do is great. Sometimes that's not the case. But let me get this straight, and I tell all the American "Liberalists" over here( and there are more than you would believe). ......................There is nothing glorious about killing women and children on a plane, and taking away fathers and mothers in the name of any God.

Below is a congregation of clips of the towers being hit. I don't believe in showing them off; it's just that we need to remember the tragedy so that we can avoid it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lKZqqSI9-s -----Video Collage of September 11

P.S.- On a smaller note, I hope Bin Laden is enjoying living in a Pakastani "Bathhouse" enjoying the weekly rent of having to give up his cornhole to a hairy superintendant. Although he might like that. Well, now he knows how it feels to lose a loved one for his "Fatwah" of resolution. We just killed one of his sons in an air raid. Well, at least he has his health?????????

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bliss





They say that "ignorance is Bliss." Well, I'm not so sure I believe in that anymore. My life over here is full of "bliss," and I don't consider my state of mind as ignorant. So, therefore the saying must be wrong; I guess most ignorant people are blissfull, but what about those that are not ignorant and feel bliss???Well, you can talk to me about that.

On the wild Korean forefront, my new girlfriend is absolutely georgeous. Trust me when I tell you that she is an 8-9 on the American standards. She is soo cute, so intellectual, and loves my guitar playing, singing, intellect, and for reasons unknown my bald-ass head. She calls me her "Cherub" which I haven't shot down yet due to acceptance. Really. How am I gonna tackle that issue when she has made a "pet name" for my inadequacy? Anyway, we have a hiking trip planned next weekend upon the broader Korean Plane. Should be interesting.

These pics are of our walk through the "man made" stream that runs through Seoul. Apparently, this stream was so significant (the Korean women used to bathe the men's clothes there throughout the Korean war) that the government built a beautiful stream above the other one where Koreans can soak their feet and walk through in the Summer. Nice........................

I'm just lovin' and feedin' on this culture. It's just getting better every day. It's so interesting to me, and these people are so accommadating. It's very surreal! I never thought I would find bliss again............................................
PS-That "Cheesy" pic of me up top is me making fun of Koreans. In every pic, Koreans give the victory sign (I'm not sure why..lol), but that is me just being a fool, and giving into the customs...lol. When in Rome????

Friday, September 4, 2009

For Bry, Paul and Danny Boy

Anyonghaseyo,
to my best buddies (and my crazy brother Dan), this one is for you. I am loving life over here too much, God bless, I never thought I would have these kind of experiences again.... I am absolutely in love with life, the flower of which nectar I am sucking. The nectar is too sweet, and I am a lucky man....the food is delectable, the people are friendly, and the women are indescribable and so lovable...trust me .........Gan Bei (Cheers). Listen to this...... it's a celebration of life........................as it should be....................................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgkkvtVuBDE&feature=fvst

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chris' Korean Wedding Gig

video

Today is Saturday, the somthing of August, just another blazing hot and humid day in South Korea. My contract is up in November, and it seems miles and yet inches away. I can't wait to see my family and friends. I miss all of you so much.......

My gay friend Mathew took the time to videotape my performance at my friend's wedding last week so I thought I should show you guys. The sound is messed up, because my boy John and I were supposed to mix the two songs with backing vocals and lead vocals, but the Korean soundmixers didn't understand. So, basically it's me in front of 500 Koreans (my biggest and most lavish gig ever). If you listen carefully, you can hear me speaking Korean to everyone before and after the songs.....by the way....the SECOND song is the one I was supposed to sing, it's called "Thank You" . I think the sound on the second song is better..........................................................Please let me know what you think.....it's a little piece of Korea that I'm sending home...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Korean Adventure

Last night I played a Korean wedding at Lotte Hotel. Lotte is the Donald Trump of Korea. He has eateries, candies, hotels, department stores, and whatever you can think of. The wedding was for my coworker Jennifer (She's Korean), and she had over 500 guests. The Hotel was the nicest and most swankiest I've ever been to, as was the wedding. The place was soo big that they actually had video monitering on all 4 walls, not unlike a huge concert. The food was delectable, and my friend John and I played a few songs. Of course, I spoke Korean to the guests before I played, and they loved it. And of course, I gave a nice little speech congratulating Jennifer which she loved. My voice was at its best, and many Koreans came to say that they liked the songs, which was cool.

I've never played in front of 500 people before.........But we sounded great. And after all, I will always remember that moment. I never imagined that I would be doing anything like this. And I never will forget it either..............................

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Han River Ferry Date







I just got back from the doctor and he had some serious news. Apparently, I have a really bad case of "Yellow Fever." But luckily last night I had somewhat of a cure. Her name is Susan, she is a beautiful Korean girl who lived in the States for 8 years, studied at Harvard, and enjoys screen writing and teaching.
Well, we hit it off, and I took her for a very romantic date to the Han River for a ferry ride and some Mul Nam Yan (Korean noodles in cold water with ice in a vinegar sauce). It's actually really good and it is a Korean Summer tradition to keep you cool as Seoul turns into a microwave attached to a blow dryer in the Summer.
Overall, we had great conversation and will meet for dinner during the week. She seems like a "keeper" and I'm feeling pretty good about life over here right now. Talk to you guys soon.





Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cookin' with Chris: Fresher than Fresh Curry Octupus





Anyonghaseyo, this morning my supervisor asked me what my plans were for next year, and if I wanted to stay another year with YBM. I told her that my contract is up right near Thanksgiving, and that I plan on having a very special Holiday..lol. However, she included that I could go home for a month and then come back to my position. I feel flattered that I am making an impact over here with my teaching, but at the same time, I feel that I miss American life too much. I told her that I was unsure, just to give her some buttering up to do, but in essence, my goal is to come home to America and fulfill what I've started as a really good teaching career....there.
If I have no choice after a long time when I get home and DON'T have a career opportunity, I will come back to Seoul and become "Professor Chris" due to the fact that I am one of the few that have obtained a Master's Degree in English among my fellow foriegner peers. Anyway...I can see it now......working 3 hours a day teaching English to beautiful 20 year old Korean women................and that's my contingency plan. So....life has been worse....trust me on that one....

My long day of teaching is done. There is nothing on the Korean "Tube" except the same movies that have been on since I originally got here, and I'm bored. I turned the channel and saw a cooking show on Octupus (or Octupi), and I figured out what I'm doing tonight. Making better Octupus than my Korean counterparts. This blog is pretty much for my Dad and Dan, and those of you who like seafood, but feel free to read on.

I went to the market around my block through the latest Monsoon (I think it rained 10 inches today) and braved the rain. I bought some vegtables (lettuce, onion, peppers, mushrooms and potatoes) and went directly to the seafood area. I picked up two small Octupus, and the guy there pointed out to a tank where there were some good looking Octupus swimming around. I signaled that I was interested and he picked two up and showed me how "healthy?" they were...lol. They truly were as they wrapped themselves around his hand. So I took them home and set up shop..........right after I turned more into a Korean and bought scissors to cut my meat just like them.......let me tell you, scissors are very underated in the culinary world, at least in the West.
So, I sauteed my vegtables and potatoes in a spicy chilli powder, boiled my Octupi in a basil, oregano, and pepper broth, added some fresh curry mix and made my own concoction that was going to be the "Freshest" octopus I will ever have............and the tastiest......after all there will be many things I miss when I come back to the States.................
PS- As an English teacher, I'm pretty pissed that this Blog site does not let me use correct paragraphing
PS1-I'd like to thank "Ma Richter" for selflessly sending me her own camera to communicate my ubiquitous pictures back home. "Ma", I love ya,.....just don't send me anything else.....you're too kind......................
Anyonghakeesayo,
Chris

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Seoul Chillin'

What's up guys? I really miss blogging lately although there is really nothing to say. I've just been chilling out here over the past few weeks, and I'm very conformed to my life right now. I love to cook, (right now I am cooking some huge prawn with some potato and vegtable stew). I went out Friday night and had to tell these Korean men that one of my girl friends was my sister, due to the fact that they were salivating over her. I'm watching some great American programs such as True Blood, South Park, and Family Guy. They make me feel as if I'm somewhat home. It's a good thing. I miss all of you tremendously, and I'll be home in about 3 months; which at this point I can do standing on my head after a very long 9 months over here. I'm still having a grand time, still have to give myself credit for doing this, but the toll of not seeing my beloved family and friends is really hard......Thank God that South Korea has been so awesome to me, because if it sucked from the "get go" at this point I would not be happy. No swimming pools in the summer, and the humidity and heat just flat out suck. But...........good people, great food, good friends, excellent experience.......................................................

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bizzare Foods with Andrew Zimmern (South Korea)

I've been cooking up a storm over here and incorporating and utilizing some pretty significant cuizine strategies. Korean food has definately been "underrated" in America. I've been here for almost nine months and I'm still sick of "General Cho's Chicken," the classic and very stereotypical Chinese Food.

Korean food is phenomenal. But...............there are certain things I won't eat here. Like most of the shit Andrew Zimmern is eating in the subsequent video below. I love Sushi, but I won't eat raw and wiggling octopus, or Dog, or Bugs. So this one goes out to Dan and my Dad. Only because some girl came up to me last week and said that I look like Andrew Zimmern. I think I need to grow my goatee back...................................................This is not for the faint of heart..............

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6BNAx3mC2o

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Private Sector (Teaching Engrishee)

So, I've ventured into the "Private" sector of teaching English. The parents of one of my students (The ones who bought me a power drill for Teacher's Day) have requested that I teach the father English (or Engrishee for the Korean layman). They took me out the other night as their "honored" guest for some Tak Galbi (chicken rib meat with rice noodles, sauteed cabbage and vegtables, all cooked right in front of us).

They then proceeded to tell me that "John" (the father) was going to be attending a business meeting at the Sears' Tower in Chicago in October. So, It was really convenient. Tonight he came to my apartment/shoebox for the first lesson that lasted an hour and a half. He was really nervous, and overworked I guess...so I told him to relax. Koreans can be very self-concious about learning English. But I showed him that I'm pretty "laid back" but of course there is going to be a quiz next week on slang greetings and formal responses....lol. Overall, it didn't feel like work at all, and I'm getting paid 60,000 WON a session. Probably like 50 bucks. After all, busy is good.

Anyway, I hope you all are doing well. Although today was pretty nice outside, the weather here has been really shitty. Monsoon season is not all that it's cracked up to be, and the humidity is ridiculous. I really miss swimming pools and open space. And of course, I really miss all of you.