Friday, April 24, 2009


I love teaching. I love kids. These Korean kids are so Goddamn cute and smart. Today, not so much. Animals. Animals I tell you. Seoul-sucking, brutal, violent, insubordinate, interupting animals. Drove me crazy. They actually made me yell. They actually made me yell. I had to yell at them in Korean it was so bad. Thank God for weekends.
P.S-I will never get enough of that picture above........seriously....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Accustomed to the Customs

To those of you who are still reading my blog, I thank you and feel like just telling you about how my "Culture Shock" comes and goes each day of the week. First of all, I must say that I have had no outwardly negative experience from any particular Korean. By saying so, I mean that I have heard of stories of foreigners being yelled at, called out, and accused personally of their native government's discretions. This, I also must say has made me happy, but also somewhat surprised. If anyone looks different in this country, it's this guy right here. Me. Too tall, too big, too bald to even try to fit in. I guess I never tried and that may be my secret. Ironically,(and I absolutely love using that word whenever necessary), although being the most ridiculous looking foreigner (and I've had laughs and gawks), the Korean people love me. And I them. I never look at myself as superior to them because of my heritage; and I never let them look at me as inferior due to theirs. Period (as my Dad would say). That may be the difference. I think my curiosity toward their culture and respect for their formalities wins me with them Once they realize that I have respect toward them, that I follow the customs, and I at least try to use my basic Korean ability of speaking to them, they give in. I love it. It's not hard at all. And some of my special family members have always told me to just be "myself", and to be "genuine." Well it's working.

Bowing; as Americans, we all think of bowing as such an Asian idealogy. Well, we're right. It means respect. Respect for the person you are saying "hello" to, the person that is giving you Starbucks coffee for 5,ooo Won, and most especially to the person that is your superior (Older or your boss for example). I actually love it. I am used to it now after my very interesting 5 months over here. Bowing comes in many forms over here. The simplest bow is just a head nod, like the ones I get from 60 year old men who have never seen a bald-headed six foot man. Or, the way I bow to the girl at Dunkin' Donuts for making my coffee taste so good. My favorite bow is the one I get from my Korean banker. He stands up, looks down, puts both hands at his sides, bows down to his waist, and thanks me for my service. I do the same, except I fuck it up all the time by bowing and then doing the head bow. What the hell am I

In conclusion, yes, I am going to bow unkowingly to even Robbie at CITGO in West Islip when I get

Hand Gestures
When you give something to anybody over here you give it with your right hand, and tuck the left hand into your right "elbow armpit". It's become natural to me now, and yet when I find I'm doing without thought I get a little freaked out. What will people think of me back home when I do that to them????

To boot, when you recieve something, you're supposed to take it with both hands and bow (bowing type specified by above details). Pretty interesting. Pretty cool. Pretty much a cultural differentiality that I thank God that I have the opportunity to invest and explore. Peace and love from Seoul.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jammin' Out in Hongdae

Awesome day on Saturday. My buddies/bandmates John and Ryan and I took a trip up to the northwest part of the city called Hongdae. It's sort of becoming a Saturday ritual of hanging out in what is considered the "Music Capital" of the city. There were thousands of people our age walking around with guitars, getting ready to play some gigs or go to the hundreds of studios you can rent by the hour for the cheap price of around Won 10,oo0, or about 10 bucks for the layman.

We had some really good dinner on a patio overlooking the streets, and the weather was great. Afterwards, we went to the studio and jammed for three hours. We actually are in the works of writing a song we all co-wrote and it sounds damn good I must say. All in all, a great day, and I signed up for the studio for next weekend too. Of course, we spilled a lot of beer and Soju all over the studio, but I must say it gives it that rock and roll character all studios should possess.

PS-That ridiculous picture of me playing with my brand new Oakleys on wasn't my idea, but simply the Soju We had a blast.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

School Field Trip:Destintation: Seoul Grand Park

So as of my last working minute of my shift yesterday evening, I was unspecifically notified that we would take a field trip with my younger students to "Seoul Children's Grand Park" the following day. About a half hour away from my school, and yet a great place for some good weather, fresh air, and some open spaces. If it was at least going to break the monotonous drive I've been experiencing at work, I was all in.

The place was decently big, and had some interesting sights. The kids loved it, and we managed to turn them all in thanks to my "no man left behind policy." Of course, I would have prefered some leashes for some "distant" students, but all worked out well. The weather was beautiful, we taught the students about certain insects and just walked around. A nice day at the office I must say. I'm looking forward to the next field trip; it makes the day fly, and killing monotony is a key to liking your job. Which I have been doing now that my new students are speaking English and understanding it quite well.

P.S.-The pics of the students are of my youngest class. Pretty damn cute and rambunctious. One of my students thinks he's Bruce Lee and either puts on a fighting stance, or salutes me wholeheartedly to say We came back to the school and had a lunch that consisted of "Gim-Bob," -rice, carrots, egg, and raddish wrapped in rice and seaweed. Some days are better than others, let me tell you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

For My Buddy Paul

It's with great pride that I dedicate this post to one of my best buddies. One with whom I've experienced elementary school, bb guns, crazy girls, high school, more crazy girls, college, crazy times, post college, crazy and real times, and now my epic journey via the God-blessed Skype. Paul, you are the man. I am proud of you, and you are a true inspiriation to me as a great friend of friends. Hell, you've even managed to keep Bry's couch warm for me while I'm I know, even my nephews still question why you can't play guitar or change their diapers...but, i'ts all GOOD buddy. This will make you laugh, and realize many significant things throughout a very insignificant, and pretty laughable and yet PERFECT clip that summarizes not only the movie, but our friendship. Ahh. If we could only go back to those bb gun days where knives pierced the leaves upon the the "Shieba Mountains" in Holbrook.

PS-I don't expect anyone else to understand what I'm talking about; it's just a personal joke that no one's in the loop of...sorry.

Anyway Paul, for your laughing pleasure................................................

PPS- "One free man defending his home is worth 10 hired soldiers, The KOREANS taught me that." (Robin Hood Piece)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Hey everyone,

I hope you all have a great Easter. Miss you guys. Have fun!

P.S-The above picture should be an easy way to explain to the kids about "where" Easter eggs really come makes sense to me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Well, it's a beautiful day over here in Seoul. The weather is perfect....the sun is shining and there is a warm breeze. Amidst the crazy concrete jungle, cherry blossoms bloom among the busy city streets. Above my apartment complex, on some very high trees, flowers are growing and are overlapping the barbed-wire wall that barricades me in from the outside. Not that I think anyone person had it in mind to try to come and steal my rice and whatever is in my fridge. I'd actually be surprised if anyone for that matter has tried to come into this complex with some devious intuition except for my crazy ex-"Philapinna" girlfriend. This city is so safe, and these people wouldn't hurt a fly. Except for Kim Jong-Ill, but he's from the North so my theory stands.

I just got back from the gym and I'm cooking up some Tai food. Some assorted seafood, meat, and rice in a Pad Tai sauce. Nothing This coming weekend, I am going on an adventure with some friends to the Korean countryside. We're going to stay in a temple and visit some historical caves and have some brew. I consider that an adventure, yes. And by the way, I must tell you that these Asian girls are so damn beautiful in their spring clothing. NICE>

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Destination: Oasis Live (Olympic Stadium)

Well, I am a happy man after a shitty day of teaching. My Korean students are off the wall and being all Korean on me. Loud, tattle-taling, and always interupting. Well, not all of them I must say. The older kids are so eager to learn all about America and English; which I totally appreciate.
So tonight, I was very lucky to see one of my favorite bands, Oasis. I went with my friend Liz from work. She had somehow managed to get tickets, even though she doesn't speak Korean. We did have to wait for a half hour talking to an English ticket broker, but it just made the show that more better. Any good artist will always tell you that the waiting makes the act.
So after a few beers and some waiting, we saw what we both considered "One" of the greatest concerts ever. I was really content with the show. Especially since I've seen them play in New York and they sucked. This time, all was right. Maybe it's just because I'm living in Seoul and got to see my band. But they rocked and played out well. It was definitely a "Check" on my checklists of what to do.