Hold on to the Corners of Today

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Asia » South Korea
August 10th 2010
Published: August 13th 2010
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The universe throwing an ajumma at me.The universe throwing an ajumma at me.The universe throwing an ajumma at me.

The universe tried to whistle so I wouldn't know who did it, but I totally did. She slammed into my back, while I was on a double wide track half of which is dedicated to bikes so they don't slam into people walking on the walking part.
Am I the only one who thinks it's strange that people assume that just because you're home you have clothes on. Wrong. So in the last few weeks I’ve been travelling around a little bit, and more recently saying goodbye to all the people who decided not to sign on for a 2nd year in this paragon of rapid development. I thought moving away from Colombia I was going to get away from people being overly obsessed with their physical appearance but I think that Korea may be worse. Strangely though, this obsession seems to end the day they get married. They instantly begin changing into the standard bearer of all things correct and true in Korea, the elderly mother, the ajumma. Incidentally the universe recently got some revenge for my belligerence with these angry old ladies by flinging one of them into my back on her bicycle (see picture).
We went to the Boryeong Mudfest a few weeks ago, basically this is what it sounds like, a bunch of people playing in the mud on the beach. They have mud obstacle courses, mudslides, mud wrestling pits, mud painting, concerts, etc. Basically it’s a bunch of foreigners getting really messy (in
Haeundae BeachHaeundae BeachHaeundae Beach

Although you can't actually see any beach, I promise it's there, under the million umbrellas.
both senses of the word) and acting retarded. I spent much of the time painted (and muscular) like the Incredible Hulk. Alas there are no photos of this b/c no one really wants to carry a camera while immersing themselves in mud. Also I got crazy sunburned, you’d be surprised at how much uv gets through green mud. It makes me totally rethink that scene in Predator where he hides by coating himself in mud. I can’t believe they’d put something unrealistic in an Arnold movie so there must be something I’m missing. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but the ladies here frequently wear the tiniest skirts possible, and then spend all day worrying about people looking up them on the subway or as they walk up stairs. This is in sharp contrast to their aversion to showing any shoulder whatsoever. This makes total sense because if you are exposing your shoulders you are showing off where babies come from. I think.
Maria, Adam, my Aussie friend Steve and I all went to Busan two weeks ago. This was in an attempt to get a little relaxing beach time. Like everything else, Koreans do the beach differently than
The Dreamiest G showing off the gun.  The Dreamiest G showing off the gun.  The Dreamiest G showing off the gun.

Plus this gives you an idea of how close together the umbrellas are, it was ridiculous.
anywhere I’ve ever seen. They divide the entire beach into tiny squares and then rent them out. There is no place uncovered by umbrellas and mats, all the way up to the water. If seen from the air, I imagine you can’t even tell it’s a beach, just a mosaic of colored umbrellas. To be fair we went to the busiest beach (Haeundae) on the busiest weekend, but it was madness. We saw a very down syndromy girl sitting on near us with a bright yellow shirt sporting the moniker “Mong Mong” on the back. Please insert handicapped insensitive joke here. When making said joke, be sure and put the person first, such as “a kid with down syndrome” rather than “down syndrome kid.” Or kid who’s a tard rather than retarded kid.* Person first. I mean who puts someone who’s (old term) a Mongoloid in a bright yellow shirt that says MONG MONG on the back? Even if that’s all she can say, come on! We spent much of the weekend rehashing some comedy gold from my youth, begun during a telephone conversation between Tyson and myself while he was in Hawaii, where you pretend the phone has a

She buried herself and sat under her umbrella. I would describe her expression as rapturously joyful.
lie detector on it and beeps when you lie. Example:
Joel: Man Tyson, it’s really good to hear from you. BEEEEEEEEEP.
Tyson: Yeah, I’ve mostly just been hanging out, working out a lot. BEEEEEEEEP.
I’ll spare you the details as the older version of this gag got a lot more disgusting, but the funniest moments were certainly when people divulged too much information and you were waiting for the BEEEEP that never came. I’ve added a little bit of holiday to my end of summer travel plans, I leave for China tomorrow, I’ll be in Shanghai with Tomas and Adam for a few days then Tomas and I are heading for Beijing. The following weekend Maria and I are off to Jeju Island, the island getaway spot for all Koreans, off the SE coast. The third week of September’ll see me and Maria in Thailand for a tropical break (hoping to get there just after the rainy season ends) from the garbage weather of Seoul. Remember how the weather sucked horribly in winter? And how the spring only lasted like 3 weeks and was full of toxic yellow dust? Well summer, if this is even possible, is perhaps the worst yet. It’s like 2million%!h(MISSING)umidity and the second you step foot outside your house you are coated with sweat. It’s not even really that hot. Oh, and it torrentially rains pretty much all the time. Fall is coming though, and other than the constant smell of puke from the fallen puke berries (ginko tree fruit) it is the best season here, so like being a Chiefs fan, hope springs eternal. Incidentally I think the Chiefs are going to win the Super Bowl. I know that Americans have a reputation for extreme patriotism, which I mostly attribute to the South, but is something you rarely see in the expatriate community for one reason or another. The opposite tends to be true with Canadians, you’ll nary meet a Canadian who doesn’t have a maple leaf tattooed on his face or patched onto his backpack. They claim this is to differentiate themselves from the dastardly Americans, although I liken it to something akin to Little Man's Syndrome. I’m just kidding, Canadians are cool. BEEEEEEP. I was in a taxi the other day and when the driver asked if we were 미국 (rough Romanization: migook). This means American and I told him, that while I was in fact migooking it up, Maria was from Canada. He looked amused and told us, “Canada, migook, same same.” He then broadened it to “Australia, England, migook, same same.” Proof positive that all white people are Americans. Good to hear my niece is a trooper about the universe’s attempt to shorten one of her digits. She should be fine although she’s following in the footsteps of Jamarcus Russell, Three 6 Mafia and Lil’ Wayne by partaking of some of the Purple Drank. Congratulations to Al on the birth of his first child although the father doesn’t seem to do much in the birthing experience other than the fun part of conceiving and then holding a hand as the girl’s ass explodes a baby into existence.** That’s my understanding of it all, blame my public school education. There are seats on the subway here reserved for pregnant women. Do you think you have to be baby bumping or can you be like 2 weeks pregnant? How would anyone know? We found the cutest cat on Earth in an abandoned fridge on the side of the road. Following the boy scout rule "if you find a feral animal take it home" we immediately

Since Mudfest is mostly beautiful crackers like myself, the locals with extreme telephoto lenses were out taking tons of pix of us all.
did. It answers to the names Little Bear, Charlie, and most frequently Kitty. Pictured below.

Summer books: Reread Bluebeard, it’s excellent. Cry the Beloved Country is fantastic.

Summer music: I seem to have misplaced my Ipod, but I did just buy a digital piano, so I’ve been attempting to relearn how to read music in place of listening to much of it. I like the new Jesse Malin album though.

Summer Movie: Inception was great, Salt was entertaining, and who can get enough of shirtless guys in jean shorts? Not me, Eclipse was AMAZORS.

Summer Lovin’: Had me a blast.

"Thank you. If you vote me, I'm hot." What? "Taxes they'll be lower son."

Comment from one of my friends to another: “I heard you can't even pee in urinals.” (stage fright issue)
Drunk girl who overheard the comment: “I shat in a urinal once.”
So disgusting and if you knew her you’d have no doubt it was true.

Sunny asked what a student was so I said, "me teacher, you student." Melissa said, "me teacher." To entertain this idea I asked her what University she went to, to which she replied, "33 and 17."
Bboy CompetitionBboy CompetitionBboy Competition

Break dancing is huge here, we went to a show and it popped and locked my socks off.
I then asked what she studied. Her response was "markers." I asked her what her major was and she said, "becky major." She eventually got frustrated with my disbelief and called me "Bapo" which loosely translates to fool or broken wheel. ~ Ah teaching in Korea.

I don't know what happened but my genitals hurt. ~ My friend

*Differentially abled, cognitively disabled, developmentally delayed are also acceptable terms.

** Refers to a Friend's episode: 6:26 mark or so. Birthing Video Episode

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Aussie Steve and AKSprayAussie Steve and AKSpray
Aussie Steve and AKSpray

Eating grilled pig fat/Korean BBQ in Busan. Gettin' fit.
Charlie/Little Bear/KittyCharlie/Little Bear/Kitty
Charlie/Little Bear/Kitty

Like his new owners, he may in fact, be retarded. He may also be a girl. Which some people believe are synonyms. OH SNAP! GENDER BURN!
Cultural DifferencesCultural Differences
Cultural Differences

The guy who does these cartoons for the local English language paper was in orientation with us.

13th August 2010

more about the mudfest!
was there music at the mudfest? were there food stands? was everything all muddy? were there different kinds of mudbaths? did you leave with really awesome feeling skin? anyway, it sounds amazing. it's too bad you had to hang out with canadians though, i'm sorry about that.
16th August 2010

This is the only time you can ever compare Samantha to lil wayne. That dude is a D bag of biblical proportions.
7th January 2011

Blog of the Year
Congratulations, this blog was nominated as one of the best of 2010, in the Asia/writing category. :) ''Anyone who can make me laugh out loud when I read any Blog of his deserves full credit.'' http://www.travelblog.org/Topics/27154-1.html

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