Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for June, 2008

So….did hell freeze over?

Posted by quirksalight on June 26, 2008

I had to check that it wasn’t April Fools Day today.

US to Take North Korea Off Terror List

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Walking home tonight from Kumdo….

Posted by quirksalight on June 25, 2008

…i ran into a anti-US beef protest in Bupyeong Station’s shopping district.


Yes, people singing songs about how the Korean president sucks and that he needs to eat the US “mad cow” beef before Koreans do, vigils with candles, and a banner with some crazy looking cows on a boat heading towards a frightened Korean.

Ah, that’s my Wednesday night. Swinging a wooden sword for a bit, a bit of shopping, and checking out the anti-US beef protest.

Posted in ancedotes, Bizarre, Bupyeong, Incheon, Korea, Nerdity, Politics, Social commentary | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

North v. South Korea soccer match

Posted by quirksalight on June 22, 2008

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Interesting game. People watching was even more so. 🙂

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look! pictures here

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Kumdo and etc

Posted by quirksalight on June 18, 2008

So I’m taking lessons in Kumdo, which is two handed swordfighting, in Korea, about 3 times a week. (unless I’m coughing my lungs out). Well, my instructor has told me to prep for an advancement test on the 28th of June. Yup. Two weeks. Lah…

Posted in Incheon, Korea, Kumdo, martial arts, Sports | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bugs from the netherworld

Posted by quirksalight on June 17, 2008

Or at least their handiwork. This is 4 days after I got bit.

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Sex and the City

Posted by quirksalight on June 14, 2008

I went to see it around the Incheon Arts Center with a friend of mine last night. It was great! Ok, very cliched and stereotypes abound. But that’s not why you’re seeing the movie. If you’re seeing the movie for serious empowerment, umm… wrong flick. It’s about friends and how friendship lasts through the good and the bad.
In fact, right after I saw the movie, I really got homesick for my friends back home, and for NYC.
There were also little bits of irony scattered throughout the movie which I was laughing at, but I think maybe 1 or 2 other people in the packed theater found amusing. And yes, there were tons of gratuitous sex/nudity scenes, with eye candy galore.

Oh, clothes and shoes were also awesome.

Posted in amusing, friends, Incheon, Korea, New York, NY, NYC, Social commentary | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Meh…

Posted by quirksalight on June 11, 2008

From the US Embassy in Korea:

“The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is transmitting the following information through the Embassy’s warden system as a public service to all U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea. Please disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

The U.S. Embassy advises American citizens throughout the Republic of Korea to exercise caution during demonstrations and vigils protesting the importation of beef from the United States. We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.”

Posted in Korea, Politics, Social commentary | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Memorial Day

Posted by quirksalight on June 6, 2008

Memorial Day in the US and in Korea fall about one week of each other. But in the US, where it’s often the signal for the beginning of the summer swimming season and holiday, it’s taken a bit more seriously here. For example, June 6th is Memorial Day here, and this year it fell on a Friday, making a three-day weekend for the country. Which was nice. I took advantage of it by heading to the Danoje Festival in Gangneung (more on that later) with some friends, which is one of the largest cultural events in the country. When there, we met a friendly man who worked in the city hall, and told us that the fireworks were rescheduled for two days earlier than the Welcoming Parade (which is when the fireworks are usually lit) due to Memorial Day. He said that it’s a day to remember the fallen soldiers, not to celebrate by lighting fireworks. Especially in a country where there is still mandatory military service for all men.

It just brings to home that things are still a little raw and fresh here; democracy, voting, right to protest and the war dead.

Posted in ancedotes, festivals, holidays, Korea, Social commentary, travel | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

English Camp

Posted by quirksalight on June 1, 2008

This past week (Tues – Thurs) I taught at an English camp at the Incheon Foreign language Training Center on Yeongjeong island (where Incheon airport is located). The REACH camp, as it was called, was geared towards students in isolated communities, who’s access to English education is spottier than on the mainland. It’s a sleep-away camp, with students from several islands southwest of mainland Incheon (like 3-4 hour ferry ride). There were students who were from islands further off, but they couldn’t make it due to fog.
Ah yes, fog. Every morning, there was thick, soupy, fog covering the western part of Incheon, and the waters around it. Which prevented half the students from coming, and the other half were late, as the ferry had to wait for the fog to dissipate.
That started off a very odd camp. Not just in my view, but the teachers at the training center (International and Korean) said the same thing. The schedule was thrown off due to fog and the students arrival times (or not arriving); random injuries, and constant rescheduling of classes and events. Not to mention an unexpected “discussion” on pay.
On the upside, the kids were pretty fun to teach, and their English level wasn’t as low as I had been told to expect. They were a mix of fluency, but I was able to teach in English more than 50% of the time. Plus, like any other camp, there were fun activities and games interspersed making the long day more enjoyable. I got to teach “egg drop” as my club activity. One kid make a nest that survived a two story drop.
And the other teachers were cool to hang out with and talk to. A random surprise was that one of the International teachers had taken the Foreign Service exam and passed it. It was nice to be able to talk to someone about it.

Posted in ancedotes, annoyance, Bizarre, Incheon, Korea, teaching, teaching english | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »