Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Club Night- Bender in Action

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My First Video Blog

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Terrible Korean Commercial

Friday, February 23, 2007

Alright, here we go. Let's get the Tokyo blog over with. Bunch of pictures up top followed by a few videos. All of the videos are from the Shibuya intersection, which is the largest in the world, according to my research. I had made a great video, but Bender deleted it. That may be because the video was of him getting dressed after he got out of the shower. I know it would have been a huge hit with my female readers, but he's too bashful.

I stayed up all night on Friday since we had to be for the flight on Saturday at 5am and my usual bedtime on a Friday is closer to 8am. Grabbed a "Massive" at McDonalds, one of three trips for the weekend, and hopped the bus to the airport. We got there a solid 2 hours ahead of the flight, which was fine, because the Seoul airport is absolutely the nicest place in the city. I bought some ice cream from Baskin Robbins at 7:30 am, which disgusted Bender, but it was necessary at the time. Popped a xanax for the flight and went off to la-la land for a few hours.

The Tokyo airport is also way to far away from the center of the city. We were on the train for a good hour and a half to get to our hostel. The first thing you notice about Tokyo is how damn clean the place is. There is no garbage anywhere. In fact, there aren't even trash cans anywhere, which proved to be a pain in the ass at times. The 6-person mixed dorm at the hostel wasn't as eventful as I expected it to be. We met some Indian guy right when we got there and that was basically all the interaction we had with the people in there. Besides on Saturday night when both Bender and I knocked on the door at different times, waking up the same European guy, who didn't seem too pleased. We only had one key, though. Bender had it in his pocket and still knocked on the door so I blame him on that one.

The best night of the trip was Saturday, by far, so it kind of setup the rest of our time there are a bit of a let down. We smuggled five bottles of soju into Japan, and that saved us hundreds. We drank a couple of bottles on Saturday in the hostel lobby, where a Korean guy warned us that we should be eating spicy food while drinking it. Man, he so doesn't know us. We went out with a couple girls who we met in the lobby and then were all over the place with a whole bunch more random peeople. Great time, though the night did end terribly. Bender disappeared and I ended up leaving this club with a Korean girl. She was absolutely the worst Korean I've ever met. How ironic I met her in Tokyo. First we went to Starbucks, I guess she was thirsty. I don't even remember what she was talking about, I just know it was god awful. The subway finally opened back up and I sat there wondering how I got myself into that situation. Once again, I blame Bender. He was probably passed out in an alley somewhere. So me and dumb bitch get to the hostel stop and at this point, it's pouring. Then we got lost. By the time I finally made it back to my room, I was soaked. We saw the Korean girl in the hostel lobby again on Monday and Bender got to see first hand the incredibly moronic behavior I was abused with on Saturday.

Woke up at 2pm on Sunday, popped another xanax, which was probably a mistake. I'm generally a lazy guy, so self-medicating with something that makes me want to sit down a lot and pretend I'm on a cloud, while on vacation, not a smart mix. Hmm, I don't really remember what we did during the day on Sunday. Also pretty terrible. Maybe we walked around somewhere. That night was about as weak as it gets. We went to all of the foreigner hotspots and even paid $20 to go about 2 miles in a cab, and nothing. Just nobody out. The most exciting part of the night was running up and down these outdoor escalators in the wrong direction. We also ate McDonalds twice that night. That captures the night pretty well.

Woke up at 3pm on Monday. Really when it comes down to it, it was a typical weekend for us, just in a different country. The only thing I'd change about it would be Sunday night. I had no problem with not hitting many of the touristy attractions. Yeah, they might be good for taking a few pictures, but otherwise I find most of them a waste of time and money. Just walking around the city Monday night and taking it all in, that's enough for me.

Since we needed to be once again at 5am for the flight back to Seoul on Tuesday and because we didn't have an alarm clock, we stayed up all night on Monday, playing games in the hostel lobby. Bender kicked my ass in chess. I continued to beat him at Life. Around 4am we tried to go to Denny's but they were closed, which was complete B.S. But we ended up going to a better story. Walked into this empty place with bar-like seating. We sat down and the one guy working there just pointed towards the window. We thought he was pointing at the menu hanging on the window, but in fact, it was towards a vending machine. All the foods were listed on it like a bunch of candy bars. We were a bit afraid to use it because we didn't know if soup and crap was going to come flying out of the opening. That didn't happen. We just put money in and got a ticket for what we wanted and then handed it to the guy. Can't say I understand the point of the food vending machine, but I don't think I'm supposed to.

Tuesday may have been the worst day of my life. I knocked myself out on the plane again, but then on the bus from the Seoul airport to work, I woke up in a stupor and got off the bus at the wrong stop. Thankfully the driver knew I was an idiot and directed me to get my ass back on the bus. I actually got to work on time at 2pm, but I kind of wish i had been at least an hour late. I'm not sure what i did with my classes on tuesday. I think I taught for 5 minutes and then gave them a deck of cards and told them to leave me alone. One student asked me why we were stopping so early, I told him it was because his teacher was very tired and he didn't feel like standing anymore. He understood.

A few more observations on the trip: Korean girls remain the hottest of all the slanty-eye races. Bender's mind got corrupted in Japan because he thinks he saw a ton of hot Japanese girls, but I'm pretty sure most of those girls were either just not attractive or Korean girls on vacation. I'll agree with Bender that i think Seoul is better than Tokyo, but at the same time, i know I think that only because I've been here almost five months now and there's just a certain comfort level with Korea now. If I was teaching English in Tokyo or Shanghai and I took a trip to Seoul, I'm sure I would find this place pretty repulsive. Seoul is filthy, the entire city smells bad, people spit all over the place, nobody can walk in a straight line, but the place has got character and that, above all, makes it pretty damn cool to live here. As will be evidenced tomorrow on Club Night when I'll be on top of the world once again. And hopefully not on top of Bender.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pre-Tokyo Video. Quite possibly the worst video ever made.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here's another video, which is really just one boy hitting me for two minutes because I'm making a video, but there have been requests so here it is. While I'm making the video, the students are doing a Valentine's Day word search. God, I love any sort of Western holiday. I just throw in the holiday plus word search into google and I've just managed to kill a solid 20 minutes of every class for the day. I've been meaning to get a video of Bender and I on the dance floor, but I'm afraid if I actually watch that after the alcohol wears off, it could ruin the whole club thing for me.

The kids gave me a whole bunch of chocolate for Valentine's Day, which was surprising because I thought Koreans just celebrated Peppero Day, or at least that was their version of V-Day. I hate how they they give me chocolate and then immediately ask me for chocolate in return. This isn't a two-way road, kids. You give me stuff. I give you homework. There's a photo below of some of my candy. Actually, one of the chocolate bars is from the owner of the pasta place. I think he's in love with me.

A middle school class had to write a paragraph on what they do during the first hour of each morning. A girl wrote, "Next I put cream on my face so that it will look whiter and cleaner." It makes me wonder if Koreans hate really tan white people. That's what a lot people go for in the US, but here, Koreans would be pretty racist towards tan people. The lighter your skin, the better, the darker, the more they hate you. I think if a Korean ever saw an albino, that would be like seeing Jesus for them.

Headed to Tokyo this weekend, should come home with a bunch of pictures and maybe herpes. I have no idea what the exchange rate is over there, so I might blow through a grand in about three hours. Once Japan and N. Korea are through, I'm gonna make a real effort to cut back on spending for a while. You can't live in South Korea for a year and not save a good chunk. It's not a cool enough place to be here just for the experience. The cash is a major factor. The cash and the gay dance contests, they make it all worthwhile.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

This weekend was probably a bit too overloaded, especially with Tokyo on the horizon next week. But I'm a club addict at this point. Friday it wasn't the plan, but we ended up in this basement club in Itaewon, where all the stereotypes of it being the dirty part of Seoul, were tossed out the window. It was basically full of European models, which really serves no useful purpose for us besides making us want to kill ourselves. At one point Bender asked this girl next to him a question and she said she didn't want to talk to him, goodbye. Then I gave said girl the finger. She returned the favor and probably yelled various obscenities at me. Later on in the night, we entered the dance contest because it seemed like a great idea at the time. Now granted, we were the only duo of guys dancing together, but man, we were definitely the best. Apparently I promised Bender I wouldn't do anything gay on the dance floor, but once it was our turn, almost immediately, I made it a top priority to crawl through his legs. I attemped this and was rejected so many times, I tore up my knees pretty good. The crowd already loved us, and I just know if Bender had spread his legs just a little bit more, that could have really put us over the top. All of the other contestants were pretty awful, as they were not acting nearly gay enough, but somehow we didn't place in the top 3. The Korean lady who was running the contest said we had "lost face." Luckily we made friends with the third place team and they bought us shots with the free drink money they had won. Then I danced with a fat girl and Bender told the models they were beautiful. That was Friday.

Yesterday I woke up at 4pm. Then I took a nap from 6-9:30. Does that make me a terrible person? You make the call. I was about to just chuck the whole day in the trash, but then I remembered just in time that I like alcohol. Bender, Cathy and I met up in Hongdae for a drum and bass show at this club called Cargo. Don't ask me what drum and bass is. All the club music sounds the same to me, and I use all the same retarded spastic dance moves to all of them. Anyway I felt terrible when we first got there, probably because I had just slept for 40 hours and only eaten a ham and cheese sandwich during the day. But I guess I woke up around 3am, at which point I was a number of vodka tonics deep. I was talking to a Korean girl upstairs at this place when her friend comes over to the table and goes "I hate foreigners." She was pretty adamant about this for a while, but then in some kind of drunken twist of fate, those two girls along with two more girls plus a korean guy were all sitting on my apartment couch at 6am. I'm not really sure what the hell they were doing here. Well, let me clear that up. I'm not really sure what ALL of them were doing here. My apartment is a good half hour cab ride from the club and although I tried to explain this to them, they all still got in the cab. Once we got out of the cab, we stopped at Mini-Stop, one Korean girl bought two massive bottles of beer, of which about a half of one would be drank. Got to my place, they smoked about 20 cigarettes each, one girl ate my ramen, they taught me how to say the names of colors in Korea, a girl drew a picture of me, another girl put my thermometer in her ear and then asked me why her temperature was only 92 degrees, the guy remained quiet and creepy the whole time and then around 8am, they went home, thus concluding a pretty twisted night. I woke up at 5pm today, went to KFC, and here I am.

Four months down, eight to go.

Photos- My counter to Bender's smoking photos. And I do wear the same two Lacoste shirts every weekend. I have no problem playing into the rich American stereotype. Plus I'm a giant douchebag.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I think I have a fever, but I'm still here at work because a fever does not count as a deadly illness and I'm not spilling blood everywhere, the only ways to justify a sick day here. I just went to the store to try to find a thermometer, but when I tried to explain to the guy there what I wanted, he directed to me to an actual thermometer, one just a bit too large to fit in my mouth. Then he said they had a thermometer for your feet, at which point, I just left. Now I've decided I don't even want a thermometer because if I find out I'm at 102 or something, it's just going to make getting through the day even harder. Obviously all of my classes with be playing Uno today while I'm laying on top of a desk somewhere.

Went clubbing again this weekend. I was thinking how I never want to go clubbing in America. Because if you go to a club in America, you're pretty much just a douchebag, but here, if you're white, you are able to go into the club elevated to just a notch above a douchebag since you do have some sort of mystique among the throngs of Koreans. So basically I love it, though at the end of the night on Friday, I remember telling Bender that I wanted to go on stage (after we'd already been kicked off a few times) so we could get thrown out of the club. You know, instead of just walking out of the place, I insisted on being a douchebag. Thankfully we didn't do that. Apparently all American military have now been banned from the club area because one of them decided it would be a good idea to rape an 88-year-old woman last month. I don't know what this means for me, but I guess it means I have less of a shot of getting raped.

Photos- top- on from on the stage at M2, right before I was scolded for taking a picture. other photo is more Koreans dancing. exciting stuff.

Friday, February 02, 2007

All of the kids write these diaries each week. They usually don't make any sense, especially the ones from the younger kids. It's quite entertaining to read them, although sometimes the kids are just evil. One girl wrote that her mother yelled at her and said "You are not my daughter! Go Away!" I can't imagine that's actually what she said, but then the next diary this girl entitled it "I hate my mother" and wrote that she really wanted to hit her mother. Maybe I should refer that diary to the police, something isn't right there. Today one of the boys in the smarter classes wrote about how a new student joined the class. "A new student came to class today. His name is Tony. He is not very handsome, but he is as smart as me." I showed this to a Korean teacher, expecting her to say something like "Oh, that's horrible, why is he commenting on how a fellow boy in his class looks?" Instead, and I should have known, she said, "Well, it's true." Oh, Korea, you vain vain nation.

As part of a homework assignment, one class had to write about what would be the best gifts for their family members. One boy wrote next to both his mother and father: a gun. Apparently he was just confused, and that's what he wants to get from his parents. That's great. Another kid thinks the best gift for his father would be a necklace. He may just have two dads. A girl said she'd get her father "Lotto". Because "he really wants to be rich." I hope that girl is getting fed at night.

A middle school girl told me the other day "Teacher, I like your sex." She meant to say snacks, but for a second there, I was about to run out of the school screaming, "I didn't do anything!" Short blog, I'm at work and I've got to watch some TV shows online before class. Happy Groundhog Day!