TaXXXi Ride

Yesterday, I decided to go to Haeundae beach with a friend of mine as both of us had the day off from our schools. We met up in the early evening and flagged a cab to take us from our neighborhood in PNU to the beach.

From entrance, we both noted that this was not a typical cab. The seats were upholstered with this garish faux-leather-type material and the car’s ceiling was decorated with more fake leathery stuff that resembled the outside design of a cheap purse.

Now, with cabs in Korea, the amount that a cab driver will try to talk to you varies from a brief hello and then silence to a full conversation about the driver’s family and his hobbies, all in Korean mind you. This drive began the conversation pretty routinely, as the driver asked about pretty usual conversations about our jobs (we are teachers) and where we live (Jangjeondong area).

The conversation took a strange turn though when our driver began telling us a story of his upstairs neighbors, an American couple, who are always having sex all night and waking up our driver in the process. While the story was told entirely in Korea, he did repeat somethings he heard coming from upstairs such as “Oh Baby!” and “Fucking baby!”, so I hadn’t any questions about what was going on upstairs in this guy’s apartment. He even gave us the fist-to-palm hand gesture, commonly used around these parts to talk about two people doing the deed.

Anyway, we gave the driver a nice chuckle, thinking the story was funny enough from the driver and assumed that this would be the extent of our communication with him. No. Driver proceeds to ask my friend and I about our own sex lives, which we sort of laugh off and give a “no comment” to, with a wink of course.

Feeling amused but somewhat uncomfortable, my friend and I again go back to conversation when the driver looks back at us, raises his finger to his lips and nicely asks us to be quiet as he reaches for one of his CDs. Well, my friend says to me, “He wants to play a cd for us,” but as the screen of his navigation display switched from a map to an FBI warning typical of a DVD, I had an idea as to what the driver wanted to show us.

TITLE SCREEN: Red Light District 22, Barely Legal Babes!

The driver begins fast forwarding through the adult video to find his favorite parts and also declares that he has been able to learn lots of English from these kinds of video. My friend and I don’t really know what to do now. The situation in the cab is as funny as it is uncomfortable We decide to just let the driver play out the porno for the last 15 minutes of our cab ride as we laugh at the whole scenario and make jokes about the ways in which pornographic acting is really funny, most though because there is a discomfort in watching porno with your guy friends.

The driver adds further comedy to this whole scene by turning off the screen–BUT not the audio–as we pass a bus as he was worried that the bus passengers would see the raunchy things he was watching.

Five minutes before we arrive at our destination, the Paradise Hotel Haeundae, the driver abruptly ejects the disc and replaces it with another one, this time a video of a recent Eagles concert.

People are strange.

Konglish Prologue

Konglish (Korean: 콩글리시) is the use of English words (or words derived from English words) in a Korean context. The words, having initially been taken from English language, are either actual English words in Korean context[1], or are made from a combination of Korean and English words. It is considered a sublanguage.[2] Common sentence structure or vocabulary mistakes made by Koreans has also been referred to as Konglish.[3][4][5] Words and phrases borrowed from English or other languages may be shortened if Koreans using them feel they are too long.[6]

wikipedia

This is the first entry in a series of entries I will be writing documenting my interactions and experiences with Konglish.  For all Konglish noobies, understand that while Konglish words are in fact derived from English, their pronunciation and meaning often have little to no resemblance to English progenitors.  This creates for some real annoyance in teaching English as Korean speakers have a bastardized set of words and phrases in their vocabulary which they believe to be part of the English language.  Konglish hurts.

Lost Wallet – Almost

For 15 minutes tonight, I thought I had lost my wallet for the 2nd time in 6 months.  Normally, I don’t worry about things like losing a wallet, assuming that ‘it will show up’ and rationalizing that the outcome of truly losing the wallet is not a major catastrophe.  Tonight though, I was having trouble rationalizing the loss of my wallet being a low-stress incident.  Tomorrow, I shoot off to Korea for another stint of living, working and traveling abroad; my wallet would have been pretty essential in the coming days while I travel throughout Asia.  Fortunately, I only dropped the wallet in my car, wedging it between the center console and my seat.  Major catastrophe avoided.

Noraebong Woes

Reasons why I am still a little in between on my feelings on Noraebong:

1)  My voice normally gets so raspy after drinking that there is nothing left for the singing. 

2)  My voice gets drowned up by anyone with a higher voice, so I end up just singing louder and losing more voice.
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Super Junior – Sorry Sorry

More Korean Pop.  Again, catchy as hell.  If the “Sorry, Sorry,
Sorry, Sorry”‘s don’t get stuck in your head then the perhaps the “Nekkid,
Nekkid, Nekkid”‘s just might.  Also, the boy band performing this song,
Super Junior, has approximately 22 members.

Roh Moo-Hyun

Since I have received a few emails from family and friends with concern after news of former South Korean President Roh Moo-Ryun’s suicide, I feel compelled to blog on this topic.  Especially since his suicide was to have been reported internationally as having occurred in my Korean hometown, Busan (it is the closest large city to the cliff President Roh jumped off of). 

I am in no position to comment on his politics or his successes/failures as a leader, but in conversations I have had with Korean people, President Roh was certainly a person that seemed to spark people.  He was known as a clean politician as well, a reputation that certainly took a knock when allegations of he and his wife receiving roughly $6 million in bribes from a business man in Korea. 
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Things I Miss Right Now

Yeah, I love my time in Korea to this point, but I am human and there’s definite stuff I miss about NY (do or die M-Fers, lol).  Also, no mention of friends or family on this list because, obviously I miss those close to me from back in the states.   

-Deli’s, Pizza Joints, basically anyplace where you can walk in and then walk out with really good food (besides fast food places). 

-Being able to buy clothes pretty hassle free (6-4, 220 is not who Koreans make clothes for).

-NBA Playoffs, MLB (its not that I can’t follow it here, its just that a 13 hour time difference makes it real hard to ever see a game live). 

-Real Hip-Hop (too many people here either dislike hip-hop or think that Soulja Boy is the best rap act going.  No further comment needed). 

-Miller High Life

-American Country Breakfasts

-non-Korean food (I love Korean food, but the non-Korean options in Korea just don’t match up in my opinion)

-Calling in sick for work (not really something you do here)

-American National Holidays (Korea has national holidays, but they have not yet figured out the benefits a firmly scheduled 3-day weekends.  I will be very ornery on Memorial Day). 

-All that stuff you can do in NY. 

Ok, I’m done. 

Wonder Girls- So Hot

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More Korean Pop Music. Enjoy.

Girls’ Generation – Gee

First post on Korean Pop Music.  I don’t think I actually like this music, but its still gets stuck in my head.

This is my favorite pop song I have heard here thus far.  I like bubble-gummy type stuff in general and the song is good and peppy.  I am still uncertain how a girl group works when their are NINE MEMBERS.  Destiny’s Child had much drama with first with 5 members and then with just 3 members.  This is Girls’ Generation with “Gee”.

Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – Gee Music Video

Kenny Rogers Noraebong

I have been sitting on this story for too long.  Its not as though the tale surrounding my White Day (March 14, analogous to our Valetine’s Day) was real salacious, but it took me sometime to get the picture I needed to tell the story. 

Also, this beginning with this post, I am going to try and get more posts up, with many more little things about life here as, I have find myself out of the house way more than I ever planned during my stay in Korea.  I guess the primary reason for this is that I have been very, very active in pursuing a busy social life and as a result, I am out most every night.  However, the reason for my aggressive social pursuits is directly related to my work life over the past few weeks.  Things at my school have been less than ideal and as a result, I have found myself working harder and being more stressed at the job and my aggressive social pursuits serve adequately as a solid diversion. 
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