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I’m also really good at giving directions to taxi drivers

Barely glancing the take out menu in my hand, I automatically dial the number I have so often dialed before.

This time it’s a man’s voice on the line. Sometimes a woman picks up, but today it’s some guy whose voice I also recognize.

Without my even saying anything he recites the address I am currently at.

Without my even thinking I say “재육덮밥 하나 주세요”

Without any response the man on the other end hangs up. I don’t mind. I know that soon someone will bring food directly to my office and I will pay him and he will leave and I will eat and place the dishes outside of my building and in an hour or so he, or someone else will come get them. The circle of lunch.

A Korean co-worker overhears my order and remarks “your Korean is improving”

“Well, it’s just my lunch order”

“Yes, but I can tell your intonation is very good”

This makes me laugh, “well, I order the same 3 or 4 things every day so I hope I’m good at it by now”

“So many foreigners don’t know how to order their own food, but you are very good”

“Thanks” I say, and we part ways to our respective work spaces.

In about 10 or 15 minutes someone will bring me food. He probably thinks I am fluent in Korean.

In the land of foreigners who often refuse to learn basic language skills to get by the foreigner who can order lunch is king.


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It’s been a few years since I posted anything to this site, and about 6 years since this site was something I updated on a regular basis. After my year in Korea I left for Mexico for a year.

Then, after a year in Mexico, I came back to Korea and have been living in Seoul ever since. There have been a number of changes in my life since then.

Things grow.

The difference between moving frequently and living in one place for a while is one of growth. Staying in Seoul for 5 years has given me a chance to push myself personally and professionally in ways I didn’t expect a few years. Some things I have enjoyed growing, other things have become structures which need to be done away with, and some structures which need to be rebuilt.

It’s taken me a while to realize that.

Time to rebuild.

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Writings from Torreon, now up

A while back I promised that I would re-post my writings from Mexico.  Well, today is that day.

Here is the link.

Also, I’m adding this link to the “Backstory Section.”

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I Live in a Sauna

Korea is in the midst of it’s rainy season.  Supposedly the rainy season comes right before the typhoon season…so I’ve been told.

Either way if I leave the 3 foot area of air that my fan provides I immediately end up sweating.  Sleeping is impossible.  Evidenced by the fact that it’s 5:15 in the morning here and I have yet to sleep one bit.

Nightmare ghosts attacking me in my sleep would be viewed as a reprieve tonight.


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Expanding My Octopus Like Grip on the South Korean World of Blogging

I’ve started writing some article over at

I know I’ve been pretty lax with the updates here and all, but I’ve been busy lately. Now I’m not so busy. So hopefully I can keep up with both of the sites. Plus instablogs pays me.

I’ve been writing there for just over a week, a grand total of 3 articles, one of which I also published to this site.  But somehow I’m listed as one of their South Korea Editors.  This says something about the quality of either me or the quality of the site.  Either way, check me out.

Here’s where you can check out my articles.

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been slow lately

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately.  My parents are in Seoul for a week or so and I’ve been showing them around.

One thing I’ve learned about Seoul through all of this is that there’s really not much to do in the city if you don’t drink, which my parents don’t.

I don’t think I’ve ever stepped foot into Itaewon sober

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This post sucks…read it anyways…random thoughts

Don’t really feel like writing lately, even though I have lots of things I want to write about. Figure out how that works. Anyways, here’s some random thoughts/experiences…I would actually classify them more as observations than anything else.

– This year we had the most competitive Super Bowl ever, the greatest playoff race in the history of the NBA and an overtime thriller in NCAA men’s basketball. Even though I hate Kansas, that’s still pretty intense. To cap it all off I get an email with the Lollapalooza lineup today. This year I will be missing “Radiohead,” “Nine Inch Nails” and “Rage Against the Machine (!)” I would say that god officially hates me but…but…well nothing, god hates me…stupid god.

– Word of advice, if you are ever having acupuncture done on your back, don’t cough when the needles are in…that shit hurts.

– In that same vein…don’t sneeze either…shit hurts even more

– Most annoying thing about Korea = everybody having the exact same holidays so that on the odd extra day off, everybody has the same day off.  Want to fly somewhere during vacation?  Get your 2009 tickets today! (seriously, cause if you don’t you can’t get them later)

– Today we had to clear out my classroom so that the government could use it for elections tomorrow. Ok, fine. But I forgot a book in my class that I needed. I went back to get it and the stupid government lady wouldn’t let me in. Five minutes later I went back out to check again and everybody was gone, leaving me the opportunity to sneak into my classroom. I looked everywhere for an opportunity to screw up their elections, as retribution, but no such luck. Stupid god.

– Also, guess how many “Wonder Girls” posters the government put up around my classroom. If you guessed 3, you are correct.

– Whenever I go to the sandwich shop around the corner the Korean women laugh at me because it’s the stereotype that westerners love bread. Hell yah I do…bread’s delicious. I used to feel a little offended until I remembered how much I used to make fun of Asian people for coming into the Chinese restaurant I worked at. (sidenote: you think the people at PF Changs are really nice? think again…we hate you…now tip us 20%) Stupid karma.

– I had the best conversation with a Taxi driver ever, yesterday. He only used Korean words that I knew and I left feeling that I had impressed him. The best was that he didn’t ask for my phone number so that he could become my new Korean instructor (this has happened twice already).

– On the subject of phones and taxis, some taxi driver found my phone. I had to travel about an hour by sub to pick it up at the taxi headquarters. When I got there I had to give him a gift for finding my phone. This feels forced and insincere…”thanks for finding my phone in the back seat of your car that you are probably forced to check every night anyways, then for dropping it off at the office you have to go to anyway…it must have been a huge inconvenience for you.” I bought him some juice, apparently that’s considered an acceptable gift.

– The best part of getting my phone back…I get to keep all my soduko scores

– On a happier note, I haven’t died yet.

– On a side note to the happier note…I have stopped leaving my air conditioning on all night. Not because I’m afraid of fans killing me or something, but because it was costing me 200,000 won a month.

– My school caught on fire a week ago. There were no alarms or sprinklers. There were no drills. I found out my school was on fire when 10 fire trucks rolled into our school yard. We spent the next 20 minutes hanging out in our classroom.  Somewhere Crime Dog McGruff is snorting heroine.

Finally, with nothing else on my mind here’s a video

7 months?  Right?

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