Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

Stuff is still happening on a daily basis

Hi everyone,

it has sure been a while since I’ve updated you all on my adventures here in Korea, and to be honest the longer I postponed writing something here the more difficult it became to actually start, so today I decided to just sit my ass down, turn off my phone and type this thing up.

As I’m typing this, there’s a truck driving around on the street behind my apartment complex shouting some stuff I can’t quite make out but probably implying I should run out to buy some eggs/chickens/squid/vegetables from the back of this guy’s truck and those are the kind of things I kind of want to tell you all about. You know, the weird stuff that I’ve come to take for granted by now but would’ve made me raise my eyebrows through the roof the first time I came here. But because I’ve been thinking of several such things I want to share with you (I have an article on Korean drinking games, Korean proverbs and daily life in the pipeline) I haven’t been able to get around to actually writing anything at all, so for today I’ll just take you through my past month and see what kind of interesting (?) stories I can share with you all. So, without further ado, let’s get started before I get distracted again!

.

 

Firstly, shortly before my last blog post me and this handsome and extremely mature Canadian here had visited a Power Rangers Live Show.

Go Go Turbonerds

[That doesn’t look awkward at all!]

You might be wondering:
1. What this is
and
2. Why two adults would visit something like this
The answer to the first question is perhaps easier than that to the second.. The Power Rangers Live Show was this kind of thing you sometimes see in anime where heroes from Japanese TV shows ‘come to life’ and fight the bad guys in real life on a stage somewhere. The reason why me and Gary ended up being the only two adults there not holding their children’s hand…well..I figured this would probably be the only chance I’d ever have at seeing something like this since Power Rangers aren’t very popular anymore back in the Netherlands and this whole live show thing seemed like such an Asian thing I’d be hard pressed to find it anywhere else in the world, plus..you know..they look really cool..
So we paid our 25,000 won and enjoyed some pretty decently choreographed fight scenes and EVEN TOOK A PICTURE WITH THE BLUE RANGER. Oh yeah~ While dozens of kids were asking for his handshake I was like “우리는 사진 좀 짂을 수 있어요?” and in spite of Gary’s Parkinsons I ended up with the picture below. Another funny thing that happened was that at some point in the show the bad guys appear from the doors behind the audience and make their way down through the seating area. All well and good of course, but the guy that came down our aisle probably didn’t expect two fully grown waygooks sitting there with giant grins on their faces because we could pretty much see him staring at us from behind his mask as he was doing his little ‘whoo I’m a bad guy’ dance in front of us. Sometimes being a foreigner is so much fun.

You can check out the videos I took here and here if you’re curious.

[Dancing Power Rangers: totally worth ALL the monies?]

Blue

[I cropped out the kids that I handshakeblocked]

 

.

 

For my Tourism Agency duties last month I took a City Bus Tour, discovering a few more interesting places in Daegu in the process. I have to admit Daegu isn’t as exciting as Seoul or Busan when it comes to sightseeing, but it definitely beats Made en omgeving and the plus of living in a city with a ‘mere’ 2.5 million inhabitants (compared to Seoul with 10+ million) is that you actually get to breathe both on the subway and near auto ways. I’ll try to put up a post showing some of the pictures I’ve taken of Daegu pretty soon because I want to keep this post about the things that I’ve done the past month, but there’s definitely a few good shots that I’ve taken during both this trip and the day trip I undertook with a Dutch girl that I’ve met also studying here at Keimyung. I think we had a day off due to some random holiday that I knew nothing about and we decided to have a little Dutch outing, seeing some more of the places I didn’t have time to visit well while on the City Tour and showing Maaike (that’s her name) some Korean culture at the same time. We ended up getting lost, of course, and, maybe less of course, ended up being guided back to where we started by a group of finely dressed Korean businessmen who for some reason decided to walk us around in a giant circle for about 30 minutes before taking their leave, all the while talking amongst themselves not knowing I could understand parts of it as they talked about that they’d never dare to ask a random person on the street for help if they were in a foreign country and asked each other if some of the facts they heard about the Netherlands were actually correct enough to share with us. Days like that really make life here fun and so different from back home, so I wish I could do stuff like that a bit more often from now on.

[Even in South-Korea you can't escape the tipping of fedoras]

[Even in South-Korea you can’t escape the tipping of fedoras]

[The doctor is in]

[The doctor is in]

[One of the traditional style markets we visited]

[One of the traditional style markets we visited]

[I had my face drawn at a festival downtown as well]

[I had my face drawn at a festival downtown as well. Isn’t it sooo cute?]

 

.

 

One of the places I visited during the City Tour, Chicken Road, I actually ended up visiting again in a rather different situation.
The first time I went there, it was to try the Chicken Gizzard that that street is famous for (mom, you would absolutely hate this stuff so if you ever do come here let’s visit!) for an article for the Tourism Agency.

[Sometimes, if you just poke through the smog and heat, Daegu is just so pretty]

[Sometimes, if you just poke through the smog and heat, Daegu is just so pretty]

The second time I went there…well…

[I...am...getting...so....red...]

[I…am…getting…so….red…]

Was to film a commercial for that exact street!
The Daegu metropolitan government wanted to promote this street to foreigners, so they asked me to bring some friends and in return for our hard work we’d get free chicken and beer. Obviously that wasn’t a difficult choice to make and I dragged along Maaike from the Netherlands, Farah from Jordan, Francesca from Italy and Gary from Canada so I wouldn’t be too embarrassed. Actually, I didn’t expect we’d actually be filming anything, as at first I understood that we’d merely be taking pictures. When they asked me to actually be interviewed and even ‘act’ (in a very Beauty and the Geek ‘Dude pretend this tastes super amazing! Dude pretend you are super surprised!’ way) I felt rather awkward and kind of questioned why I even agreed to do this, but obviously in the end we had a great time so it was worth the embarrassment.

[Customers and owners inside the shop were standing in front of their windows looking and waving at us as we pretended not to be super embarrassed]

[Customers and owners inside the shop were standing in front of their windows looking and waving at us as we pretended not to be super embarrassed]

[People must've thought we were some sort of celebrities, being followed by a full camera crew and photographer]

[People must’ve thought we were some sort of celebrities, being followed by a full camera crew and photographer]

At first, they interviewed us about this street, our first impressions (what do you even answer to that? It’s a street!) and if we’d ever had chicken gizzard before, and later she explained a bit of the history of the street (there’s 28 restaurants there selling the exact same thing! Korean business model at its finest) as we made our way to the restaurant where we’d film the ‘climax’ of the video, which happened to be the exact same restaurant where I’d previously had eaten with our Tourism Agency outing.

[Luckily the 'act like you're stuffing your face with free chicken' part of it was not very difficult]

[Luckily the ‘act like you’re stuffing your face with free chicken’ part of it was not very difficult]

There, we had to do some more awkward acting, like asking what 반반 means (it means half half, half seasoned half regular) while tilting our head to the camera (seriously. We had to do that. And it took like 5 takes before someone didn’t fuck up) and showing our reaction when the owner put down the plates. It was all extremely unnatural and weird, with the cherry on top being Gary’s excellent ‘I don’t really want to be here’ answer when the host asked him a bit about the food, but in the end they were satisfied and we were left with unlimited free 찜닭, soju and beer.
Naturally that didn’t exactly end well, but that’s a story for…never.
When the video comes out, I promise I’ll show you even if it’s the most embarrassing thing since Beauty & the Geek.

.

 

We also had our second School Trip early in May, this time to the nearby seaside city of Busan. Busan is a beautiful city with lots of things to see, do and eat, so we were expecting a lot. Unfortunately the 10/10 Goddess that took over as ‘handler’ of the KGSP students clearly didn’t have the planning skills the previous guy had, because we ended up visiting a temple (which was nice actually) and a beach for a few hours before being dropped off back home in time for dinner. Pretty disappointing, especially considering the School Trips are a great opportunity for us to all hang out together without having to worry about money. Last trip was pretty freaking awesome, so it’s kinda regrettable this one was so lackluster. Regardless, any time I get to spend with my schoolmates is time well spent. I’m gonna miss these guys a lot when they all disperse all over the country in two months after they finish the Language Course here.

[Waygook Bus! Waygook Bus!]

[Waygook Bus! Waygook Bus!]

[ I'm gonna miss these kids ;_; ]

[ I’m gonna miss these kids ;_; ]

[You have no idea how tempted I've been to take pictures of these Buddhist crosses and uploading them to facebook to start some shit]

[You have no idea how tempted I’ve been to take pictures of these Buddhist crosses and uploading them to facebook to start some shit]

 

.

 

This month not all that much has happened, apart from some school stuff. This semester I was taught by the best teacher I’ve had so far. The way she explains stuff is so clear and easy to understand that I’m often surprised that that’s all there is to it and she actually understands her students and doesn’t keep pushing them, but does keep engaging us. We even had to do presentations about our own languages and even though I absolutely hate presentations (especially in Korean) I plodded through it and managed to get something out there that I didn’t have to feel bad about. Unfortunately, the school is obsessed with TOPIK results, so starting this monday I will be separated from the rest of my class to study nothing but TOPIK every day for 4 hours. That’s gonna suck ass and will probably kill the last bit of will I have left to actually study, but let’s see where it goes I guess.

.

 

MERS has also been a pretty big thing these days, and I have to admit that although I wasn’t too worried about it at the beginning it’s kind of starting to worry me now. Cases of infection keep spreading and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to be done about it. The school is flaring the paranoia by hanging up signs that claim “This hall is being disinfected three times a day” even though we damn well know that won’t do a thing (plus the floors are seriously just as dirty as they were before, so I doubt they’re even doing anything at all) and putting free hand gel in every hallway, reminding everyone that shit is getting real. I don’t have a TV so I don’t know much about what’s going on, but I do know that Daegu has had several infections now, though none of them were near where I live. It seems that as long as you stay away from hospitals you should be okay, plus as far as I know I’m not actually part of the group that is at risk, so let’s just hope everything will turn out alright. Korea isn’t a third world country so I’m hoping they’ll get this under control sooner rather than later.

.

 

Finally, I’d like to close with a picture I took at the Daegu Flower Festival this month.
See you all later, and I’m sorry I can’t/won’t/don’t post more often!

[Flowers. Not every hardcore, but kinda pretty?]

[Flowers. Not every hardcore, but kinda pretty?]

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2 comments on “Stuff is still happening on a daily basis

  1. Pingback: A waygookin in Daegu | Anonymous of Holland           -A Dutchman in Korea-

  2. Pingback: RIP 2015 | Anonymous of Holland           -A Dutchman in Korea-

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This entry was posted on 20 June 2015 by in Diary, Korea and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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From #temples to #churches.

#church #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #religion #Christian #Christianity #cross #Korean #spooky #spoopy #filter #woods #교회 #무서워 #서울 #기독교 I had a great time working with #SBS on their new program #내방안내서 in the beautiful #Mihwangsa #temple. I'm sure that @zazimusic has made @haemin_sunim proud with their song based on his book, #멈추면비로소보이는것들.
며칠동안 #미황사 에서 시간을 보내는 게 큰 인상을 주었고 만난 사람들 너무 친절하게 챙겨서 감사하는 말 밖에 못 한다.
다들 #수고했어.

#Korea #SouthKorea #tv #filming #television #tvshow #Koreantv #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #절 #불교 #텔레비전 #쇼 #촬영 #버라이어티 #발송 I came back to #Seoul yesterday. Waking up to the sound of cars passing under my window and people shouting instead of the sound of the waves rolling over the beach and bugs chirping, I realized again that a part of me hates this city, no matter how much I love it. Now I understand why #혜민스님 makes the trip back to #미황사 so often even though he lives in Seoul as well.

For people living in a big city like this, it's important to #slowdown and not get caught and lose yourself in the flow of things. Life in the #countryside and in a #temple is so different, so much more #empty, but so much more fulfilling.

#Korea #SouthKorea #Mihwangsa #color #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #tranquility #traditional #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #108배 #전통 #역사 #생각 #자성 #내이야기 #미황사 에서 사흘밖에 안 보냈는데, 그래도 #생각 을 많이 바뀌었다. #성찰 하면서 내 한국 생활도 생각하고 한국 사람들의 #촌 을 생각하면서 왜 한국이랑 사랑에 빠졌는지 다시 깨달았어요. 한국에서 사는 것이 선물이니까.. 잘 살아야지.

#절라도 #절라남도 #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #혜민스님 #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #tranquility #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #혜민스님 의 #미황사 에서 #멈추면비로소보이는것들 많다. #절 의 #평화 를 느끼고 마음을 비우면서 깊은 생각도 하고 한국 생활을 #감사 하는 생각도 많고.. 한국이 역시 #아름다운 나라입니다. 
Another gorgeous #sunset at #Mihwangsa #temple.
I am so thankful to #SBS and 혜민스님 for letting us stay here.
Just like the title of his book, there are many things you can only see when you #slow down. Staying at the temple and talking with the staff has taught me once again that Korea is an amazing country, and I couldn't be happier to be here. 
#nofilter #Korea #SouthKorea #island #traditional #tranquility #nature #wood #meditation Everything is more beautiful in #Jeollanamdo, even a #sunset.

#nature #Korea #SouthKorea #sea #island #절라도 #절라남도 #바다 #섬 #자연 #일몰
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