Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This morning I decided to hit the new Mikey D's before heading off to work.

They took a bit longer than expected and seemed truly flummoxed when I presented a coupon for a second egg mcmuffin, but I digress.

When I got to work carrying in the trash, two separate coworkers smiled when they saw me and asked if I had had a hamburger for breakfast.

Both of these guys are older Korean guys and I imagine they've only been to Micky D's a handful of times at best.

I smiled along with them.  Naw, waegs don't generally eat hamburgers for breakfast that's more of a lunch or dinner kind of thing.  This was an egg mcmuffin set.

This confused them more than saying I hadn't eaten a hamburger.

I wonder sometimes just how these kinds of guys, highly educated well traveled folks, can still believe the things they do about waegs.

Or maybe they were just taking the piss. Sure, that's a better spin.

Better not let them know that two waeg coworkers were burger flippers back in their day.  There would be no end to the burger jokes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

you tubin'

During the vacation, I found myself listening to The White Stripes again and again.

There was no thought involved.   It seemed the gypsies were bringing them up repeatedly on shuffle, until I found myself playing each album over and over, all OCD like.

Maybe deep down there were the words I heard from a coworker that they had broken up.  Or maybe it's just what I needed at the time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cocoa Madness!

A few days ago a friend passed this along to the fam.

Simply looking at it sent the girls into hypoglycemic shock.  This came to mind as I watched them first beg, then plead, then demand some of the sweet, sweet goodness contained within.

They know better than to push too far. They let it be for a few days.

When they got home they were bouncing off the walls as June had promised them some of the dark cocoa goodness.

Somehow I got roped into preparing it. I simmered some milk, mixed it up, then stood back to watch the insanity unfold.

Typically, the youngest gobbled it within two minutes. The eldest sipped frugally and had it last a good eight and half minutes.

As soon as they were done I suggested they take a bath. Once the sugar and cocoa rush hits, they can entertain themselves with bath toys.

Hopefully no one will fall and crack a skull.


They were awfully quiet, so I poked my head in.  The entire floor, walls, mirrors are covered with shampoo and body wash.  I did bring this upon myself.  Now is a good time as any to give the floors and toilet a scrub.


Part of my job is to offer encouragement and motivation to an already highly motivated team.

There are a few however that go on and on about how hard they suck.

Don't cut yourself down, there are always going to be ijits who will do that for you.

Being self effacing is one thing; really being down on yourself and walking around with a black cloud all the time is another.

There are a couple I'd like to smack silly.  Part of me thinks maybe they didn't receive enough attention when young.

Not sure which is worse, working with someone who thinks themselves pure awesomeness with an overdeveloped self confidence, or someone who thinks they suck and everyone hates them.

Right now, I'd say the latter.

Whatever it is, the lack of self confidence is pretty damn annoying at times.  But I've become quite adept at putting aside the irritation and getting them back on that horse, focused on something more positive and relevant.


This morning I was held up a bit as I waited for some adjusshi to come and move his car.

I couldn't back up far enough to swing out.  Both of the cars had left me about the same amount of space.

He must have had a hard night.  He looked like something the cat dragged in.

I decided to be magnanimous and not give him too much of a hard time.  I just glared with an irritated air.

I thought it was enough I didn't try to just push him out of the way.  I surprise myself how generous I can be at times.

Maybe he wanted a wake up call.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Letter from an Avid Reader!

Do you ever feel like you're wasting your life? That you've given far more than you could ever receive?


Do you want to feel that way??


Then come to Korea, land of the morning perpetual erection! You too could get a job in a hakwon, and with some effort and foresight, easily rise beyond that! You too could marry some nice skinny woman who will come to hate you after a good ten years! Sure, you can get that back home, but why not marry one that will still make your friends jealous when she's still hot at 40??

Never mind that she's a loser! Once it gets to the point that maybe people will realize your wife is from a poor background, they'll go back home and then you can meet the next batch of impressionable retreads coming in to teach at Ding Dang Dong!

Make people think you've got it going on! Make them think you know a thing or three about life!

If hipsters get in your way, encourage them to move to haebangchon, or force them to find work elsewhere, through your extensive channel of connections!

Yeah baby!

This is the gist of the email I received tonight:

I just want to thank you for showing what is is to live your life as the wrong way, warning to not be.

I've seen your 'ilk' many times before: loser fat white guy, buying his way through life, thinking in terms of white knight, not having to really give yet thinks he has sacrificed so much.

You think you know, and you spread your poison invective on all they who cross your path. Before they know what you really are, the normale turnover avoids you from having to face their serious questions.

I just want to say: you never will get it. You never will understand. You are who you are and no matter who you dick it will never change that you are unable to get over yourself.

You think you know me. You think you can know what is. I know who you are, and I know what makes you.

I know your wife. She worked to raise her family in '96. She was turned away by a good guy when he figured out just what she was.

This isn't wwanting to hurting you.

I just can't know why you made that mistake. Why do you stay when the people obvously don't want you?

You should just learn to be really real.

Stop talking like you know the smell of shit. Stop pretending to something you can never be. Stop thinking that you could ever be more than that guy.

I had to let this one sit for a while, as my initial reaction was either to delete or fire off some missive. But then I watched some Breaking Bad, had a drink or six of rice wine, and let it slide.

The irony is that in some ways they are right. I don't subscribe completely to that white privilege horseshit, since I've lived too long abroad to see that every country does the same. It ain't so much as about color as about where you were born. That works even in Korea: ask a Jeolla or Gangwon person how easy it is for them to get hired. You want to get in, you've got to learn to walk the walk.

I won't apologize for having a cock and an education. I won't use either for evil, yet nor will I ignore that either exist.

Nor will I ignore the fact that the letter seems contrived and obviously meant to unsettle. No worries I got over that many a year ago.

Still, thanks for the letter. I like it when someone takes the time to write. I suppose I should fill this space with the very few thanks and great jobs I've received over the few months, but when some retread decides to bait, it makes for far more entertaining fodder.

When you're ready to share something I haven't already thought of, or that hasn't already made the rounds in the expat community 50 years ago, we can have a real conversation.

Friday, August 26, 2011

So many kinds of wrong

Too many weird Japanese vids coming my way these days. First, break it up with somethin cool for the first, then let's make fun of old people before getting into the weird stuff.

Third and fourth NSFW.

So Many Kinds of Wrong.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Straightening Out!

It was the longest time I'd been unemployed in my adult life.  Even going to school I'd worked in bars, scored research or teaching assistant gigs, but this was something else.  I had some money and when that ran out I'd do some small shit thing like collect bottles or clean a theater to get enough for more beer or smoke.  It was truly a low point in a way, and looking back I know how lucky I am to have the friends I do.It was the longest time I'd been unemployed in my adult life.  Even going to school I'd worked in bars, scored research or teaching assistant gigs, but this was something else.  I had some money and when that ran out I'd do some small shit thing like collect bottles or clean a theater to get enough for more beer or smoke.  It was truly a low point in a way, and looking back I know how lucky I am to have the friends I do.

It wasn't one particular event that brought me back into focus; I just woke one morning and knew it was time to get back on that horse.  I was tired of leeching off of friends and doing shit with my days.  Within a couple of weeks I was tending bar at a trendy spot.  A few weeks later saw me prepping for classes I was to teach at a local uni.  Another few weeks and I was at banks discussing home loans.  I was working 60 plus hours a week and loving it.


Buying a house was a big step.  I knew that it meant an end to easy mobility; I'd gotten a good taste of walkabout, and knew there was still a big world out there with many interesting people to meet.  I chased these thoughts away with the specs on my new patio, whether I could make enough by renting the place out to buy a second house, what kind of car I should buy.   I was on the right path, doing it the way it's supposed to be done.  Life was swell.
And that's when M came back into town.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to Work!

While I did go back in last week, work in earnest only starts today.

Things will be pretty hardcore for the next few weeks. Browsing through what needs to be done, I felt momentarily paralyzed by it all.

But then a part of my brain that had become calcified during the vacation suddenly popped back on, and I organized everything in terms of priority and necessity and plowed through a nice pile this morning.

I haven't had a chance to catch up with many of my coworkers yet. I'll spend some time around the water cooler tomorrow or Wednesday.  I also need to get out of full caveman mode, as I'm now back in more civilized parts.

I feel a difficult to suppress urge to take a dump on a couple of backstabbing coworkers due to some rather disturbing things I've heard from some of the interns. It seems some petty bickering occurred regarding an important product launch, and the general ability of the conceptual design department was called into question by some deadwood.

I need to get more of the details before I engage, but considering the people in question I would not be surprised at all. They are generally losers that ride on the accomplishments of others due to their seniority.

Must. Resist. Meltdown.

Time for coffee.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Kinda looks like it, don't it?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Think We Need a Few More Boxes of Soju. . .

Running into Juchon to grab a few small things at the local Hanaromart, we were greeted by this.

I wonder if people around these parts drink a lot of soju.  As soon as you walk in there is another big stack of soju six packs.

Not wanting to feel outside the crowd, I grabbed a couple of six packs.

I've been teaching the gang how to play asshole.  Once dinner is out of the way we'll see just how well they can play.

Camping 1.9!

Today is camping with coworkers. June and the girls will come out a bit later.

We got into some dirty ol Jim Beam. It was hilarious to see one the guys spew all over his shoes. I took some great pics to tease him with later.

The sun is trying to come out. Hopefully it will for the trout catching contest later.

I'm liking my new toy. It can be plugged into a laptop or mp3 player and also serves as a radio. That's what credit cards are for, right?

Time for coffee.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So many kinds of wrong

Politically incorrect edition part 82


So Many Kinds of Wrong

I hadn't visited this in a good while, found this instead:

Bonus!  More Douche for your dollar!

Orange Plastic Baton!

Today there was an air raid siren test, during which all traffic is supposed to stop for about 15 minutes until the all clear is sounded.

I didn't know it was going on. I was running around buying groceries and more camping gear, windows up air con on full blasting 80s punk. I only realized what was going on when this guy vigorously waved me down to pull over and stop.

Fear the power of my orange plastic baton! Get in your place and observe civil rule! I wondered just how many times I could hit someone with that baton before it shattered. They do look pretty flimsy, but the baton with his yellow jacket gave him adjusshi superpower, the power to force people to stop driving.

He glared at me intently, a person obviously lacking in civic responsibility, who dared to drive during an air raid siren test. I smiled placidly and cranked the 80s punk. This seemed to make him angrier. He looked about ready to come over and chastise me when a restaurant delivery scooter blasted through the intersection and nearly clipped him. As he decided whether to chase the scooter, several other cars tried to sneak through, which made him wave the baton even more vigorously. He seemed truly perplexed when an Opirus completely ignored him and drove on through.

I was completely forgotten at this point, as several adjummas who were obviously late for hair appointments proceeded to ask him rudely when they would be able to go.

Within minutes the all clear sounded, and he waved that baton in a circle in the air and scuttled off, seemingly broken.

Off I went to buy more camping gear. The place had orange plastic batons for a couple of chonners, but I refrained from buying one. I wouldn't want to be overtaken by the urge to believe that I was actually wielding that kind of power.

Driving back home I went through the same intersection.  A scooter from what looked like the same restaurant had been nailed hard by an Avante.  The driver seemed alright, which is ok.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today was a total stay at home day.

I read a bunch of shit, mostly having to do with psychology and double blinds, did some laundry, drove the girls around to their lessons, read some more shit on coding, watched some youtube videos and TED talks.

I had just opened a bottle of rice wine when I got a call from an old friend.  I hadn't heard from her in a while, and had thought of her yesterday wondering what was what.  She said the same when I mentioned it to her, so I'm off later to eat some chicken and drink beer.

I'll finish this bottle of rice wine first, of course.

I did enjoy this:

I was disappointed by Cry Baby Lane, either because of the hype or that I'm too jaded.

Monday, August 15, 2011


seorak mountainAfter a famously windy night, we packed up early and headed back to the Wonj.

I had a momentary bitch season while trying to load the famvan. The asshat who moved in next to us yesterday, the very same one who I helped set up his tent in the rain, had taken both parking spots for our respective sites.

After momentarily entertaining the idea of sticking a couple of nails under his tires, I went back to it with June and got the site picked up in about 90 minutes.

We took the 44 back. Driving through Seorak is pretty nice. We stopped at a spot that was famous for having had the road knocked out by a fairly massive landslide back in 2006, with huge boulders falling from the top of the mountain.

Traffic became insane when we met up with the 46, so it was down the 31 to Changchon. That road is famous for rafting.

Everyone was asleep in the famvan. I wanted to sleep too. I had to stop a couple of times for breathers. Luckily, some well meaning Korean drivers decided to help me stay on top of my game by randomly stopping in the middle of the road to look at famous cows or a famous river or the sign for some famous drama that was filmed in 1976. I love how every nearly famous drama filming location gets government dollars to build a nice road and put up signs, all as a means to promote the Korean Wave. I'm not sure how many Japanese or Chinese tourists are aware of that particular drama as it was only famous in the 70s. The two famous drama sites I've visited over the years were primarily crowded with Koreans and at best a sprinkling of waeg, but I digress. I nearly rear ended one guy who suddenly stopped to look at a famous chili field, but it certainly was kind of him to help me stay awake like that. Let no one tell you that Korean drivers are self centered or clueless!

We stopped for chicken soup at a famous restaurant back in the Wonj. Some adjusshi sitting across from us was being very vocal about how the Americans should have drawn the line further north near the famous city of Kaesong when taking over from the Japanese in '45. I guess it must have something to do with today being famous as liberation day.  June commented that she hadn't wanted to sit where we were, and how we should have sat closer to the TV as a famous comedy show was on. I ignored them both and kept thinking about the wonderful cooking skills of the chicken soup adjumma, who could create such a heavenly bowl of soup primarily due to the famous sweet, tender and sensitive Korean female nature.

When we got home I crashed hard for a few hours after cleaning out the bags and coolers. June got temporarily mad when she ended up getting stuck with dishes and vacuuming, but then seemed to remember that she slept famously for near three hours in the car and left me in peace.

Just finished throwing a load of laundry in the machine, a famous contraption that is supposed to be environmentally friendly since it doesn't use much water. I'm about to cook up some ramen for the girls. We didn't eat any ramen on the camping trip, so they were clamoring for it. It was a compelling argument.

June is asleep, the girls are fed. 

Time for some Max, famous Korean beer.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Having gotten a nice sunburn this morning, I decided to hang around the tent, read Thomas Paine's common sense, and drink some somek in peace.

I was about to doze off when I noticed that the sky had become quite dark and the wind had seriously picked up in a matter of minutes.

I ran around quickly found some big rocks and picked up the stuff from the table.

It came hard and fast. Within a few minutes a heavy rain and wind was throwing shit all over the place.

Luckily I was back at the tent when it happened. Not only did I prevent our campsite from becoming a serious mess, but I closed up the neighbors tent and stopped their tarp from flying off.

I'm such a nice guy.

Still, that snooze promised to be good. Now there are rugrats running all over the place stealing my coins and drinking all our juice.

Time for some Max.

F****** Hot!

camping korea

korean camping

korean beach

Today is a serious scorcher. Good times are being had by all in the water at the beach.

One of the moms is an English teacher at a middle school. She speaks English quite well.

Heading back to the tent. I'll make up a few blts and grilled cheese sandwiches for the group. One of the other dads has already stated he'll be buying supper: raw fish for everybody.

He's a traditional doctor with his own clinic. I won't argue over who picks up the bill.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


All the adults are off putting kids to bed. I got a pass for setting shit up, cooking, and just generally being awesome.

I wouldn't be surprised if most of em didn't come back.

No fire tonight. This is a no burning wood kinda place, so the mosquitos are out in force.

I'm surprised the kids can sleep after all the sugar they ingested. Guess they must have crashed hard.

Time for doing that clean up of shit that was missed earlier.


'nuff said.

Camping 1.8!

Today we're up past sokcho autocamping with a couple of other families.

Right now I'm grilling up some steak on my Coleman bbq / firepit contraption.

On the way here we ran into insane traffic as soon as we hit the expressway to Gangneun.

I made a command decision and hit the smaller highways. 19 to Seosok, 56 to Changchon then Yangyang, up past Sokcho on the 7.

I hate paying to move along at 20kms an hour. The drive was nice on the side roads even though it took longer.

At least we were moving the whole way.

So many kinds of wrong

London Riots Edition!

On a less serious note:

Something more Korean related!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Tonight I watched the video above and was mildly entertained.  Having an alien registration card and being a waeg who married into the tribe and spawned a nice couple of kids, I'm totally into the idea that part of human DNA has been mixed, or at least influenced, with something not quite of this world . 

But then, when I was a kid, I thought this movie was the bomb:

The Dawn of Man from Vimeo on Vimeo.

Angry Wife!

When I told June I had gone to the casino, it took her about 6 hours to completely lose her shit.

She proceeded to bring up every nasty experience in the last 8 years. She complained about how I do nothing around the house, how evil my parents are, how I think I can take a vacation while she still has to work. . .a long laundry list of infractions real and imagined.

I didn't want to get into it. Today I'm feeling slow and logey. Still, I reminded her of the times I came home with big wins at the casino, how I had been cooking meals most of the week, doing dishes, driving the kids, how my parents had helped us and shown a great deal of generosity and that her father in particular is far from a saint, and how hard I worked when I ran my own business and how hard I work every day when not on vacation.

She got mad and said I should give her vacation, and how nice she's been but I've been acting selfish, and that I act the way I do because I make way more money than her. I don't give you vacation, talk to your customers, and I've never said a word about how much you make. I've supported your business since day one darling. This just made her angrier so I went out for a walk. As I was leaving she proceeded to call up her dad and bitch him out.


She seems to have forgotten the 12-14 hour days I often work, and how I would work months without a day off when I ran my own gig in the past, even putting in time on Sundays and holidays. If I didn't work I didn't get paid, it was that simple. I had asked her if she was prepared to do this when she started her own business to which she replied assertively that it was what she'd have to do until things were built up.

She's been trying to accommodate my need to just relax, this is true, but before my vacation started she tried to get me to fill up my days with private lessons like I used to, as the summer was usually one of my more lucrative times of the year. I was able to beg off most of them since it looked like I'd have to give a week long seminar in Seoul. Thankfully it ended up being cancelled, freeing me up after June had said no to the moms. I have a few small things to take care of, but I'm only working about 12 hours a week. I took a pass on some very lucrative English teaching gigs; after the last few months at work, I need some time to just decompress, then spend a week turning over what needs to be taken care of when I get back to work.

We've talked about all this before, and she saw my reasoning, but one stoopid trip to the casino renders all that moot. And of course her tune would have been different if I had come her and given her 100 manners.

The kids listened to all this. After June stormed out and I drove the youngest to kindergarten, the eldest came home and started doing dishes.

The fact that the Mother-in-Law helps out a lot with the domestic stuff and has been visiting her sister the last couple of weeks sees June having to do more stuff around the house, especially when I'm not home. This renders her even more volatile than usual, as she sees herself being stuck in a place she never wanted to be; the irony of course is that for her to not have to deal with daily work, she'd need to have someone there doing it for her, or wealth accumulated either through her own efforts or through marrying up, the last being in itself counter to many of her ideals.

This has always been a sticky point, she being stuck at home having to be a homemaker. She abhors it. While far from the best example, I hold my own on the domestic side all things considered. But it's never been enough.

I'm sorry you never had the chance to be what you wanted, due to a lack of support or societal restrictions. And I'm sorry I'm nothing more than a caveman and not some pretty boy murse carrying pink wearing gentra driving emasculated metrosexual. No I don't like your stupid TV shows and I fucking hate ballads. But you've always known that when push comes to shove I've got your back, and I've worked hard to give you a good and interesting life. If you want me to always forgive your many huge mistakes involving thousands of dollars lost because of your whim and inability to follow up (future posts!), then get off my back for one trip to the casino and 60 manners.

Wishful thinking. It's a never ending cycle that will simply repeat itself until the day we die, one that is found in a lot of relationships.

Sometimes it's better to just be single forever, a thought I was firmly behind when June and I first met. I knew that finding a relationship that didn't degenerate into this cycle was rare and usually short lived. Hanging out too much with the same people usually makes overlooking their shortcomings more difficult the more time you spend with them.

Anyway, this isn't going to blow over anytime soon, knowing her. This weekend is supposed to be camping with some of the families from the kindergarten, then I've got another few days to think about work before heading back in.

Something tells me the rest of my vacation is all about the suck.

Blood Sausage!

Yesterday I had to run around and take care of house stuff.

Drive the kids around, do laundry, dishes, bring dinner to June's business, finish cleaning out the car.

I bought some ready made foods at the local GS supermarket. Chicken, potato salad, kimbab, blood sausage.

I'm a fan of the blood sausage, or soondae.

I particularly like it when it comes served with liver. I can take a pass on the lung and stomach though.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hilton Casino Seoul

Bored out of my skull, I considered the things I could do that I normally can't during the run of this waeg's average week.

For some reason the idea of going to the casino kept bouncing around inside my little simian brain. Now we aren't talking about the Korean equivalent of a peep show, which for some obscure reason is also called a casino, but the bone fide glittering palaces found in Seoul, the foreigner only places which actually cater largely to Korean Americans and Chosun jok, Chinese Koreans. The more I thought of getting drunk and eating on the casino's dime, being served an endless stream of liquor by cute waitresses while taking a pile of their money, the more appealing the idea became. Fortified with Bacchus, I jumped into the famvan and tore off.

I made the drive to the Hilton Lucky Seven in record time. 60 manners in hand, decked up in nice threads, I sauntered in and sat myself at a blackjack table.

I like to start with some blackjack, then take the stack over to a three card poker table. Three card's been good to me over the years, it being the game I've had some of my best wins in Korean casinos, the last being about 9 grand a year and a half ago. The trouble I have has always been with the damn roulette table, that bastard of a tease. My biggest win came on a roulette table, when a perfect storm of the right numbers hit netting me nearly twenty grand. I've chased after that moment far too many times over the years, and yesterday was just another example.

I was up about 200 manners at the blackjack, then took nearly another 300 manners more at the three card poker. Things were looking pretty rosy for this waeg. I started losing a few hands and decided to take a break, grab a bite to eat. After eating, instead of being smart and leaving or sitting back down at the three card poker, I approached the roulette thinking now it was time to bend that bastard right over.

Usually I'm fairly good at knowing when to run, when to know the mood has changed, the planets are no longer aligned, it's time to get the hell out of dodge. My problem is despite knowing this, I often will just say fuck it and keep going anyway. My idiocy this time around saw me lose 4 million in about twenty minutes. Fuck you the roulette table was saying, no one makes me their bitch.

Cue ahead another five hours. I try to recoup by hitting the blackjack table again, but now all the tables are against me. I hold my own for some time, but in the end I leave with 2 chonners in my pocket. Thanks for the laughs waeg, come again any time.

I usually hit the casino once or twice a year at best, there being enough of an interval in between for me to forget what a cocktease the damn place is, and the reaming I may have had. I just think about those nice hits, the times I had enough sense to walk out with a fairly nice wad in my pocket. Hopefully next time I won't be too full of excitement to remember this and walk away when I'm 500 manners ahead, instead of thinking about winning enough to buy a new famvan. Consoling yourself that you got 12 hours of entertainment, a ton of liquor, a meal, and lots of eye candy isn't nearly as nice as having an extra 500 manners sitting in your personal bank account for superfluous expenditures.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where's the Damn Rain?

campfireThe old guy at the campsite laughed at me as I was packing up.  You shouldn't listen to the internet, I'm telling  you it won't rain tonight.  You can clean it all up tomorrow before it really gets going.

Seems he was right.  It did shower a bit in the Wonj last night and the wind has been seriously blowing, but nothing typhoon like.

Oh well.  I got three good nights with friends and I'll be heading out again later.  Now I'm feeling fairly rested, and June did insist I give her a good seeing to this morning.

Today I plan on cleaning out the famvan.  I'm going to splurge and pay someone 1.5 manners to clean it out good.  They probably should just take a fire house to the inside, but that would probably mess with the upholstery.

This will give me time to reorganize all the camp gear.  After that's done, I plan on helping the eldest with some maths and then maybe watching some TV and movies I've accumulated over the last few weeks.

Time for coffee.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Party Time!


There are usually very few people at our current spot. It's one of the reasons I like it so much.

However, this is the busiest week in vacation land. There have been tons of people about the last couple of days.

It isn't so bad later in the afternoon. Most of the men get tanked up in the morning and sleep it off through to supper.

I generally don't start on the beer until the late afternoon. Generally. We've been staying up later than most of the other campers so it amounts to about the same amount of drinking.

We're heading back later this afternoon. We booked the site until tomorrow but a nasty storm will blow in around midnight. Monday is heavy rain all day.

Time for a swim.

Toothless Itaewon Grandma Whore!

Last night a couple of the boys were talking about the toothless Itaewon grandma whore.

Apparently she offers a gam for 5 chonners so she can buy food for her dog.

I felt totally provincial. Apparently she's been working the 'twon for many a year, but I've never seen her.

That's what I get for spending all my days in the Wonj.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Taking out the Trash!

korean police

The old guy that runs the campground we're at is a pretty nice old coot, even though I've heard him tell the same stories about his son at SNU and his days working as a miner a few times.

So I got pretty pissed when a gang of three families showed up by the river in front of our tent. The dads were all pissed off their gourds, they were making a huge racket, and they kept interrupting our fishing.

The old guy came out to tell them they had to behave as it was a family kind of place. They also had to pay as it is private property.

The dads became belligerent. They started pushing the old guy around with one of them literally dragging the old guy away from their group.

I got pissed: hey there are kids here. Wtf?! They generally ignored me.

The old guy called the cops which made the group scurry off, but not before a couple of the moms got in on it yelling at the old guy.

While it is true that stupidity is a universal human constant, this really was shit. Nice message to send to your kids. Now they get to watch dad get told off by the cops.

We all started drinking more heavily and now we're rather subdued. Shitty.


The cicadas have been busy. We've seen tons of them crawling out of the ground and molting.

I've saved a few of the shells to bring home to freak the girls out with. I'll post these pics up to project noah later.


Today is a scorcher. An awesome day to be away from the concrete in the city.

It's been swimming, lounging, collecting firewood, reading.

The water dropped by over a foot since yesterday but is still moving too fsst for some serious fishing.

Too bad. I'll wait until about 6 to give it a try.

Time to grill some potatoes and shrimp.

So many kinds of wrong

Parents of the year edition

So many kinds of wrong:

This last one is to remind that there is hope in the universe:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Camping 1.7!

Tonight is an all guys night out by the Juchon.

The water is running too high for any fishing, although I've seen a bunch of folks out with nets.

Right now the conversation is all about women. Guys talk the same shit as the girls.

Back to it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


portable wifiRecently I got suckered into subscribing to an Egg.

It's a portable wifi hub.  Turn it on and you have instant wifi.  This is great if you're someplace without the free stuff.  I currently have three devices configured to use it.

It costs 5 chonners a month.  Currently Olleh has a deal on them if you are willing to sign up for 24 months.

I get 30 gb of use a month out of it.  I leave it turned off whenever not in use to ensure nothing is inadvertently connecting to it.

If you are in an area without wifi and are tired of being unable to hook up your laptop, or would rather save on 3G charges, this might be for you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


wind farmAfter being rained on for two nights, we decided to pack it in and head back to the Wonj.

Pretty shitty start to the vacation. We ended up setting up at a less than desirable site because of car trouble, the youngest almost got swept out to sea, we got pissed on nearly the entire time. Because we had to spend a total of 27 manners to fix the famvan, we had to forgo the usual raw fish feast we have whenever we find ourselves in that neck of the woods. Driving back we got stuck in traffic until I was able to find an exit. We took highway 6 back, which in itself isn't a bad drive, and showed the girls a wind farm. But to add insult to injury, as we got within a couple of miles of home, a brilliant hot sun came out and cooked away the afternoon.

Yup. I had joked about that as we left the east coast. I wasn't laughing too much when it actually happened.

Hopefully it will be something that we can laugh about later. Ha.

June still has a day on her vacation, so she's heading up to Seoul to visit some friends. Tomorrow I've got some paper work to scribble up and will pack things up for the next camping extravaganza. I'm meeting up with some of the guys for fishing and beers in the mountains. I prefer the mountains for camping: not as much sand getting into everything.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Big Wave!

The youngest is willfull. This is a trait I hope to encourage and direct.

At times, she can be exceptionally trying. Today I was given a mixed blessing.

The girls had gone to take the train along the seashore. I was left to my own devices for several hours.

I reset the canopy, cleaned things up, drank 3 beers and a bottle of soju mixed with mirinda, reread the Great Gatsby since June is on it and wants to talk.

When the girls came back, they were insistent on swimming.

Sorry, the surf is high. You can't swim now.

But I realllllly waaaaant toooo!


I want to put the shells back in the water. You said they had to.

So down to the water. They brought their tubes with them.

One look was enough for the eldest to recognize it wasn't a good idea to go in. That and watching daddy get nailed by massive waves.

The youngest stood on the beach and pouted. Fine, come on in.

Within minutes a massive wave came along and turned her upside down. I had a moment of panic when I lost her, but grabbed her within seconds.

The wheel on her inner tube was broken, and she sprained her finger. All I could do was laugh to see her covered in sand from head to toe.

June took them both to the shower. The eldest complained how cold it was.

I washed out the half kilo of sand from my pockets and found it rather refreshing.

While the whole thing freaked me out and reminded me to be firm, something tells me the youngest will be listening a bit more closely.

Day at the Beach!

The cicadas have been making a racket. Guess the weather is going to clear.

One thing that will surprise many a neophyte is the obvious military presence on the beaches of South Korea.

One of the more infamous incidents happened just down the coast from where we are.

When we got here yesterday, we grabbed what we thought was a sweet spot. A couple of families were clearing out their tents and gear, so we moved right in.

Seems we did the stoopid tourist thing by camping in a military zone. The guys who came to talk to us said we could stay until tomorrow. They knew the other group had taken down all the signs.