And so what better way to (re)connect with your lands than taking an cross country journey? Tone already touched upon that recently. And to keep it interesting, I did it with three koreans. We hired a rental car and headed for the Great Ocean Road and Highway 1 to Adelaide. They all rotated driving, and I got all the navigation, nail-biting, dashboard gripping and “Left left LEFT!” to myself.
It’s lucky that my work collegue and hanguk-oh teacher, BYA is so pious because according to the natural laws of odds in nature, we should’ve ended up as paste on the front of a semi.
The whole thing was one non-stop foto shoot.
Every place we’d go into they’d always talk loudly and chaotically in korean. It was funny, some of the looks from the locals – especially in the redneck-filled pizza joint in Portland at 11pm. I thought we was gonna get bashed. I guess that no one minds if foreigners talk loudly in english over there, so why would the opposite be any different here? – is what my travelling companions thought.
In Lorne I treated them to fish n’ chips, or would have if they were into fried fish. I neglected to tell them they were missing out on eating shark. They weren’t much into eating chips either – and stayed with this moderately-sized meal mentality the whole time. I got to eat a lot of chips so they got this running joke on me and chips. “What will Yukky eat? Chiieepp”. Chips are important, damnit.
In Adelaide, they wanted to eat ‘real australian food’. I looked around but all I could see was Red Rooster, so that it was.
Yesterday (friday) was the hottest day in adelaide in 66 years. It was still nicer than infernal humid east asian summer.
The winner for most uncomfortable went to: 4 people sleeping in a late model Camry overnight, with the runner-up prize awarded to Greyhound; an overnight night contortion to Melbourne. The first situation was at Mt.Gambier, and I suggested we park it by the blue lake because at least in the morning we’d be treated to the awesomness of its colour, but the darn thing doesn’t blue up until the sun gets overhead. I also managed to not show them kangaroos.
I’m a pretty ratshit tourguide, but then, I’d never done that kind of thing before and I didn’t realise I had to take on that kind of stuff until we got going.
You should’ve seen the car when we abandoned it on Friday afternoon at the airport. The beatness of all the bug guts over the front of the thing was accompanied by one football-shaped indentation in the left corner of the bumper.
Maybe there’s something to be said for ‘take a pictuur’ nonstop, because a few of these raided from BYA’s collection came out good.
I was down to 6hrs sleep in 48 at this point
I am at Obi wan’s place using his late model emac with the white speaker grills so it doesn’t look as much like the front of a metro train as the earlier models.
The machines will not talk to each other so you cannot see the foto of south australia from ten kilometres up nor read my on the spot tappings of highly uncomfortable plane travel – with a runny nose, no sleep and not being able to get to the toilet for five hours.
However, it did not tear apart nor explode in a brilliant fireball upon landing and for these things I am grateful.
I would also like to say that Victorian summertime rocks. Fresh, unhumid but warm air, fluffy clouds and blue skies. Melbourne is a beautiful city and I’m not sure how many of its residents realise this.
The darkness of the country night, the stars, the milky way, Orion—are awesome.
I put seti@home on the computer again. Several times in the past I’ve run the distributed computng screensaver then got bored with it and dumped it. This time I’m determined that my computer will be the one to discover irrefutable proof of the existence of ETs with classic gold FM radio stations.
I’m busy trying to get motivated to pack. Going back seems so much like unwinding, like I could do it sleep-walking. I will get back to Melbourne and have woken up. Here is a list of what I am going to eat:
tomato pesto pasta
fish n chips (incl. potato cakes)
Bickford’s cordigal with carbonated mineral water.
home made pizzas with all the weird shit like chickpeas
whatever the go is at NQR
lots of cheese
golden delicious apple (I’ll be happy if I don’t here the word ‘delicious’ uttered aloud once this whole coming month).
sun dried tomato
hummus, spicy capsicum, tzitki and loads of other dips
Went to LotWorld yesterday and ice skating with my friend. It was pretty crowded but I didn’t really notice. We slowly pushed around an outer ring orbit and eventually held hands. Clothes-lined some kid. It was really romantic n’ shit.
I bought a bagel and promptly dropped it on the floor —because the bag it was in only had two sides. Another customer told them and I got a replacement bagel.
Then saw King Kong. Which is a movie.
My top 5 toy inventions that didn’t make it to the toy shops this year.
1. As a lad growing up I was never properly shown how to shave. Through the years I have suffered through one disaster of symmetry after the next. I still have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes I entertain ideas of experimenting with facial hair styles but each time I get to the mirror I crumple at the hopelessness of it all.
“Shave Guevara” was a plastic head & shoulders with that face and expression we by now all know and love or hate. In essence it’s just a recycled idea – I think there was some doll whose hair you could cut—but “Shave…” was for boys. There was a button in the base which when depressed, pushes hair through tiny holes in the face. This hair, when short, looks like stubble however the more that is let out, the more the thing looks like a beard.
It’s rather difficult to get genuine facial hair, so we were going to settle with greasy Latino head-hair. Suffice to say, there’s not shortage of that.
I guess this next generation isn’t made out of the same stuff as the current because in the testing phase kids would continually get the heeby-jeebies from Shave’s thousand-yard stare. They were getting nightmares and all, so the whole thing got canned.
The lunch at the cafeteria can vary from occasionally being really excellent to mostly being okay down to very occasionally being terrible and today was the third kind. I don’t understand the thought processes that are integral to the ‘discovery’ of sausage, but it’s kind of interesting how it’s worldwide.
Alright, I am writing on the internet, so I have no excuse not to check and apparently “for as long as there has been Man, there has been sausage”.
I still don’t know why anyone would want to eat piggy intestines, which is what korean trad. sausage is all about. There was some of that in soup at lunch. I’m not that picky – I was eating the soup but leaving the sausage. There was some nice chunks of pork in there too. But also there was something odd-shaped, dark meat-looking thing. I shoved it in and immediately regretted it. In fact thinking about it still makes me want to gag. In summary, I ate some animals vital organ today. The second most disgusting thing this year.
That’s me aside the sun flowers. I am the random stranger mentioned in 800 searched through snapshots. You bumped into me in front of a metal statue, friend of a friend at an extended family gathering, night time flash photography—vomitted in a rock garden, at the waxwerx, a fountain in Roma, pigeons, a pony-ride extravaganza, at a pub. Dresden.
Always the random stranger and never the premonitioned, inescapable, who would always find you regardless of where you were, or when.
For no particular reason this has slowed to a new level of slowness. I think I’m due for a holiday. I jet out christmas eve eve. Temperatures here are varying between 2 and -10C.
Last night we went to the youth club festival in the hong-dae area. What I saw was a little more low key than I was expecting but it was still good.
These kids were are from a college on Jeju. As they were setting up I kind of assumed they would be grungey and all distorted guitars – but it was kind of pop/ska/reggae—well suited to Jeju I s’pose.
I got relected.
What are those fake-tiger-tooth shaped (or wooden cylindrical) things called on a duffle coat that you hook up to fasten the thing with?
That not-so wonderful korean trait of not-telling you stuff have popped up a couple of times in the last weeks. First, I was informed about something we’ll call phenomena week, which is a week of work, ‘teaching’ a third of the way thru february – almost the middle of a 2 month break. Phenomena, because I don’t know what the hell it’s doing there. It screwed up some plans I had to have some paid-for fun, in the form of a winter camp. I’m over it now.
But today I found out that I may not have a job at the joint next year—depending on a freakin evaluation survey given out to the students. It asks whether or not they think it’s worthwhile learning spoken English – and whether or not they want me to keep teaching, or would they prefer someone else. If I had know about this I might’ve plied them with lollies (candy) a little more. And all of a sudden I feel like a politician running for re-election. One of the officials leaked some early results, which were meh – which isn’t good, but it was from a tough class—those girls are like ice. The kind of class that needs a mild electric current running through the seats to liven shit up. A high proportion of poindexters. Hollywood teaches, what hollywood teaches us is that while male nerds are inexcusable and should be beaten to a pulp when possible, girl nerds need only take off their glasses and let down their hair to become ‘hot’. The nerds in this ice class are even beyond that. I can’t help but feel a bit resentful. About their feedback, that is.
On sunday I went and did yoga for the first time ever. It was bikram yoga too, which means it’s done in a room that’s at 40degs Celcius. Hardcore! For an hour and a half. It was one of those self-made comedy situations. Standing in front of a mirrored wall trying to hit these impossible poses and barely getting halfway, warbling about, losing balance and falling over—while in the row behind me there’s these three young women, I was watching, with dead-pan expressions, stony balance, who were bending themselves in ways that were similtaneously obscene and divine.
It costs a lot to go regularly. I got in on a freebie with a friend.
This friend (a furriner) was telling me about the research work she is doing on starvation in North Korea. She had been talking to a N.Korean that morning about conditions there. It sounds fucking horrendous. So few people here actually know what’s going on up there. Young people especially have this warped attitude of neutrality towards the dictatorship there. There’s nothing about the torture, persecution or living conditions of N.Korea in the media here. It’s one of those things that makes me realise how seperated countries can be when I see how information on a specific topic is controlled by one state but (relatively) freely available in another.
By that I mean – there was a doco I saw about N.Korea back in australia, on SBS, that really should be shown here – but probably never will be.
It was the first snow of the season tonight. I was the last one on the bus and the driver made me sit in the kamakaze seat—the one in the front steps that folds down. Pretty good fun but. watching all those little corn flake-like snow flakes coming at the windscreen – especially good listening to b(if)tek. I was making a phone call and he shooshed me.
Sometimes I just don’t get music stores here. I was in a large bookstore that has a cd section, y’know, wandering around, killing time, feeling mildly dismayed at their absolute lack of Hot Chocolate. And got to thinking that while it’s good that music is a bit cheaper here, there’s no bargain basement stuff either. There’ no one turning up their nose at stuff so nothing, including Hootie and the Blowfish, is discounted. You know what bugs me? when I see ‘no one’ written as ‘noone’. Noone is a surname and nothing more.
So anyway, I was listlessly looking through the ‘world’ section thinking that maybe that’s where they put Ry Cooder – I mean, Los Angeles – that’s in the World, right? and I wanted to see a picture of some car tail fins. And while there is no Happy Mondays, no Hot Chocolate, and no David Bowie cheaper that 26AUD$—they did have Senor Coconut (and his orchestra)’s Fiesta Songs for fifteen bucks. Wonders never cease to amaze.
is was Smooth Operator (I only host .mp3s for temporary timings – YS, 20/2/06) – a cover of the Sade song, from the (you guessed it) 80s. And you can purchase the whole album from amajon here