Man I can’t catch a break. The other day I went to the bank to shut down one of the accounts. I did and it all went relatively okay. Later in the day the guy rang to say that he’d made a mistake and that could I come back down to pay a forty dollar fee they’d neglected to charge me. I said sure, thinking about karma. Also he said he’d give me a gift. The gift was a collapsible beach bucket.

When I think about karma and try and make a deal with it, I think that something good should happen to me right away. It should but it doesn’t.

Today I was informed that with another bank, another bank account, they’d accidentally paid me too much overtime, it was my workplace telling me this but it was a fault f the bank’s. 250 bucks too much. They wanted me to pay the cash back. I did. I then realised I had to go to that same bank branch to pay some money into a business’ acct because I want some carbonated mineral water. Carbonated mineral water is hard to come by here (they don’t like the bubbles) and there appears to be only one supplier. The supplier’s website, for some mysterious reason, rejects my korean credit card.

I normally buy mineral water from the chang-dong e-mart but some weeks they don’t have any. Some weeks they don’t have any breakfast cereal. In short, the chang-dong e-mart needs to be nuked from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

At the local branch they didn’t realise I was the person who’d just voluntarily rectified their $250 mistake. I’d written down one digit wrong in the acct I wanted to deposit into and for this they treated me like a regular arsehole.

I am looking forward to getting my boxes of mineral water, 6-8 weeks from now.

baked in devilry

It’s getting cold here. This morning when I woke at the god-awful time of 6am, as I have been sentenced to for the remaining three weeks, the apple weather applet told me that it was -8 degs centigrade outside.
The floor heating has beeen difficult to regulate. In the evening as I unwind it is chilly of my feet but by midnight the heat ramps up and I cook where I lie on the thin mattress.
Last night I dreamt of a deluge and the things that sprung therefrom. I was on my little bike that I have here, riding through the muddy water with tires completely submerged but somehow managing to stay upright.
A moment later I was standing on a garden path with a large (knee-high) toad in front of me. It appeared to be smiling in a subtle way. Its skin was covered in lots of rough bumps that glowed like lava and slowly change colours across the spectrum. I turned to see another had hopped up behind me.

event & invited


* * *

Wasn’t. Wasn’t included. Was excluded from the invitation list to the soiree. He’d once told rj he had a baboon/gorilla heart black as the Congo jungle. The reason, he suspected.

* * *

A highly suggestible type of fellow. Had been carrying around pairs and pairs of shoes, still boxed, for what seemed like a week or more.

* * *

Had sat up late each night preparing the coffee for percolation. He’d put several beans at a time between pieces of newspaper and smash them with a hammer. What it produced was still not fine enough so he’d role it with a soup can. Had said it was becoming a chore but could not think of another way around the situation.

volcano trash

I feel like I never quite ‘finished my say’ as they say here with regards to Japan and Tokyo. I liked it – that was my final assessment. I guess am a bit of a cultural elitist and I guess that a lot of the things that were taught to me when I was a stripling have been near-permanently ingrained. I am not as flexible as I thought I was and I accept that this is not such a great thing.

For instance, in China, where it is de rigeur to spit unwanted bits of food out onto the floor, I had trouble accepting this and there was no way I was going to participate. Compare this with the attitude of a colleague of mine, that being more along the lines of ‘cool!’ and got right into it.
For these kind of reasons Japan was more fitting to my way of being. Example: there, the WCs have the same amount of water down the bottom there to bomb into as you would find in a western country. Here in Korea there is often _very little_ there, leaving one’s leavings high and dry– and my nose does not like. It’s just the way things are here. Sit-down toilets are overtaking squat-toilets but the lack of a port to “see one’s friends off at the port” with remains. I have heard that in times previous there was some need to get down in there afterward and examine the droppings to make sure you didn’t have worms but I think this era has passed.
And now I get to the point I am to make.

bq[fr]. This is the pullquote. *Things often stay the way they are for no other real reason than that’s the way things have been.*

If a taxi driver puts his car in neutral and pushes it one spot forward up the rank rather than turning the ignition and touching the accelerator – then this is his habit and it will probably stay unless someone or something very persuasive comes along to change it.


The one last thing about Japan and here that I only really became aware of after getting back here was how how slaved to the car Seoul is.
This is something I find really interesting. According to wikipedia (so make of it what you will) :
1 Tokyo/Yokohama     Japan     31,112,000     7,200
3 Seoul/Incheon    South Korea     22,447,000    2,300 (ref)

I’m not about to get a calculator out but I can see that the density ratio is higher in Seoul. Tokyo takes up more space but they are a long way short of over double the pop. of Seoul.
Then comes the real kicker — with Tokyo being earthquake prone, a lot of the residential buildings are only two or three stories high. There are some high-rises but it didn’t look like the way things are here. They’re everywhere here.

When I first got to this city and had a go of the subway I got to thinking that the public transport here was awesome. Compared to Melbourne, I guess it is. Here, it is fairly adequate but then it needs to be with so many people travelling around to and from work. The wheels of industry would fall off if the subway didn’t run. I would say that the subway/train system is equal to Tokyo’s, but on top of it in Seoul there’s a much more extensive mesh of roads. There’s a lot more buses, taxis, motorbike, little trucks and single people in cars. I remember from the enviro activist days that it’s not just road’s we’re talking about when cars eat a city, it’s also all the parking and all the business serving cars. Long story short: Tokyo – more living space, Seoul – more car space.

There’s a lot more trees in Tokyo. It’s warmer. The old people are meeker, the way they should be.

I can see by your coat my friend


Winter is coming and he’s not so much looking up at the icy stars as looking up to see if there are any stars up there anymore. It’s hard to tell through the glare.

Santa is coming and we’re expecting two of everything. Everything has to be bigger than last time.

He’s waiting for Santa, looking for that sleigh. Jab him in the arse for leaving a sleigh-long scratch down the side of the Audi last year.