happy? Happy in Paraguay.

<br /><div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4308326010/” title=”IMG_4780 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4002/4308326010_6d13371819.jpg” width=”500″ height=”265″ alt=”IMG_4780″ /></a></div>

While I’m on lists here are some other things I’m enjoying.

  1. Friendly old people! Folks who don’t scowl, look you in the eye when passing and even say hello sometimes.
  2. Small talk at the counter when purchasing items. I’ve completely forgotten how to do this. Living in a non-english spkng cntry is a form of assbergers all by itself.
  3. Early afternoon scoping the supermarket for Reduced Price items. Some would say I’m spending too much time in the supermarket…  But just look at this:
  4. <div align:”center”><a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4308348262/” title=”meat-sm by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2749/4308348262_1142dd8020_m.jpg” width=”218″ height=”227″ alt=”meat-sm” /></a></div>
  5. $2.70 for this steak. Funny thing is that I was veggo before going to korea these 5 years ago, but steak is so expensive there I can’t help but buy and eat this.
  6. People from non-english speaking countries who don’t give a rat’s arse about their pronunciation of English. I’ve realised that korean people being self-conscious of their english speaking ability _while still in korea_ is their version of ‘does my bum look big in this?’
  7. People who’ve come here from other countries in general. It was a strange year last year in that I was watching the SBS news online three or four times a week, and while it did produce some raw info, I now am starting to see the slant that they, consciously or not, put on things simply to create tension. Asylum seekers was a constant, and just because of the way they framed it even I –from where I was– was thinking, well gee can australia really take any more refugees? And bless me if it wasn’t _malcolm fraser_ to set my head straight by saying that back in the 70s or whenever, plenty more people were coming here (from places like vietnam) and it doesn’t seem to have done the country any harm — far from it. In fact the pie I just ate for lunch was got from a bakery run by vietnamese people, and it was great!
  8. Looking at attractive women who look like they could be from almost anywhere and not just korea or possibly china.

Having said that, there are two things I am missing.

  1. My sweetie. Whenever I go out I start to imagine how much fun she’d be having if she was here. On the train, her: What’s that? Me: That’s the yarra river. Her: Yuddah!? -she’d say in her chortling, amused but not-in-a-negative way. She’d love it here.
  2. Playing my guitars on my amp. True I have two here, but these are the ones I want to get rid of, and an elctric with no electricity isn’t much use in my opinion.

All up it’s been a really pleasant stint back. Comparing to, a couple of years ago, I was walking around and felt a bit like being haunted by the ghosts of my own past. Seeing places I’d been, remembering things I’d done.  I’m still getting that but it’s more mellow now.

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It’s interesting to grok a bit more how the different media channels are used and or not used between here and where I live.

I did find that the local public library has free wifi access. Bring along your laptop and provided you have a library card, there’s no limits on time or MBs. Thank god for that! How the heck else am I supposed to get anything else done here?

I like that the ABC and SBS have a lot of interesting docos on. There’s been some good ones on music, and the thing is, I wouldn’t know these existed while sitting in Korea, even if they were downloadable. And it’s good that SBS and ABC now have an extra channel each, because the commercial stations are doing a lot less well, mainly due to the fact that they have commercials. When I’m watching a d/loaded movie at home I hit the spacebar to pause when I want to refresh my beverage or take a toilet break. If I’m watching commercial telly here, I can use ad breaks for this, but there are way more commercial breaks than there are things to get up for. And basically it’s an insult to the intelligence to be exposed to the same fucking ads over and over.
If there weren’t so many people living in Richmond, I’d be a major proponent for nuking GTV9 from orbit. “Nothing but shit” should be their slogan. Chopping parts out of movies for no other reason than to suit their timetabling, and the fact that they let shows run up to 15 minutes longer than scheduled are two things they do regularly.

It’s amazing how the proliferation of broadband in Korea shapes things compared to the broadband starved Australia. I don’t see (legit) DVDs on sale hardly anywhere there. In Hoju, they’re everywhere.

I’m guessing that the US is somewhere in between these two extremes, but I would say that the future is online. Commercial tv will go down first. There may be a chance for news channels to offer an online-style subscription service provided there were no ads, at least not in their present two-dimensional, 30 second format. I don’t know, but what I do know is that australia is becoming culturally impoverished because only a small few here are able to share in Happy in Paraguay.

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The customer orders carrots.

Here is a list of foods I am enjoying while in australia that are either unavailable in korea, or are very expensive.

  1. cherries
  2. mango
  3. dried banana
  4. coles supermarket standard apple pie (w/cream)
  5. fish n chips
  6. ‘black forest’ tim-tams
  7. hummus, tzaziki, baba ganoush and any other dip you care to mention
  8. Bickford’s lime and barely cordial
  9. sun-dried tomato pesto
  10. sun dried tomato
  11. fresh lime
  12. kalamatta olives

two guitars for sale

enkwire widdin

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4286178509/” title=”IMG_4747 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4043/4286178509_04e85dcfe6.jpg” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_4747″ /></a>

(gumtree ad pending)

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4272126397/” title=”IMG_4756 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4272126397_0c9540a594.jpg” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_4756″ /></a>

<a href=”http://melbourne.gumtree.com.au/c-Stuff-for-Sale-musical-instruments-CIJ-Fender-Jaguar-w-OHSC-W0QQAdIdZ179650668″>see here</a>.


Mum was just about to throw this old suitcase out when this old book of cigarette cards fell out. It looks like it was circa late 30s. The footballer ones are nice, and have these great descriptions of the players on the back, but up the back there was a page or so of cards related to the royal family and soldiers of the various colonies, including Sudan and India.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4272216769/” title=”liz-s by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4066/4272216769_2dabcea99a.jpg” width=”211″ height=”356″ alt=”liz-s” /></a>

Was the Queen ever really blonde? Was she ever really that sweet looking as opposed to bitter like she is now?

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4272217045/” title=”queen-mum by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2689/4272217045_3c809cb5c3.jpg” width=”302″ height=”500″ alt=”queen-mum” /></a>

The Queen Mum. Who could ever not love the Queen Mum?

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4272216867/” title=”r.j.hickeys by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2790/4272216867_c11ac93a08.jpg” width=”212″ height=”374″ alt=”r.j.hickeys” /></a>

And here, sporting the Geelong colours is a young R.J Hickey, who I gather was named after the stand of the same name at Kardinia Park.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4272958648/” title=”Scan 4s by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4272958648_88da2b709f.jpg” width=”500″ height=”294″ alt=”Scan 4s” /></a>

_Fitzroy & Sth. Melb. Teams that’ve stood the test of time._

We’re gonna chuck it on ebay and see if it’s worth anything. May be, maybe not. I just looked up Hickey on wikipedia to see when he was playing and the same picture came up, so perhaps not.

avatar (2009)

I went to see the movie _avatar_ yesterday. Part of the plan was that it’d be cooler in the cinema but it wasn’t. They AC wasn’t working so it was a bit like a sauna. But the film was surprisingly good. James Cameron does things on such a big scale. The 3D thing was interesting. The first 40mins or so I was kind of distracted by it, but in a good way. All up, it didn’t detract from the experience. And I was expecting the computer graphics to be hamfisted and disappointing as they often are, but that aspect was also quite good. CGI has come a long way in ten years.

I remember just seeing the trailer for something like ‘final fantasy 10’ about ten years ago and the computer faces were terrible. Not even creepy in a fun way, the way Thunderbirds is. Anyway, the main thing is that _Avatar_ had a decent story to it, thus the technical aspects are not the leading feature. This is where George Lucas has been getting things wrong the last few years.

It was interesting to see how the audience was able to bond with these odd looking blue creatures. There was a gruff looking brickie type sitting next to me and I could see at one point he was wiping away the tears from behind the 3D buddy holly glasses with his singlet.

I went expecting to be analysing it in the way I’d been doing with film in study this last 6 months, but got carried away with the story. I guess I’ll have to go see it again. I did note that due to the invaders still being mostly white, mostly male, that the other is still the other — some kind of mix of African and native American.

Day is awesome! Night is scary!

Being back in victoria, australia for a holiday, several things become immediately apparent re differences between here and s.korea. It’s the same things every time but they still catch me out. Both internet connectivity and public transport here are atrocious. But the air quality is good! And so few people here smoke ciggies. I walked through the city yesterday and don’t think I had smoke wafting into my flight path once.
I’m carrying the ipod touchy around looking for open wireless but there is none apart from McDonald’s.
Also, it’s warm here today (43º) whereas Seoul is somewhat cooler (-5º).

abdomen and some dried fish

I was intending to post something yesterday, since, apparently a decade clicked over. But I was busy packing and now today I’m waiting for a transfer at KLIA which stands for kuala lumpa international airport.
Honestly I wouldn’t mind if it was karachi intl it’s just nice to get out of the insane cold. This morning in seoul while waiting for the bus it was -15 dges centigrade.
Heading back to HOJU, Melbourne for a good 6 week break. Good to be at a job that’ll give that kind of break, again. Then, back here to check out KL for a week.
Anyway, apart from the cold, the solar year started auspiciously in that I got _bumped up_ to bidness class on the plane. Sweet! First time that’s ever happened, and I’m keen to know what the formula is. Was it just that it was a low booked flight — most likely. I’ve been feeling edgy about plane travel — not because of what might be done by insurgents upon me, but what might be done by the authorities to me. I’m anxious to avoid the grilling I received at tullamarine a couple of years back, all because I was wearing an adidas hooded top. So I decided to wear one of my white work shirts, the rest casual. But did this make me look that little bit respectable, and enough to be chosen for bidness? Or was of that I brought the charming, gorgeous J-e with me to the airport? The food is pretty lush in bidness.
Still got a headache though. Probably had the headphones on too long. Been listening to this ‘hardcore history’ series of podcasts on the eastern front of ww2. Google ‘dan carlin’. Fucking horrifying but astounding at the same time. will write more about that later.