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.

<div align=”center”>*   *   * </div>

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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