Pissed out and retrieved another kidney stone last night. Strangely there wasn’t much pain at all. The other morning I felt a familiar twinge and thought I was going to have one of those weeks but started drinking a lot of water. The same last night and I guess it must’ve already been through the kidney. The crystals in this one are darker than the last. Don’t know what that means.
In other news, for the first time in 7 years I’ve been able to watch the tour de france, thanks to the internet. I’m getting torrents of the SBS australia highlights show, and the full (UK sport or some such) coverage if I want. Fantastic to see again, although SBS’ style has become increasingly commercial, and the race-coverage itself seems highly orchestrated—spending a bit too much time of the tourism cha-ching cashola.
I don’t know what the official policy is, but I’m under the impression that SBS have a hiring policy where they hire people from immigrant backgrounds – as in their parents migrated from somewhere else. Anyway, it’s good to see/hear that SBS must also think of country australians as an underprivileged group deserving special consideration, because Kate Bates is doing the inteviews on the Tour this year. They talk funny, they use strange expressions, they’re usually from poor background and if you thought they were weird, then take a look at their parents—rural australians. Let’s help them.
I have respect for the riders because it’s such a painful sport to devote yourself to, but when they’ve been having these big crashes and they’re all lying on the side of the road or whatever, they do look kind of pathetic, like upside-down turtles. Also, Peter Sagan: doping -> without a doubt.
Heading back to s.korea in a day or so. It’s been nice in Melbs but long enough. Saw True Grit yesterday. Another quite nice story told by the Cohen bros. Had a look at ‘In Press’ one of the local, free music magazines and found that I recognise less than 30% of the names of bands now. A little bummed to see I’m missing Swervedriver’s visit by less than a week.
It was fun doing things with my girl, J-e for the week and a half she was here. She ate steak everyday, made herself bacon and eggs in the mornings, was amazed and scared by seagulls and turned on by horses in the passing paddocks. Even Colac was bearable when she was here. After departure the rose-tinted hue faded and all I could see were the freaks and bogans again.
However, the Trocadero, a longtime-running eatery in Colac has changed hands and menus. Good mid-eastern style food available there now—things like felafel. And according to mum they’re doing very well.
I always like getting to the vic markets for a borek and a bee-sting. It’s great that those things don’t change.Not so great that this hasn’t changed.
This blind, or partially blind guitar busker has been frequenting the main sit/eat spot forever. He plays billy joel and rubbish like that. Today he was just standing there, occupying the spot but not performing = squatting. He held out an empty juice bottle and loudly announced “can someone put this in the bin”, minutes after he’d walked inside and bought it without assistance. Being blind or partially blind is tough luck but it’s no excuse for being a talentless arsehole.
This year and last my more leisurely work schedule has enable me to get back into watching the formula one car racing. I guess I’ve watched it off and on since I was a kid. Here in Korea the best way to watch it is as a downloaded torrent. There’s one chap who’s known as tdmk who uploads the file and then it spreads pretty quickly. I get to watch it about a day after it’s fun. So, big thanks to him, and to the BBC who provide the coverage. They do a pretty good job with the reportage pre and post race, certainly much better than what I remember of channel 10 in australia.
It’s sport and drama rolled into one. All the different egos and personalities clashing and reacting with each other. I think last year I was just happy to see a close title fight and wasn’t barracking for any driver in particular. This year, despite my better judgement, I’ve been caught up in Mark Webber fever! I really hope he wins the world driver’s championship. Partly because he’s australian, but also because he seems to be getting a slightly raw deal within the red bull team. I always go for the underdog. I say better judgement, because last year, and at times this year, he’s reminded me of barracking for the Geelong Football Club—at least—a few years back, they would show such amazing potential, then snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. But Mark has a very Australian personality and it comes through in the interviews. Also, he has this near-permanent 5 o’clock shadow and angular face which makes him look like a computer game character.
Other drivers I’m liking this year are: Robert Kubica of Poland; he’ll definitely rise to the top in the next few years. And Heikki Kovelinan, the Finn who’s with the Lotus team this year.
Anyway, F1 is coming to S.korea for the first time this year and me and j-e, my girlfriend are going. It’s in two weeks. I’m hoping it’ll be really worth it.
Lol. It’s like one of those community meetings where something exceptional has happened and some whacko or hippy gets a hold of the mic. for an extended period and they’re saying Y’know why can’t we completely do things differently and all get along? And a group of people are actually agreeing with them and you’re thinking have I really become that cynical, or is that hippy fucking crazy.
And then there’s Bob Katter and I’ve always thought he was scary. It used to be just that he looked scary, but now with the position he’s in, he is actually scary. He reminds me of one of the leaders of the aliens in the original V. Someone should get him some dark, wrap-around sunglasses and a dark-red jump suit. That would be awesome. And Adam Bandt must be pissed that he’s a Green and not an independent because he ain’t getting a fraction of attention that the other three are getting. He’s also scary, because I dead-set remember that name from years back but I can’t remember if it was from one of those student unions like NUS, or from one of the ultra-left groups. Scary because it’s another reminder that people I knew in the protest-kid days are now politicians.
Anyway, it won’t be long before the powers that be from the rest of the world send Australia a memo to cut that shit out because a) all this talk of ‘unity govt’ is making a mockery of the illusion of choice in regular two-party systems and b) in two weeks time, when there’s still no government, and society hasn’t fallen apart, people will see that they don’t need politicians at all, and that all we need are an unelected public service, the corporate elite and the Illuminati/Lizardmen.
While I’m on lists here are some other things I’m enjoying.
Friendly old people! Folks who don’t scowl, look you in the eye when passing and even say hello sometimes.
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.
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:
$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.
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?’
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!
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.
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.
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.
* * *
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.