damn, it’s cold.

It’s been so cold this winter my fridge decided it wasn’t needed and headed up to the Gold Coast for a couple of weeks.

I can never remember one year to the next and it’s not helped by moving from once house to another but I’m almost sure last winter wasn’t this bad. The heater in the last place was woefully inadequate. It was a little thing clipped to the wall and plugged into the power point. The few times we turned it on all it did was burn a bit of dust inside of it. Despite that we got through winter okay. It felt like it was over pretty quickly. I don’t remember freaking out over seeing what the overnight minimums were.

When we were looking at new places to move into, and looking at this place, I saw the heater and thought it looked pretty crap but I thought, Hey we got through last year with basically no heating — it can’t get any worse than that can it? Well apparently it can. I think I’ve complained about it before but this particular house wasn’t designed very well. The main living areas are at the south end of the building so at this time of year they’re like meat-lockers all day long. In the flat last year, even though the walls were only those cheap (‘cinder blocks’ is what the americans call them) grey bricks with the air in the middle of them, the main wall faced north so any sun would help. Here, the warmest parts of the house are the laundry and the toilet: duuuuuuh -> that’s the sound of the 1950s zombies that designed this house. I’m getting too old to live in houses that have no effective heating.

I stepped out the door this morning at 6am and it was -18 degrees C (feels like -21). Living here has been a very concrete lesson in geography. Seoul and Melbourne are the same distance from the equator but whereas Melbourne is at the south edge of a continent that stretches north, where the delicious, heated winds come down from, Seoul is connected to a continent that extends north, where the icy insane winds roll in from. Siberia, I tell you. Siberia.

and there you go

another year all wrapped up. I know I haven’t been ‘blogging’ much of late but it doesn’t mean that I’m dead. Far from it. Well, maybe not that far from it. I have been wasting large amounts of time in the last few weeks. Getting in my last stint of sloth for who knows how long. On boxing day I opened the curtains around midday and looked out and saw the office workers moving from their offices to the eateries, as they do every office-working day, and as I stood here on the couch in my pyjamas I thought, Is that what I’m in for next year? Could I _ever_ do that?

It’s t-minus one month until I leave korea. It’s going to be a relatively busy month. And it’s horribly cold outside. Moving is never fun but moving 8 years of hoarded trash across continents seems like a helluva lotta trouble. It’s times like this that I wished I lived in a shipping container so I could just keep playing Skyrim until the morning of Feb 1 when I’d hear forklift forks sliding into the slots and lifting the whole box off into a gigantic Tupolev or something, parachuting me out somewhere over Vic, Australia 12 hours later.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8329280632/” title=”Reflected light by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8362/8329280632_012036a028.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”Reflected light”></a>

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4364535739/” title=”IMG_4929 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4364535739_17fa7f67bd.jpg” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4929″ /></a>

How’s this for a lunch?  The Indian food here has been totally sweet, and by sweet I mean excellent, and not necessarily sweet. Although one side-dish I had yesterday of, I think pumpkin was sweet. It was sweet~!

What I’ve liked is the staff being totally unphased by tourist of the year walking in with no idea of what the normal way of ordering is. Have I mentioned that basically no-one I’ve talked to in service positions (including checkout-chicks) have had any trouble being understood in English?
Anyway, the Indian people have been totally cool, and obviously word hasn’t got out to the malay-indian community about how terribly racist australians are, because they’ve been totally nice.
Featured in the foot above was some mammoth calamari rings, and one killer-sized prawn. I don’t know what the accepted way is for tackling a prawn like that, but no-one stared when I mostered it with bare hands. Actually, the prawn was a bit mushy. Probably it was supposed to be like that, but the rest was ace. For 18.5 ringgits = 6k KRW = 6 bucks aus. = 5 and a half US.

<div align=”center”>*   *   *</div>

I was going to launch in a couple of days ago and say I wasn’t going to watch the winter olympics on principle. Principle being that it’s just a bunch of yuppie-vacation pastimes dressed up as ‘sports’. Having a go at curling is like shooting fish in a barrel though. And I have been watching it because there’s only about two tv channels in the room I’m staying in and one of them is espn honk-kong. winter olds is still rubbish though. The real sports are ones that can be done by people living in any part of the world, and that have a minimal amount of money needed for equipment, like marathon running.
Luge. What’s that all about? How is that related to anything in the real world? You know what the real story is, don’t ay? Worldwide luge is financially backed by the military industrial complex in order to advance the technologies needed to shoot men into outer-space. Human missiles to combat the impending Plutonian invasion.
And I find it amusing that it’s the world’s strongest economic and military powers who are the only ones competing in the couples figure-skating. Russia, Japan, China, USA, and Germany. IN fact, Russia poached one of Japan’s skaters.

Following are some size-minimal fotos (w/catchy captions) to assuage the abuse of bandwidths.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4364531957/” title=”rumours by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2799/4364531957_09affdf976.jpg” width=”311″ height=”233″ alt=”rumours” /></a>
_Don’t believe the rumours_

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4365275142/” title=”maos by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4365275142_0ef3e34763.jpg” width=”311″ height=”233″ alt=”maos” /></a>

_Mickey Maos_

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4364532681/” title=”long-grain by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4364532681_440683ca6c.jpg” width=”311″ height=”233″ alt=”long-grain” /></a>

_Persian food_

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4365275642/” title=”prayer by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2788/4365275642_cf5708a1c6.jpg” width=”311″ height=”233″ alt=”prayer” /></a>

_Could hear the call to prayer common from here_

26 seconds of ‘smoky buns’

After a lancastershiric colleague mentioned a new burger restaurant here in the chong-jew opening up, I checked it out. It’s called smoky buns and despite the bad spellin they do make a nice burger. And the chips are good too. Best thing I can say is that it’s better than crazy burger.

<object type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”400″ height=”300″ data=”http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377″ classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000″> <param name=”flashvars” value=”intl_lang=en-us&photo_secret=a379552cbe&photo_id=4181425230″></param> <param name=”movie” value=”http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377″></param> <param name=”bgcolor” value=”#000000″></param> <param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” src=”http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377″ bgcolor=”#000000″ allowfullscreen=”true” flashvars=”intl_lang=en-us&photo_secret=a379552cbe&photo_id=4181425230″ height=”300″ width=”400″></embed></object>

*(12/Mar/10 Update:)* I no longer recommend smoky buns. I was there last weekend, and their staff were rude and racist. So they can go fuck themselves and I hope they go out of business. *(End Update)*

This gives you the idea of what the general noise level in a korean modern restaurant is. That is, it’s loud. Reminds me a bit of one of the first times I visited sydney by myself, and I was in Newtown standing at this hole-in-the-wall kebab place in Newtown and the guy says, ‘yeah mate whataya want?’ with this menacing tone that I was unaccustomed to receiving from the service classes. Also, the music was loud. Shop music is often loud here.

I’ve been in this town for 8 months and I finally got over to the industrial side of town today. Pretty neat. I like factories and quiet streets, weird chemical smells, rust and functional architecture.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/4180668365/” title=”IMG_4697 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2690/4180668365_7ff4536108.jpg” width=”500″ height=”281″ alt=”IMG_4697″ /></a>