Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Son the Legend of Jinju

Today my son turned 13 months old.

After an incident at Pasta Bueno I realized that my son might be the half Korean Pootie Tang.

He looks both Korean and white.  There is a kind of beneficial racism that goes on for him when he encounters the college girls.   They go super stupid when they see him.  I will now partially fictionalize the romantic encounters of my baby, the cuteness cassanova - Korootie tang:

Around 2 months, we flew to Seoul to get him some U.S. citizenship.  We were in a Mister Donut around the U.S. embassy where he got mobbed by some Korean people.  A Japanese lady inside of Mister Donut lambasted him by shouting Kawaii Kawaii a bunch of times.

A few months later we were pushing him in a stroller around Jinju's freedom market.  He almost got kidnapped by some Ajumas who insisted that we let them watch him while we went shopping.

Fast forward to his first birthday.

We were in VIPS and a girl about his age walked up to him and gave him hug. (True story)

There have been several occasions in Dunkin Donuts where he has charmed college girls by smiling at them.

About three weeks ago we were in some fancy looking college kid slop house called Soga and Cook.  Upon seeing a group of college girls he turned and smiled at them.  When he noticed that they weren't paying attention to him he chilled a bit, but when they did notice him he smiled and reached towards them.

Today we were in this place called Pasta Bueno.  I took him outside while my wife had some food.  The kid stood by a bus stop bench and waved at cars.  Some girl with some candy materialized out of nowhere and tried to give him some.  He is still a bit too young for candy so I shooed her away.  Later I took him back up to the restaurant and wolfed down some cream risotto.  In that time my wife walked him around the restaurant a bit.  She went to get me a mountain dew.  At that point the employees got to see him so they all got smiled at by him.  I finished my cream risotto and took him outside so my wife could finish her spaghetti salad.  I let him play around the area between the stairs and the restaurant entrance.  One of the employees, a cute college girl with big glasses and pig tails, noticed him outside of the glass door.  She got down on her hands and knees and played peekaboo with him from behind the cash register stand.  He ran up and pounded his hands on the automatic glass door. 

I feared for this girl.  I didn't want her to get fired from her shitty part time job because she ignored her customers to play with a one year old.  On other hand, I think that would be awesome for him, to get a girl fired from pasta bueno.  He could totally be like, "Yeah when I was one, I got this chick fired from her job cuz she wanted me." 

I hope he enjoys it while it lasts.  I don't plan on sticking around here long enough for the beneficial racism to turn into real racism on the elementary school play ground, or the bathrooms of a middle school.  In the mean time, he is still learning how to talk, so I am trying to teach him how to say this: 천화번호 조.  (Give me your phone number.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New New Rule

New Rule:  If you are a university and you are hosting an event with a cool sounding title like "Technopia," the thing better be some kind of awesome expo of Korean high technology.  It shouldn't be a bunch of engineering majors taking three weeks to learn dance routines and then taking a week off to play soccer.  Last year when I heard that the university I work for has a "Technopia," every year, I thought that I could see pavilions with laser shooting robots or smart phone apps that can tell how much cholesterol is in food by doing a google photo search, but no Technopia isn't anything like it sounds. It is just a bunch of kids getting drunk and playing games...I guess that is what you are supposed to do when you are a university, but if you are a university in a country that prides it's self in it's technological advancements, at leaast don't get served by a real technopia that happened at my old high school.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Rules

I like the Bill Maher Show.  I'm going to adapt his "New Rules." Segment for this blog with stuff about Korea. 

Here is the first one:

New Rules:  If you spent over 500,000\ on clothes for riding your bike, you can't go slower than a fat white guy in jeans with a leather briefcase dangling from his wrist. 

New Rules:  If Dunkin Donuts has Open 7:00 A.M. stenciled to their door, they might want to try opening at seven in the morning.  You can't tell me that Koreans are hard workers when you can't get coffee before ten in the morning.

New Rules: Come up with a different name for "Membership Training."  You can't have such an anti-communist country have such a communist expression for college kid drinking games.  Call it something more fun like "Major night out," or call it something more fitting like "Date Rape camping."

Finally New Rules:  Skinny awkward boys with colorful glass frames with no lenses who get their hair cut into the shape of a penis, cannot be considered fashionistas.   Just stick with the good old date night stand bye of stripy shirt with a black vest.  Maybe carry around a guitar too.

Korea Pharmacy Public Service

So you go to the doctor, and the doctor gives you a prescription.  You take the prescription to a pharmacy and they give you a few bags of pills and you don't know what the hell they are.

Well you can go to this website:  Just type in the inscription on the pill and a very detailed description of your drug will pop up in Korean. 

The chemical names will be in English, so you can just copy and paste into google, and wikipedia yourself into comfort or fear of what you are putting into your body. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Korea Stuff Here

Well folks, it has been a few weeks since I posted anything.  I'm kind of disapointed in the K-blogosphere.  There hasn't been much to read recently.  If I still worked at a public school it would be pretty difficult since there don't seem to be too many people bitching about their jobs anymore.   Actually I'm not dissapointed in K-blogland because of that.  I'm disapointed because I am the only blogger who seems to have mentioned the passing of the M.C.A.   I find that totally lame.  I've been rediscovering the Beastie Boys recently.  They are pretty awesome.

Anyway, check out this remix of an Usher song from my friend's D.J. duo Flosstradamus.  This shit is pretty tight.   I like to listen to electronic music in the spring and on rainy days.  I don't know why.  It makes me want to breathe the air or try self hypnosis or something.   It makes me remember people that I lost contact with.  I have a nasty cycle of moving on and I'm sorry to the people that I've let down.  But I don't think that anybody ever expected much from me anyway.   Yeah, check this shit out and start to feel all emo.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I wouldn't be who I am today or where I am today without some inspiration from Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys. They really had a large part in shaping my life. As I Develop The Awakening Mind I Praise The Buddha As They Shine I Bow Before You As I Travel My Path To Join Your Ranks, I Make My Full Time Task For The Sake Of All Beings I Seek The Enlighted Mind That I Know I'll Reap Respect To Shantideva And All The Others Who Brought Down The Darma For Sisters And Brothers I Give Thanks For This World As A Place To Learn And For This Human Body That I'm Glad To Have Earned And My Deepest Thanks To All Sentient Beings For Without Them There Would Be No Place To Learn What I'm Seeing There's Nothing Here That's Not Been Said Before But I Put It Down Now So I'll Be Sure To Solidify My Own Views And I'll Be Glad If It Helps Anyone Else Out Too If Others Disrespect Me Or Give Me Flack I'll Stop And Think Before I React = Knowing That They're Going Through Insecure Stages I'll Take The Opportunity To Exercise Patience I'll See It As A Chance To Help The Other Person Nip It In The Bud Before It Can Worsen A Change For Me To Be Strong And Sure As I Think On The Buddhas Who Have Come Before As I Praise And Respect The Good They've Done Knowing Only Love Can Conquer In Every Situation We Need Other People In Order To Create The Circumstances For The Learning That We're Here To Generate Situations That Bring Up Our Deepest Fears So We Can Work To Release Them Until They're Cleared Therefore, It Only Makes Sense To Thank Our Enemies Despite Their Intent The Bodhisattva Path Is One Of Power And Strength A Strength From Within To Go The Length Seeing Others Are As Important As Myself I Strive For A Happiness Of Mental Wealth With The Interconnectedness That We Share As One Every Action That We Take Affects Everyone So In Deciding For What A Situation Calls There Is A Path For The Good For All I Try To Make My Every Action For That Highest Good With The Altruistic Wish To Achive Buddhahood So I Pledge Here Before Everyone Who's Listening To Try To Make My Every Action For The Good Of All Beings For The Rest Of My Lifetimes And Even Beyond I Vow To Do My Best To Do No Harm And In Times Of Doubt I Can Think On The Dharma And The Enlightened Ones Who've Graduated Samsara

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Places to Eat in Jinju

The last post on this blog is a tribute to my friend's blog "IndiJinju," which is about "Independent" places to eat and drink in Jinju.  I have tried a few of the places on that blog.  Of course I have been to "Sound garden."  Sound garden is the hip joint in Jinju.  If you are a person who is visiting Jinju from out of town, it is the place to get krunk.  I don't want to call it a foreigner bar, because I don't think that the owner wants it to be a foreigner bar, but it is a place where non Koreans like to go.

The point of this post is perhaps to introduce some other places outside of gajwa dong that are pretty cool.  I find "Indi-jinju," to be a bit too centered around the Gyeongsang university area.  Most people in Jinju actually live in Do-dong.  Do-dong is the massive area that encompasses sangdae 1,2 dongs Hadae 1,2 dongs, sangpyung dong, and Chojundong.  

While the Gyeongsang university area is up and coming, I think that it is fair to say that Do-dong is the real "Manhattan of Jinju."   Down in the silk and steel factories of Sangpyungdong, you can find a lot of Russians, Central Asians, and Vietnamese people.  There are so many Vietnamese people that there are actually two Vietnamese owned Restaurants in the area. 

The first one is Que Huang, which means "Hometown."  You can get a bowl of pho here and some Vietnamese beer.  The pho is pretty good because it has cilantro and dried onions in it.  Vietnamese wives of Korean dudes like to go here to hang out and play cards. Que Huang is in the backstreets behind homeplus.   I introduced the place to my co-workers.  I believe that I am the first English teacher to have gone there.

I also believe that I am the first to have gone to Thay Quan.   Thay Quan is in Sangpyungdong across the street from the old education center.  This particular back alley is pretty awesome because Asia mart is there.  So is a Pakistani restaurant (Never been there) and power mart.  Power mart is pretty cool because it serves all of the countries represented in the area.  You can get Russian vodka, Thai beer, Vietnamese chili sauce, Pakistani curry and a lot of other stuff.  

Anyway I went to Thay Quan yesterday.  I thought that Thay Quan would be a Thai restaurant.  Now I don't know.  The owner or cook was some lady who didn't speak any English or Korean.  When I showed up she smiled at me and called to some guy who could speak Korean....I don't know if he worked there or not because he disappeared later.   I talked to the guy for a few minutes and I ended up getting some pho similar to the style that you can get at Que Huang.  This leads me to believe that Thay Quan is Vietnamese.  It doesn't matter, the pho was delicious.  The main difference between this pho, and the one that you can get at Que Huang is that this one had some kind of leaf in it that tasted like licorice.  It was fantastic. 

Enough of the foreign food though I want to talk Boon Shik.   I like my job, but the shitty thing about it is a shitty schedule.  I have to work a shitty split shift that makes it difficult to see my family.  Bandal Gom boon shik has come to my rescue many times.  This place is like a Kimbab Cheonggook but it is independent.  It is tucked back in Dong Bu market.  Despite it being out of the way, it seems to do some decent walk in business.  It also seems to do some thriving delivery business.   What makes it different from a kimbab Cheonggook is the amount of side dishes one gets.  When you order delivery for two people they bring a big tupperwear container that is filled with all kinds of na-mool and fruit salads.  The food is pretty good too. 

Also in Do-dong is Jang ha-ru.  This place is easy to overlook, because it just looks like some shack where you get a bunch of fried shit.  That's true, you can indeed get a bunch of fried shit there, but the inside opens up to a soup restaurant that specializes in beef soups: So gogi gook bab, Jangtuh gook bab, and seolung tang.  I have just had the Jang tuh gook.   It makes me smile, the stuff is great and the beef is really tender in it.

Finally I'm going to close with one bar that is in Do-dong called "Bino-pub."   I don't really frequent bars that often, but I do try to slip out for a sneaky beer every once in a while.  Bino-pub is owned by the local VIPs impersonator called "Babino."  At Babino, it is possible to get a pretty good steak and a competent oven spaghetti, both come with a salad bar.  The original Babino opened up across the street from the Hadae dong dunkin donuts.  Babino then opened a few other branches around town, and the Hadae dong branch moved across the street to from the Hadae dong top mart, to the second floor of a different building.  The restaurant that used to be there was this huge and awful Chinese restaurant.  Anyway the old location of the Hadae Babino, became Bino pub.  This also moved.  It moved next to the new Babino.   Anyway the Bino pub in the new location is pretty nice.  Standard Korean and import beers with some whiskeys by the bottle.  The bar food looks pretty good.  You can get fried chicken and pizza.  They are also having a sale on Kirin beers now.  You can get a bottle of Kirin for 4500 won.  The bottle comes with a 500 won coin strapped to the top.  When I went there last Saturday, they also served me some pretty awesome home made potato chips.  Bino pub was pretty good. 

That's all.