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Showing posts from January, 2006

perfect day

The late afternoon sun stretches its warm hands over the small city of Damyang, 22km north of Gwangju. On the outskirts of this, the "Bamboo Capitol" of South Korea, in the midst of a bamboo harvesting yard stand KumDo students poised to begin the task of cutting newly lumbered bamboo. Eloquently capturing the day's sentiment, Alex says, "This is why I came to Korea".

The afternoon passes with Master Lee's guidance and our practice. The sun changing the washed out hues of wintered fields to golden orange, pushing shadows long between the mountains. The hush of light wind is broken by the random sound of sword on bamboo, and as we finish our day in the fields of Damyang, we can only hope it will not be the last.

Before returning to Gwangju, Master Lee takes his students and family to one of Damyang's famous hideaways for a meal of Guk-Su (fresh noodles in broth). Full and happy, we watch the sun dip behind the mountains and cannot imagine being any…

A Wandering Day in Details

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Fragile Fish

Our Tetra fish, Spam, couldn't take the pressure of small apartment living anymore. Last week he jumped from the tank to his death, causing feelings of guilt and depression among his Tetra brethran. The remaining pod, Scurvy and Tripod, were fine after ten seconds elapsed and I fed them. Spam was flushed in a small service attended by me.

FINALLY

Today I started my first Korean language class. Looks like we'll have to stay another year now.

The class consists of 3 Americans, 2 Australians, 1 Canadian, 1 Scotsman, and 1 Russian. The first class was a unique experience. Our teacher is bilingual in, not English/Korean, but Chinese/Korean. She would get confused and start speaking Chinese which I found thoroughly interesting, but many did not.

I knew all of the material being covered today, so I helped some other students make sense of the alphabet. I was glad to be able to help, but was still reserved as there is always an undercurrent of anti-American sentiment among other foreigners. 

Why anti-American?  The negotiation of the trade agreement is unpopular here amongst Koreans, and among foreigners, hating Americans is the cool thing to do. I cannot tell you how many times I've been yelled at by the Irish or English, in particular, before they even know my position on what they hate me for.  It's an exercise i…

West Coast

WestCoast is the name of the bar where A2 rang in 2006. Written in Hangul it looks like this "웨코" and is pronounced like this "Weh-Koh". As in Waco (TX), a religious cult, and a crazy man named Koresh. 

I hope this is not an omen.