Posts Tagged With: News

Birth of a Snapshot

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Heh heh heh

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From the notebook:

As I look over the stone schoolhouse, Korean flag waving in the light 35 degree wind, I imagine exactly where I’m going to be in one month’s time. . .

Los Angeles, preparing for a festival to blow minds off in record time. Heading with a troupe of characters that will be setting up the kind of amazing spectacle that can only be seen intentionally.

But right now, I have a view, as I’ve had every Thursday and Friday for the last two years, that will remain the same for years to come. Nothing in this image will change. The building in the window has been there for 50 years and will likely be there 50 more. The sky is wide and void of other buildings. The area doesn’t require buildings higher than two or three stories. Why should it? There’s plenty of space. Plenty of time to walk from one to another. So much stillness…

It’s 10:30am and I’ve already had a liter of water. Already sweated through my shirt twice and am tasked with exactly nothing for this afternoon’s activities. After work, I will go home, clean up my apartment, and have a house-sale and dinner with friends as I prepare for my departure.

There are times that I remember with clarity, others are lost. My thoughts are on writing, but not here. Not in this box. I must use a pen.

And so I did…

2012-12-01 23.06.11

The systematic overflow of the population is a residual of the medical and social advancement in the last few generations, but it’s worth wondering if it can peak like any other graph that gets pegged. That being said, I don’t think it’s a bad thing per se, more of an interesting balancing act.
Considering the fluctuation has me thinking about the cities that are so crammed full of people, together with the rural elements, it seems that there will always be a balance.

Right now is simply the product of an extremely prosperous time. I think our greatest void is our self-esteem ~ both micro and macro-scopically ~ in a sense that every day, people couple successes with self-depreciating ideas and comments habitually, ritualistically, and we (as a species) tend to look at foreign cultures as adversaries rather than neighbors on the same path. The cultural prejudices that inspire people to belittle achievements or to accentuate the faults of others (so as to look or seem superior) have got to be checked. The self-depreciating commentary I witness among peers is tantamount to the equivalent of abuse if it were coming from somebody else. Yikes! If we’re headed to Hell in a hand basket, we don’t need to paddle down stream. It would seem to me that we would do well with a little of the opposite. We have come so far. Even if it is not your fault personally, you should feel proud for the achievements that other people outside your family, town, country have done. You should use their successes as inspiration, to prove that anything really can happen. The world certainly has surprised before.

7-12-2013

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7-13-2013

Philo of an Expat:   See, once a body has made it out of the bubble, it’s clear the world has got to be seen, felt, experienced, walked through, smelled, sensationed beyond description, beyond imagination, beyond the expectations, abandoned years ago having noticed their inapplicability to the world at large, along with common sense when it became obvious that such constructs are simply more appropriately termed cultural or regional norms, rather than any inherent human reflex of the wise.

And once that happens, the method of travel, of financial stability while living on the road has got to be figured out. I have chosen English teaching for now. Maybe one day, I could be a buyer for somebody who runs a shop in the states, maybe another profession completely ie: writing for travel mags or something. But the business is rather competitive and I’m not a big fan of being competitive in formats like that most of the time.

Theoretically, once the loans are paid, I can dive into the world with even more reckless abandon. Spending instead on the best possible health insurance plan or diving from place to place. I could see the whole planet and write about it as I pass through.

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Today’s Snapshot:

Woke up late and laden heavily with a properly earned headache from a bit of dehydration created from sleeping in the heat of my room after having a gloriously successful party just last night. I had about a dozen people at my place for gnocchi and a house sale where we visited and hung out, had dinner, picked through some of my old gear and decided to keep on to a norae bang or singing room, afterwards.

So, of course everyone left all the things they wanted from me at my house in little piles for themselves to get later, and we went out to sing. I went to sleep looking at 4am on my telephone’s clock and checked out for the night.

As I woke this morning, the hangover combined with the small mountain of dishes in the sink led to a slow venture into my day. Finally, put the house and my head into order, to where I could leave the house around noon. Got to the station to find that the next train to Seoul was leaving in over an hour!! I had some time to kill.

The train station is very close to one of the schools that I teach at, so I figured it would be a good plan to walk to it to gather some sunshine, keep myself occupied and otherwise bring a smile to the situation.

It’s a beautifully hot and sunny day today, so it was good I had my water, and was pleased to find shade now and then. The school is a couple kilometers away, so I had more than a few nice moments with my camera, and eventually burned about 45 minutes on the walk. I still had 45 minutes to wait, so I figured on a slow stroll through the station to bide my time.

It’s a small place. Only two tracks. One sitting room with two cafes, one restaurant and a convenience store, and in the main walkway there is an area that has pictures of the buildings that are being built in the area as part of a massive infrastructural installation that is featured around the station. So I walked slowly and looked at each one of the artistic representations of what is to come.

While doing so, I have to say, I was brought to laughter by a simple oversight that the artists/planners showed in their pictures. A few of them had shadows pointing in three different directions! Always within the same 90 degree quadrant, but as much as, wait, no, there was one that could have been 140 degrees off. Seriously, just a funny thing to see on what was surely an expensive and otherwise thoughtful image.

So I had my fun with that and yes, I snapped a few photos, but soon I was done there and had to go sit down.

***A few of those shots***

Consider the shading. Notice where the shadow from the tree in the foreground lays almost at 20 degrees west of north, then the ones from the railing in the left look like they are heading 85 degrees west of north, then with the building, the smaller wing that comes off on the right, the shadow lays coming towards us, as if the sun is now off to the right and the shadow is now coming in at us.

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Now for a few from the walk.

The path from the station from two angles.

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A couple shots of my school during the walk up to it.

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Some locals just below my school.

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Up close.

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Back at the station:

The wooden benches weren’t exactly built for comfort, but nobody seemed to mind. More of a Zombie-limbo-parking-lot-for-the-digitally-inclined vibe than anything else. So I sat, and I waited between the tv seething garble and the friendly texter.

When it came time for the train to come, I went up to the outdoor platform, enjoying the warm air that welcomed me as I stepped up from the climate controlled zone I’d been in. Found yet another flat wooden bench to sit on and copped a squat.

The sun was shining and I put on my shades and just leaned back. Arms behind me just relaxing, when up lumbers a fella who’s obviously drunk and totally interested in my tattoos. Now, I’m kind of used to the attention that they get now and then as a lot of Korean folk don’t get tattoos so they’re a bit of a spectacle but this guy was something else. He leaned in like he couldn’t see’m ‘less he could smell’m. Head about 3-4 inches from my arm, totally bent at the waist to do it. I let him stare like a mentally challenged fella, but then he reaches in for my other arm and I calmly make like I’m gonna pour my water on his shoes to let him understand he is no longer welcome.

He gets it. So he’s traveling with two other fellas who don’t seem as drunk, but they are there, so he wanders over to them then plops down on the bench I’m on. Now, there’s another guy between us, but he gets up on account of the other dude’s smell and the way he just dropped down on the bench. Just read of trouble. So then it’s just him and me. I ignored him until I felt his hand on my arm which I instinctively and quickly swat away ~ telling him “That’s twice” and go back to chillin’. He’s obviously shaken, his friends come in closer, but I continued to enjoy the sunshine. No bugger like that’s takin’ my sun-time away from me. Hah! Good times.

Then it was time for the train we got on at different doors. While walking on the train later to find a coke, I saw him passed out – (at noon mind you!) in his seat. Heh.

The train ride was good. Quick. It got me to Seoul in about one and a half hours.  Seoul is a known variable. I needed to get to Insadong for some gift-shopping, burned a hundred bucks there or so and am now on the subway to the south end of the city to meet a buddy for a pizza before a poi jam.

Damn fine day~ Hmm. 6 more stops. Let me share a little bit of what Insadong is with you.

So, it’s this overly marketing-filled arts district that actually has a bunch of great restaurants, galleries, tea shops and nice things for gifts if all the redundancy of bookmarks and fans don’t get in the way. I bought myself my first watch in many years, a cool leather banded piece, simple, inexpensive, $20, but cool style. For gifts, I bought 3 business card holders that are inlaid with abalone, a pair of fans, some Korean paper to wrap things in, a stash of masks for burners, some more of these crazy-comic all-so-Korea anime socks and a collection of note cards with pressed flowers that will come in handy when the time is right to use them.

My stop is soon and this paper is valuable and almost filled, so I’ll call it for the day’s snapshot. Almost at Maebong to meet Seoul-Hunter on our way to Manshigan Studios.

July 13, 2013.

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There’s this other blog see…

And I’ve started messing around with some sort of an online portfolio…

I’m kinda new to it as a concept, but if you’re into “language-learning worksheets” then buddy, you wanna go to http://graphicallyteaching.wordpress.com/ to see what that is.

If somehow, that doesn’t seem like the most interesting thing, you can sit this one out and wait until my next post about life in general…

They are some pretty awesome worksheets though.

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Teenagers Rampage!

News article for The Gyeongbuk Province Times (Hypothetical since 1862)

Headline: Teenagers Rampage Downtown Gimcheon!

Story:

Early last night, hundreds of plad-clad teenagers were seen flooding the local city streets, gorging on lightly blanched fishcakes, deep fried tentacles, and clearly reveling in the carnage as red glaze dripped down their chins from the recently ravaged wastes of deokk bokki, a word that stutters fear even into itself, as its spelling clearly shows. These rice cakes never knew what was coming… One minute they were lazily basting in a warm sea of spicy, saucy goodness, the next they were being heaped into bowls wrapped in sanitary gloves for their own protection… Yes, even the bowls had reason to fear the deokk bokki… But not the teenagers – with toothpicks, an item previously famed for its dental proclivity, they skewered them with a seeming delight, and laughed as they gnashed their underdeveloped jaws upon the quickly snuffed lives of these innocent – if dangerously spicy rice cakes, clearly enjoying it all. But lo, the proto-humans did not stop there – they pranced away from the old sellers of simmering souls – into the cold darkness – only to seek new excitements and intrigues.  Apparently, their appetites had but been wetted.

After the destruction laid down upon the booths of many things – they were seen darting in and out of the many stores on the main road that had, until then, known the kind of peace and quiet that only a lazy afternoon in the countryside can offer a shopkeeper sometimes… Yes, these overgrown rugrats, these marsupialine cyberjunkies dove into the unsuspecting shopfronts with fire in their eyes and malice in their hearts… It is the only explanation for what was to follow… It was as if they had to try on every single hat in order to convince themselves that they didn’t really want one after all – and all the testing of pens – good God! The amount of ink lost in those few seconds could have allowed children in lesser lands to do arithmetic that would forever allude them, now that these tornadoes of testing had blown through…

But when all was nearly lost, after the pencil cases had been dismissively tossed aside, and the notebooks completely disorganized – there was a moment where it was as if an angel of clarity flew into the room – As I peered from my safe distance, far across the way, behind the protective enchantment of the aura created by the steam coming from my caramel soy latte. I could see them coalesce as if they had reached a moment of enlightenment – as I squinted to see what they were holding, I could see in their hands small scraps of some sort – they seemed to be of many different colors and designs… So I got up from my seat, considered the dangers, and began walking towards the window…. I stepped outside, warily keeping my distance lest I be spotted by a student or a high schooler who thinks I’m one of them, all the while smelling my latte to make sure it was still there… As I stepped through the gateway of the cafe into the sidewalk, I saw what it was, I saw the trigger of their mood. I saw… the socks…

These socks were no normal socks. They were cute, really cute, dangerously cute if I may say. Dangerous because they distract. They distract teachers from chastising, and schoolmates from focused study – they are dangerous to the cold rigor of morbidity that is required if they are to be the future leaders of their people – Oh sure, people say that they are just children and should be allowed to run free – but they are only safe to be around when they have the socks! Without the socks, they are evil, conniving, destructive beasts of consumption and interactivity. Let this article stand as a warning to anyone who would walk during nighttime in the streets of Gimcheon, Korea. There are teenagers on the loose. And they will stop at nothing to find those cute little socks with all the pictures of monkeys, rock stars, cartoon characters and God knows what else! I was a witness… When they finished swooning like a lion after a feeding on its woe-begotten prey – they fled from there in a fury that could only have been called a stampede, as the dust thrown up in their wake was as dark a cloud as the tension that hung in the air from the places from whence they had just come.

 

The Following Photo is Unrelated (and should be considered for scratch-and-sniff computer screen status.) 

This is what I do to myself when you're not around!

 

Take care out there.

~jimmer out

This story is copyright 2011, James Jordan.

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