Monday, November 14, 2005



Lots I should post, but it's 2 in the morning here and I have an early appointment with a Korean teacher who also wants to celebrate my birthday (today) in Korean style...with cold noodle soup (shudders, but only slightly) least it isn't wiggling octopus tentacles. BTW, one of my gifts today was provided by my Korean friend Seung-Gil, who spent a few hours exploring the local seafood market with me, and tried to teach me new Korean words along the way. The one that stuck was octopus--Mun-au--which, directly translated, means 'door fish'. I don't have any idea about the logic behind this, but it is the sort of quirky word that tends to glue itself to my linguistically challenged mind.

There are actually many Korean words that use 'door,' including the words for window (clear enough), newspaper, and culture. I'm trying not to overgeneralize about these things, but I do tend to learn quicker when I spot patterns.

Good news is, I can read Hangul. Can't always understand it, but I know what the sounds are supposed to be, and can manage a reasonable facsimile, though at a painfully slow pace, when called upon to do so. Kinda kicky.

In any case, wouldn't have made the post, but one of the local English teacher, a young whipper-snapper by the name of Taylor, posted a few pics of our recent hiking expedition over at his blog, and I thought I'd share. I have a few other pics floating around on my hard drive, and should probably see if I can't upload those in the near future...warning, my computer's a bit out of date, has plenty of space but compartmentalized drives, and the drive it wants to decompress new programs in is the one that's pretty much constantly full. I'm trying to work with folks to get this figured out. I've been told switching to Microsoft 2000 is one option, but not one that a novice (and I'm not quite up to that level) should probably undertake solo on their first try. In any case, if I can get them up, I will.

(EDIT: Just checked the link to those pics, and see that it's only showing the first four of many...go to Taylor's main blog page and scroll down to heading "Tae Baek San" to get the full collection.)

Hiking's pretty much my leisure activity of choice...and Gangneung is very, very well located for that. However, if I don't get to bed very soon, I'll be here reporting for far too long...cuz stuff, as always, is afoot.

One last note, though: I found a book I want. It's called Korean Bug, and is a collection of the first (I think) five issues of a zine operating out of Seoul. You can read excerpts on the web. Hint: click on the little purple glowing thing in the right hand corner to get to the meat. I'da provided a direct link, but figure you need to be exposed to the song featured in the introduction. Anyway, my Korean teacher spotted this book in a bookshop on Friday night, and at first glance, I knew it was one of the things I MUST carry out of here with me. Plus, now I got a mission when I make that trip to Seoul (probably before year's end).

I do so need to get on here and write down some of the madness I've been encountering. I promise, I will, soon. Right now, if I don't get to bed, I'm not gonna get any sleep before work tomorrow, and as they're to be celebrating my birthday as well, that would be a very unwise thing to do.

Right, then...tchitch

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