....is a yeasty irish cake that we eat
around halloween. I'm a yeasty irish gal
..yeasty meaning: youthful; exuberant; ebullient.


the Korean call to prayer....

A few things wake me up early in the morning, my cat using me as a scratching post/spring board/ something to yell at, my insane inability to sleep in or go back to sleep and of course the Korean Loudspeaker.  

The Korean Loudspeaker comes in 2 formats.  The mechanical kind - an actual loudspeaker attached to a truck, wall, parking garage, store - or the human kind - a person chanting/screaming at the top of their lungs.

Today the mechanical kind gently shook me from my drunken slumber (god dang you soju cocktail!).  The parking garage outside my window, for some reasons, has a loudspeaker attached to the front entrance and some dudes voice drones the same sentence over and over.  What is he saying? you ask... What they all say!! ORANGES FOR SALE! GIVE ME YOUR OLD COMPUTERS! PARK HERE! LAUNDRY SERVICE! DESSERT! 

I think I've posted about this before, because, well it's definitely part of life here in Korea.  Living where I do now, we don't have many trucks with loudspeakers patrolling this neighbourhood.  I think the days of the loudspeaker truck/person may actually be coming to a close.  

When I lived in Meigum we had the laundry man.  Every morning at 9 am a man would walk every floor of our building screaming something out, I've forgotten now, maybe it sounded like SEOULTAKKKKKK , i have no idea what laundry is in Korean.   I don't remember how we figured out that this dude was a laundry guy, my first guess was that he was a chanting monk blessing our special building every day.  

Then there was the ddok Seller (yummy Korean rice cakes). Every night at 7pm we heard this guy just screaming the same thing out over and over, and for the life of me it DID NOT sound like DDOK, which is what he was selling.  We could hear him out of our window as he walked around screaming, so we ran outside one night and followed the yelling and found him.  And then we ate some delicious ddok... 

Then there is the computer truck (bring me your old computers), the orange trucks (which I currently frequent), the other random fruit trucks....  these I don't mind, but the parking lot loudspeaker has GOT TO GO!  


stop - motion - photography - rules

yoga for t-tards

today is wonderful.  amazing. and a lot of other adjectives that mean the former ones.  I didn't have to work being the main reasons for this wonderful wonderfulness and the fact that I now never have to work mornings again is the other reasons for bliss.  

So I woke up early, went to the gym for spinning class and then for the FIRST time in over a year I got to go to yoga class.  ohhhOHHHhhhh.. I love yoga, I love the pain and the stretch and the rewards.  I love lying on that stupid stinky blue yoga mat for 5 minutes at the end of class when I feel more relaxed and sane than I have ever felt before.  I can't believe how long it's been, and thank god for my first class back into flexibility world,  we were practicing easy yoga poses and breathing instead of that hard core Korean power yoga (that i also love - but didn't want today).   

The gym makes me sane and happy.  It rarely makes me feel bad - except for the one time that stupid pushy girl stole my bike in spinning class (this one time at band camp....) and I had to try to explain this to her and everyone else who was watching (STARING) and i felt like such an idiot/total bitch for fighting over a bike and because I was just yelling at her in English.  Not a good day for me....

My other issue with the gym is that I absolutely hate being the fattest person there.  Which I am.  Sucks ass.  Even the fatty Koreans don't seem to be as fat as me because they are so darn short and let's face it, I'm a giant.  So I go to all these classes - also I'm the only 외국인  in any of these classes - and feel like I'm 10x bigger than I am.  Should make me work out harder, but somehow it doesn't.  

I hate even thinking about this subject, my body, being fat.... When I work out, which I'm usually somewhat of a champion at, I feel great, healthy and fit, I don't care about the fat.  But maybe it's time to face the factsFAT! 


so according to this piece of crap I am not going to have a good year.  If you are also a 1979 baby, year of the Ram (or goat),  you too are not going to have a good year.  In fact you are going to have 7 unfavourable months, and 5 neutral months.  And how about a good month.. no, not possible. 

January is definitely one of my 7 unfavourable months, my bike was stolen yesterday.  too sad.  Who would steal my piece of crap bike!?  It really is a piece of crap, and actually I was getting a little scared because the pedals felt kind of funny when i pushed them (and how often do you push a pedal like 100 times a minute?)  and  before I left Toronto I had an accident where my pedal fell off mid push and I fell to the pavement getting more than a bruise (you know my Indonesia sized bruise from falling down the stairs didn't even compare to this pedal-fall-off-Andrea-fall-down bruise.)  

So anyway, get ready to have a shitty year - or you can ignore your horoscope completely which is basically the norm for me, I have NO idea the last time I read a horoscope, but somehow being the fake Asian wanna be I am, I just had to look didn't I.

So speaking about being a fake Asian wanna be, I have to admit that I am completely obsessed with K-pop and K-pop run off culture.  Shameful as it sounds I actually like Big Bang.

and I like this song too.... shame shame... 

I don't know when the obsession started, I used to have a TV and one day I  started to realize that the bands I heard were appearing on most of the TV shows.  Nearly all Korean singers/ bands appear in 3 or 4 different shows on TV, ranging from being an actor on a Korean drama, or being a host on some terrible reality show or being a participant on a love-connection type show or also being a judge on a talent type show.  example...

This is star king (or stocking as most Koreans call it) and appearing on this show are people from all over Korea and sometimes other countries displaying their talents and trying to win some prize.  The panel is made up of 15 different people who are all in different bands or in other comedy shows or are actors.  They also appear in maybe 3 other shows each!  I think this is nuts!  Imagine in Canada if ever time you turned on the TV, Avril Lavine or Celine Dion or the Feist were on commercial for baskin robbins or Fido and then on about 5 programs a day, and oh btw they also appear on a soap opera!  When do these people sleep?!?!?  

but secretly I love it.  

new years eve....again!설날

Yay Asia, and your lunar new year!  Having an extra holiday because of the moon is fine by me!  And since I didn't make any resolutions or change my life on January 1st, I can do it all tonight!  

So here goes... 
urm...  wait.  I KNOW there are many things with my life I SHOULD change, but would I, will I?  

Now i don't feel like listing all these things here and making myself sound like an ass.  You and I already know the downfalls I have and don't need to make a list anyway (yes mostly related to drinking and stupidity...) And there are many things I don't want to tell you because writing it would be admitting a lot of failures and things about myself that I hate.  

So what to do...  

leave some thinking space for us all to think about our shortcomings 

(here is some space)           

and some more space for us to think about the changes.

(maybe extra space here because i would rather think about change than about the shortcomings....)

and what about some space to appreciate what I have or what I have done over the past year..

wait, better yet I could list these things, because it will make me feel better about all former mentions of the things I need to change... YES!

- I really appreciate my cat - sounds lame I know, but she really does make me happy and I am so glad that I found her.

- I'm happy that I went to India this year, because that was a
  looooooong time dream of mine.

- I'm really happy about what I did in India (working with the kids and writing articles about it, AND having the kids photos put in a gallery show)

- I'm also happy and really grateful that my sister came to visit me, and not to mention the fact that she gave birth to my amazing little niece that I also got to see for the first time this year.

-I REALLY appreciate the fact that I have enough money to travel (urm... paying off those student loans needs to go on the "to do" list) and am able to see amazing cities, countries and experience new cultures.

-my friends and family.  Especially my friends from toronto that I keep in touch with because it's sad to loose friends just because you move away.  Especially my friends in korea because they keep me happy living far away from the friends and family I left.  

-my bed that I'm about to crawl into at 1:32 in the morning

Happy 설날!


adventures in stupid

in this land of suburbia and winter and not leaving the homestead, friday and saturday can become predictable and interechangeable... getting drunk, usually in soyheon, deinately with a GREAT bunch of people and most likely followed by a non-sucessfull session of drunk norae bang.  

This Friday certainly didn't derive from said plan. Drinking, dancing, singing, eating and then, well then we decided drunk at 8 am to get on a bus go out into the country for  a tour of the HITE beer factory.  Drunk like skunks of course.  pass out on the bus for 2 hours and wake up in winter wonderland surrounded by beautiful mountains with a snowy frosting.  

and the HEIGHT factory.  thank god i was drunk or otherwise i wouldn't have had a single pint of beer.  


i can't think of anything....

I dreamt I had a slice of bread.  So I woke up thinking I had a slice of bread and went to make an egg, to eat with this (nonexistent)slice of bread.  The egg I pulled out of the carton had a feather stuck on it.  Oh god, I hate being reminded that food i choose to eat in my slightly non-vegetarian - vegetarian diet was alive.  

Flashback to the chickens in Baraka falling from the conveyer belt into the giant sorting machine.  sick.

 And I ate cham-chi last night, great hunks of tuna sashimi, my favourite food in the world right now actually.....  some hunks turn the weird glass noodles that you don't eat red.... blood?? aughghgh...  

Teri is coming home.  hehehehhehehehehehe... home being korea, where I am and where she will soon-ish be.....  hehehehhheh... jenny and i are actually pooping ourselves with excitement...  but Teri is asking me what I will be doing next year after the next contract finishes, by that time it will be 3 and a half years I've lived in Korea...  will it be time to go home... HELLS NO!  But how can I predict where I will be though...  things change, life, partners, options that will for sure dictate where my path will go.  Ben's dad passed away on Thursday, and I can't help but think of my own dad and my family.  I can't imagine going through what has just punched Ben in the face.  I can't stop thinking about this.  



christmas came and went, and the strange-o concept i have of "feels like christmas"  was absent this year, but this might be due to the fact that I was drunk on a plane and then on a tropical island.  and this is totally ok with me this  year, to not have that ever so christmassy christmas feeling...  but just this once ok.... (I'm totally a sucker for christmas...)

so heavenly paradise called Gili Trawangan is where I spent a week, lying in a hammock, eating delicious foods, jumping out of the way of horses and bicycles (no cars or autobikes on the island) getting drunk with amazing friends and having basically the time of my life.  We flew out of seoul on xmas day, had a little Christmas dinner courtesy of garuda air, the WORST airline ever, like seriously, they made us go and get our own glasses of gin and tonic.... which i couldn't even drink because i passed out from my five glasses of christmas wine.  Land in Bali and head to tourist hell for one night, but our hotel was amazing and the taxi driver (which J so amazingly bargained down like a friggen local - exactly how i want to feel when i get back to india....) took us on this great back road adventure to our hotel.  Bali is beautiful, clean, green, friendly and Hindu!  i felt like i had arrived in a clean india without the traffic and peddlers....  

After our adventures at hotel - with swim up bar by the way - we went on the fast boat (aka evil boat from hell that made my hands hurt from gripping so hard and my jaw hurt from all the clenching my face was undergoing) to Gili T.  I really had no idea what to expect, I'd seen T's and J's pics and heard SO much about the place, but everyone has a different experience etc etc... but i couldn't have wished for more... clear blue water and a coral reef to boot...  I became slightly addicted to snorkeling every morning - my back became slightly sun burnt - and seeing giant sea turtles and schools of fish and all the other amazing things that i had no idea where right below my knees when i went swimming.....  and i totally had winter dry skin hands on the first few days so a lot of little fishes decided to bite my fingers... 

Gili T is tiny, and only 300 people live there.  And boy do these guys have a brotherhood... they kick people off the island if they cause problems or cause shit...  We actually just hung out with the locals and met only a hand full of foreigners, maybe due to the fact that j already had made a lot of friends on the island or  because we never made it past one bar sama sama where after that begins the to  touristy - resort area.  Val and I actually finally biked around the island after 5 days of being on it...  hahah...  lazy andrea on vacation....  

We stayed on Gili for  a week (i think, time and dates was just not somethings to even consider) and then headed over to the larger island of Lombok where we rented a private car and driver for the day to take us around the island and then off to the airport to fly back to Bali where we had 2 days and then home to korea.  Sounds easy enough... well no car or diver ever showed up on lombok so we piled into some shanty little bus that took us straight to the airport where low and behold we had no airline tickets. FUCK FUCK FUCK..  you should have seen me panic at the airport where  a. the ticket thing just wasn't going our way b. my korean bank card wouldn't work and i was officially out of money c. i hadn't pooped in nearly 3 days and d. i was friggen starving....        

but lion air somehow had 4 tickets on their flight for the next morning so we went to the little resort area of Senggigi  for a good nights rest (after some beach and then bar and pool action of course).  Lombok is also fantastially beautiful, a palm tree, rice field dream with those little rice patty straw hats to boot.  Off to Bali the next day where we rented a driver and car that SHOWED up - wow how convenient - and spent the day seeing a few major tourist attractions on the island.  Lunch at the volcano and dinner on the beach after the scared monkey forest and the fire dance at Uluwatu.  The people of Bali are beautiful.  Seriously beautiful, friendly, warm and funny.  So many people we met, especially those on the island had such a sense of humour....  We drove around and walked by people wearing their traditional clothing and sarongs.  You would be hard pressed to go there and miss seeing a million temples, people giving offerings or their puja on the ground outside of temples, doors, on cars...  

Coming back to korea, of course, was hard.  It's freezing here and it's back to work, but apart from the loneliness i felt after spending an intensive amazing period with really close friends it wasn't so bad.  I did miss Samsam a lot and chopsticks too!  hahah...  Definitely makes me want to travel more and more and more and more... which of course will happen...  currently feeling warm and happy due to my duty free bottle of baileys and thinking of just last week.....