Monday, October 29, 2007


Yep. I love this picture too.

Ok... so lets just say that I found a similar one to this online and made my own personal one (the original one was a boy). I love it and wanted to share it with all you people who know me. I essentially started this blog when I moved away from st. Stephen to keep in touch with friends and, in a way different from Facebook, interact with them. I miss you all and wish I could have these discussions (and sometimes rants) in person, but that's just not gonna happen. Anyway, if you've read anything I've said and agreed or disagreed, or really just anything, please drop a comment. I don't live for them... but I do love them!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

weddings and friendships

There's something about friends getting married that makes me sad, out of happiness for them and also mourning for myself. I know it sounds selfish, mainly because it is. I feel like my friendships are never the same once a person gets married, and it's not always the friend who is awkward. Something about marriage makes me pull away. Same with dating I suppose.
A friend of mine got married this past month and I missed the wedding because I've been here. To be honest though, I have only kept in touch on and off with him for years. I saw him during the summer and it felt so strange. I don't really know his wife very well either, which makes me uncomfortable. Some women just can't handle their men having close friendships with other women, and I didn't know what to do. Do I hug him after not seeing him for a few years or not? I hugged. He wasn't married when I saw him, but when I left I felt like I was saying goodbye to our friendship. This guy used to be like a big brother to me and got me through some pretty tough times before university and during my first year. Unfortunately, I move around a lot and our friendship kind of went on hold. Now he's married and living on a ranch and I'm in Korea, teaching English. I haven't kept in touch with his life and he hasn't kept in touch with mine. We've lost that common ground that keeps a good friendship. It makes me sad.
Too bad I feel that way about most of my older friendships. I have one or two friends that I've had for more than a decade, but I'm a notorious friend-abandoner and none of them are close friendships anymore. Soon, I would like to stay in one place and build a community of close friends. Maybe that's really my problem. I really and truly just need a long-term place in a community.
Korea is awesome, but I kinda just want to go home, wherever that is.

" the wind."

The wind can be gentle as well as cruel, as can life. It can be your friend, or your enemy. If life is a race, it may be less about the finish than we think. " the wind through forever" is a quote from a poem I wrote once. It has several meanings to me and I'm going to share some of them with you.
it can mean a struggle against a power which is far bigger, stronger, and faster. A hopeless battle in life where you just can't keep up. despairing. overwhelming. defeating.
it can represent that struggle in a more positive manner. Struggling against that far bigger, stronger, and faster power, but also never giving up. refusing to give an inch. Personal strength and resolve. Perserverence. Challenge.
It can represent a playful game. running with a close friend. cavorting and enjoying the simplicity of being together.
It can represent freedom. Wind blowing in your hair. tears streaming from your eyes because you're running so fast. making a breakaway from where you have been. flying across the ground. refreshing. exilerating.
It can be all of these. Life changes and we change with it, whether we want to or not. There are times when I am fired for a challenge and have the strength to face life's problems head on. And there are times when I feel dragged along. I feel weak. Defeated and hopless. I don't know why sometimes the same wind can make me defeated when yesterday I was strong enough to run faster. There are times when I don't know where my strengths and weaknesses originate. And I don't know why I feel differently today than yesterday. I have the same life now as then. This morning even. I really and truly just don't know.

Monday, October 22, 2007

my Hahoe weekend final installation

So... after the maskdance everyone else left and Chris and I walked around and bought some masks. He took a bunch of pictures and I made more mental memories of the rustic and ancient town we were in. It was beautiful. We ate some dinner, during which a few people recognised us from the dance and chatted for a bit and at the end were given some rice wine free, most likely because we had become local celebrities for actually dancing carefree in front of everyone instead of acting shy and being boring. So we toasted Korea and Canada with the waitresses (who were eating in another room which we could see where we were sitting) and left full and chilly (it had gotten cold when the sun went down). There wasn't much to see besides stars once everyone turned out the lights, so we headed for bed (again, heated floors and sleeping mats!). At 5:30 the next morning we got up and after one more photo op headed for our bus to Andong, and from there we headed home to Busan and our respective jobs. Whew. What a weekend. I'd do the village again in a heartbeat, no question.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Hahoe weekend pt. 3

OK, so continuing with the weekend story...
...We arrive at Andong and it instantly looks fantastic. There are totem-like poles around with faces carved into them and amazing masks all over the place. Chris and I find a place we can stay once we make sure we can catch a bus back in time for both of us to get to our respective apartments to get ready for work the next day (Monday) in Busan. it's only 15 000 wan each to stay the night (rough equilivant $15)! Then we wandered, saw some amazing sights, checked out masks, and eventually entered a theatre area to sit and watch the mask performance. It's a completely circular room with a roof covering the spectators, but with the rof above the dirt floor in the center open to light the actors. A small group of us sat directly in the front and "center" (ie: opposite the door). There was obviously a script, however, just as obvious was the allowance for improve around that script. Which meant the actors addressed the audience a fair amount and even spoke to a few people individually (click
here and go to "Hahoe Maskdance" for more information about the festival and the importance of the dance in Hahoe). At one point the "Fool" pulls some poor Korean girl from the crowd and makes her come and get Chris and I! She pulls us out to the middle of the floor and interprets for the actor, who says we have to dance with him! So the "band" of musical drums and cymbals which have been playing quietly in the background get louder and we all dance in the middle of the floor with everyone watching! It was hilarious! I'm pretty sure some people got pictures of us, and when I find out who I'm gonna post them on my own facebook and add alink here, it was so much fun!

Friday, October 19, 2007

my hahoe weekend pt. 2

So then we all jumped onto the bus again and after what felt like an eternity ended up at Mt. Sokri, where we were supposed to go hiking. I suppose maybe hiking is different for Koreans than others, because we walked around on a pathway before ending up at an old mountain monastary area and checked it out. There was absolutely no strain involved. In fact, it was barely walking; it was a stroll. The area was beautiful though, and Chris took pictures so hopefully they'll be up soon so you can all check them out! There was a giant Buddha which was in the "please give me money for the poor pose" which was completely gold plated. Click here. Anyway, once we finished looking that sucker over (ie: appreciating the cultural heritage of the Koreans) we headed for the bus again, and hours later (so it felt) up and down twisty roads, we made it to our destination that night: a giant Korean hostel. We set up and pretty much owned the area except one room. The floors were heated and there were sleeping mats in the cupboard so we all slept on the floor Korean-style (PS> in case you didn't know, Koreans sleep on sleeping mats on the floor). We ate a dinner of burgers (or fried tofu and egg on a bun), chips and beer (or soju) and froze. It was cold out! I headed for bed early due to exhaustion and a chill, and happened to be sleeping next to a low desk with a computer on it. Chris came up for a minute and we checked out the area we'd be visiting the next day, only to find out that the mask festival which we'd thought to be over was still on and we could stay the night. And then I went to bed. I love heated floors and reccommend that everyone forgo beds and just sleep on mats on a heated floor. No need for other methods of heating. It's awesome! So the next morning I got up early and walked around the beautiful area, taking mental pictures and hoping Chris would see some of the same stuff and take more reliable pictures before breakfast (fried scramble eggs, bacon and fried potato slices).
From there we headed to Andong village!
PS> all these bus excursions have fantastic scenery, but after the trip in Europe, I seem to have no resistance to sleep when on a bus so I missed most of it.

My Hahoe Village weekend

Man oh man. I just had an amazing weekend. Let me start at the begining. Obviously. OK, so Chris and I were recruited by our respective jobs by Kim n Joe recruiting, which is based here in Busan. Anyway, every year they organize a big trip, sometimes to different places, and this year it was to go hiking, enjoy a short boat trip, and visit Andong, the "mask" village. It cost $100.00 and included an overnight stay, food, unlimited drinks, and all of the above (including bussing to each place). So early in the morning we headed to PNU (rushing late so we taxied) and got there with time to spare since one of the people was about 45 minutes late and we waited for him. We bussed until lunch, when we took a small boat tour around a pretty area. Half-way through the tour I looked back into the boat and a bunch of people (Korean and foreign) were dancing around with one another in the inside of the boat! Later, when I looked again, they were doing karaoke! It was pretty funny. Check Chris' facebook account for some awesome pictures once he puts them up. Anyway, after the boat tour we all stopped off for some lunch, which was bibimbap, a bowl with veggies on top of a pile of rice. Click here for a photo pf Bibimbap. There are different varieties, and I've never had one I didn't like. It was all hot and just waiting for us. Lovely.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I miss my friends from home. Today I invited a bunch of people over to my place for apple pancakes and only one person showed up. I made a stack of pancakes too. I guess when you work later hours you just don't want to visit with people for breakfast on a Monday morning. I just thought it would be a nice start to the week, and instead it was a disapointing one. I was checking out Matt Wiebe's blog and saw some pictures of his apartment from back when he and Jac first fixed it up and set it up and it made me lonesome for Wiebe's Weekend Movies and snacks. There was also a picture of Todd Hall and it made me nostalgic for Sam, Brie, Amber and Jas. I was listening to some crazy music Allieren gave me and it made me sad that I no longer live just across the hall from her at Park. Such sad and lonely days some times.


C'est la vie où j'ai choisie.

money money money

Money. The hated word.
Budget. Even worse.

I've had times where I lived in fun and exciting places and didn't have a budget. I didn't have to. I never spent money. I worked insane hours, went out infrequently, and had the time of my life. I loved those times. I remember how great they were and, although I know I spent a lot of time doing nothing but working, being with people, and saving for school.
Somehow Korea is different.
I work shorter hours and I have people here to do things with.
I think that's the clincher as to why I seem to be UNABLE to save the way I want to. I didn't have anyone to DO stuff with before; and now I have much more free time too. My money is leaking through my fingers and I can't seem to make it stop.

SO. Ash is going to help me draw up a budget and I'm going to stick to it. I've never had a problem saving before because I'm perfectly happy not DOING stuff, but just getting by and not spending a cent. HOWEVER, when am I going to be in Korea again? I'm here for a YEAR. It's my HOME for now. I can't just pass time sitting in my apartment and either chatting online or painting. It's a waste because I can do thise things anywhere in the world!

So, Chris and I went to a movie at the Pusan International Film Festival! It was AWESOME! There were people everywhere and the movie was great! We're definitely going to have to go to the one in Toronto when we go back to Canada. And that's not all! We're going hiking next weekend with a bunch of people (including Ash and Dan), staying in a village, and checking out a traditional mask market! That's going to be fun!

However, I've been working at my job for a month, which means I get paid soon and also means I will get my first month's bills soon. Then... budget time.

Back to money. And budgeting. And both of them sucking. Because they do.
I mean, why can't we live naturally? Trade? Barter goods? Live free and peacefully with one another? Honestly! Who needs money? I vote we burn it all!

Too bad I don't have any to burn...