what’s up dudes, i’m hanging out over here at http://jaguarknight.ca
~ Hey guys. We found the best store on Jeju Island. It’s a badminton shop. And it’s called “Love Cock Sports”:
I wonder if they have franchising opportunities. I could see myself going back to Canada and opening a bunch of “Love Cock Sports” outlets. I bet I would make a million dollars. And that would just be from the t-shirt sales.
~ I think my favourite place right now that I actually go into and buy stuff from would have to be Sukbong Toast. There are a pair of toast restaurants across the street from each other at Kwangyang Intersection but Sukbong is the only one who seems to realize that toast is a breakfast food; and thus they go to the trouble of opening up in the morning, when I need toast the most.
Along with such Korean favourites as squid toast, jellied acorn toast and pork spine toast Sukbong also has a little item tucked away on the menu called “Bay-kon Tos-eh-teu” that consists of scrambled egg, two slices of bacon and cheese tucked between two pieces of toast along with some pickles and some cabbagey-type stuff and a bunch of bacon sauce. This is the closest thing to a Western breakfast I can hope to get around here and it costs the equivalent of around two bucks.
Bacon sauce. Koreans suck at condiments, but after I discovered bacon sauce, I decided to forgive them for mixing ketchup and mayonnaise together and calling it “salad dressing.”
~ I’ve kept rock’n’roll hours my whole life. I’m not used to getting up in the morning and going to work every day like some shnook. Some weekday mornings my brain just rebels against being awake. Especially after a good weekend, I will be hung over with serious existential dread while I drag myself through the early morning mist up the sidewalk towards my school.
Sukbong Toast helps me out a lot, though. This morning I picked up a Bay-Kon Tos-eh-teu and got right into it. And right away I could feel the oxygen starting to flow back into my brain. My senses perked up. My eyes opened up wide. It felt as though I could look around and actually see things. I could hear. All the cars and buses and taxis and all the sounds of a city waking up.
By the time I finished half the sandwich, a warm feeling of euphoria was starting to pulse through my body.
My footsteps slowed as I raised half a Sukbong sandwich up above my head towards the morning sun. I was alive. A sense of well-being was rushing through me, flowing through my body in waves of joy.
Halfway across the crosswalk I had an urge to dance. So I threw down some breakdancing moves right there on the pavement in the middle of morning traffic. I tried a headspin with fourteen seconds left on the walk light. I can’t breakdance. I suck. I fell over on my back. I hit my head. I breathed hard.
I lay there in a daze for a moment on the pavement right in front of a line of cars. I gazed up at the sky and sucked on the sweetness of a slice of pickle.
Somehow I had managed to keep a loose hold on the sandwich, which spilled its guts of shredded cabbage out onto the asphalt. My fingers were stained brown with bacon sauce.
A young woman was standing over me. She bent over and looked down at me. She puffed her cheeks out like a blowfish.
Does every Korean girl have a spraycan in her closet labelled ‘Jeans’?
I measure out the alcohol when I make a mixed drink. But it’s a matter of relative measurement, as opposed to absolute. You feel me? I like a correct ratio.
Thanks to my old buddy Google [a href=http???;; google .com slash drunken hyperlink like you don’t know where the fuck google is] I just learned that there are 30 millilitres in an ounce. Honestly, I thought there were more… but what this means is, I have been serving myself sextuple White Russians all this time.
So I had this problem, I poured in the vodka and Kahlua… added some ice… And, as previously stated, I had this problem: there wasn’t much room in the glass for the milk. Maybe I should make weaker White Russians and just have more of them. Sometimes more is good. But no, there’s something I like about a sextuple White Russian. There’s something I like about the word “sextuple.” But at the time, I didn’t even know they were sextuples. I just thought of them as normal White Russians, with nothing kinky about them.
Anyway… I had this White Russian that was practically a Black Russian for the few drops of milk I’d managed to fit in, maybe it was sort of a Grey Russian, there’s no such thing, when it occurred to me that the glass I was mixing in was too small, and my drink could benefit from being housed in a slightly larger receptacle. Since I am a bachelor living alone, you will surely forgive my meagre choice of glassware, I have two glasses, mugs actually, and one fork and one spoon and one knife, and having every dish I own dirty in the sink no longer intimidates me like in the old days. But I do own a nice cereal bowl. And a light bulb went on over my head, and the idea was hatched for Uncle Philly’s latest recipe: White Russian Frosted Flakes.
Listen to me and I will tell you what to do.
First make a White Russian. A sextuple. A quadruple or quintuple is acceptable I suppose.
Get a bowl of Frosted Flakes.
Pour the White Russian over the Frosted Flakes.
Enjoy this delicious new taste sensation… at breakfast-time! Or anytime.
I’ve just finished a serving. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. Because deep down inside, I know for a fact that I do not deserve to enjoy anything this much.
There are fireworks going off over Sinjeju right now.
I need a haircut in the worst way. I hate having this amorphous mop of hair.
Usually I shave my head every couple months. It always grows back really quickly. Not long after I arrived in Korea I ordered some hair clippers off G-Market, the world’s flashiest Internet shopping site. I shaved my head as per usual and went to work the next day feeling all clean and confident and super well-groomed.
Little did I know that shaving your head is not something that’s really done here. It typically means you’ve suffered some heavy-duty personal trauma, like catching the cancer or having your wife die on you or having your team lose at soccer or something. So I showed up one fine Monday morning with my new hairdo and the entire school flipped out.
And when I say “flipped out,” I mean it in the ninja sense, as in everyone went crazy and started killing each other and maiming people in the classrooms. Students were slamming one another’s heads against the floor. Teachers were slicing students and hacking them up with swords and machetes. There was blood everywhere.
Blood ran down the walls and human gore dripped from the ceiling.
The Vice-Principal came running up to me in the hallway. She shouted “Pee-leep! Are you OK! What is wrong with you!” and then she stabbed the janitor right in the eye with a silver chopstick.
I said, “Hey, hey don’t worry. It all grows back.”
The folks back home are heading to the polls today to vote in a provincial election.
I only hope that the lead-up to this vote was as entertaining as the Korean election campaign from a couple months back…
More shenanigans at Club 아이. Last night I played a DJ set, and then DJ Smoking Jack and I proceeded to feed each other shot after shot of tequila (that’s Jack in the baseball cap).
When the video screen announced “Next DJ, DJ Horse Head,” I could hardly believe someone could come up with such an awesome DJ name. I was even more surprised when he walked out wearing an actual horse’s head. My astonishment was complete when he managed to rock the scene in that getup.
Ladies. Could you imagine if you had a baby with DJ Horse Head?
“Teacher’s meeting,” Korean style, at Sky Club in Tapdong district, Jeju. We had many very important items on our working agenda.
You kids wanna keep it down? I’m trying to do some very very serious important work here.
The Dol hareubang or “Stone Grandfather” is the mascot of Jeju Island. These statues are carved out of the black volcanic rock of Jeju in a wide range of sizes.
These benevolent-looking dudes can turn up anywhere, but you usually see them on either side of a bridge, or in pairs by a gateway, or any place where you’ve got some shit that needs guarded. They are also held to be fertility symbols; rubbing the nose of one of the statues is said to increase a woman’s chances of conception. I would almost think there might be something to this myth, considering this island is crawling with pregnant women.
I always have to stop and pay my respects to the squid. This restaurant is at the top of Jeju Cultural Street, right beside that Sing Sing saxophone bar.
Seafood restaurants in Jeju advertise their wares in big tanks out on the sidewalk.
Squid and octopi and flat fish and giant crabs and mutant creatures from deep beneath the Asian water.
If you saw me swimming around in one of those tanks, would you pick me out and put me on your plate?
Koreans build work relationships by having everyone go out after work and get smashed together. These occasions are known as “meetings.” Korean work society is a fairly uptight Confucian culture and so alcohol is like a license to get a little crazy.
Some of the male teachers at my school seemed a little aloof when I first arrived. Then we had a “meeting” together and now we’re all good pals. Round One of a meeting is dinner and soju and then it moves to Round Two which is a bar and more soju and Round Three if you survive that far is usually karaoke at a noraebang (“music room”) with whiskey and soju and whatever else you can get to drink.
I was never that into karaoke but sometimes on these machines I’ll find a Ramones tune or something I can sink my teeth into. In this video I’m singing a Sex Pistols song while trying to film the accompanying video which featured some stellar moments in Korean drama such as two women slapping each other across the face on a beach (sadly I missed recording that part). This whole meeting was worth it just to hear my co-workers singing along phonetically to the word “anarchist.”
After my performance you can hear the beginning of the ubiquitous “Sk8ter Boi” by Canada’s number one musical export, Avril Lavigne.
At this meeting I also learned that Korean dudes love Queen.
Korea’s playing World Cup soccer against Uruguay tonight and I’m sure all the downtown bars will be full of people getting their hof on. I’ve been given about four different definitions of the word hof, so I can’t really tell you exactly what it means, but I think the spirit of hof is adequately conveyed by this sign from Adonis Bar in Sinjeju.
By any logic “Adonis Bar” should be the name of a gay bar but homosexuality is non-existent in Korea by government decree. At any rate I didn’t see too many dudes making out in the place when I stopped in last week to watch Korea lose 4-1 to Argentina.
Here’s a video of dejected Korean soccer fans spilling onto the sidewalk after the game. Ooh yeah, those glowing red devil horns… remind me to get a pair of those.
I shot this video and then I ran like hell to get home before the streets and sidewalks started filling up with drunk drivers.
I live in a building called Martian House in Sinjeju. Sinjeju means “New Jeju” and I think the building might only be a few years old. My apartment is a small soulless shoebox of a room and it suits me OK.
Lots of people pronounce it “Marian House” and I don’t know how they get “Marian” out of “Marchen,” maybe I should be asking how they get “Marchen” out of “메르헨,” but anyway you can all blow me because I live in Martian House.
Check it out:
Look at those glittering spires, that gorgeous vision of a utopian future. Isn’t this what you pictured your life on Mars would be like?
Except I don’t know where that picture was taken, but it was nowhere near this neighbourhood.
This is what Martian House actually looks like:
They don’t seem to be too fussy about naming streets in Korea so I have gone ahead and christened the street that I live on as “Martian Road.” Here is my view of Martian Road at 8am every single fucking morning of my wretched English-teaching life while I wait to catch the 502 bus to take me to school. Check out the dude running across the sidewalk to avoid getting a parking ticket.