Sunday, February 28, 2010

Welcome Home!

Come in, sit down, take your bra off if you like.

This is the view from my doorway. Here you can see my combination kitchen/dining room. It's intimate, like lighting candles during sex. Or walking in on someone in a public washroom. While they're having sex with candles lit.

There's a pile of garbage in the corner because I haven't got the official Daegu garbage bags yet. I have, however, got the best damn garbage can in town. Everyone, I'd like you to meet Bungki and Pengki:

Hi Everyone. Do you know Bungki and pengki? They are so warm and shy by nature.

It is autumn in raining. Pengki likes rainy day. He feel so happy. I don't feel unhappy. But tomorrow it will warm. Anyway. Today is Funny day.

This is my sink with a disney princess motif on the back splash. When I wash the dishes I feel like Cinderelly. When I sleep for 12 hours straight I feel like Sleeping Average Looking.

This is my stove. No oven. It's also where I'll likely leave the gas on and blow my apartment up.

This is my bathroom. Can you spot my shower? Hint: it's attached to my sink.

Herrrrooooo Kitty!

And conveniently close to the toilet! Have you ever wanted to wash your hair and take a shit at the same time? Well yeah, you could do it anyway, but this way you don't have to fish corn kernels out of the drain.

This is my media room. My downstairs neighbour is over, maybe you know him? Kyle Stevenson? Yup, he lives in the apartment directly below me. Tina Fey is over too. So glad everyone could make it!

The media room is located conveniently close to my bedroom. My bed is very expensive because it's made of the hardest substance on earth. Which is diamonds. Which are very hard. My bed is very hard. I wake up several times each night because my wide set hips take the weight of my body and are crushed into the 'matress' when I sleep on my side. Fun!

And this is the laundry closet/ my other window!

Alright, I'm tired so I'm going to skooch my office chair over to my bedroom and go to sleep in a half side/half front position for several hours. I'll tell Bungki and Pengki you say hi!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Remember that Korean medical torture test I did last week? We got the results back today, delivered in what is rapidly appearing to be true Korean style: only minute pieces of information on a need to know basis. I pull the paper out of the envelope and the only words in English are "AIDS - Negative," and I agree, AIDS is definitely negative. Sometimes I think "Hey AIDS, have your heard about the power of positive thinking?" It's a secret. I mean it's The Secret, as in the one seen on Oprah. But what about HIV? Is it still negative if it's not even full blown AIDS? I'd like to think so, but only the Korean medical system knows for sure.

Underneath the AIDS slot there are several other boxes for the battery of tests they ran on us. Negative, negative, negative, positive, nega-WHAT? Positive? To be positive is generally a negative thing in these cases and this paper is saying I'm positive for circle-squiggle-backwards E-square-squiggle (this is what Korean looks like to me). What the fuck does that mean????

I folded my paper casually and put it back in it's envelope; there were about a hundred other people milling around and I didn't want to draw attention to my test results and impending death, not to mention the loss of my job for which I had signed the contract only two and a half minutes ago.

But I start to hear others murmuring; 'Do you know what this means?' 'Does anyone else have a positive?' I take this as promising, because surely not all of us have Cotard's Syndrome or whatever else they tested us for (the belief that you are dead or have lost your internal organs, btw). Long and stressful story short, someone found someone who found someone who knew that the circle's and squiggles were arranged in such a manner as to say whether or not you've had your hepatitis vaccines. Which I have. Even though my mother thinks that vaccines are bad for you. I think that not having hepatitis is a positive, and evidentally my medical report agrees.

I've just moved into my apartment in Daegu today, pictures to follow soon. I'm sure you'll be as stoked on the Hello Kitty bathroom motif as I was. When in Rome....Hello Kitty with the Romans?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tonight tonight

Tonight I had squid mcnuggets for dinner.

Tonight I had squid mcnugget puke up my nose.

C'est le korean vie, n'est pas?

Friday, February 19, 2010

I tried to be positive. I tried not to panic. Mind over matter. Pee in the cup.


Korean medical exams start out pretty normal; blood pressure test, vision test, hearing test, colour blind test, a robot machine measures your height, all good. Next, blood work. Let the record show that I have no problem giving blood. I love giving blood. I stare right at the needle when they poke it in my vein. However, if there's blood already on the tablecloth when I sit down I start to get a little antsy. It just doesn't look good, but I stay calm. Then the rough Korean lady ties me off with a rubber heroin strap, wipes me down with an alcohol swab and then starts slapping my arm with her bare hand. I'm not a doctor, I can't emphasize that enough, but I think, I think, that negates the point of the alcohol swab.

Next...urine. I haven't had a sip to drink in 10 hours as per their adamant requests. I give the nurse a withering, eyebrow cocked glare as she hands me the cup. But I am a good, compliant foreigner so I shuffle off to the bathroom. The unheated, public bathroom, where I can't even turn the faucet on for inspiration. The first stall I get to is of the 'hole in the ground' persuasion. Get fucked, I am no crouching tiger. I'll spare you the gory details, but I no makea de peepee. Twenty minutes of crying later, I bring my empty cup back only to find that other people have encountered the same problem, go figure. They eventually bring out water bottles to rehydrate our decadent, western bodies that rely on water for bodily functions.

Two bottles of water and some public crying later, I did it. Kyle, who started the process at least a half hour after me, has lapped me but it's not a race. We're all winners! After that it's smooth sailing: an "interview" with a doctor who doesn't say a single word to me, change into my hospital kimono and head outside into the frigid air for my bus x-ray. Yes, that is to say, an x-ray on a bus. Weird, but then I'm done! I just have to get changed, hand in my paperwork and I'm-- oh! Oh god. Oh god no. I've stepped in piss. My heel is soaked in human urine. Korean pee cups don't have lids, you see. It was simply a matter of time and fate before my socked feet found the one person who spilled their sample on the floor.


On the bright side, the nurse thought Kyle had a cut on his face but it was just pimples. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahaAHAHAHAHAHAHahaha.


Anyong ha seyo!

Remember that game that we used to play in the computer lab in elementary school where you had to identify the continents of the world? The hands down best part of that game was finding Asia. The MS-DOS would boom out 'ASIA!!' with both both 'a' sounds stretched out in it's low robotic voice. Well hover your mouse over my head and double click because I'm in ASIA!!

(Side bar: that game would lead me to believe that Europe was always on the right hand side of North America, which was confusing when we moved on to the Earth is Not Flat unit. Perhaps not the best game, but definitely more educational than Dinosaur Park Tycoon.)

This is the view from my room...

...I actually don't know the name of the city we're in because every word I learn slips out of my head like a greased eel which, incidentally, was on the menu tonight. Not really, but I had raw beef and I tore a snail from it's shell with my bare teeth.
This is the view from my camera when I was standing right there. Can you count the power lines?

So far we've been getting some cultural training, with the emphasis that things are neither good nor bad, simply different. Here's an exerpt from a case study in our Counseling Book:

"Many Koreans told Martha that she had a Korean spirit, and she agreed. After her first year she decided to stay indefinitely. She married a Korean man, and slowly began to lose her Western identity. After five years Martha had given up most of her Western tendencies: she no longer vocalized her opinions; she didn't feel as independent and self-reliant as before. She didn't think these changes were positive or negative. They were just changes."
There's also a chart of how things are done:

Nuance: Anger
Korea: Showing anger is rude.
West: Showing anger is ride, but it happens.

Nuance: Elderly
Korea: Show kindness and respect.
West: May show kindness and respect at all times. May also put them on ice flows and
leave them for dead.

Nuance: Touching children
Korea: Natural expression of interest and affection.
West: Usually not done. Exceptions made for R Kelly.

Not better or worse. Just different.
Also, remember that medical test that I was worried about before? It's tomorrow. We're having chest x-rays, blood work and we can't have anything to eat or drink from midnight tonight until 8:00 tomorrow morning because I think, I think, they're also going to be preforming surgery on us. If they even dare ask me to pee in a cup after no water for eight hours I will laugh in their faces so hard I'll pee a little bit, but only dust will come out because there surely won't be any liquid in my bladder. On the bright side, there also won't be any liquid when I break down in tears. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

T Minus 13 hours

I'm moving to Korea in thirteen hours! I gotta go trim my bangs. Wish me luck (in bangs and in life)!

Monday, February 15, 2010

An ode

My winter layer is a wonderful thing
It keeps me warm from fall until spring
Like a jacket lining, thick or thin
Except that it's blubber under my skin.


Bundled up under so many clothes
My layer is hidden when the cold snow blows
Nobody can see this flab that I have
All is hidden from my waist to my calves


During a west coast mid-winter high
Something happens between my thighs
When the temperature rises up to plus nine
They start to chafe, these thighs of mine

Skirts without tights
Cause such a fright
When walking a lot
My legs get quite hot

Things start to burn
My skin starts to turn
A shade of pink
That makes one think:

Was winter so bad?
I miss it a tad
Sleet, rain and snow
I like the mercury low

Of course...

I could diet or even exercise...
Or maybe just ice my poor swollen thighs.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Think About It.

Debating is just rich men arguing.

Think about it.

I'm drunk.

Welcome to the 2010 Winter Games!!!!! I indifferently support and apathetically protest the Olympics. That is my official and unsanctioned stance on the matter.

KD Land looked like Liberace, no?

A rare few can pull off the white suit. There's a bar in Edmonton where if you want a veggie hot dog you ask them to "KD Lang it." I think also if you want to up the butch factor and belt out some Leonard Cohen you could "KD Lang it."

I'ma go KD Lang it.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adults Say the Darndest Things

I was recently the youngest person at a gathering of older people. I thought I wouldn't have anything to talk to middle aged, middle class people about, seeing that I am neither, but I was wrong. Old people are gross, just like me.

Old man: "Alright we gotta get out of here, you're having another hot flash."
Old lady: "What? No I'm not."
Old man: "Ok fine, what do you want me to say, we gotta go home so I can rub one out?"

Later in a discussion of how many strip clubs there are in Victoria my boyfriend's dad walks by and immediately responds with the correct answer of two. He also sends his regards to Olivia.


Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaack... the new york groove. Or, more likely, the North Delta daily grind. Back from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow. Or, more likely, where the goats blow. Goats totally blow.

I'm currently prepping for mid-to-high level alcohol saturation tonight. After a week with my parents I intend to do some abusing. I was reading Chelsea Handler's book in the airport today (on page 62 after reading in in various stores in multiple locations, I intend to read the whole thing without paying) and she referred to herself not as an alcoholic, but rather an "advanced drinker." I like this. Also, she drinks Vodka Collinses, which I have never had, but think I could like. I'd like to fancy myself as a less slutty, less funny version of her. Kind of a poor, sexless man's version of her. I think my boyfriend would agree.

Trip highlights include riding horses and quads, witnessing the birth and death of a baby cow (calf to those in the biz, veal to those with an appetite) as well as my mother's slow descent into insanity and my family's inevitable self destruction. Those may be correlated, but are not causal. (Happy family's are all alike, shitshow's are like snowflakes...)

Hark, who goes there? Vodka? Come in, sit down, take your bra off if you like. I've got some drinking to do. Some drinking and some forgetting.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Know what I love?


If Monday's got you down, remember that your offspring will never be this cute. They're going to be all bald and red and splotchy and then grow up to resent you. Human babies suck, let's leave procreation to the pandas.