You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.
Its another one of those white man goes to backward country and becomes a God stories.
Tintin in Congo is utterly racist, condescending and plain degrading. But it is nonetheless damn funny and entertaining — which is all that matters.
Like a boss, indeed.
The speaking style does somewhat remind me of some of my bunk mates — with phrases like “fuck he” >< It is quite hard to find a chinese (or maybe even burmese) linguistic equivalent of him and her, instead of he and she.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, merry christmas everyone. If piracy is like stealing a car (except that the car is somehow still there…right), then sharing soft copies of tintin would still count as giving presents!!!! And I used to say that one of the reasons I want to make a lot of money is so that I can afford to buy the entire tintin series. For now, I have already re-read the three that I have read before as a child — which happen to be the first three of the series.
“oh yeah okay, I’m not free till week after next. But I think I’ll have a number of half days this week. I’ll only find out on the morning itself tho – let you know once I can.”
then I got home, reflected upon my day or so, and realised that I over-used this line over the past 48 hours — and I only have four days of the week to go around, assuming all are half-days.
I think banks call it over-drawing.
The past week has been supposedly quite good. A normal day at work now involves swimming, using the gym, eating lunch and going home after lunch. But for one reason after another, from leg pain to drinking too much before sleeping to UNCANNILY dropping the aircon remote such that it undoes the timer, I had a pretty damn sleep deprived week. At the risk of sounding like a girl, I felt listless and unfocused for a large part of the week for no apparent reason. I had a low attention span that pushed me to entertain myself mindlessly with tv shows and movies; I hardly had the focus enough to read more than a few pages — which was actually what I needed to do.
It’s amazing. I just spent two hours clearing and organizing my room. For some reason, it does remind me of my one and a half years at my workplace but the important part is that it for some reason cleared my mind. At the risk of sounding gay, clearing and cleaning my room actually felt therapeutic. I feel as though I could think more straightly now, or at least could read. (Again, at the risk of sounding gay or new-ageish) In some poetic manner, maybe the decluttering of the external environment helped to declutter my inner sanctum.
Funny – for the past two years, I also cleared my room around this time of the year. I hope I could sleep properly tonight — its been a pretty sleep deprived week.
They say that the last three months are the slowest, and then it gets slower and slower. Not really. I have around one week left – and while I am finally consciously aware of how much time I have left, and am in some way counting down, it hasn’t changed my mood or behaviour. And I still don’t feel any sense of urgency or rush. In fact, if anything, my countdown is in the form of “number of days at the new and free swimming pool left” (of the top of my head, it is five)
But in fact, I feel that there is not enough time. Recently, there has been a lot on my mind to plan out and set order to chaos. I’m normally not accustomed to fixating my attention on more than one thing at a time – but right now, I have around five to six things on my mind. And I plain don’t have the mood to get started on any of them yet, let alone be uber-efficient. I should start soon – but which one first?
I need to declutter my mind…soon.
I woke up in pain. Not the faggotty metaphoric poetic sort of pain in the heart, but my usual knee hurt enough to wake me up. It wasn’t excruciating to the level of something broken, thankfully. But it was enough to keep me up for another one to two hours. It was bearable by now, but just plain annoying.
I was supposed to be over this shit. I was supposed to be fine now, and go running every weekend. This was the wrong time for it to come back – my time was ending already. I don’t need to be damaged — I didn’t ever since I left The Island actually. I had no idea why it hurt. The main thing on my mind was the horrible wait at the hospital, which was especially bad since I viscerally hate seeing doctors and visiting places of medical …stuff. Add the long inconvenient waits of the public hospital, the annoying cost-savings that I wouldn’t have anymore, useless trainee doctors, and the fruitlessness of it all. I didn’t want any of that. Either way, I’m not going to eat any medicine this time. I hate medicine.
I’m glad I fell asleep eventually- after more than an hour, and woke up perfectly fine. …Maybe it was just a bad dream. But I’m glad it’s over – for now.
- Always. November is a time where I wished my life was different, always.
For about five years and probably more, every November becomes a period of deep thought and reflection. That’s not very unusual from a normal day – perhaps deeper in intensity? But more strikingly, November is often -for some reason I don’t know – a time where I rethink my life and its direction. My mind almost drifts away to the same far away place each year. Often, I spend the whole month thinking about an alternative life path – and simply wished that my life was different.
Perhaps it has got to do with the time leading up to my birthday, and the time after. Or perhaps that November is a month before December, meaning close to the end but not quite there yet.
Think all I want about the past year, because come next January – which is pretty damn soon-, I will like all the years before me so far, forget more or less everything from the year before — its probably a student thing.
But that was last month. Why am I only writing this now? Because I was busy and in Korea for the later part of November.
The better question is probably: why not december? why does it stop in december? – or does it? Maybe december perpetually provides its own things to amuse me with. (I still think its got to do with my birthday)
I wonder how it’ll be next year, After all this time -?
I just came back from Korea, where I visited various parts from the city, to the holiday island, to the snow mountains with a ski resort. In this post, I’ll be randomly piecing together impressions and experiences from my trip – some of which may be based upon disputable facts or misinformation. The rest is personal opinion.
1. Expectation vs Reality:
As usual I had low expectations, but in particular, here’s what I was expecting:
In reality….nevermind, better not to put a picture for this. The eyes are smaller, the face is rounder etc. It is quite hard to find a korean girl who is not slim though – partly due to cultural reasons (where they place a high value on maintaining their external appearance. My tour guide who is around 50 says to skip 2000 times a day) and partly due to diet – which I will go into later.
I must admit though, that the airport security women can actually pass off as TV drama serial quality characters (think Channel 8 police show)….unlike our local ones
2. Ethnic pride and purity:
You can be American or Singaporean in nationality, even if you are not American or Singaporean in ethnicity (cough). This is not the case for Korea. You almost can’t be a Korean unless you actually are Korean in every sense of the word. Citizenship is restricted to immigrants of more than three generations, rather than handing it out like a free voucher to any talented foreigner. I’m quite sure I didn’t see any Bangla worker cleaning the plane or toilet — they might be Chinese though, I’m not sure.
The main instance where I saw Chinese workers, was in the shops that were catered towards selling things to foreign visitors, mainly from China. Based on what the tour guide talked about, I gathered that the Koreans are a very nationalistic people – which makes me wonder how such a nationalistic country could be at civil war. (Yes, I thought about nationalism, USA, and even sports and the yuan, while on holiday. How unfortunate)
Random side thought: on the holiday island for the first two days, I saw more zhongguo tuan people than koreans. fml.
3. Ginseng – the national treasure:
I can only think of one reason right now as to why I might revisit Korea in future – to buy Ginseng. Korean Ginseng is supposedly the best…say the Koreans. It probably is more reliable than Chinese Ginseng (reliable as in, being authentic and not toxic). I still wonder how Ginseng was discovered in the first place, since its a root. Must have been some desperate and suffering Korean in the icy mountain digging roots to eat.
4. Uniformity in meals:
Almost every meal, there will be a metal bowl of rice, the usual sides of kimchi and seaweed, the same metal chopsticks, and the same plastic tumbler of water. Its almost uniform. Maybe their school all taught them the same thing, or the government has some quality award thing that regulates the table layout. Most of my meals came with a hotpot with some meat. After a while, all the meals start to feel the same because of their uniformity — and the hotpots start to taste roughly the same too.
My guess is that most Koreans really just eat kim chi with rice and seaweed – hotpot with meat is an occasional thing. With such a diet, how does one become a fat girl? But at the same time, with such a diet, I’m wondering how Koreans end up so tall. The tall ones must eat a lot of kim chi. Speaking of kim chi, cabbage is freaking everywhere in the meals. I was actually looking out if there was a giant cabbage plantation around (or as they call it, kabeji). When the tour guide asked what Korea’s national flower was (after telling us about the national treasure ginseng), I almost replied cabbage. Of course it’s notm I can’t remember what it is though.
The showers in most of the hotels I stayed in had no lock. Most toilets also came with this semi translucent window thing that could be opened easily. More strikingly, one hotel I stayed at had a full glass window with no curtains — this includes the toilet bowl, mind you. I’m like, what, this must be some Korean voyeurism thing. My dad says that the lockless toilet is about trusting whoever you’re in the room with. But by his logic, then all our toilets at home wouldn’t need locks. Its something I cannot understand. Never would I want to even leave a remote chance for someone to accidentally walk in while I shower or shit, let alone watch someone shower or shit — korean girl or otherwise.
6. Mountains and snow:
My favorite part of the trip of course. I’m proud that I climbed one of the mountains by myself. Its actually just a lot a lot of stairs, to the point that I started to feel warm and needed to take off my jacket. According to my tour guide, climb the mountain once, and you wouldn’t need to exercise for the rest of the week. Snow mountains are beautiful — never in my life, have I seen an entire surrounding of nothing but white everywhere, even the trees were white. And in this weather, there were some korean girls wearing short skirts — they must be North Koreans! And in this weather, there were also some chinese wearing shorts — they must be from Heilongjiang or Dairen!
Skiing is fun, but a bit overrated. It requires a heck lot of hassle to suit up for the skiing. It requires a heck lot more effort to try to climb back up the slope to ski down again. Most of my time was spent climbing back up, rather than skiing down the slope. As it was more difficult to take off and then re-attach the ski, I eventually decided to just push myself uphill while still on my skis — almost like skiing against gravity. Add the fact that I was trying to maximise the number of times I skiied, so I tried to do it fast. Sweating in the wintry cold of a snow mountain is probably not a good idea.
Yeah wtf, I actually went swimming after skiing. I was expecting the water to be heated. Should have taken a picture of me wearing only my trunks at a swimming pool, with the snowy mountain in the background.
9. Slush and puddles:
This is the most irritating part about the trip. I can survive without long johns, hat and gloves, but what I cannot do without is a good pair of socks and shoes….which I didn’t have. What I had was some thin Puma shoes that was damn vulnerable to water from upwards. So when going through the ice trail, I ended up inevitably stepping into puddles of icy water, and walking in wet socks on the icy path. P.S. Dear Universe, when I said “What could be worse than stepping into puddles of icy water?” it was not a challenge. That same day, after I painstakingly dried my shoes, I got them wet again, this time with half my jeans.
Its one of the two things I enjoy when overseas (the other is mountains). So I went to see Queen Min’s palace. Those who studied IB History paper 3 may vaguely recall brief mention of her assassination by the Japanese before they conquered Korea. The korean version of the story I heard involves additional detail like how the Japanese sliced off her tongue before burning her alive, and how she willingly stepped forward to prevent the killing of innocent people. (both claims of which i’m skeptical about -_-)
Funny thing is it was at this site where I saw the most Japanese tour groups. First, I wonder if the Korean government made it a compulsory part of the Japanese tour program. Second, I wonder what was their reaction to the story.
I didn’t actually like my korean holiday. Yeah whatever, some may say that its being unappreciative of a holiday. No, its not. Its being objective. Objectively, if your favoritest loved one gives you an ugly shirt you don’t like, it is still an ugly shirt you don’t like. I actually wanted it to end, which shouldn’t be the case for a holiday. It was a sentiment that was neither present for Japan nor Boston. One of my problems is probably that I kept drawing a perpetual comparison to Japan – in every aspect apart from the snow mountain – which I didn’t see in Japan, I thought that Japan was still ahead. And I didn’t even have to compare with Tokyo and Osaka. Japan’s more expensive of course – but maybe you get what you pay for. Maybe I’m biased (especially since I forgot my reasons for feeling that way by now).
Well, blame fukushima, and blame my sister who finished her O’s and her stupid Kpop craze. When I pressed her to name two aspects where Korea was better, she said “the television!”