30 November 2008

Taj Mahal Palace hotel

Turns out the staff of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel went above and beyond the call of duty during the attack. I'm more then a bit impressed by the level of service they displayed, hard to even get spare towels at some of the places I've stayed.

Read the article here

28 November 2008

Escape From Seoul

First of all, I was trapped on the bus to Seoul for three hours (usually takes about half an hour) because of traffic. Also lost my hat, I'm gonna miss that hat. Spent a few hours with friends, but the real fun didn't begin until it was time to go home.

I got to Yongsan Station just in time to miss the last train to Incheon on Friday night so I hopped the last train to Guro which is on the same line and in the right direction. The 'fun' started when I arrived in Guro and found that I couldn't get any of the ATM machines to take my card. For some strange reason, Korean (and Japanese) Banks lock up their ATM machines when it gets too late so you're forced to use the private machines that charge enormous fees, none of these machines would accept my card.

So, to recap, I'm trapped in Seoul without enough cash to get a cab ride home and I can not get the machine to spit out any more cash. Luckily, I met up with a drunk Korean guy who was also headed to Incheon and he agreed to split the fare and the night was saved.

The moral of this story is, don't miss the frigging train. If you do, don't let your store of walking around money get too low.

Found one instance of 'Creative English' that night.

No clue what this is supposed to mean
anyone have a clue?

Went to Dongdaemun the next day, good place to go if you want to buy clothing, bad place to go if you want to do much else.

Got a couple pictures of the gate below.


And the back

On Teaching

Some people like to either give their students, or allow their students to pick English names. I think this is a bad idea for the following three reasons.

One: They'll expect you to remember their names. I have almost two thousand students, the most I see them is once a week.

Two: You'll have two hundred 'Harry Potters' and another hundred assorted names.

Three: They types of names that have cropped up in a guy I knows' class include; Adolf Hitler, Rapist, SEXOR, etc. While amusing to hear a ten to seventeen year old say some of these things, it still isn't worth remembering them all.

A girl I know said something about bringing up their colonialist past when the Japanese would assign new names to people in places and how she didn't want to be seen as an outsider who came and reopened all those old wounds. Me, I doubt that my students would have any clue about any of that.

27 November 2008

New Razor

"The Barber Pole" Hefty-Long (Handled) Classic
MERKUR - Solingen

My new razor arrived the other day after a month in transit. Got into the whole double edge 'grandpa' razor scene when I heard that using them would cut down on the number of ingrown hairs I'd get on my face. As I hate getting ingrown hairs and as I'd have cheerfully killed to eliminate them, I gave it a try. First two razors were cheap Chinese Silo Razors, they worked out well so I decided to upgrade to a Merkhur Hefty-Long Classic (seen above) and I'm glad I did. First thing you notice about this thing is the weight (4oz), second thing is the quality. I have every confidence that this chrome plated brass beast will outlive me.

Purchased along with a few other things from classicshaving.com which has good service and is willing to ship to Korea. Shipping is reasonable despite the fact that it takes forever.

Learned about a site called Latinum which is a podcast that will teach you Latin. Hattip to 'The Marmot's Hole' (one of the best site's on Korea and run by a hell of a nice guy).


23 November 2008

Another Weekend, Another Trip to Seoul

Gyeonghuigung Site
Situated between the Seoul Museum and an Art Museum

More on that

Cool looking Building, I have no idea what it is
and only a vague idea where it is

Isn't this thing supposed to be in Seattle?

Ducati, looks like a Ducati Sport Classic
first bike I've seen that wasn't Korean or Japanese
Seen at Seoul Station

Beondegi (boiled Silk Worm Pupa)
the only thing worse then the taste is the smell

USB memory machine
would (more accurately could) have been a used schoolgirl garment machine in Japan
No, I'm not joking . . . Really

Closer Look

Near the Korea Tourism Office
And it will haunt my dreams forever

There's a reason I've never gone to any of the assorted Disney Hells

And what post would be complete without more examples of the creative use of English . . .

In their defense, they did get it spelled right on the door

Made by Bururu
Ashamed to admit that I'm at a loss as to how to make fun of this

Still looking for a tee shirt I saw that had the slogan; "I'll Show You Who's The Boss, Kate Moss." Yes, this is a real tee shirt that's been seen in Korea and yes I wish to find a store selling them.

Agricultural Museum

Went to the Seoul Museum and the Agricultural Museum today, pictures were not allowed in either museum but I got a few in the Ag Museum before some old lady told me to stop.

Agricultural Museum is on line 5 and it's across the street from Seodaemun Station. Seoul Museum is a few blocks further up the street.

The Agricultural Museum is sponsored by Nonghyup the farmer's bank (also my bank). The Seoul Museum is sponsored by the city of Seoul (I think). Admission to both banks was free, Seoul Museum usually charges but it's free on some Sundays.

Neither Museum was great, both were worth a walk through though.

The Entrance


First half

Second Half

I have nothing to add

Would have been nice to have a little detail

He's at least twice as good as irrigation

Don't laugh, Irrigation is important

But less then half as important as king what's his name

22 November 2008

Vincent Motorcycles

I like Motorcycles, but I've never gotten an endorsement. Haven't even ridden one in years and I'm profoundly shamed by this fact.

I can give the usual excuses; I spend a lot of time out of the United States, I've lost several friends to bike accidents, work, laziness, etc.

That out of the way, I'd like to talk about one of my favorite motorcycle companies of yesteryear.

Vincent was a British brand before and for a few years after the Second World War. They made beautiful bikes but their real claim to fame was the fact that they were the fastest production bike available.

The World's Fastest Standard Motorcycle - This is a fact, not a slogan!

Rollie Free riding across the salt flats at 150.313 mph

The last Vincent was produced in 1955. They were sold for about five hundred pounds new and today command prices above one hundred thousand pounds, fairly good return on an investment.

New Vincent

There are plans to make a modern bike with the old Vincent Brand, but they don't seem to have produced anything but prototypes.

Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Motorcycles

Link to the new Vincent Homepage: http://www.vincentmotors.com/

National War Museum

One thing I forgot to mention about my post about the lobster game is that it's the funnest game in the world, the Lobsters try to run out of the way and they struggle with the claw and do amazing back flips out of it. Until they get tired of life and just sit there.

This group of photos documents the trip I made to the National War Museum, lot's of things to do and see and I'd recommend it. Much better then the National Museum in my opinion.

Here we have the National War Museum

Doxa Dive Watch, as seen on Dirk Pitt

Part of the Pilot Survival kit

Thanking the UN Forces that kept The Republic Free of Commie Tyranny

The Whole Display

Monument to the two Koreas expressing hope that they'll reunite some day

The Outside of the museum is a gigantic display; Planes, trucks, swamp boats, and semi submarines




Another monument, this one is right in front of the museum





Swamp Boat ROK

And a DPRK Semisub, used by the North to do nefarious deeds