Thursday, May 26, 2011

Great Earthquakes in One Place After Another

For any stuffshawndid readers out there who know nothing of the stuff I did since writing my last blog entry, I suggest you take a seat, preferably in a restful, pastoral setting. So for you, my dear hypothetical and imaginary avid stuffshawndid reader who knows nothing of my life since leaving Korea in the fall of 2010, I give you these major highlights.

-Visited my hometown

-Visited a member-of-the-opposite-sex in the United State of Tennessee

-Did an around-the-Midwest tour visiting old friends

-Spent more time in hometown and was visited there by said member-of-the-opposite-sex

-Married said member-of-the-opposite-sex on top of a mountain in North Carolina

- Member-of-the-opposite-sex, now wife, and I traveled to Costa Rica for honeymoon

-Next, the member-of-the-opposite-sex who now accompanies me places, and I traveled by bus to Nicaragua

The member-of-the-opposite-sex and I are now house-sitting for friends somewhere between Managua and Masaya, Nicaragua.  If you want to stop by, we are on the Calle Ceda Managua, Kilometre Dies y Nueve punto Dos, by the white Eskimo wall, “Una Irrestible Tentacion!”

Our friends will soon be arriving back in the county, once again leaving me and the member-of-the-opposite-sex, as I have often found myself recently, homeless.

Where will we go? We surely do not know… (cliffhanger!)*

 *I know you are on the edge of your seat, my self-importance tells me so.**

** Written by member-of-the-opposite-sex (with love)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Oh Gwangju, How I Loved-ju: Bus 95 (with special guests Amit, the Shinae, and First Nepal)

Like any Korean town of any size, Gwangju has a good bus system. Many of the bus stops feature this electronic reading with a helpful ETA. (And as seen here my bus, 95, was coming in 5 minutes.)

While enjoying a variety of buses during my tenure in Gwangju, 95 was my usual ride, taking me to the congregation at least 3 times a week, downtown, and elsewhere.

On this particular evening I was heading downtown (aka the shinae, 시내) to meet my friend Amit for some Nepalese food.

We spoke of the usual foreigner-in-Korea topics, Amit's past experiences traveling with UNICEF, and our futures whether in South Korea or in other places beginning with the word 'South'.

There was a certain quality of finality to the evening, being only a few days away from my departure. This was capped by the ride back home on bus 95. Bus 95 in the evening is commonly crowded with high school kids returning home after their dismissal from school at 10:00pm, but this particular evening had a certain 제네세콰 (jae-nae-sae-kwa) as clearly seen  in the video below. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oh Gwangju, how I loved-ju: Preamble

I leave Gwangju, South Korea, where I have lived for the last two years, in about 10 hours. Hence the brief preamble. A preamble to what, you ask?

The following post(s) may or may not include the following from my final week, so don't hold me to anything::

-Bus 95
-Schools, Kids, and Teachers
-Joel 'n' Azure
-The Gwangju English Congregation
-No.1 and the Mokpo Crew
-The birth of the Southern Euphrosyn Musicological Society

Please await the first installment once I set my feet back in the western hemisphere.

Oh yes! I should include my U.S. Tour schedule, it is as follows-

Oct 31 - Nov 9: Kansas City
Nov 10 - Nov 18: Tennessee
Nov 19 - Nov 21: Cincinnati
Nov 22 - Nov 25: Indiana
Nov 26 - Nov 28: Chicago
Nov 29 - Dec 11: Minnesota
Dec 12 - Dec 20: Kansas City

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The following is supplementary information: Antipodes /anˈtipədēz/

Your geographical antipode /ˈantiˌpōd/ is that spot on the globe opposite of you.  To see what that would be, see the following link:

If you are in North America, your antipode (or opposite sandwich slice) is not China, as many of us were told as kids, but somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

For the sake of stuff Shawn did and the stuff Shawn will do, move one of the maps to South Korea (my current residence) and see the other side of the sandwich.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Video Extra!: Seoul Subway

Farewell Seoul, I hardly knew you

For you stalwart Stuff Shawn Did readers, it may be confusing where I actually live as most Stuff Shawn Did posts center around places where I am NOT living. Let's do a true/false quiz, circling the correct answer on our monitors using marker, pencil, and/or car keys.

1. Shawn Lives in Korea: True / False

2. South Korea is essentially Seoul: True / False

3. Shawn lives in Seoul: True / False

4. Seoul Food comes from Seoul, South Korea: True / False


1. If you answered True, you are wrong. Shawn lives in South Korea.
2. If you answered True, you are only half-right.
3. If you answered False, you are not incorrect.
4. If you answered False, what are you thinking? Why else would it be called "Seoul Food"?

Now, with this all straightened out let me get down to introductions and say that Seoul and I have had a touch-and-go, rather tenuous, relationship. In fact, sometimes I wonder if she knows I exist!

But! Seeing as how I am leaving this peninsula soon,.... {Shouts from you, in the peanut gallery, where peanuts are apparently available} "What! Huh! What is THIS!"

OK! OK! Let me briefly answer before I get back to the subject at hand. Yes, South Korea, and both Koreas actually, are on a peninsula. Now, as I was saying, I decided to give another visit to this great, big, unwieldy, lady of a city.

I went to Seoul Grand Park and the National Museum of Contemporary Art for the third time.

I hung tough with my friend and host Hi-lak (for faithful Shawn Stuff Did followers, you may recognize this character from his debut in the famed Hong Kong posts).

I spent hours discussing important linguistic, socio-political, cultural, and environmental, topics with my aforementioned host, such as the meaning of 두꺼비 (doo-guh-bee), that being a frog's big brother, also known as a toad.

My friends and I were followed by the vicious Seoul Paparazzi, apparently mistaking me for Neo and one of my acquaintances for a suspiciously Korean-looking Morpheus. (The following are the best that the tabloids came up with.)

I went up Namsan Tower where I just began to get a grotesque visual handful of this monster.

And finally, I spent some time (whilst Hi-lak was away to work) with Hi-lak's mom.

With this we'll say a melanchoholic farewell [Dramatic, pentatonic-ambiguously-Asian melody, string-chords, fart sound].

Since we've answered your primary question of."Where does Shawn actually live?" We'll move on to, oh, wait a minute! You never asked that question, did you?

Ok then, fine.

Stay tuned for "Gwangju: Oh How I Loved-ju" or something of that sort. But first! An extra treat! 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Jeju Island with Bill

Ok, fine! I'll admit it. I had a lazy summer. The stuff Shawn did during his vacation was mostly contained within his current residential town of Gwangju, South Korea.

One highlight was my trip to Jeju-do ('do' means island amongst other things) with Bill.

I COULD speak of our oceanfront accommodations.

I COULD brag to you about the elegant breakfast.

I COULD tell you about the harrowing battle against the elements on Halasan ('san' means mountain).

I COULD tell you about our brief glittering career as Jeju beach rockers.

I COULD regale you with the tales of our wild timez at the beach.

But none of this can speak of our days (those consisting of three) like a song from our songster, Bill Song.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Visitors 3 & 4 from Minnesota

Summer and Kady arrived the 28th of May to see me in my current natural habitat. Having just come from a months long tour of Southeast Asia they were happy to simply sweat less profusely  in temperatures of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

These visitors proved easily satisfied with most anything. The usual Korean fare of meat, cabbage soaked with red pepper, rice, and soju, no doubt tasted better given their lack of need to wear a headband due to the copious sweat covering their brows.

The hiking (pictured here), the witnessey activities (some of which involved going out to the boondocks), a short trip to Seoul, even the day of answering 6th graders probing and all too personal questions, all had a wonderful aura about it simply due to the relative temperate comfort in which they were experienced.

Given this the two visitors left with an impression that life in Korea was indeed wonderful and unique. Nothing like life in Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, or Cambodia. And certainly, absolutely, without a doubt, nothing like our lives in Minnesota.