Monday, March 28, 2005


Sorry for not posting, but I've had a nasty cold for the last week. The moral to this story is don't ride your motorbike in a rainstorm without full rain gear... and a rain jacket is not enough. I will be getting some rain pants in the near future, because it rains a lot here, and if I can, I will ride. Granted, the bike will sit when the monsoons come...
Another moral is maybe I want a faired bike after all... my current bike (still standing on it's shaky legs - it's safe, just tired) offers about as much wind protection as a naked bike (the kind I wanted.) I have to admit, a faired bike like a PC800 or even a CBR is very attractive right now. Sniffle, sniffle ;-)
Anyway, things are good. The weather has been up and down. We had some nice snow the other day, nice meaning it didn't stay. Snow in March is rare as a blue moon, I'm told... I laughed... if I were in Canada...hehehe. Does anyone in Canada put the snow shovel away before the May long-weekend blizzard?
Like I said, when the blossoms are out, I'll post some pictures.
Also, I am a Calendar Boy. Mr. March/April to be exact... I'll try and post that ASAP too. Don't worry, I'm in the buff, or holding a strategically placed soccerball... I was teaching a lesson, and it wound up the lead picture in my schools official calendar... kinda cool.
Hey, if there is anyone out there who is reading this stuff, please feel free to leave comments. .
Have a great week...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

More about the quake

It seems that the Korean quake may have been seperate from, but still related to the Kyushu quake. According a one site, the quake here registered between 4 and 5 on the Richter scale. The site said that people in Pusan were "forced to evacuate." I suspect that means their homes. I wonder, should I have gone outside, or stayed in as I did? I'll look that up.

What to do in an Earthquake

1. Remain calm - do not panic.
2. Open the door to secure an exit route.
3. Turn off all sources of fire.
4. Do not evacuate until the earthquake is over.
5. Seek shelter under a sturdy desk away from glass and windows. Cover head and face to protect from falling debris and broken glass.
(From the UAF residence site - * Safe spots/places are under tables or desks and away from windows. Doorways are fine, but watch out for the door! Beware of ceiling tiles, light bulbs, large pieces of furniture, and heavy fixtures like computers or televisions.)
6. Keep away from tall cabinets that could topple over and fittings that may fall.
7. Get out immediately after the earthquake stops, taking with you keys, wallets and emergency supplies only.
8. Put on your shoes before going out.
9. Close the door behind you when evacuating, watching out for people who may need your help in getting out.
10. Do not use the elevator.
11. When outside, move away from buildings, trees, power lines and lamp posts.
12. Do not make unnecessary telephone calls. Making phone calls to the emergency services to get information may hamper their rescue efforts.

So, by staying put, and being in a doorway, I did the right thing.


WOW... my first earthquake. It was wild, because I was just waking up (11:10am) when the room started shaking. My first impression was that the neighbour upstairs must have a wickedly off-balance load in the washer. Note that first of all I was still groggy, and secondly, when I lived in Hall Beach the washer would set the house a rocking. Then, I realized that I live on the 3rd floor of a 15 story CONCRETE apartment building. This was no unbalanced washer. This was an Earthquake!

It's probably not a big deal for those who have already experienced it and for those "Earthquake virgins," but I have to say it was FREAKY!

When I realize what was happening, those survival skills I learned as a kid watching American TV kicked in. My first response to stand in a doorway. I'd remember that that's a strong part of a building, though I have to admit, the next thought I had was that I didn't think thses buildings were designed to stand up to earthquakes, so, should I get out? Anyway, it was over before I could do anything else. It lasted under a minute and I have no idea what it rated here in Yeosu.

So, you thought Korea doesn't get Earthquakes. Generally it doesn't and what we felt the tail end of a 7.0 Earthquake that originated just off the coast of Kyushu Island, Japan. There was damage in Japan, but it’s doesn’t appear to have been that serious. There was a Tsunami warning (Oh my god, I live on the coast!!!) but it was for waves 50cm tall...(yes, 1.5 feet), not the type of Tsunami that I was expecting. Actually, in Yeosu we’re pretty safe from Tsunamis, becasuse of a ton of islands that sheild us. Also, were a Tsunami to get through the islands, Yeosu is build in the mountains, and they would likely break up any wave. I live on the side of a hill, and it would have to be a pretty impressive wave to make it up here. So, no real worries about a Tsunami hitting us.

Here in Korea, most of the TV channels (including CNN and BBC news) were oblivious to the quake. The only info I got was from a Japanese channel and the internet.

I guess really it wasn't a big deal, but it was still a bizarre experience. I don't know how people get use to living in places like California and Japan where they get hit by earthquakes regularly. Then again, my first experience was n't that bad, considering it was just a little earthquake (here) with no injuries or serious damage.

So, those of you who heard about the quake have nothing to worry about, I'm safe.



Monday, March 14, 2005

Dok Pang-a Jih-gi Posted by Hello

Ji-gae Ji-gi Posted by Hello

Jae-gi Cha-gi Posted by Hello


Sunday was the 7th annual Hanmadang Event for Foreigners In Yeosu Area. Which essentially is a Hanmadang(peaceful gathering) of the foreigners put together to introduce us to some of Korean culture. Its held at the same time as the Yeosu Flower Festival.

There were cultural demonstrations, including drumming, traditional song and dance, Tae Kwon do, sport dance (see the movie Strictly ballroom for an explanation), musical performances, and a few other things as well.

Foreigners were also invited to participate in cultural activities including Dok Pang-a Jih-gi (making rice-cakes), Jae-gi Cha-gi (foot shuttlecock like hacki-sack), Sae-ki-chol Ko-gi (rope making), Ji-gae Ji-gi(carrying traditional pack), arm wrestling, fan making, paper folding, Kimbab making and a few other things.

We got stickers for completing activities, and thus while having fun and learning Korean culture, we also qualified for a prize, a flashlight/alarm clock combo. Even without the prize it was a good time.

Too bad it was so cold out. I imagine there would have been a huge turn out if it had been warmer. Oh well, I still had fun!

Check out the pics.


Saturday, March 12, 2005

OK... I was wrong

So, Yesterday when I got out of school... to my dismay it was
freezing. Seems that all that nice warm air that was here, sucked down
a cold front from the north... chilly...
So, spring? I hope soon.... brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Wow... 3 days ago I was wearing 5 layers to drive to school on my motorbike. The last two days, I'm down to 3.
Spring in this country is AMAZING. It strikes like lightning. First it's winter, then boom, you blink and the cherry blossoms are out. I will post pictures as soon as they come out.
I can't wait to walk around with just a shirt and no jacket...I was told last summer was unbearably hot, but I hope not to complain any. A fellow Mark, in Yeosu, has a small sailboat, and has invited me to go out with him. I can't wait.
Cheers All.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Another Project

I'm trying to start another project...
I figure, current events and news are great ways to get kids (especially middle school kids) to read. The problem is that most news sites, even the kid oriented ones are too difficult for many ESL readers. So, I'm hoping to put together a little news site with articles simplified for ESL readers which include word definitions. I'm not sure if it will work out, but if it does, tht's great. I'm looking for contributors. I figure an article a week or so is enough to keep things rolling. The more contributors, the more news.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

First week back

Wow, as some of you know, we teachers are spoiled with long holidays.
Well, that has all come to an end, and I'm back in school. It's a
little bizarre for me, in that I don't really have much to do this
week. Next week the school schedule will be finalized, and I'll get my
formale schedule. So this week I'm kinda prepping for my clases coming
It's going to be a strange semester, as I teach each grade 1 and 3
class (7&9 back home - 17total classes) one week, and then the year
2's twice the following week (18classes). Being that I have 4 hours of
workshjops to teach each week, I'm right up there with 21&22 contact
hours per week which is right at the max (22hrs) of my contract. I
actually work a more contact hours than the average Korean teacher,
though they have added responsibilities. I think they feel that they
area getting their money's worth.
I also have a morning conversation class 2x/week which I'm excited
about. They wanted me to do more, but being as close to my limit as I
am, I wasn't too happy with the idea of being at school from 8-5 every
day. Two days isn't so bad, and I like teaching this class.
So, that's all that's new on my side of the world for me.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Oh Lovely Banks

I just discovered that every time I send money home, not only do I pay the service fees here ($12-20) but I also get socked for another $10 in Canada. I pay the fees here so I don’t have to pay them home, it's an option I sign for. I find that completely ridiculous. Each of those $10 extras and all the other fine service fees they charge, contributed to the $2,600,000,000 (billion looks better when you show all the zeroes) in profits they made for 2004. Why is it, that with that much profit, the banks continue to raise our service fees, telling us that it's too expensive to operate otherwise? Once my student loans are done, I'm gonna start hiding my money in my mattress.