Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Waiting Room

Lost my wallet last weekend so I had to go in to Immigration to reissue my Alien Registration Card (ARC). No sweat, cuz I made a reservation. Just register and click on Reserve Visit. That place can get packed sometimes and it's not really centrally located so make sure you don't waste time goin out there only to find that you need to wait in line behind half of your fellow expats. I was in and out of there in 15 minutes.

Oh ya and when I extended my E2 visa for a second year I lost my multiple reentry so I got a new one there, W50,000. Bring cash and you'll be directed to go downstairs to buy stamps for however much you need.

I was reminded last night that goin to a club and 80s music aren't really my things, but Fugazi's Waiting Room rocks. Better than the waiting room at immigration, even.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NBA International League Pass

It's tough to keep up with sports back home here, espn.com can only take me so far...
I got the NBA International League Pass and got to see the Knicks put up 82 in one half. Quality is almost like TV and there's no buffering or lag problems that I've had so far. The exchange rate to the dollar is a bit hard to swallow though.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Like This

Still can't run but been biking alot and gotten my quad a lot stronger. So it's feeling good and so far the surgery is lookin like a success. I'm surprised it's taking so long for the nerves around the surgery site to recover full feeling though.

I think I was having so much pain before because my leg muscles wasted away so much while I was on crutches, so the joint was put under too much pressure. More than four months have passed now, and I can bike at a moderate speed with no pain. As the doc's instructions I've been doing leg extensions, light squats only 45 degrees deep and balance work. Along with theraband work to work up the muscles in my ankle and toes.

If you came here after searching about knee surgeries in Korea and have more questions, feel free to email me. People have been asking about it...

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Things I'll miss

Raw Tuna
Cheap Taxis and the friendly people that drive them in the daytime
Butter Waffles
Kimchi (sometimes)
5 dollar doctor visits
Box Hunting

Things I won't

Taxi Drivers who want to rip me off at night
Dirty streets
Dirty air
Overpriced, horrible imitation Western food

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Whatever You Like

So I had to get my rosters for NCAA 09 and now I am set. Spiller has got wheels and Herbstreit even points out that he runs track for Clemson in the off-season.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Play Your Part (Pt.2)

So the next step, rehab, is in some ways more important than the surgery itself. Been about 3 weeks since the surgery and I got another 3 weeks left on crutches. Still a bit swollen but the stitches were taken out last week. Almost no pain! Just a weird feeling when I raise it straight out a little below the kneecap. Like someone taking tape off my skin, only on the inside.

I had my meniscus repaired on both the medial and lateral sides. And also cartilage debridement. So I got to go in for rehab 3 times for 2 weeks then 5 days a week for 4 weeks.

The therapist checks general knee flexibility. Then it's iced for a bit and I do the arm bike (don't know the official term for it) for 15 minutes. Stretch to warm up then it's about 90 minutes of stuff all focused on the muscles around my knee.

Weighted leg raises lying down in all four directions. Pushing out with a band around the knees. Pressing in with a ball between the knees. Pressing down with a ball under the knee. Some other stuff and time flies by. Ice it again after. It feels better after I do all the rehab than before, actually.

The therapists don't speak English that great but they can use body language and I'm following along with a bunch of pro and college atheletes, mostly soccer players. It's a great environment, everyone motivated and working together to get back out there... Feels great cuz I think I made the right choice getting my knee fixed up at this place. Drop me a line if you need details for the place.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)

Not being able to walk yet gives me time to write about something I said I would a while ago. Knee is still a bit swollen but the nerves down there are getting a little better every day so I can feel pain more! Yea!

The Foreign Service Officer Test is taken by people who know they have a 5% chance of actually becoming a FSO. When I took it in Yongsan, Seoul the test takers came from a bunch of different backgrounds and age groups as one might expect. Had a little trouble finding the test location but a nice Korean Army guy pointed me in the right direction.

I would've done better to have brushed up on high school social studies stuff and all the hot topics in the news these days. I took it on the computer and everything was smooth.

The test moderator said if it were up to him, he'd hire me on the spot simply because I was on time, organized and friendly. Too bad, I didn't pass the test and will have to try next year if I'm still looking for direction in my life.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Money Maker

I need some new clothes that fit and aren't too tight (ie not small Korean style) so I got to turn to the internet.

I got a couple shirts from cafepress with no problems, I'm a bigger guy and it's tough to find even tshirts here that fit decently. I got this one cuz I'm thinkin about moving there and needed to be banging in my white tee.

I don't know when or why one has to pay import tax on stuff sent to here from out of the country but my cafepress order was under $60 and I wasn't taxed.

I'm tryin Foot Locker next. There's a base $50 fee to ship but again it's a matter of finding something I like. And stuff in the Adidas and Nike stores here are more expensive than back home anyway so payin the fifty bucks is something I can handle.

Abercrombie finally got cargo shorts for sale again on their website and they ship to Korea too.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Where Is My Mind?

I had a torn meniscus in my right knee that I got fixed in a Korean hospital last week. Followed by a weeklong hospital stay where I'd be woken up at 7am, given a shot and have to try to speak Korean to the nurse while I'm still fighting off the cobwebs. I'm expecting good results from the surgery but can't really tell until I finish all the rehab. It will take a few months.

Shared a room with 5 Koreans, 4 in for getting hurt while playing a sport and one for getting hit by a taxi. Because we were all there because we were just injured, not sick, the atmosphere was better than one might think. If any of us could jump we would've been bouncing off the walls to get out of there, though.

It was my first overnight hospital stay anywhere, and I had no complaints. They did stick needles into my arms countless times but that's just a personal phobia. I felt much more confident about getting surgery done here than I did a few years ago. The medical care has probably gotten a bit better than 4 years ago and I've gotten used to life here so it made the whole hospital stay a bit better.

I'll be on crutches for a while so should have ample time for posting.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Make Way

I took the Foreign Service Officer Test in Yongsan earlier this month. I don't think I did so hot. I keep up on the news more than most... and can remember some details of what I learned about the government in high school. If I had a clearer memories from those days and was just a bit more well read in regards to current events I'd feel more confident about reaching the next step of the hiring process. I wasn't aware that only 10% of those that take it actually get hired...

I got another year on my visa just by going to the immigration office here in Seoul. Lots of other foreign teachers were talking about how hard it'd be but for me it was a breeze. I guess the real complicated regulations come into play more for those that are newcomers to Korea to teach on an E2 this year.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

FSO Test

I'm going to take the Foreign Service Officer Test in early March. I finished the application finally, they wanted 6 references! I realized filling out the app was just as much for me as it was for taking the test. There was a personal narrative section where I had to type out my thoughts in regards to my life experiences. I hadn't thought about what I've been doing recently in that much detail. Needless to say much of what I put on there related to my time in Korea and how it has made me better. I don't know of anyone who has ever taken the test before. I'll write here about how it goes. I saw sample questions and they look like they'd own my face though.

Friday, February 08, 2008

K Shopping.

If you've lived in Korea for any amount of time, you'll notice most things are overpriced, especially if you hit up a Lotte department store. You've got to check the internet for normal prices.

I've been using GMarket with no problems. They have an English site that you can register at. You'll need to search on the main Korean site for what you want. Searching through the English section gives strangely limited results.

If you can read a bit of Korean, try Danawa.com for your electronic needs. I like wandering into the Yongsan electronics market so I just check prices there before I go. But you can buy online too.

Good Life.

So I try to chat up taxi drivers cuz most are amicable and it's easy Korean practice. My driver most recently told me he went to Vietnam to find his wife, who was riding with him for the Lunar New Year holiday. Baby in tow.

Huge news, he was the first taxi driver in all of my 3 years plus here to guess that I'm from America. The most common guess is Russian... cuz I'm not small? I've gotten French more than a few times... my nose? Italian? Got me there.

We talked about marriage, he pointed out that he didn't have a girlfriend. He thought I had a great sense of humor cuz he laughed when I pointed out that he didn't need one when he had his wife.

As a gyopo wife points out on her blog that I stumbled across, Lunar New Year time means huge gift boxes being sold in the marts. My favorite is the spam box. A huge, fancy box of spam. You can get 12 in one fancy box if you're lucky. Check into it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Faust, Midas, and Myself.

If anything I've learned in my time in Korea that I've got to keep looking forward so I don't regret too much of what I did in the past. It's a slow revolving door here, people coming and going... people seeing what Korea has to offer then moving along. I'd like to think relationships in life might mean more when it's all said and done. The level of emotions that we can feel and express... the development of our souls... it's too high for me to accept the fact that it all ends when the heart stops.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pure Magic.

I'm entering the 4th year of my term in K-Vegas. I've lived the country life in Gangneung, suburban life Korean style in Bundang, and now... enjoying the rush hour in Seoul where the bodies of 5 people might be rubbing up against mine at any one time on the commute on the subway. I got an overpriced apartment in Sadang, south of the river. But at least it's close to the "coolest" part of the city that I never go to, Gangnam.

Life can be a bit isolating for a foreigner at times even in the biggest city in the country. There are alot fewer foreigners around than I thought there would be when I first moved here. But there are two main reasons that have kept me interested in life here. One is that I've met some good friends through work and around and also I got a couple American neighbours (a rarity in this area).

The other is variety in my work. Teaching the kids 30 plus hours a week was kind of wearing on me for the past couple years. So now I teach kids about 20 hours a week and the rest of my work time is spent teaching businessmen one on one, general and business related conversation. My Econ degree is coming in handy after all! The freedom I have now in my life in general is great and I'll keep on this way til things fall apart.