akujunkan: (Default)
...I find myself in Seoul.

Say what you want about the evils of globalisation (which are indeed myriad); this aspect of it rocks.

I'm also kinda going through a weird process which may(?) be culture shock. I've spent almost my entire adult life (and 20% of my life for that matter) in Japan, so moving back this fall...was no different than moving into a new apartment. Seriously, I arrived at Kankuu, hopped on the shuttle to Kyoto and continued living my life. In fact, there might have been less adjustment involved than there was with moving back to the States. Moreover, I've been listening to Japanese as if it were English and reading it as if it were English.

Which is why Seoul is kinda freaking me out, because it's so close to Japan, but just slightly off. I also read sign Korean as if it were Japanese/English, which makes the moments when I run into something I just don't understand all the more jarring. As are the conversations overheard on the subway, which I tune out in the same manner I tune out languages I understand...until I don't understand something. In other words, my listening experience goes something like this:

"Made me wait for 30 minutes at Gwanghwamun xxxxxxxxxxx made it to Starbucks xxxxxx my sister said xxxxx and xxxxxx it xxxxxx it xxxxxx to xxxxxxx won't be until tomorrow.


Which is also actually pretty cool, considering how little time I actually spend listening to Korean.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (TWIB)
...checking my mail while I wait for my flight to Seoul, and what pops up on my news screen but word that North Korea is potentially preparing to detonate another nuke.

Guys, please don't blow me up. The airfare and wedding presents were expensive, and I shouldn't be missing this much school and work as it is.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...the DPRK just sentenced Laura Ling and Euna Lee to 12 years of hard labor.

Anyone who cares to know what this means might want to take a look at these books.

Also, Jesus. My thoughts are with Ling, Lee, and their families.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
...guess they didn't want Roh to upstage them. Too bad KJI hasn't followed in his footsteps.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide today. RIP.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
Someone set it on fire. Read more... )

The police suspect arson and have apparently arrested some guy who's attempted to set fire to other landmarks in Seoul. I had no idea Namdaemun had even been opened to the public--it was closed to visitors until about two months after I first visited Korea. This is such a shame, both because I would have loved to have seen Seoul from atop it and because it had survived basically unscathed for six-plus centuries.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
For the Japanese-enabled among you: THIS is the most めっちゃ面白えっ! thing I have seen in like ever. Plus, there's 象p0rn.

(You can thank [livejournal.com profile] amasugiru for the link.)

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
Seeing as I've spent half of my life learning Japanese, and the better portion of 1.5 years on your language, I would appreciate it if you do not use your nuclear weapon in these areas. Schooling is expensive, and I don't need to start on another career now.

Thank you.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
Fucking unbelievable. FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE

ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY UNBELIEVABLE )

I mean, seriously, what are the odds?

That will be all.

PS: I still have to access lj through proxy servers, and I can't read the flist at all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
The security software here also prevents me from doing the NYTimes crossword puzzle. Oh, and I can\'t read flocked posts on lj or reply to posts, period. Could play Lineage, though. Except I\'m not here for the computer games. >.<

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
Internet cafes in South Korea apparently ban access to alternet, feministing, and more improbably, livejournal. Livejournal, folks!

Their security-fu is very good.

Luckily, my Internet-fu is better.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Marched my butt up to the Vietnamese embassy today to get my visa sorted. The hostel map was completely useless in the manner of most hostel maps. While I did manage to find the correct street on my first run, I also walked right past the embassy and back down the other side of the mountain on which it's situated. Oops.

Interesting thing--the Japanese cultural center here is guarded by five armed cops, but there aren't even any watchmen outside of the Vietnamese embassy. Its sign is also small and inconspicuous; about the size of a dinner plate. The embassy itself is not much bigger; it could easily fit into an American construction site trailer, and packs about the equivalent in creature comforts. I handed my passport to the harried dude behind the desk and was told to come back an hour later for the visa.

I arrived to find the harried dude even more harried, and to discover that my visa, far from being finished, hadn't even been processed yet. I was told to wait another fifteen minutes (which became an hour), thus causing me to miss my tour of a nearby palace. Oh well.

When I finally did receive the visa, I realised that it was for the wrong dates, in fact, it expired on the day I was due to enter the country. So back to the beginning went I. Meanwhile, I paid Mr. Harried, who then began to bitch in a sort of resigned fashion about the fact that I gave him two coins. "I know money is money," he said, "but coins!" thus making him the first person in the history of my life who has ever bitched at me for giving them correct change while they were horrendously overworked.

From there, on to Insadong--the "traditional Korean crafts and art gallery area of Seoul" where "traditional Korean crafts area" is apparently synonymous with "made in China but sold for 3-5 times more than it is there." Literally, it was the exact same stuff I'd passed over at the Silk Market in Beijing. Did find one place selling awesome bal though. I just have to decide if I want to pay the equivalent of $300 US for the one that I really like. Will probably check out the actual folk art superstores tomorrow to see if I can't find any others.

Wrapped up by stumbling onto the main temple of Korea's largest Buddhist sect in time for a service, which I recorded with my mp3 player and then probably accidentally recorded over. Still, it was an amazing experience.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
On Ye Olde Flist.

Here I am in Seoul. I have a relatively unlimited amount of time here (don't have to leave the country until the 26th). Can anyone point me in the direction of bookstores selling manhwa (either original Korean or translations of Japanese manga). I am going to pick some up and practice reading with it.

And, even more of a long shot, but anyone know of any good Korean language authors?

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Sorry, guys. I really suck at doing the Travel Post thing. I will attempt to get around to it one of these days, but until then, some weird musings and happenings for you.

I am now in Korea, after a hellacious trip from Beijing, courtesy of China Air. Seriously, Chinese airlines suck. Suck, suck, SUCK. How badly do they suck?

Let's just say that my flight has been delayed eight out of the eight times I've flown with a Chinese airline, and that today's delay, clocking in at just under three hours, was one of the SHORTEST.

Korea gave me serious Not Japan culture shock when I first visited two years ago, but coming here today was like being able to breathe again. I love China to death, but it's exhausting. The people there are just horrendously rude by Asian standards. Korea functions quite similarly to Japan, and so I was easily able to navigate the airport, find myself a hostel, and get there with minimum hassle, and more importantly, without anyone trying to sell me something or rip me off. I can also read quite a bit more than I was able to the last time I visited, and that certainly helps.

But anyway, I promised you BO. )

If only drug dealers could get their hands on these bugs. )

And now, some Forbidden City picspam. )

That will be all

Profile

akujunkan: (Default)
akujunkan

July 2014

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930 31  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 10:55 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios