Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday, Birthday and Washington

The title is a shorten version of the origional. Mainly because it got way to long. It's Friday, A Friends' Birthday and Visitors From Washington in Town. Like I said, it's way too long for a title unless I was making a long winded statement.

I've been sticking with the three pronged title. It just seems to work for me.

Today is Friday. That's got to be good news in the big picture of a work week. The week is done and the evening is about to begin.

It's also my friends birthday. He's planning on going to the gym where he does a form of martial arts. Before I meet up with him the plan is to run down to my previous home in Jongro-gu. I've had the opportunity to move out and have been given a place of residence rent free. Usually, English teachers recieve this benefit for entering into a foreign country to teach. Korea is really good to it's teachers. Sure, there are horror stories but for the most part... I digress.

While at home I want to shave. I've got my basic living utilities back there in Jongno-gu. My beard is getting too long. I want to get some underwear that isn't so tight on my waist (yeah, I've been putting on some weight). I've also got to pack up some of the things that still remain at my old flat. If possible get everything out by this weekend and leave the key with my flat mate. She's great by the way and I will definitely miss having such a great room mate like her.

Upon getting that shit taken care of I'll be shooting off to meet some folks I know from Washington. They have been in Korea for a few months down in Busan to teach English. They have just arrived in Seoul and are heading out to visit extended family. I will meet them and take them on a wild night of Seoul weekend living. Part of that journey will lead us to meet up with my friend who's birthday party begins about 9:00 P.M.

It get's crazy in Seoul and you've got to love it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Salutations, Time and Work

The one thing that has significantly changed since being employed again is time. There isn't ever enough of it. Between work itself and the sleep needed to attend work the following day we [I] find myself with about 7 hours to spare. There's no science to it, it's flexible and it can get wild when that time needed for rest is disturbed for long periods of time... It's always best to keep a healthy sleep schedule. This will be my goal for the month.

It has also affected how I blog. As could be expected, I really enjoyed the time off from working and all the posts that inspired me to delve more into my surroundings to share those experiences with you colorful images. You are all so intertwined into this portal of the multi-web. 

I love it all. Mainly, this post is to thank you all. You are the color on this grey image.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Korea, Work and My Wonderful Mom

Just when things were beginning to look grim and the humor mustered up was about rumors. At the opportune moment I made my jump from out of depression. It was like being on the verge of depression. Twenty days of looking and rejecting positions fineally led me to my previous employer. They were in an extremely difficult situation.

It wouldn't be proper to discuss it here but to give a general outlook. The new guy they hired to replace the guy who left earlier this week... got canned in two days. He turned out to be unacceptable to the school standards.

They needed somebody quick. I happen to be working a sub teaching position at the school for a week. Another co-worker/friend was back in Canada attending a sister's wedding.

It's a short term contract ending in February. Perfect!

The best part of this week. My mom.

When I was at the point of falling into a spiral of depression she called. She said, "things will be okay" (In Korean, because my mommy still speaks to me in Korean). "I will pray for you".

I love my mom.

For your entertainment. Korean music videos

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rumors about Korea

I've heard some pretty good rumors in Korea. The most common of them being the ever looming war to the North. Most of us living here in Seoul have gotten use to the threats and live life without any visible concern. In the back of our minds, somewhere hidden is the hope that it would never become actualized. Just the other day, as I lay in bed there were drills being performed. There were big sirens that sound and I suppose that's a pre-warning of a strike from the North.

As I lay in bed my hope was simple. This is a drill, not real... I'm still dizzy from last night's drinking. I'm not ready to flee, yet. A few more hours of bed, please.
Turns out it was only a drill. Thank goodness.

I've even heard some funny rumors about random things while here. Here's a list to give you an idea.

1. Kimchi (spicy, fermented cabbage) is a disinfectant.
2. Mutated fish live in the Han River.
3. Korean men blow dry their pubic hair
4. Korean woman are known to blow dry their pubic hair also.
5. Sexually transmitted diseases don't exist in Korea
6. Superman dreams about Chuck Norris
7. There are 10,000 North Korean spies in Seoul and surrounding area.
8. The Korean Marine Corp is the deadliest fighting unit in Asia.
9. In some places of Korea you have to squat to take a shit [very uncomfortable by the way].
10. The rumor about the National Assembly Building...

Yes, The rumor of the National Assembly Building. What is the rumor, you might be asking right about this time... or what is the National Assembly Building. Here's a quick description of the building on wiki  ---> National Assembly Building <---

It's a building with this huge green dome on the top of it. It looks like something from Washington D.C. but not white, it's green. The rumor states that when Korea is in dire need. That if North Korea did actually attack South Korea... drum roll...

The dome of the building will open up as Robot Taekwon V comes out with an army of replica's. This is a picture of what Robot Taekwon V looks like. 

Click here for snapshots.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tattoo's in Korea, Yeouido and The Han River

Yesterday, my buddy and I went to a swimming pool along the Han River in Yeouido. I love swimming in Korea for many reasons. Let's make a list for the fun of it.

1. It's much cooler in the water when the weather is 32 C.
2. Reason #1 is a good enough reason in itself.
3. The women look beautiful.
4. I love seeing bikini's and high heels together.
5. It's a great place to meet people
6. It's relaxing
7. It's exercise
8. Shit, what else is there to do on a hot sunny Sunday?
9. Choice between air conditioned building or swimming pool with half naked woman.
10. woman

Seriously, though... let me tell you about the Han River. The Han River a major river in South Korea that runs west through the center of Seoul. It divides Seoul into North of the River and South of the River. Some parts of the river is over 1 kilometer wide. That's one wide ass river and along the river are many, many, many beautiful bridges. Which could be an interesting project once I get my camera in action. Pictures of bridges expanding the Han River.

Yeouido on the other hand is an island developed more recently by the Korean Government and business investment sector. Prior to the Japanese occupation during the Josen/Chosen dynasty it was a small grass land that barely survived any flooding of the Han River. It literally means "you can have it". That's pretty funny considering it's now a major sector of Seoul and Korea. For your convenience I've linked to wiki.

The main reason for posting today, tattoo's. Korea in the past has shunned tattoo's. They were mainly considered gang affiliations and most people with tattoo's in the past were Korean or Japanese gangsters. I'm not sure if that's the case anymore. There are so many Korean's with tattoo's now. Mainly, the  younger generation and not just little tattoo's but sleeves and back tattoo's of dragons and monsters you'd find on buddhist temples.

It's more strange if you hear the laws concerning tattoo's. They are illegal in Korea. It is illegal for a person to be a tattoo artist. I guess that's relative. What I mean is that it is illegal to give tattoo's in Korea. Where the hell are these people getting their tattoo's? I can tell you. I've gotten a few tattoo's in Korea. They are these hidden dens where these talented artists gather to give tattoo's. Which brings me to my question for the audience of 'grey images'.

What sort of tattoo or tattoo's do you have? If you don't have one and don't want one then what sort of tattoo would you get if you were to get one?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Short Film: The Fix (aka The Rat)

I found this really neat little film on the multi-web. You have to check out this team of film makers. Let me warn you in advance, It's a thriller. Also, when described as short it's literaly approximately six minutes. Enjoy! ---> Short Film: The Fix <---

On other fronts. If you could pick a song to describe how you feel today/this week what would be that song?

Today is a Good Day by Ice Cube

Friday, August 14, 2009

Korea's "Restoration of Light" 광복절

There are 13 public holidays in Korea. August 15th is one of those days. It is Gwangbokjeol which is equivalent to Liberation Day. Japan occupied Korea as part of the Japanese imperial expansion from 1910 - 1945 ending with Japan's surrender to the U.N. Forces in World War II. For 35 years Korea was a territorial expansion of Japan. In Korea the time is remembered as a period of forced occupation. That day is August 15 1945, the day Korea was liberated from the oppressive rule of Japan. Three years later on the same day the Republic of Korea was established. Gwangbok literally means the Restoration of Light.

For more information check out and look it up. That's what I did.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Activity, North Korean Pictures & Language study

Grey Images has been getting a lot of activity this month. It's exciting for me to receive emails expressing fondness to the blog for all that it explores as an expat living in Korea. I have especially been excited about elaborating on more of life in Korea and the idea's have come in waves.

Through the sudden influx of traffic I've discovered other blogs of expats living in Korea and Japan. It's kept me busy cruising the multi-web discovering new insights into the massive qualities of life in Korea and the continent of Asia.

While on one of these web cruising expeditions I came across a collection of well taken photo's of the hermit country of North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea). I've posted a link for your pleasure. ----> Pictures of North Korea <----

Grey Images also would like to thank an affiliate, Korean Class 101.
If you are interested in learning a foreign language and you are particularly caught up in the Korean wave of drama's and t.v. shows, Korean could be the language for you.

What are you waiting for. Check out those pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Job Search Frustration (singular)

I try to put in a few hours of job searching every day. Well, most of the weekdays minus Friday because honestly who wants to work/search for a job on Friday. I've had some good responses and had a few positions offered. I'm a little picky though, now that I've been here in Korea for a few years. I can be a little bit more selective about the positions I look into and accept.

Things aren't urgent but having a steady job is also comforting in it's own way. It solidifies my time and days with a proper balance of activities beyond the lounging and hanging out with friends.

Yesterday I sent my CV (resume) to a recruiter who was seeking a teacher for a English Business camp for construction and project managers who will be working out side of Korea. The purpose of the camp was to teach these business employee's how to communicate in English with other foreign nationals in other parts of the world. Sounds like a good gig and it would be good for the resume. Taught a camp for business employees. Right, definitely would look good.

Moving along, this morning I was awakened by a call from the recruiter for the position mentioned above. She was nice. Her name is Salsa (to protect her identity, blah). We did the usual greet and get to the point. She asked if I was available for a meeting today specifically this afternoon. I asked if we can meet tomorrow due to some previously made plans. I explained my plans to her.

Previously made plans:
I have a really close friend who lives in Washington State, specifically Seattle. He use to live in Tacoma where I am originally from. My friend you see is a pastor and has been on an evangelical mission trip to Thailand. Cool place to go to. Anyway, on his way back to the states his flight stops in Korea. He asked me to meet him today. I cleared my schedule to spend some time with an old close friend. It's not like he's in town very often.

I maneuvered my schedule and agreed to meet Salsa's job opportunity. She said it was urgent that I come to the interview today. My friend Pastor Evan(gelical) was understanding and we rescheduled our plans to tomorrow so that the job opportunity can pan out.

Things are looking great. I shave, shower, and the S and begin to put on some proper attire. Even pulled out a nice tie to match the shirt.

At 1:30P.M. Korea time she calls.

Salsa: Hello B*******
Grey: This is Grey.
Salsa: I'm sorry, but the position has been filled.
Grey: Okay.... (pause) well thank you for trying anyway.
Salsa: (begins to say something).
Grey: Click (hangs up phone).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Camera & Pictures

The area of Seoul that I live in now is called Jongro-gu (Jongro-District). It's known for the many historical buildings in the area. This past winter I lost my camera and haven't purchased a new one yet. Purchasing a camera will be put on hold until a can secure a job but be patient. I hope to have some pictures up soon. However, since I don't hava a camera to take any pictures I used google image to bring you a little of what's around me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Korea, I Love You!

My first week back has been great. Sure, there were some jet lag issues. I don't have a job, yet. It's really, really, super hot. Parts of the city smell like open sewers. The air is smoggy. The traffic is ridiculous. You can't drink water from the tap. You can't find a good micro brew like Fat Tire or Alaskan Amber. My car is back in Washington. There's a looming war just to the North.

Despite all this... It's great to be back!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

F-4 Visa or U.S. passport

Apparently, in Korea the governement considers me a Korean with a foreign passport. This could all be salami for all I know but... somewhere on the great multi-web it stated that an F-4 visa holder as somebody who is Korean with a foreign passport. This is really funny and strange to me considering the fact that I'm born and have been raised most of my life in America. Hell, I don't even look Korean, possibly asian sure but this boils down to something fundementally different about how Korean people consider nationality. They trace your blood line.

Let me explain. Although I am American born as is my father and his father (my grandfather), my mother is originally from Korea. In Korea, there is a national family tree center or something of that sort that keeps track of family ancestry. All Koreans can trace their family tree's back hundreds of years. (I know, crazy eh... and no I'm not Canadian).

This is quite different in North America atleast in the United States. If your born here on American soil, as we say... then you are American. You can be visiting the United States from some random island in the Indian Ocean... like Maldives and have a child on United States soil and your child is now American... or specifically a citizen of the United States of America.

As an American living in Korea I've always considered myself a foreigner living in Korea. Today, I read that according to my visa status. I am Korean with a foreign passport.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Notes From Asiana Flight G17

People don't smile in the airport.

Record breaking heat in Washington. Seriously, 107 Degrees F.

No Seattle Sounders FC gifts at Seatac Airport.

Can you believe what's happening in Iran?

The Korean Government is considering the implementation of Day Light Savings possibly as soon as next year. I wonder how many countries do not participate in Day Light Savings?

Race to some magical mountain with the Rock. You ever want to be in a high speed chase?

Asiana airlines is awesome!!!

Watched Eureka on the Macbook while in flight. The deputy lady is cute.

I should also mention the seat next to me is occupied by a cutie.

It's strange hearing everybody speaking Korean.