Sunday, May 10, 2009

One night in India

Yesterday I was switching towns. I was going from Srignar, in Kashmir, to McCloud Ganj, which is in H.P. Not that the details really matter. Anyway after a jeep ride and then a bus ride (total time 16 hours) I get dropped off in this town called Gaggol. At a little past midnight, there isn't much to do there. Actually nothing to do. There is no hotel. Nothing is open. A guy on the street tells me that there is a bus coming at 12. It is a bit after 12 by my watch and 10 till by his. So I wait. Nothing. No cars, no nothing. Just the sounds of a bum talking in his sleep. What do you do at midnight with nothing around? My ipod is out of batteries, I just finished my book and don't have another.
I roll a , um cigarette and figure I will walk up the hill to there. A car pulls up and asks me where I am going. He says another bus will come by at 1:30. He also said that he would be passing by a bit later and if I was still there he would give me a lift. So I wait. And wait and wait. I am pacing up and down the street. Talking to myself. Trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and where I want to go live next. (I still can't decide)Finally at 2:30 someone drives by and gives me a lift.
I get into town and nothing is open. Nothing at all. Nobody is answering their doors, all the guest houses are closed. Then some guy pulls up on his bike. He starts talking and asking me what kind of room I want.
He says he has one and that it will be about $6 for the night. The guy is drunk and probably high. But what can I do. I get a good vibe from him. So I go with him.
Anyway I follow him to his place and see the outside. It's a tattoo parlor. Its also his house. 1 room.
It stinks. It smells like unwashed filth. But oh well. I roll up a cig and we smoke it. he tells me about himself, he's from Pakistan, his name is Ashok.

He says he's married to a Swiss girl. And he wants to call her. So he looks for her number in a book and can't find it after 20 mins. So he goes to the sink and pours fuel over the book and lights it on fire.

He leaves to book burning while looking through a different book and finds her number, but doesn't have a phone. He grumbles and then he goes to the sink and warms himself by the fire, which has now filled the room with smoke.

He burns all the hair off his hands and melted some of his hair. After about 15 min. I try to put the fire out. Books burn for a long time. The water doesn't work in his place. I put the fire out with a little water, that I found in a bottle. That is the end of my story. Hope you enjoy.
Oh and the room didn't cost me anything.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

India continued

India is fantastic. I love it here. Been traveling and studyinghere. I started off in the south, and went to a Hindu elephantfestival. Wild! Then I did a house boat tour of the back waters.Really beautiful place. They have a sort of commune there. Everything is pooled and shared amoungst the members. From there I went to Munnar and saw fields and fields of tea. It was pretty, but only worth a day.
From there I headed north and spent a couple weekson Paradise beach. It was amazing. My days were so relaxed. I spent my days smoking hash, swimming, chilling with somegood people and playing frisbee. Evenings were spend looking at dolphins playing the sea. It was just what I needed before mystudies.
I spent a month in Delhi. I was studing for a certificatefor English teaching. It will allow me to get better jobs and it mademe a better teacher. It was good. Didnt' have much of a social life.Spent much of my time with my studies and with my class mates. I enjoyed it, but I didn't have any free time for four weeks. I was in the British Council for on average of 12 hours a day. That is where the course took place. I didn't even notice how hot Delhi had become until the weekend and the one day I had of vacation.
Since then I have been in Kashmire. Spent a couple of nights on ahouse boat and then went to the mountains and did some hikng.I've been smoking a fair amount of Kashmiri hash. It is fantastic.While on the trek, my guide, mixed some with some cardimin. It wasfantasic. Now back on a different houseboat and going to chill for the next couple of days and explore the town, apply for jobs, update the resume all that sort of fun stuff. Next I am not sure yet. Either McCloud Ganj, where the Dalai Lama rests his head or off to another place in Kashmir. I have 't decided.

Monday, March 16, 2009


So i haven't written for a while and the Red Pants have left Korea. It took me longer than I thought it would. I was supposed to leave on March 1st, but didn't end up leaving until the 11th.
I had some issues with my passport. My old one went through the wash and wasn't in the best of shape. I sent it to the Indian Embassy for my visa and they sent it back. I didn't have enough free pages in it. So I rushed out of Jeju, leaving it a week early. Didn't get the good bye I wanted. Was rushed out of there. and went to the American Embassy. They wouldn't give me more pages. They told me I had to get a new passport. So I get them to rush it. And I got it about 8 day later and then off to the Indian Embassy for my visa and that took another week. No rushing it. Frustrating. But I finally got out of Korea.
This is going to be short. I hate the keyboard I am typing on. Anyway so I get to India and go to Kochi and get a guest house. nice place. a bit outside the tourist zone, about a 10 min walk.
the people who run it were fantastic though. A Latvian woman with her Indian husband and his family. brother, who was a bit slow and his mom. His mom showed me how to cook and I usually ate with the family. Did some site seeing and caught a show and went on a house boat tour.
then went up to Munnar to get away from the heat spent a day there and saw the tea plantations. bought some weed and am smoking it. now i am back in Kochi waiting for the next train to Gokarna. that is it for now. will update soon, I promise

Monday, January 5, 2009

Since Thanksgiving


So, it has been about a month since I have written on this thing. Sorry, I have been busy as of late. It is the holiday season and I have been on vacation from work, where I usually write this thing up.

I started off this Holiday celebration by going out to eat dog with a couple of friends before Christmas. Dog doesn't taste like any other meat that I have tried, and I have tried my fair share of different meats. The smell of dog isn't the best. Actually it smells pretty bad. The flavor of dog is nice. It is quite tasty. Thoroughly enjoyable to tell the truth. The first bit was a bit odd. I am a dog lover and have always respected the animal, that said, all meat is fair game for my belly. The dogs that are used for meat, are not pets. They are raised for their meat. There is a girl on the island who decided to save one of them and take it home. It is the stupidest dog I have ever met. They don't make good pets. So, if you get the chance to try a little dog meat, I say go for it. It tastes good, and according to Koreans, it is good for a man's stamina.

The following weekend, EPIK had a reunion for us. They flew us all to Seoul. Nothing like a free trip to Seoul. I was planning on heading up there that weekend anyway. So it saved me about $170. I flew up on a Friday. So it also gave me a day off of work. Got in and promptly started to hear speeches. That is after traveling on the subway for an hour and 45 minutes. Which is about twice as long as the flight took to get to Seoul. It wasn't that bad. The talk went on for about an hour and then it was break time. At that time we got to move around and visit with friends. I ended up hanging with some of my people from Busan and skipping the second talk session, which ended up being a bitch session anyway. Not something I needed to be involved it.

That night EPIK took us to a show called JUMP. It is a comedy, kung fu, thing. It was really funny and really enjoyable. I don't have any pictures to put up about it, just know that it was good. I followed that by going out with a couple of friends to a Mokoli bar. Mokoli is a milking rice drink. It was down this dank passageway., complete with a placard of drunk Koreans drinking mokoli. We stayed there for a while before heading off again to go onto another bar. It was a dive bar, my kind of place. Cheap drinks and a cheap atmosphere. We stayed there until closing and then tried to find a cab back to the hotel. That proved to be a bit troublesome. Cabbies in Seoul will only take people if they want to go in that direction. Our hotel wasn't in the most prime of locations and finding a cab was proving to be difficult. We finally found a van, which proved to be a blessing, as we had enough people for 2 cabs. We over paid, but between us all, it all worked out. Johnny and myself jumped into the back. I did a proper job of jumping the seat. I got my foot caught outside the van and got hung up, giving myself a nice bruise right above the knee.

The next day was the riverboat tour of Seoul. The last thing in the EPIK reunion. The tour would have been better if it were not fall. Seeing brown shores and bridges wasn't the most interesting of things. But it was a good way to unwind. They just kept telling us how many people died here and when. Sort of a depressing journey. Following that, I went with a few friends and checked out the 63 building. The tallest building in Seoul. It was tall, But not that pretty. The views from it were quite nice though. Following the tour of the building, it was off to a sauna for a nice soak and lunch.

It turned 4:30 and it was time for me to head off again and meet up with some other friends. We had plans to have dinner together and go see Evil Dead the Musical. I being myself showed up a bit late, but it wasn't so bad, as everyone was late as well. We still had plenty of time to get some grub into our bellies before heading off to the show. We went to some fusion restaurant. Here it is just an excuse not to cook the food properly. It wasn't bad. Just not the best. Then it was off to the show. The show was in Korean, but as I am a huge fan of the movies, it was easy to follow. The end of the show, was the gory bits, and I was sitting in the second row, being a big white guy, I was targeted. First i was shot in back of the head with a bloody squirt gun. And then the zombies came into the audience. I knew I was going to be targeted and boy was I ever. The pic of me is after the sprinklers turned on and washed some of the blood off. I got covered with blood, and the nice zombie told me that he loved me. We had a moment. It was touching. The show was awesome. If you see it playing anywhere near you, head out and see it. It is well worth it. Quite fantastic.

Following the show, we needed to find a place to sleep and clean up. Thus we headed to the subway. Our group was given a clear path and several odd stares along the way. Nothing like being covered in fake blood to clear a path. We headed to the area, where we would be drinking that night. We got a couple of rooms in a love motel. Love motels are cheaper hotels. They are usually quite nice and the foreigner population stay in them quite frequently, as they are cheaper than a real hotel. Koreans tend to use them for what they are called. Young couples get them to have a bit of fun, before heading back home to live with their parents. Koreans tend to live with their parents until marriage. Anyway getting a hotel wasn't my idea. When I head up that way I stay in the saunas. They are 8 dollars a night and have a sleeping area. The love motel ended up being $70, split in two.

We then headed off to the bars. We met some of Benney's friends and started to get our drink on. I didn't want to drink that much and was kind of watching my budget, as it was the end of the month and I was running out of cash. So I had 2 beers at the bar, and a shot. The shot wasnt' of my choice and I didn't ask for it. One of Benney's friends ordered a round of them. Then it was time to divy up the bill. Which they decided to split evenly. So my beers were going to coast me about $50 as they were pounding back girly shot after girly shot. That wasn't flying with me, so I told them that I was going to pay for what I drank. Oh and I had to pay for that shittly little shot that they ordered me. So I wasn't in the best mood after that. We went to a dance club afterwards. They weren't playing very good music, and I wasn't drunk enough to dance. So myself and another guy left and decided to head off to home. Thus ending my time in Seoul as I was flying out the next day. Christmas and New Years will be written in another post as my fingers are tired from typing and I want to get back to my book.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving and time since then

I haven't done a whole lot since I wrote last. We had Thanksgiving. We celebrated about a week early on Saturday. There were about 20 of us who got together. We all went over to Robin and Candice's place and had a pot luck. I cooked a couple of pumpkin pies. There was no turkey. Though I am not a fan of it anyway. We did have some shepherds pie. Now that is yummy. We had a little bit of everything. The majority of the people at the dinner were not American. They were mostly English. Good times though.
Other than that, last weekend I went for a dive. This time we dove up north by my work at Sunrise peak. It was nice diving someplace new. We did boat dives this time. First time. Pretty fun flipping into the water. We did two dives and the first one was without a guide. I guess it was an evaluation dive for the guy. I don't know how he would evaluate us, with out going. Saw different fish, and corals than on the southside. The second dive was better. We had a guide for the second one and we went to a little better local. There was one point when we were on a wall and it looked like it was raining down fish on us. Absolutely fantastic.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weekend trip

It has been a little while since I have written. A little over a month to be exact. So I will do a quick catch up on what I was doing.
I went scuba diving with a couple of friends. The current was rather strong at the surface and we lost a couple of Koreans. They got washed around the little island that we were diving at. 2 were able to go around the island and make landfall another wasn't so lucky. The police boat had to go out to sea and pick him up. He was looking a little shaken up when he was on land. We had a couple of Koreans with our group. Well not diving with us, but with the dive shop that we went through. They had some fancy equipment. One had a rather expensive underwater camera. They decided to surface on the east side of the island, where the waves were crashing rather hard. Not the best place to get out of the water. They got a bit scratched up and broke their camera. Koreans like the best equipment. When they get into things, they buy the best. The thing is, they aren't good at it. Most of the Korean divers I have seen are down right scary. They don't have the skills needed to be good at it. Getting swept out to sea and poor choices on surfacing locals sort of point that out. The group I was with, all westerners, had no issues. I used up my O2 a bit quicker than the rest of the group, but was able to make it last longer than previous dives.
Halloween was also fun. There were a fair amount of costumes out. I went for the cheap and easy costume. I cut up one of my shirts and a pair of shorts. I found a santa beard in my apartment and turned it into a mullet. So I went as gay white trash. Not the best costume, but a crowd please er.
Last weekend a group of 7 of us went to Gwangju to attend the last Jeju United game of the season. We arrived on Saturday, around noon and decided to go for a walk about. It was a really pretty area. We saw some of their memorials to the students that started the uprising against the Japanese in the 30's. Walked along a nice river, that they created paths on. When most of the people went back to the hotel, Bree and myself decided to head up a hill and check out what we were thinking was a park. It was, it was a really nice park as the leaves were turning, so we chilled there for a bit and waited for our friend to arrive. Stu overslept and didn't make the plane with us, but was able to catch a latter flight. From there we walked around the town a little bit before heading off to Starbucks for some coffee before dinner at Outback. Outback was a bit of a disappointment. Then it was off to some bars. We went to an open mik night, that sucked, then off to Mike and someones speak easy. That was fun. I got a free t-shirt and they had a couple of Korean punk bands playing. We stayed there for a little while, before heading off to a club. The club had a $10 cover charge, but free tap beer. So it was well worth it. Danced into the wee hours of the morning before heading back to the hotel to get some sleep before the bus ride to another city to catch the match.
Before the match, we went shopping for some face paints and got all kitted up for the upcoming match. We doned our t-shirts that we had made for the match and painted our faces. We were walking down the streets giving our Jeju chants, getting looks from all the Koreans. We arrived at the stadium to find that we were the only Jeju supporters. Well there was one other fella that showed up a bit later, but we were louder and had better chants than the other team. At half time Stu and I left the stadium for a minute to stock up on some supplies and on the way back we stood infront of the home teams goal and had a chant off with the opposing fans. They were getting angry and swearing at us and flicking us off. We continued our chanting across the stands to our own goal. It was quite a good time. We ended up tieing with a score of 0-0. I have since lost my voice because of screaming at the game and it is Friday and it is not 100% back.
That is all that is new with me. Hope you enjoyed reading this.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


A lot has happened since the last time I wrote in this thing. My family came for a visit, I had a birthday, went to the Busan International Film Fest, amongst other things. So on with the updates.
First of all I will start with the visit from my brother and mother. They flew in on a Wednesday and I picked them up from the airport. Mom was all teary eyed like I expected her to be. It was really great to see them again. I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. I was working most of the time they were here. I am lucky that I have a good boss, he gave me parts of some days off to spend with them. Saturday was the first real day I was able to spend with them. It was also my birthday. We started in the morning and went to the five day market. The 5 day market is an outside market that is held, you guessed it, every 5 days. They have just about everything you could want to buy, from house hold goods, to plants, to pottery, to fish and squid, to fresh produce brought in by the farmers, puppies, birds and turtles are also available to buy. You want a chicken, they have it, alive and dead. Need some new cheap clothing, hit up the market. There isn't much you can't find there. Following that we were going to go to a play here, but alas I could not remember the local of the play, so we went out for one of my favorite Korean dishes, galbi. From the reactions of the fam, they enjoyed it as well.
Following the eats, it was off to get my birthday present, a nice new shinny blue toaster oven. It has gotten it's fair share of work since I have gotten it. Mmmm I love toaster ovens. Check Spelling

After that it was off to the bars. The family stayed in. I think they were a little beat. Josh climbed sunrise peak the previous day and mom was tired the entire trip. I walked down to GP where my friends were waiting with a cake and some poppers. Stayed there for a while and had a few drinks. Then moved on to Led Zeppelin and had a drink or three. They kept buying me more and more drinks. Jumped from there over to the Dart bar and played some darts, I did crap as it was now on to shots and the like. Following the dart bar we went off and went to a photo booth and took pictures in funny hats. Following that it was off to the Just Blues for some music and some more drinks. We stopped by one of the street games, where my friend Darren broke his hand punching the punching game. I left shortly there after for bed. Being drunk and having a long day the next day with the family.

I awoke and we headed off down south. We were off to the Jeju United game. I wanted to show them the waterfalls before heading to the game, but we were passing by a beautiful temple and decided to stop. We spent a couple of hours there exploring the temple and the grounds. Then off to the game. Jeju sadly didn't play that well and we lost the match. Following the game it was off to Gecko's for some food and then off to Loveland to finish off the day.

The following day I had a half day of work so we went to a historical landmark type place. There was a primitive Jeju settlement found there. Following that, it was off to more Korean food Beebinbob. Tasty meet and vegetable dish. Also well liked by the family. Then it was off to work for me. My family came with and I sent them off to a folk village about 20 minutes from my work. I haven't been there so I can't tell you much about it other than they liked it. I we came home and chilled for the rest of the night.

The next day I had to work and the family relaxed before their flight the next day. We went out for the last dinner in Jeju. It was a traditional Jeju food, called black pig. It is pork, bacon really that is fried on a grill, wrapped in lettuce with some bean paste and eaten. The special thing about this pig is that it lives in the bottom of out houses. It is the shit eating pig. It is a traditional meal that is served at weddings and other functions. Now the pigs are not raised in the bottom of outhouses. There is a lack of them here. Gotta love the indoor pluming. But it is still a meal that Jeju is known for. It tastes almost like any other pig. It might have a sweeter taste to it, that is about it. The next day I awoke and got ready for work and put my mother and brother in a cab and said good bye.

The following weekend I headed up to Busan for the Busan International Film Festival. My original plan was to spend the weekend going to movies and hang out with some friends. I didn't get to see as many movies as I had hoped most of the movies sold out rather quickly. I was able to see three though. One was an anime by the director of Ghost in the Shell, called The Sky Crawlers. It wasn't bad. The movie broke towards the end and I had to wait to see the second part. It was close to an hour wait. But it was a double feature on the beach, so it wasn't that bad. The movie raised a lot of questions that never got answered. I hate when they do that in movies. The second movie was an Italian movie about the mob in Naples, called Gomorrah. Not that bad, but not good either. Those I both saw on Saturday, Sunday I only had time for one movie and the ticket I was able to purchase was for a movie called Salt of the Sea. It was about a Palestinian lady who was born in the States and tried to go back. It was actually a good movie. So it was worth the trip up there. I also went to the Busan Tower. It is on a hill and sort of looks like the space needle. It had views of most of the city of Busan.

Last weekend I headed down south to hang out with some friends for a roof top party. I stayed down there to hit up the African Museum with some of them and to check out the band. I ended up making friends with them and they are a pretty cool group of individuals. They all are from Somalia and are part of a larger group there. They send in 4 a year to play at the museum. They are out of control. They are all sweating and tired after their 30 minute performance. They will be playing at my friend's Brian's birthday this weekend. Following the museum, we headed off to the Horse track. It was the horse festival there and we decided to bet on some ponies. I lost about $10 and only won once. And I won 40 cents. Woo Hoo. They also were giving out free samples of horse meat to people. When we lined up they just ran out, so what did they do, they cooked or didn't cook us special servings. They made us some Horse Sushi, mmmmm tasty, and they also gave us some slices of roast. That was so good. It just melted in my mouth.

Last week my adult class took my and the other teacher here out for a ride on the Jet boat. Basically a little over powered boat that can do some fast spins and the like. It was great fun. We had a few old people in the boat with us, so when we were finished, they dropped them off and took us back in the harbor to show off and give us a nice little ride.

Monday I decided to take a long lunch and climb Sunrise Peak. It is about a 20 minute climb on this famous volcano cone. It isn't an easy 20 minutes, but not that hard. There are stairs the entire way up so it is walking stairs for 20 minutes. My legs hurt afterwards, they hurt before hand though as well. I have started playing frisbee again on the weekends. Much nicer now that it has gotten cooler.
That is about all that is new with me. Classes are going well. Life is well. I plan on diving this weekend, so I will probably be writing about that next week.