who ... moi?

a social butterfly: scared of much, but not of many. never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. not a fan of acronyms, snakes and angelina jolie. a HUGE fan of Fathead.

this blog is black for ENERGY-SAVING reasons.

thanks for your understanding.
if it's too dark, put your glasses on old one.

Monday, February 1, 2010

things they do, and things they don't


things that south korea...
do have
do think about
do better
the other night we gathered in the teacher's lounge for a wee bit of monopoly (which we all know is an oxymoron: for "wee bit" and "monopoly" are basically an impossible combination).

anyway, at the outset of what became a 5hr marathon, i discovered the 21st century version of this classic boardgame ...  gone are the days of monopoly money notes piling up beneath the board, my friends. 

you can now buy musgrave and eloff street via an eft

feel like purchasing heathrow airport?
"just put it on my card"

how festive (and incredibly clever) is this?!

driving here is really interesting - apart from the obvious observation that they drive on the other side of the road, and therefore cars have their steering wheels on the left, gears on the right etc.  if i were to drive here, it would be a frightening experience - especially if i attempted one of their major 16-lane intersections.

but the funny thing is, even if i was mad enough to try - the drivers here would likely tolerate me.  they would probably let me cut in when i was 4 lanes away from my off ramp.  they would definately hoot - though not in anger, but rather to greet the blonde foreigner.  i'm also pretty sure that when i turned into on-coming traffic on the highway, they'd allow my to u-turn across to the other side.

here, no one fights on the roads.  the taxi's are equal citizens who are required to maintain their vehicles, pay taxes and obey the laws of the road. cars understand that busses have bus lanes.  basically everyone who is behind the wheel of a vehicle has a right to be there, and is treated with ther respect and patience that they deserve.

all others - particularly those on foot - have no place on the road, nor any right to move in the road area unless it is within a vehicle.  if you choose "walking" as your mode of transport, you must accept that you are in the way, and if necessary will be run over so as to address this inconvenience.


things that south korea...
don't have
don't think about
don't do better

traffic lights mean different things here to the rest of the world. 
here, green means "go as fast as your accelerator will let you". yellow means "don't push your accelerator all the way down to the floor", and red means "treat this as a yield area, where as long as you don't hit anything (with the exception of pedestrians) you are welcome to do whatever you please".

korea is an extremely small country and yet most of the locals here consider it to be the entire world - which i know is probably true for most countries the world over, but we're talking about korea now ... please keep up.

here, somethings are impossible: 
  • blonde hair, for instance, is not possible.  it comes from a salon.
  • white people from africa are another impossibility.
  • eating a meal without kimchi.
  • using a knife.
  • music genres originating from outside of asia do not exist. 
  • rubbish bins on the streets do not exist, and yet generally speaking, the sidewalks are clean.  you don't see a lot of litter anywhere actually, and yet there is nowhere to put it.
  • overseas travel doesn't seem like much of a possibility in most korean minds - and it's generally not that they think they can't afford it. they just don't think about travelling abroad.
  • there is no difference between south africa and south america.  you are just saying it wrong.
  • running any sort of business (be it corporate global giant, or mom 'n pops corner cafe) without a cartoon mascot attached to it, is unthinkable. therefore every building, taxi, airconditioning unit, tv channel, soft drink, cell phone company and restaurant needs an icon - preferably non-asian with big eyes.

when you eat out in korea, your meal is likely to start with several pitchers of water and many small glasses.  these will remain on the table for the rest of the evening.
shortly after the water, you may order something from the beverage list.  this is usually in enormous pitcher-sized servings, accompanied by several beer glasses.
these too, will all remain on the table until you exit the restaurant.

if there are smokers in your company, they will use the ashtray provided, and the great butt-collection of 2010 will commence.

everytime your beer pitcher empties itself, and you order another - a new pitcher comes to the table, yet none of the old ones leave.

it's like a non-return valve or hotel california or the bermuda triangle.

by the time dinner is presented, you are required to magically find space for your meal - a large gas burner, atop which an enormous casserole dish is perched.

at the end of your evening, as you leave the restaurant don't be tempted to glance back at your now vacant table.  for it will exhibit, in cold reality, how much you had to drink, how much you ordered to eat, how many times you asked for extra chopsticks, how many cigarettes you smoked, how many bones there were in the fish stew and  how many times you heard that annoying "ding-dong" chime whenever one of you "buzzed" for service in an attempt to have the table cleared.

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