Osaka January 2011


Recently I spoiled myself and paid for a pro flickr account so that I can take full advantage of the service. I take a lot of photos and I’m always looking for somewhere to put them, and with the limit flickr has on 200 hundred photos, it kind of forces you into paying eventually, that is if you don’t know another service that’s free (please don’t suggest one in the comments section until at least a year from now).

With this, I’ve began to go through my various folders of photographs which I never got around to organising and sifting through. These are photos I’d always meant to go through, but for whatever reason they got the old reliable and famed long-fingered treatment that is my modus operandi.

This set I’ve posted was from my second proper trip to Japan (I have taken one more overnight trip back in 2005), when myself and Herself travelled over at New Year for four days. It was kind of a Christmas surprise present for Herself, although she kind of knew she was getting it, as she had never been to Japan and we had been talking about it for years.

Despite a brief scare the night before we left because Herself was in the process of being knocked around by a serious dose of flu, I dragged her out of the bed and we drove to the airport and flew over to Osaka. Dodging the quarantine scanners that are a regular sight at Korean and Japanese airports, we eventually found our hotel where herself took a quick nap. When she woke up we went straight out to eat, and even though Herself was struggling we eventually found a sushi restaurant and began to make short work of the contents of the rotating plates. After a couple of huge pieces of jellied eel, Herself never felt better and we were ready to take on Osaka!

 

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Osaka January 2011, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
In December 2010, myself and my wife visited Osaka. We left Korea on December 31 and came back on January 3.

These are some of the photographs I took of the city.

Below are a couple of videos I have on youtube of my time there as well.

Letter from Korea, Christmas 2010


Somewhere in Gyeonggi-do,
South Korea
9/1/2011

Dear Ireland

Christmas! Yes, Christmas. It was an interesting one to say the least. It was a busy Christmas too, but not in the usual sense because of the news delivered to me on Christmas Eve that I would be spending a week literally in lock up. I had been nominated by the powers that be to be one of the writers for a kind of mid-way entry exam to the university I work at. That’s why my Chirstmas post is coming well into 2011, and not while the tinsel still holds some facet of festive cheer. More about this later. As I said, Christmas came and went, abruptly, but not without character.

Since 2005, when I first came here, Christmas in Korea has been gradually gaining in significance. I am not really sure why to be honest though. Maybe it’s because the kids have eventually turned around and said, well it’s all well and good being sent to an English school and being filled to the brim full of Santa and Rudolph stories, but enough is enough, it’s time Santa made a stopover in Korea; how he gets down the chimney in the Remian and Lotte Castle twenty-five storey apartment buildings is a mystery beyond my powers of comprehension.

Official NORAD (whatever the jaysus that means) Santa Tracker! Truly magical!

Incidentally whilst on the subject of Santa, and completely off the point of my Christmas in Korea, on Christmas Eve I came across a website that provided a Santa tracker, which I thought was incredible but not many shared the same enthusiasm for it. When I first checked it, Old Saint Nick had had his wicked way with South Korea and was in Pyongyang. I wonder how Santa got along there and whether or not it was a busy stopover. Did Santa have to clear his identity and purpose of visit with whichever department is responsible for foreign visits in North Korea. Where did he apply for initial visa? Perhaps there is a consulate of the DPRK in the North Pole. The South Korean government can’t have been too happy with him crossing the DMZ without permission, or did he come from Japan? This can’t have curried too much favour with overly nationalist elements in either North or South Korea. I also wonder what the kids asked for; probably eternal happiness, a bunch of strippers and a container full of Crystal Champagne for Kim Jung-un.

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