Saturday, June 30 2012


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It started raining today. They say it’s the beginning of the monsoon season. All I know is it hasn’t rained properly for over a month. They say it’s the driest summer ever. It’s only June. They say a lot of things.

I just finished making myself a mug of strong black coffee, turned a Tom Waits CD, brought in a reading lamp to the living room and have set myself up for a Saturday of writing in this rain dulled apartment of mine. When I finish that I’ll probably read.

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What’s in My Bookcase?


This is a permanent collection. There’s a lot going on here. A lot of history. Not that many history books mind you.These shelves contain a few stories in the own right, not to mention so many memories of friends who have left Korea over the years.

The most significant feature in my apartment is probably the bookshelf. It’s a tall double-rowed case five bays high, but we’ve pushed it down on its side and it functions now as a room longth mantle piece where our television and family pictures now sit. Each of the book shelf bays is full, although not completely with books.

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Normalised into Indifference: MBC etc.


I think I’m normalised to a lot of the larger complaints made about living in Korea. Complaints like ‘Korea is soooo racist’ and other ones, but I’ll stick to the racist thing here because it’s topical. By topical I’m obviously talking about the video of the naïve and innocent foreigners who admitted to MBC about having sex with Korean women, which in turn encouraged further reporting of rumours about someone’s friend who may have overheard something in a Caffé Bene.

I’ve had a bit of time to think about this, but I’ll keep it short as there isn’t really much to say. I have no doubt that all that was said in the video was true. Whether it was reported on ethically and the footage actually involved the aggrieved is debatable.

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My Life in 10 Objects


I do this kind of regularly…not as regularly as I like to talk about myself, which I’m going to do a lot about in this post.

I see a blog post that someone else has written and then change the contents and talk about myself. I think you call it a meme. The more I read blogs, what with the whole blogging that I do myself, the more I’m inclined to copy other people’s posts and give my own take on a particular topic. There were a few about Korea and particular articles that were poorly drafted and spoke poorly of the land of the morning calm (heaven forbid). The thing is, I’ve no idea how I managed to ever get into this because I hardly read any blogs about Korea, at least not intentionally (a few links pop up on twitter and give them an ould click and my five minutes, but only every so often, and I won’t go into why I don’t do this now)

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The Cúpla Focail: words, translation, creation.


I’m no linguist, but I love language. I love how language has formed into a universal description of a particular aspect of the world that surrounds you. It’s amazing. But, I’m no expert, and I couldn’t sit here and describe why this is the case and how it happened. I don’t understand it well enough. In fact the only language I could arguably claim to understand is English. And even that level of understanding is rudimentary. But, a bit like watching science happen, this is why I love language.

Just seeing language happen and seeing it function, and then having particular aspects explained, especially things like idioms, really wets my pants with excitement. Irish people, for reasons I won’t go into now, are known for their use of language, be it the gift of the gab, poetry, or basically telling some poor misfortunate what you think of them in sixteen different ways, and none of them being either pleasant, complimentary, or suitable for young ears.

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