Tuesday, 26 June 2012


This post is brought to you in the tiny amount of time I have between getting back from Vietnam, and leaving again for the World Expo and our trip to Busan. After Busan, we head back to Seoul for a few days before we move back to Canada.
We are already packed and let me assure you-I have a lot of stuff! It's amazing how much stuff you can acquire in a year.
We arrived pretty late, since the flight from Korea to Ho Chi minh is about 5 hours, plus the 2 hour time zone difference (that I did not know about : / ). We got our landing Visas, which was fairly simple, and were picked up by the hotel staff. We checked in, and the hotel was awesome.
I will say this about Vietnam-it is cheap. Like, woah, kind of cheap. Like 3.5 star hotel for 28$ a night, kind of cheap.

Cool, eh?
The next day, we went out and actually did some things, saw some things, and ate some awesome food. Awesome, cheap food. Highlights? The giant post office; the French architecture; the trees; the war remnants museum (which was pretty harsh); and a jade temple.

That was almost an entire day. The next day, we took a hydrafoil to the local beach, an hour an a half away, to Vung Tao. Now, it was a nice voyage through the South China sea, where we got to see some of the endangered Mangrove trees. Vung tao itself was nice, but the beaches were super polluted and dirty, so we didn't get to go swimming. But, the city itself is worth a visit, and has some great restaurants-and a 30m jesus statue.

On the way back to Ho Chi Minh City, while sailing along in our little hydrafoil, we got some rain. And by rain, I mean a frigging monsoon. No joke. It was interesting, and sorta made me want to puke. 
That was some serious shit.
The next day, we went to see some of the other attractions we missed on the first day, such as Notre Dame (I shit you not), and the reunification palace, as well as to do some shopping and some more eating. The fruits in Vietnam are amazing, and cheap. I ate so much dragonfruit....it was glorious.

Apparently, this is going to be 2 blogs worth of stuff, since I have more to say about the country-both good and bad.

Until then1 <3 xox

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Eventually, all things must come to an end

But not quite yet. Not for me, at least. Some people here at SCH have already left. To be honest, I'm not going to miss them, since they were people I didn't really associate with.
However, the time when the people I DO care about leave is upon us.

And I won't be here for most of it.

I am both sad, and relieved by this.

I am not particularly good at saying goodbye-never have been. I actually sort of hate them. I don't do well with tears, or people who are overly emotional, since I'm not. I also don't like the idea of saying goodbye to anyone-especially not the people I'm fond of.

But this semester, I don't have to do it at all. I am one of the ones that's leaving first, simply because I'm going to Vietnam on Thursday. That's 2-3 days before anyone else I know (or care about) leaves. By the time I get back, the dorms will be almost empty, as well. So, no good byes for me.

Like I said, sad, but relieved.

Next up-Vietnam, Yeosu-and the world Expo, Busan, and then home to Canada.


Monday, 11 June 2012

So, this one time...

Well, actually, it wasn't just one time. It happened several times-twice in Korea now. I got more ink done. Huzzah!

Originally, I had planned on going to the same place that I had previously-Sunrat Tattoo in Hongdae. Now, I made appointments and everything, but, when we arrived for them, the shop wasn't open. We waited around for almost 45 minutes, but to no avail, so we left. I feel bad, since the shop lost out on a boatload of money, but, professionalism is a must in this sort of industry.

Moving right along, we went and found another shop to get tattooed at-Yellow Monkey tattoo, also in Hongdae.
This shop was really clean and professional. The people were super nice,even if their English is limited. We managed to walk right in, before all the appointments arrived. There were 3 of us, and we all got a little something done.

Yea, I got some clouds put in behind my whale. It looks a lot more complete now. But, its weird-everyone I meet seems to think that the whale is new too. And I'm all like "Have you looked at me, like, ever?" Oh well. And the hubs got stars on his ankles. Super badass, and swollen as shit right after. They have gone down now, but, I guess the still hurt.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

June is hella busy

This is my last month in Korea, and I am going to make the most out of it! Or at least, as much as my budget can handle. That's the problem with being a "mature student"-you have to pay for everything yourself. Not just here in Korea, but also when I go back to Canada.
There are, of course, some things here that I will not get to see or do, but time and money prevent them. I'll come back to Korea at some point-I've come too far in learning the language to not use it again.

So, here is the plans for the next (stupid) busy month!

June 9-Tattoo appointment.
June 18-20-6 exams/packing
June 21-25-Vietnam trip (?!?! I know, right?)
June 26-Move out of SCH
June 28-World Expo in Yeosu
June 30-July 2-Busan
July 3-Seoul
July 4-Fly to Canada.
July 4-?-Sleep like the dead.

The only place I am sad I don't get to visit in Korea is Jeju Island. But, it is SO expensive to get to, and then expensive to be at. It's sad, but it is also necessary. Oh well, next time!

This all said, if my updates-both here and at my comic-are spotty, please forgive me! I'll do my best!


Monday, 4 June 2012

The Smallest Narrowest Places

This post requires a little bit of an introduction, I believe, before getting into the good stuff.
I believe I mentioned at one point that I was helping a friend with his book. Helping, as in doing some editing and writing the book jacket thing. If I didn't mention that...well, I did. And it was a lot of fun, and one hell of an experience-one that I would do again in a heartbeat.

My friend, whose name is Derek McPhee (website right here), wrote a book that is now, officially published! As I am, as of this moment, one of a very few, who have read the book, I would like to offer my (somewhat) biased thought on the book, The Smallest, Narrowest Places.
**Side note** I would give you all the book jacket synopsis...but I wrote it, and it seems a little self serving to do that. But it's available in the links above, so please feel free to peruse that as you will <3

The good stuff.
Everyday, history unfolds around us-but how do we know what will matter in the future? What makes history memorable....what makes history?

It is the stories.

The stories of the events that will be remembered, the stories of the things that touched people, and it will be their stories-the participants-the survivors-that will matter.

The Smallest, Narrowest Places is a collection of those stories that history will remember. This debut fictional novel by Derek McPhee explores the events and the stories that sprung from 3/11-the Japanese earthquake and tsunami as viewed by a foreigner in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The stories contained within the novel touch on family, love, loss and suffering in the events that came before, during and after the Japanese disaster. There is a myriad of feelings throughout the novel-but the pervading feeling is one of hope. Hope for understanding, love and-most importantly-hope for the future. 

The stories explore the lives of foreigners living in Japan , in a realistic, no holds barred, blunt, honest sans sugar coating way that can only be described by someone living that life. And yet, there is a deep understanding and respect of the Japanese people and their culture in a way that escapes many foreigners, and yet creates a bond between the different cultures in a global society. The author, a Canadian who moved to Japan upwards of 5 years ago, has assimilated into Japanese life as best a foreigner can in Japan, and has a deep understanding of Japan, its culture, and how it views the foreigners who call the island nation home.

The stories are connected in a way that creates a whole picture, without seeming to. And yet, there is also a fragmented feeling that comes from a disaster of the magnitude that was 3/11. The stories stay with the reader in a way that only a good book can do, and, even long after reading the novel, those stories are remembered.