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Scavenger Hunt Task 3A: 2012 Global StarCraft League Semifinals!

I hope you’re all sitting down because I have something really shocking to report: living in Korea is EXHAUSTING. I know! Who could have guessed?!? As a result of this general fatigue that is the by-product of doing anything in this country, I’ve fallen behind on my reportage. But I have a new strategy that I am borrowing from HCB and his years of dissertation work: write outside of the home, far from bed and books and easy internet and dishes that need washing and the other thousand things that can distract from storytelling. Read more


Drinking From The Cup of Triumph: Itaewon Edition!

Yesterday was a present wrapped up in a bow. It started out a little shaky, but by the end I was foot-weary and delighted.

When we woke up this morning, it was -4° C in Seoul. As I’ve said before, that may not be anything special for you Northern/Eastern folk, but when I see negative numbers the adventurous spirit just drains right out of me. The last couple days I’ve pushed through, but yesterday I was of the opinion that I had earned a mental health day. Having resigned myself to a day indoors, I read happily for several hours while HCB prepared syllabi and lectures. I know, I know. I’m on an amazing adventure. Be hungry for life, carpe diem, and all that. But sometimes a guy just needs to take the pressure off. Read more

Breaking it Down: Bathroom Humor*

Those of you who watched the video of DMC Ville may have noticed that our bathroom comes with a fancy Asian bidet. Basically, it’s an attachment bolted on in place of the toilet seat, which offers all the utility of a bidet without requiring A) a separate dedicated unit (as is often the case in Europe [or was the last time I was there]) or B) a SUPER expensive all-in-one toilet/bidet, which can run you upwards of $5500. Read more

The results are in!

I. Am. So. Excited. Although it’s far from finalized, here is a preliminary list of the scavenger hunt items submitted by you, our generous readers:

1A. Attend a Korean drag show.
2A. Go climbing in Seoul and find a climbing partner.
3A. Attend a professional Starcraft tournament.
4A. Tour an animation studio that makes American cartoons.
5A. Take a Segway tour of Seoul.
6A. Wander for three hours with no direction.
7A. Get a non-McDonalds hamburger.
8A. Visit the DMZ.

1D. Take a picture of ourselves from the top of a mountain.
2D. Photograph a “translation that is now being presented in a language OTHER than English or Korean.” In other words, find a Spanish or French version of Konglish.
3D. Document small scale differences.
4D. Discover the Korean system for alphabetization.
5D. Take a photo of “a familiar foodstuff flavored in a way that would never occur to Americans. You know: shrimp-flavored angel food cake, or what have you.”
6D. Eat and photograph the Korean interpretation of a non-American, non-Asia food stuff. Perhaps Korean nachos.
7D. Draw a mental map of the surrounding area.
8D. Take pictures of natural beauty: one of trees, one of water and one of the sky.

Some of these task will have to wait until it warms up a little. Right now, if I wandered somewhere that wasn’t an indoor mall, I’d end up in the Korean emergency room. Other tasks, such as the Starcraft tournament—which is being held this week—will get checked off the list, ASAP.  Thanks to everyone who participated and if you come up with new ideas send them along and I’ll update the list.

Much Love,

Day One: Nobody in this Country Speaks English

This morning, HCB and I woke up in Korea for the first time. I bounded out of bed at what turned out to be 3:30AM, but it wasn’t until the lazy hour of 6AM that the two of us really got rolling. We explored the facilities and found them to be as swanky as we had expected. Kids, we have squash courts. Now, I’ve never actually held a squash racket (it’s a racket and not a paddle, right?), but it’s nice to have the option. Add to that the sauna and the jacuzzi’s and the GIGANTIC pool and you have a pretty well appointed gym. After mapping the basement levels, we ate a free continental breakfast (served every weekday) and climbed onto the free shuttle to HCB’s school. Read more