"We're not breaking out of a Jamba Juice, gentlemen."

Michael Scofield, I love you but you're bringing me down. ref. LCD Soundsystem

Prison Break is a big deal in Korea. Strike that. Wentworth Miller is a big deal in Korea. He's the face of a major clothing line, Bean Pole, and is generally seen as a perfect specimen of humanity and sexuality ("Hellow Wentworth~welcome to the Korea").

Carmen and I finally decided to experience what all the fuss and desperate screaming is about (Prison Break, not Wentworth). We rented the first eight episodes of Season One and haven't looked back since. I'm not really a TV guy; if you'll remember, I started watching Six Feet Under a while back, and made it to the fourth season but needed a break from the sheer intensity that comes with a family who lives in a funeral home and consists of a neurotic widow, a recently widowed alcoholic single father, a troubled teen and a gay Catholic holding down the fort. Anyway, 7:30 is not only Cate's bedtime, it's also Fox River time. We're halfway through the second season now and we basically talk, and dream in my case, about nothing else. I fear what will happen once we catch up with current episodes and are forced to wait a week in between fixes, or longer if this strike holds up.

But I suppose it's almost time to move on to more festive stories, like Clark Griswold and his cousin Eddie, or Billy Mack and his "festering turd of a record". 'Tis the season, even for escaped convicts on the run from murderous, anti-government agencies.



I bought a can of Coke the other day. It tasted stale. Then I noticed the can was decorated with an ad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Germany. The World Cup in Germany was in 2006. It had been sitting on the shelf for nearly two years.



I spent a couple of hours on Sunday walking around Seomun Market. The weather has been beautiful in Daegu and what could be better than taking the camera out on a sunny afternoon?

I read an interesting comment recently about South Korean society; if it weren't for all the cellphones and neon lights, you'd think it were the 1950s. Obviously that's a bit of stretch, but it's not as far from the truth as you might think. This is the largest market in Daegu and there are no signs of modern business.
This man worked on a mobile stand. I'm not exactly sure what he was selling - it looks like little minnows - but he never stopped filling those little wooden boxes and people never stopped buying them.
I didn't expect to see this. The puppies in the foreground are the lucky ones. There were several others jammed into cages, along with rabbits, ducks and hundreds of chickens - both dead and alive. The chickens I understand, the ducks - maybe, but puppies? I don't want to think about what they might be used for. Ben Harper's Paris Sunrise #7 was playing on my iPod as I walked past this mess. It was one of the more disturbing things I've experienced.

The area surrounding Seomun is packed with villas, which are connected by these dingy alleyways. They're clean for the most part, but haven't seen any development in at least a few decades. It's amazing how efficient people are with transporting their goods through all of these climbing streets, usually using bicycles like this:

We've been here for over eight months, but I never get used to seeing a lot of these things. As strange or old as it may seem, I'm going to miss it when we leave. The people who work in these markets look out for each other. There's no sense of competition and everyone works together. On top of all that, no one's getting ripped off. The produce and seafood are dirt cheap. So everyone wins. Seems simple, doesn't it?



That's the sound you make when you realize how different your surroundings are from what you're used to, and from how you would like things to be.

Last week Carmen discovered a bit of mold on the wall behind our bed. Yeah, we know, that's sick. The summer humidity is still lingering in our apartment and now that it's cooling down, we can't have the windows open much. Seeing as our bathroom is our shower, it's difficult to air the place out, hence the mold growing just outside the bathroom door. We cleaned the wall and hoped we'd taken care of the problem.

Today as we were cleaning Cate's room/laundry room/storage room, we noticed it on the walls in there as well. Probably the worst case scenario. Our daughter is being exposed to some contaminable growth 12 hours a day, and we don't even realize it. We've cleaned it off and will be getting a bunch of Thirsty Hippos, which are little dehumidifiers, to put around the house. We'll also need to buy some spray to clean the walls. After doing a bit of research, I've learned this is a very common problem in Korea. There are a couple of obvious contributing factors.

First of all, pretty much no one uses dryers here. Clothes are all hang-dried. Not only does this make your underwear and towels stiff and crusty, it makes it difficult to get things completely dry when the air is so humid - and usually takes a couple of days for an entire load to dry. A lot of people complain of mold growing on their clothes. The second problem is that most villas, including ours, don't have a lot of natural ventilation because the buildings are so close together. Thirdly, our villa has at least a few layers of wallpaper that have been slabbed onto the concrete walls over the years. In short, we live in a bloody breeding ground for mold. Luckily, the problem has just come up after more than eight months, and the humidity will only disappear now. It seems manageable, but it also seems like an unnecessary issue. I suppose it's just an example of taking the bad with the good. Hopefully we've seen the worst.

Also, if anyone would like to send me a Slingbox so I can follow the NFL this season, send me an email and I'll give you my address.


November 6

I was in a terrible car accident in a taxi last night. Not in real life - just in my imagination. Every time I'm in a cab I picture the car being T-boned as we run red lights or struck head-on as we veer into oncoming traffic. So far I've escaped each ride unscathed (physically), but I'm not sure how long I can hold out.

Today is a special day in Korea. My birthday. So in honour of what should be a national holiday, I'm going to go off topic and share a few of my favourite things, via YouTube:

1. This is, in my opinion, the funniest moment ever shown on television. Thank you Mr. Brent . . . and Gareth:

2. Exchanging vows with my wife and the birth of my beautiful daughter are the two most incredible moments of my life. Being at a Pearl Jam show is (a distant) third. If you look closely enough, you can see Carmen and me about 30 feet from the stage:

3. Sheer, utter genius:


A bit of Cate to brighten your day

Corn chowder, in case you're wondering.