Lost photo, finally unstuck

A while back I chronicled the state of cafeteria food at one of my schools. Unable to download the photographic booty until recently, I have pixellated evidence of my sticky tang suk yuk meal.

The deep fried pork has finally, come unstuck.

Unused, only slower

Slower computer

I’ve never been given a computer, to suit my needs. Certainly not suitable for any KOREAN teacher to use. They might complain that it is too slow.

The fact that I actually lie outside of their societal layer cake presents a problem for them, that apparently, is easily solved. Find the slowest, oldest computer that was put together sometime last century for the person to use.

The computer that you actually see above wasn’t being used at the time, so I comandeered it. The computer I was using, ran the scanner, was hopelessly short on RAM, and in doing so, took a full five minutes to get to a point where I could use it. If the computer that you use relates to your status, then I’m at rock bottom.

Slowest computer

Just quietly, drive safely

Going from what has to be the loudest advertisements (electoral campaigning) to what has to be the smallest ads I’ve seen so far. Consisting of a yellow plastic strip strapped around the trunks of trees or lampposts using twist ties.

As far as I can make out there are two types of advisories. One to drive safely, the other, literally translated, speeding forbidden. All from the local police station. If anything, they make a nice composition to take a picture of.

Aging slappers feat, Politically crazed Evangelists


The groupies are back, and it seems, soggier than ever.  The weather hasn’t  dampened any enthusiasm. I did see one bunch of groupies being coached along with a whistle like a marching band or cheerleaders. Though short skirts are the fashion this year. I shudder to think how they would look, if these aging slappers should don their daughters attire ala Girls Generation. 

Harraging on every corner

Also similar to last time, are the trucks with a huge billboard of the candidate on it. The truck comes with a podium and even a TV screen in some cases, so that the encumbent-wannabe can tout his line to the pundits. What on earth do the candidates do on the off-season? My guess would be go back to their hibernation chambers and wait for another year. 

For me it’s just been a time to avoid getting a calling card from the groupies. Honestly it’s like the streets have been hit by politically crazed evangelists. Though I do think that the straight out, evangelical types (church goers) are easier to dodge. What’s more some of the stuff they give out, like mini packs of tissues, lollies and sometimes cups of tea, are more useful. I can’t believe this. I’ve just given my vote of preference to a load of God-fearing twits.

Felt up, comes with doodle pad

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I finally got to ‘test drive’ the new digital signage in the Seoul metro stations. It does indeed have a map of Seoul in it, replet with overlays of the train tracks. Also included in what you might call a kiosk, is a telephone. Useable with your transport card. It even has an mini touch screen scratch pad so that you can take down notes, or just doodle. I saw a passing woman use this feature for just this activity as she spoke on her handphone.

Nothing spared here. I wonder what computer support it uses? Overall, impressive.

New lesson, old school

Technology changes so fast these days. The textbook I was using, was written in 1996, when the video cassette recorder was KING.

Some of my students mused over three letters, V.C.R. I had to tell then what it was. Evidently none of them had one. Not that they are too expensive, they’re just old hat.

Written by the almost ubiquitous Molinsky and Bliss writing pair, quite literally dozens of ESL books.

Old soldier, proud

I’m always a bit reticent about asking people directly for someones photo. Especially Koreans. But, in the past I’ve had only one refusal. In trying to ‘get’ a photo, it’s all part of the buttering up process before hand.

The man in the photo has at one time served in the ROKMC. I feel the photo speaks for itself. A man proud of what he has done

Fuzz(y) impressions, brushes with the law

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The fuzz, Mr Plod or just the police. Impressions are lent by what’s around you, especially the first time. My impression of the police stems from my time in New Zealand. Yes, I am a Kiwi and proud of it.

Big cars, a clean and pressed uniform replete with cap made them look official and impressive. That aside, most of them look like rugby players. I heard that most of them bulk up at the gym.

But this entry is really directed at their vehicular mode of transport. Their wheels are, the biggest object that lends the impression.

NZ police have always tended to drive big cars. Back in the 70’s it was the Holden HQ. Come to think of it, the NZP has had a long line of Holdens. Going from the Holden Commodore, Commodore, and.. Commodore.  It’s quite a lineage.

The next photo is the Vatican Police. Given the size of Vatican square, it’s a small car. The photo speaks for itself. I did actually have a brush with real police (actually an undercover detective) who seemed to appear from no-where. I just happened to be asked for directions by a Greek national (also on holiday).  I think the Crumpler photo bag gave the impression that I had drugs inside of my bag. They went as quickly as they came.

The picture of the Chinese police, was taken in Shenyang. About six of them were mounted on bicycle. That in itself is okay. I’ve seen Mr Plod on a mountain bike. But these bikes had a red light mounted on the back. What would have been more comical is a light mounted on the helmet ala The Goodies or even Kenny Everett. Though these police officers are meant in no way to appear ‘daggy’.

The ‘Shenyang flying squad’ actually compares well to their Korean counter parts. The motorbikes were a par for the course, also had the red lights mounted on the back. Come to think of it, where else could you cheaply mounted on the bike? Jon and Ponch from the 70’s TV show, CHiPs can feel safe and secure that their image and their Kawasaki motorbikes have not been tainted. I have had encounters with the Korean police. Twice. Once for jaywalking; I got a very stern non-verbal sermons. He used his fore finger as he pointed to me, then to the road. He didn’t smile once. A true professional. The next encounter was much more friendly, in getting lost on the first day in the void, I came upon the local police station. Staggering up, I asked for directions. I was ushered into a police car, driven by a youngish policeman. Sat in the front seat, it was an uneventfull entrance as I pulled up to the school. Their cars, are of course, Korean made, the policemen, from the best Police academies.

One feature of Asian government agencies is the need for cute mascots. The first one is Korean, named ‘Podori’. I don’t know what it translates into English, but the idea was to soften the image of the police force. The Chinese mascot shares the big eyed features of the Korean one except it’s female. Frankly I’ve never seen an Immigration officer smile and salute, let alone have big bug eyes.

Touchy-feely, lets take it home!

Tech in South Korea never ceases to amaze me in the turn-your-head ability. This particular piece of tech is a digital signage board/ information board as seen on a subway platform at Sindorim station, Seoul.

Entirely interactive, it shows neat sutff like up and coming movies, events and the like. The ‘killer app’ I’d like to see is an interactive Seoul metropolitan subway map. It might exist, and it would save alot of confusion when out on walks.

Internationally, this knocks the socks of anything that the Wellington metro suburban railway system can put up, but a brief search of the shows that there are plenty of countries with digital signage boards.

Memories of a haircut, R.I.P

I remember when ever I had to get a haircut I was sent to the barber. The blade was always hot, and uncomfortable. I hated getting a haircut.