Moe overload, I’ve got a Goodshirt

Moe is a Japanese term for the feeling of overwhelming cute and fluffiness for a person or object which has these properties. Tokyo girls style is another young and invaritably, cute girls pop group. It sounds like so many other bands in Japan, and Korea. At least they did it with less band members than Girls Generation (SNSD) along with a host of other bands. Cashing in on cute is big money in this part of Asia. 25 years old, is, too old as most of the singers on the Jpop/ Kpop music scene are less than 20 years or younger. I can think of a few legalities in being too young. Wouldn’t they come under minimum wage and get paid miniscule amount of money an hour? Can they even enter into a legal contract since they are so young?

Commenting on the video, it was a parade of cute girls on one set only, extolling their love for someone. Boring. Not that love itself is boring, I cite that the way it was put was boring. I remember when music videos actually did something and told a story; was something creative. I am I getting too old?

Coffee, with cream?

Part of the under belly of Korean culture is the Da Bang. A da Bang is more or less a glorified coffee shop. The prices are inflated because in addtion to the over priced coffee, you get a girl to drink it with, and engage in witty conversation. There’s money to be had, in serving filal piety. I’ve seen girls taking the show ‘on the road’ as they get into cars or small vans to render their service off premises.

Small vans, in an even smaller town, with an aging population. The girls I’ve seen seem to be aging with the population, as an intial impression might lend to young and beautiful.

Enter the ping-pong ball, exit covered in four different types of sweat

Ben and I had decided on going for a walk to Seon yu do park, a former sewerage works located on an island next to the Southern bank of the Han. Reformed into some sort of botanical garden, it had the outward appearance that someone had been too lazy to remove the existing sewerage works settling ponds and pipes and instead, tried to cover it up. What made it personally interesting for me was the graffiti written on some of the steelworks.

The weather that day had decided not to rain, but instead had gone on to be incredibly humid. Things started heating up, and pretty soon I was covered in a combination of sweat and sunscreen. Ben more so. Beads of sweat were cascading down his face. He’d looked like he’d just come out of the shower. The result was that his clothes soaked, while I didn’t have the same problem, my underwear was driving itself in a northern direction and generally made a nuisance of itself.

I almost always pack a camera when I go walking; but today I just found that the vistas today, were less than inspiring. This was probably in part because of the fog that was veiling most of Seoul in a brilliant white haze. It was like being on the inside of a large ping-pong ball. This neatly obscured the longer lines of sight; maybe this was a labour-saving phenomenon. The less photos I took, the less I’d have to process later on. Ben and I, had walked most of the Han river, and a good portion of the bits inland of it. I had quite literally taken the photos in the past.

Commentator says the coupe de grâce; Argentina gets the boot in

Photo: Associated Press

This game is done and dusted was a commentary heard circa the 78th minute. An unintentionally sarcastic commentary I’ve heard so far, in all of three games I’ve seen. The commentator was clearly of British heritage. C’mon, it might have been 4-1, but lets finish the game first before dissing the loosing team.

From a layman’s perspective (which mine was), I could tell that Korea’s defenders weren’t up to it. The Argentine attackers made a textbook cross, with Higuain, in the right place in the right time, for the third goal and an even simplier fourth goal. Well done Higuain. I doubt you’ll have to buy your own drinks for the remainder of the World cup.

Korea, and Koreans, are often so proud over the smallest things.  Korean astronauts in space, the thinnest LCD screen, stem cell cloning. During the game, I could hear the neighbours cheering for the Korean team. What made it impressive was, that the neighbours were in the house across the way. By the time the 3rd goal was scored by Higuain, they were absolutely quiet. Not a peep.

Gidday bro, a long way from home

New Zealand has a strong under current of Maori culture. Not just street signs but language that has been turned into slang.

What can only be called a mannerism is the silent greeting. Two friends in New Zealand meet in the street, give each other as sign of greeting and acknowledgement an upward flick of the eyebrows, accompanied simultaneously with an upward nod towards the receiever. It was only after I’d sat down on the seat next to one of my students on the bus that I realised that I’d just given the ‘gidday bro’ eyebrow flick and nod.

He returned the culturally estranged greeting by giving me the thumbs up. I just thought how, at 8.15 in the morning, I wasn’t quite awake.

Not the womens league; these are the Korean special forces!

All dressed in red tees and white trousers, they then proceeded to move out to the road, in almost military precision.

This was shit-your-pants-scary stuff. Combining Winnie Medala’s infamous football squad and Britain’s Special patrol group with the uniformed terror of Iraq’s former Republican guard. All rolled into a red shirt and white pant package.

Though not conspicuous, I tried not to attract their attention.

Driven egos, UNparallel parking

Seen this time, in my town, in the void. I admit, with a bit of style this time, but still the arogance and self-mindeness of a driver who thinks he’s alone. Someone must have parked, I mean just driven into a space and in the ensuing hours everyone else must have followed suit.

No-one else on the street (the main street actually) had parallel parked, but this bunch of twerps. Driven, but lacking in skill. Or perhaps just lazy.