problems

Undol -v- Radiators

In a classroom I teach in the heating hasn’t been working since who knows when. It has probably been broken since the summer. It’s one of those awful heaters that doubles as an air-conditioner, blowing out dry, heated air, in the winter, and flimsy puffs of cool in summer. Yesterday, I was sitting at a desk rubbing my knees and grimacing one of those ‘oh well you know’ friendly kind of faces towards the students who came in wrapped for artic exploration. I actually felt sorry for them because at least I could stand up and walk around for a little warmth.

I turned to one student, who I knew had lived in the UK for several years and proclaimed ‘what we need here are some radiators!’ to which she gave me a blank look. I remonstrated with her, trying to job her memory to which she replied ‘I prefer undol’. And I thought, ‘oh yeah…but no…’


The Internet: How Much Time is Too Much Time?

This is kind of an old argument…

If someone told you that you spend too much time on the internet, how would you respond?

Maybe I would say that don’t spend that much time on the actual internet, but I do spend a lot of time using various social network services or websites. I think I wouldn’t say I spend too much time, but I would admit that I am an avid addict of the world of knowing someone else’s business whilst trying to make my own business look, well, fascinating.

Let’s take a little look at where I am:


So, Koreans are sooo Korean…

The other day I sat through a conversation with a person who referred to Korean people as being soooo Korean. I didn’t ask them what they meant, and perhaps I should have, because it’s the kind of thing that really needs more of an explanation. Why? Is it not absurd to consider Koreans to be anything but Korean?

There is a prevailing thought that I keep encountering in Korea which bothers me. It is the concept that Korean people and people from other countries are so different that their actions must be distinguished as being distinctly Korean. You might think that this is fair, because Korean people do act like Korean people. But what’s the point of making an issue of it? It’s like complaining that the shower you are taking in the morning is sooo wet. Korean people are Korean, so they will act Korean. And, hold on to your hats here because this next comment will blow the roof off, many of them are proud of it! Fuck. Stop the world.


Letter to Ireland, August 2011

Dunboyne
Ireland
16/8/2011

Dear Ireland,

In little more than a week I will be gone. Two months and bit seemed a long time when I had first planned the trip. Fortunately, this letter is nothing to do with nostalgic goodbyes full of clichés about the speed of the weeks and the grass never being as green as anywhere but home. No, none of that, so you can be happy or sad as it makes no odds to the outcome of this letter.

It’s an odd situation having returned after a year and taken the time to really take in the changes. Of course I’ve done it before on plenty of occasions but this time I suppose I have been more analytical. I have had no honeymoon and attached radiant bride to obscure my opinions. I have not returned from England where I did not have a very good living experience. I have not returned to Ireland after a fleeting departure and return.


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