Tag Archives: Thailand

This and That Vol. 3

31 Mar

Some shots from Thailand that I forgot to post and other randoms from around the hood. Click on the thumbnails to see the full size.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

Vacation Tips

22 Jan

I meant to throw up another post in addition to this one, but I’ve been far too busy this week finishing up English camp and and preparing to take off for vacation.

My school has allowed me to leave the plantation for a couple of weeks and I’ll be spending that time in Thailand. The cold in Busan has been annoying as of late so the beach and sun will be a welcomed (and much needed) change-up.

I’m normally horrible at preparing for trips. When coming to Korea, I barely made it out of the country on time on account that on the day of my departure, I was still bringing clothes and other crap from my apartment to stash in my  mother’s basement. I didn’t call my bank to notify them that I was coming to Korea until I was about to board the plane. I still have yet to suspend my cell phone account. It’s that bad.

Getting prepared for Thailand has been somewhat different though. To my own surprise, I’ve been able to take care of all the loose ends in fairly organized fashion, and since I’m proud of myself for doing so, I thought I’d share a few tips on vacation preparation for those planning on jumping ship for vacation. Keep in mind these are all things I almost never do, so I’m probably the wrong person to be lecturing on the subject. Nonetheless, it’s my blog and I need to write about something before I go on my two-week hiatus.

#1 Sure Up the Money Source
This may seem like a no brainer, but I’ve read several accounts of people taking off  from the peninsula and having absolutely no access to their money once they’ve reached their destination. If you’re bringing along your Korean bank card, make sure your shit will work in OUTSIDE of Korea. Many bank cards are completely useless once yo leave the peninsula, but several banks offer global cards that at the very least  will allow you to withdraw money from the ATM in another country (usually you won’t be able to make purchases with it). I bank with KEB and had my co-teacher call them several times yesterday to make sure my card would work in Thailand. After reading a few threads on Waygook.org and Koreabridge.com, I was convinced I had nothing to worry about. Still, I wanted to double check. Turns out the card I had wasn’t going to work, and with only a half an hour till the bank closed, I had to run back home, grab my passport, and get to the bank to exchange my normal card for a global card. I made it there just as they were about to close the front gates. Payday is coming up and I would have been shit out of luck had I not double checked. Of course you could avoid this whole dilemma by transferring money to your account from back home, but if payday will occur after you depart for vacation and you have no way to set up a scheduled transfer, you might still be screwed.

#2 Clean Out the Refrigerator
Trust me, you do not want to come back to an apartment that smells like old man farts. Look in your fridge and take out anything that could (or as in my case, already has) gone bad. There is no point in holding on to those few extra oranges that will only be rotten by the time you make it back. If you really want them, take them with and eat them on the plane.

Don’t want to waste food that you’ve spent your hard earned money on?

Start eating that shit early in the week before you leave so you won’t have to toss anything out. This tip may be mute for some, because obviously not everyone cooks (a good idea considering how it’s often cheaper to eat out), but if you normally keep your fridge stocked, make sure you empty it before leaving, along with the trash.

#3 Wash the Clothes
No point in having to go commando for a day due to a shortage of clean undies. Do yourself a favor and throw in a couple loads of laundry before heading off. Now for some of you, this might not be an option. You may not even have clean clothes to bring WITH you on vacation, but if you’ve already picked out your vacation wardrobe, take some time to wash up the clothes you are leaving behind. If nothing else it will make your apartment look cleaner and should you fail to clean the out the fridge the smell won’t be compounded by stinky laundry–not that your dirty laundry stinks in the first place.

Yes I know all of this is common sense and probably does not need to be mentioned, but I have suffered from not doing one or all of the tips mentioned above so it comes from the heart.

I could go on and on with other tips (originally, I wanted to do a list of at least five), but I have a flight to catch and I still need to swing by Family Mart to pick up some plane snacks.

I doubt I’ll be posting while on vacation so this might be the last you hear from me for a couple of weeks, but then again you never know. I might decide to pop in to let you know I’m still alive and haven’t been arrested.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

Thanksgiving?

25 Nov
A Bronze tom

Image via Wikipedia

This morning my alarm fails to go off but I jolt awake anyways and sit up in a haze of confusion.  True, my dreams were crazy as all hell, and for whatever reason I slept with the window open, causing a cold breeze to sweep through my apartment, but this still doesn’t account for my sudden rise from REM.

Could it be that my body was waking me to get first dibs on the expected aroma of turkey and yams that paint the air of my moms house on Thanksgiving? Possibly, but as it turns out, I still live in Korea.

Earlier in the week, while haphazardly attempting  to make plans with other Americans for the holiday, I pictured myself spending Thanksgiving with an overpriced bottle of Hennessy, and a nice turkey sandwich. Back in the states my family is converging on Savannah, GA and I get pissed when I think about all the good food I’m about to miss out on. Sure I could have made reservations and spent the dough to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner here in Busan, but it wouldn’t have been the same, or even comparable.

Two days ago Kim Jong Il decides to show his ass again and makes it rain artillery on the south, yesterday I just about loose it over the lack of plans I have for turkey day and today I spend the morning hunched over in a chair  giving speaking tests to my 6th graders. Until about an hour ago I felt there was very little to give thanks for.

Then I read a comforting Thanksgiving post by a fellow Busanite blogger and suddenly my shitty perspective on spending the holiday abroad comes correct.

I’m not back home where a blizzard is raging, there are still plenty of trees in my neighborhood with leaves on them, I get paid today, I found the heat switch for my office, Das Racist is playing in Busan tomorrow, The pimple on my forehead is going away, one of my worst students aced her speaking test, SOMEBODY actually reads this blog, I’m going to Thailand after I finish my winter English camp (which is already “planned”), my family isn’t bothering me to come home in light of the recent northern agression, I’m still having a blast in this strange country (with plenty of new friends scattered about the peninsula),  I’ve kicked writer’s block for the time being, I haven’t been called a nigger by a Korean (at least in English), Sarah Palin is still saying dumb-ass shit in the media, I know how to moonwalk, the Vikings finally fired Brad “what-the-fuck-kind-of play-call-was-that” Childress, a Canadian wished me happy Thanksgiving, my co-teacher didn’t ask me tell the “story” of the first Thanksgiving, slavery is abolished in the states, my students finally learned the (not so) secret handshake I’ve been trying to teach them for months, and lastly, later tonight  I’m meeting up with a bunch of other American Busanites who failed to make “proper” Thanksgiving arrangements. We’ll spend the holiday however we damn well please.

No, it doesn’t exactly feel like Thanksgiving, but I have plenty to give thanks for.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

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