A Story of Compassion: Update

Back in October of last year I was walking out with my wife when I heard this kitten crying.  Seriously, doens’t matter how old you are, if you are a decent human being, the suffering of any entity, human or otherwise, will make you take notice.  And since I love cats(most animals really) this was heart-wrenching.  The story of what happened next was all described in this post here.

This post is an update of what happened after!

The new owner has sent us regular update on Oliver (I wanted to call him Velcro, little bugger would stick to anything).  With those updates, I had some fun and posted the pictures on Imgur.  They always like to see a good story.  Of course, they have a twisted bit of humour at times, so I used the following pics to have some fun with the site.

hello

never-see

Now, we got more recent pics and man, he’s grown up!

shoulder

And quite happy too!

comfy

Being a cat, he claims his own place….any where he wants.

flat-out

Which includes sleeping….any where he wants.

I am infinitely happy that I decided to rescue him and that he’s found such an awesome home and new pet human to feed him.

Today’s Random post in#Korea

There is never any end to my amusement here. You just have to see this stuff to believe it.

I’m sure this all properly licensed and whatnot.

The Smileeyes or The Smile eyes.  Can’t tell which.

This next one will need some explaining.

About 2 weeks before we moved out, our next door neighbour in our building got a puppy. (Oh you know where this is going…).  Yes, it was a yappy thing.  See, because of the generally cramped lifestyle in Seoul, no one gets dogs.  They only get ‘snacks for real dogs’.  I mean, I’ve owned cats that are biggest than most of these pets people get here!  For the most part, the thing only yapped constantly during the day and was quiet when the owners were home….usually.  While it wasn’t terribly bad, and we were moving out, I didn’t care so much.  So after we move out, I had to spend a night or two at a friend’s apartment, he lived 5 units down from our old place.  I walk by the yappy-dog apartment and see this:

…kill it or whatever…

I suspect this is from the person who moved into our place and good on them too!  Although maybe not to the extend of killing anything but the point is well made.  By the time left for my new city, I never heard a peep from the apartment any more.  Seemed to have worked :)

The Gio Cat Cafe

At first glance, one might be tempted to think that this is just another cleverly named place to hang and get coffee. You would be right but it is much more than that. This is one of those ‘truth in advertising’.

This is a cafe where cats live. Supposedly people bring cats here off the street and such. These cats were well looked after, although I found the cafe much too stuffy in air quality. Still, they were mostly playful and/or lazy :) Some could care less about the ‘hoomans’ roaming about trying to pet them or play with them. One more than one occasion I saw a Korean trying to get a cat to attack the ‘feather on a stick’ toy, to whit the cat summarily ignored it.

Case in point:

The cat’s eyes are quite closed and he is having a nap,or trying to. I decided to get a better pic of him.

He looked like a real grump of a cat but in reality, it was one of the most friendliest. He loved attention and didn’t mind being petted or scratched while he was sleeping.

Now, you have your friendly cats and then you have your FRIENDLY cats.

This little guy lived in his own world where humans are seen and nothing but furniture.

Not content in trying that Korean guy out, he made his way to our table too.

Maybe this guy was a parrot in a former life and just liked to perch of shoulders? In either case, he was the favourite of the day for obvious reasons.

The cafe charges you 8,000 won to enter and you get one free coffee or pop with that. The money goes to help keep the cats fed and such. They also offer a ‘cat motel’ for when you go on vacation and have no one to look after your kitty. They also have an adoption program for them and in the pic above with them ‘grumpy’ looking cat, you can see the booklet detailing the cats that you can adopt.

There is still a bit of a stigma around cats. Back home, the superstition is mostly about black cats, typically stories around Halloween, but here is all cats. There is a fear that cats can see your soul. Well, if they can, good for them! This one obviously likes mine :) In fact, he was so happy that he was playing and biting me. I had to assure him that I was still to fatty for his tastes by scratching his head. This seemed to appease him greatly and so he let me live.

Here you simply cannot call a cat over to be petted. The ones you see on the street are ‘wild’ and do not trust people. It is sad.

Now THIS guy was an interesting fellow.

He wanted to be near people but wouldn’t let you pet him. He even got so bold as to get onto one of our friends lap but the moment she tried to pet him, he swatted her and bared his teeth with a hiss that spoke “Hey! You are here for MY amusement and pleasure. I’ll tell you when you can touch me, which will be never by the way!”

On the flip side of cat psychology, you have this guy:

His ears were always down like they were formed that way. He was the saddest, most heart-wrenching looking guy no matter where he was.

Here is the whole album, including a video of the guys.

I’m an ALIEN!

“Time flies like an arrow.” – Ancient Proverb

“Fruit flies like bananas.” – BBS Tagline Addendum to Proverb.

It’s amazing how fast time can go by when you get busy. I have been working on a….let’s call it a project, so my free time has been cut in half. Out of that time I sleep and been pushing my self-directed education on ‘all things tech’. As such, my blog posts have been obviously more quiet. Now I am slowly settling into a rhythm and forcing some time for more update. I’ve got lots to show you at least as I have not been slack in taking pictures Winking smile

Yes, it’s true. I am an alien. I even have an officially issued ID card to prove it!

So, for all those who suspected me of being one, now you have your proof. More shall be revealed in due course about our plans for your puny world….err, I mean this beautifully human-food-laden…..err…scenic place.

Let me start my catchup with everyone’s favourite subject…..food.

I will say this, the strawberries here are the largest and sweetest I have EVER tasted! Although I can’t really give proper description of the taste, suffice to say that the reason most people use whip cream to dip their strawberries in is to off set the tartness. Such a practice would totally kill the natural sweetness of these berries!

Yeah, that’s my hand. Damn thing is near 3” long!
Yeah, that’s my hand. Damn thing is near 3” long!
Who knew that only 5 strawberries would cover my entire keyboard!
Who knew that only 5 strawberries would cover my entire keyboard!

(Click here for a few more pics of these monstrosities)

Now, on the flip side of this trip we’ll be displaying a rather bizarre collection of pets. Spiders! (Yes….I said collection….)

I think this is the poisonous one.
I think this is the poisonous one.

And what collection of pet spiders is incomplete without a Tarantula!

You can click here to see a few more pics of his collection.

Now that you are thoroughly freaked out (well, most of you, some are probably already clicking on the link for more), let’s go onto a few other mildly strange things here.

I’m going to teach you some Korean. You’ll be totally amazed at how well you will pick this up!

The interesting thing about older languages is that the rules for modern words vary wildly. Older languages have no rules for incorporating modern terms. So each culture will do what they feel is best. With Korean there is a term called Konglish (Korean/English). There are some words that just do not have any way of being created with the Hangul characters. This is because the Hangul language was originally based on Chinese characters. Chinese writing has dated back around the 14th century. So, using a language based on that kind of age you are bound to run into a problem with new words. For example, Computer or Network. Both very modern words and do not have any direct translation whatsoever. Although I never did quite understand why they didn’t form the same words the same way the word was formed for English.

Yes I know computer comes from the two latin words (with[cum] and think[putare]). Still, as a modern implementation of a device, such words do not always translate well. In Korean computer is ‘kom-pyew-tuh’. Just about every Korean also ends with a vowel. So Koreans will take English words and add a ‘uh’ on words that have a consonant at the end.

For example….end will become end-uh. “is” becomes is-uh. It’s very tough to get them out of that habit but the ones who pay attention will stand out in their English pronunciation.

Now, armed with that knowledge let me give you a few Hangul characters and see if you can figure out the following words.

Hangul:

eu

This is an like an ‘eww’ type of sound but very short. Close to an short i type of sound.

bThis is a b (or p sometimes) sound. It’s not ‘bee’ but more ‘buh’ sound.

sThis is an s. Sometimes a ‘sh’ sound.

eoThis is ‘aw’ sound. It gets shortened typically after a consonant to ‘uh’.

So, test your new found knowledge and figure out this word.

Korean Word

First person to email me what this means will get a special Korean gift from here! (You Koreans on my list, and people I KNOW who are learning Korean are not eligible).

I can tell you that after learning the Hangul characters I get a huge laugh when I read Konglish words like ‘mechanic’ and even ‘chicken doctor'(a restaurant).

Ok, that all for this post. Up next…..the DMZ.