Things you don’t see in the West

Sometimes it’s not just culture that is different.  While culture may be able to explain why things are not the same, you just get to see things that are both shocking, surprising and quite often funny because it is such a different concept from what we are used to.  Take this mini-washing machine.

Mini-washing machines

Mini-washing machines

These are actually pretty cool I think.  Great for bachelors and even great a second machine so that you don’t have to run the big one if you only just need a couple of towels washed before you go to a beach or something.  Or maybe you have a new-born child and decided to go the cloth route?  In either case, this is a great way to be able to do small loads of laundry without running a more expensive, larger machine.  Not only that, it hangs on the freaking wall! So much about this is pretty damn cool.  Almost want to buy one just because I think it’s like ‘useful artwork’ :)

How about restaurants growing their own food…indoors:



That’s right.  That is a case where the Korean fast-food restaurant is growing its own spices/vegetables indoors!  There is so much awesomeness in this that almost, not quite, but almost wants me to eat vegetables just because this is so cool!

Remember my recent ‘Minimalist by nature‘ post?  Maybe this pic should have gone there?

Minimalist moped

Minimalist moped

It’s rather hard to get much more bare-bones for mopeds than this!

How about eggs transported without refrigeration?  Is it really necessary?

That's a lot of eggs!

That’s a lot of eggs!

Foreign countries are never boring.

My favourite moments from 2012.

I was sitting here, kinda surprised that some people found and liked some of my posts.  I wasn’t even trying to advertise and within 4 days of this blog being up, I have 5 people who liked my “Sex Hagwon” post.  An interesting observation I thought.  While browsing those who liked that post, one of them is a photo-blog.  I thought that was kinda cool.  Then I got the idea of putting together the photos I took and liked best from last year.  So, please enjoy.

Hiking in Milak-dong

Hiking on a mountain near Milak-dong, Uijeongbu

Lake Park, Ilson

Lonely tree in Lake Park, Ilsan

View of Uijeongbu

View of Uijeongbu while hiking behind city hall.

burger from the Smokey Saloon

Cheesy-Cheese burger from the Smokey Saloon, Itaewon

Naju on Thanksgiving

Found in Naju on Thanksgiving

A Volcano in Indonesia

A Volcano in Indonesia

International Flower Festival

International Flower Festival, Lake Park, Ilsan

Hongdae Trick Art Museum

Hongdae Trick Art Museum

Sleeping on the subway

Sleeping on the subway

Typical business marketing

Typical business marketing to draw attention. Worked :)

Budgies in a cab

Budgies in a cab! Driver did magic tricks too!

Toys doing bad things

Toys doing bad things

Cute kids

Cute kids

Crazy religious Guy

So I was at a McDonalds the other day and saw this guy doing some pretty OCD stuff. I of course immediately got on twitter and started live reporting what I saw for about an hour. Here are the tweets, plus a pic :)

From Random Korea 2012


Wow, the guy is seriously into his article making. I just made out the work ‘Satan’ in Korean. It’s like right out of a Hollywood film!

I got a vid of it, but stupid Android hardwires uploads only for wifi…. # (Sigh, I think I deleted it by accident, ah well)

I’m hanging around out of curiosity. This is truly bizarre #

It’s like watching a scrapbooking reality TV show. #

There are all kinds of handwritten notes in his bible. It is well used. #

I can make out some Korean that translates to “knoweth the son” on the writing he is adding #

Wow, the article he has pasted to a plain piece of paper title is ??? “bullshit” #

Now he back to looking in the bible #

I saw a pic of some white guys. I could make out one of them with a cross on a necklace. He did look kinda evil, in a Tim Burton Santa way #

If anyone is around, I’ll consider doing a short GTalk or even Bambuser shot. Don’t want to be tooo obvious :-) #

I’m sure I could use this stuff for a film! #

He’s bringing out more newspaper articles! #

I think he just dumped one on the floor beneath my chair… #

To his credit, the McDonalds’ tables are small #

Ooooh, he’s found something to cut out! #

My bad. He’s piled the discards right beside his chair. I kinda want to go home but am rather fascinated by this…. #

Lacking white out, he simply cuts a piece of paper and pastes it over his mistakes. Clever indeed. #

He’s Back to scouring the bible again. #

Uh oh. He’s put the marker away but back to scouring the Bible again #

Felt tip marker back out! #

His Bible is old school Korean. Reads top to bottom. #

I think he wrote out a section title ??:13 but the translation doesn’t work. A little hard to read handwriting but his is printed and neat #

Well, I think I’ve had enough fun. This experience will be condensed on my blog later. #

Goodbye #crazyreligiousguy #

Update: Finally found the video link:

Daily View of Korea

One might think that living in Canada or the US you have the ‘ultimate freedom of expression’. It is true that ‘westerners’ have much more liberty at their fingertips that much of the rest of the world. The problem is the censorship that does happen is simply in the form that you are not aware of. It happens quietly, sneakily and it is pretty scary once you realize it. For the moment, I won’t be dwelling on it. Here in South Korea, such banning is rather blatant.

There is still a great fear in the upper echelon of Korean Society that they believe there is information out there that will harm their society. Eventually they will realize that people can make up their own minds but that is probably a loooooong way off. Tradition is hard to kill and the Koreans have been around for a very long time.

Want to know what site was banned? A travel site. What? Yeah a British travel site that provides tours to North Korea. Here’s part of the article explaining.

A British-run travel agency which specialises(sic) in tours to North Korea disclosed Monday that South Korea was blocking its website because of alleged pro-Pyongyang material.

AFP article via Google

There are actually two sites and they are and Now, anyone outside of Korea should be able to view them without any hindrance. I, however, using my regular channel get the above screenshot unless I do some techno-wizardry.

If you want to learn how to get around such bans and censorship, I would highly recommend you learn about Tor from EFF. Read and become illuminated.