Panorama from top of my building in #Korea

Advertisements

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:

Aero-ponics!
Aero-ponics!

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.

The Claw Game!

I am pretty sure most of you have seen Toy Story.

Well, was walking down the street and kinda saw a different version of the Claw Game.

From Korea Random 2012

A closer look reveals something just not quite right with this game.

From Korea Random 2012

Seriously Korea? Food?

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

**Tweets**

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 #

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 www.koryogroup.com and www.koryotours.com. 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.

Daily View of Korea

Typical Food Court in department store
Typical Food Court in department store

Food Courts are a little different here. When ordering Korean Food you order from a central desk (on the left) and watch the light board (centre top right) for your number to come up. There are a bunch of places where your food can appear. We still haven’t figured that part out. For the most part we just walk till we see food that looks like the stuff we ordered. :)