Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival -another crazy Chinese Holiday to celebrate the Chinese New years with plethora of Lanterns. This year it is the year of the Rabbit, so you guessed right, there were lots of rabbit memorabilia roaming the streets. It amazes me how much Crap China produces for these holidays and what’s even more amazing is that people actually buy it. In my classes my students brought their Lantern festival toys to class and showed me all their gadgets.

It seems that with any Chinese holiday, it is a necessity to light off fireworks. So once again I entered the battlefield of fireworks. Supposedly the Lantern festival is a big deal and there is even a 3 days festival at the Yuyuan Gardens in which there are lanterns everywhere and thousands of people make their way to come visit. Similar to the Christmas lights at Christmas time, there were a many different exhibits of lanterns displayed all over. I went with some my friends Rob, Kirsti and Sherry  and for 50RMB, we were given the opportunity to be smushed in to a confined space with a bunch of Asians and of course see lots of lanterns. Since I was unable to bring my new camera to South Korea, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to test it out and try to figure out how to use it with all the various colors displayed in the lanterns. So with that I present you with my initial pictures from the Lantern Festival.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Valentines day, a day to blow large amounts of money to tell your significant other or a person, that you care for them, which could be done any other day of the year, or on the other side of the spectrum, Singles awareness day. Just like in America, Valentines Day is also celebrated in China except almost to a larger scale. As if the Chinese boys don’t already spend a fortune being their girlfriend’s sugar daddy already, buying them essentially whatever the girl wants, Valentines day is just the topping to the cake. On every street corner and in the metro station street vendors set up shop hoping to milk these poor innocent Asian men for their money. Flowers are substantially more expensive, 4 or 5 times more than on any other day. For a single rose, this can cost between 30-50 Rmb, which is about $5-$8 or a dozen roses in a bouquet that will easily run you over 450 RMB or $65+(yes I asked). While this might not seem too bad, based on typical salary, 400 RMB would be about 4 days pay. To give you a better idea of how ridiculous this is, on a minimum wage in America, 4 days of work would be $306! But of course flowers are not enough for these crazy Chinese girls and Teddy Bears, Cakes, Cards, and Balloons are also a necessity. On the subway home I found humor in looking down the aisle and seeing all these men swamped with valentine gifts and watching them look like zombies because they probably just sent half their months salary. To make matters worse, from the teachers that I talked to at school about Valentines Day, many of the females do not buy the guys gifts in return because “It is too expensive”. As I walked down the street, I really felt for this one guy who had balloons, a cake, a bouquet of a dozen roses and a teddy bear in one hand and his girlfriend in the other. While he tried multiple times to kiss her, each time she shut up down and was not having it…. Mercy!!!
Poor Guy.... pun intended

I got a little taste of the none sense of Chinese Valentines day when I purchased some flowers for my roommate Francesca for her Birthday (Her birthday is on Valentines day). Since she was on holiday and Coming Home from Japan, I thought it would be nice to surprise her with flowers in her room when she arrived. After emptying my wallet and buying a few flowers for an exhorbitant price, I walked down the street with them as some Chinese girls giggled and said some none sense that of course I did not understand. As I continued to walk towards my apartment I crossed paths with a fellow Asian male who were bearing much more gifts than I was. Without saying a word and just looking at each others eyes I felt man code was going into effect and he were saying, “FML but im glad to see im not the only one”.

Let it be known that I too received gifts on Valentines from an admirer. My students enjoy giving me presents before my classes. On any day I could receive a gift from one of them but usually I tend to accidentally forget them in the trashcan or on the table. While most of these gifts includ, boogers, pocket lent, buttons, some random objects or even candy if i'm lucky, today was my lucky day when one of my students Benny, gave me a key chain. What is? I’m not sure, but it’s the thought that counts. So with that I award you “Today’s good Student” Benny!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I could make a Korea out of these pictures



A classy Bar on the Street



A look into the virtual world

At the Play "Nanta"

On our Trek lost in the mountains

Yonggung Temple


These dolls were everywhere

Best Alternative to Stairs ever

Turf Siding

Even Korea Reps Oregon

Yonggung Temple

There were hundreds of these

I was there

cleaver advertising

Animals of the sea

3rd Tunnel @ DMZ

Infamous North Gate

Yonggung Temple

On the Trek to the North Gate in the Geumjeonsan Mountains

Beomeosa Temple

On the Trek to the North Gate in the Geumjeonsan Mountains

Yonggun Temple

Yonggun Temple

Yonggung Temple

Yonggung Temple

Yonggung Temple

Yonggung Temple

Yonggung Temple


Downtown Seoul

Downtown Seoul

Reunited after 7 long months

Bukchon Village-Traditional Korean Houses

At DMZ, the Background is North Korea