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Lights out in North Korea

This photograph has gone viral, at least here in Korea, making the rounds on most K-Blogs since it first appeared. North Korea is literally a sea of darkness. Yes, the Norks are going to go ahead and light up the sky with their rocket in about two weeks, but to quote The Bard himself, “out, […]

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Where are the Police?

You know, for as long as I have lived in Daejeon, (going on five years) I have yet to see the police pulling over someone for speeding, running a red light, or any number of other traffic violations. I’m sure it happens all the time; maybe I just miss seeing it when it does happen. […]

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Korean Health Care

As it turns out, after visiting the doctor again today (the third time in less than a week) I am not only suffering from Acute Bronchitis (I’ve never coughed as much in my life as I have this past week; I’ve never coughed so hard that it made my back hurt) but also Chronic Sinusitis. […]

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You really know it’s summer in Korea when…

all the newspapers run pretty much the same photo of a crowded Haeundae Beach near Pusan. Check back here in my blog that past couple of years and you’ll see similar photos. August 2009 — Looked much crowded a year ago August 2007 — And very crowded again two years ago July 2006 — And […]

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Head over Hills

Head over Hills You know, that Tears for Fears song right? [pausing, for the punch line and the explanation] Now before you rush to correct my spelling, that is what I saw written on a T-shirt some college student was wearing. I was walking behind him and wondered, “what the heck was this weird English […]

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I wouldn’t want to be a dog in Korea

It was in early December 1990 when I got together one afternoon with Dick Verucchi (he had been the drummer of Buckacre and The Jerks two very popular bands in the Illinois Valley and still played out with local musicians) for lunch. It had been just a little over a year since we had last […]

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The Race is On (with apologies to George Jones)

It’s 10:45am and I’ve got my class of ten beginning language learners doing a speaking activity in pairs. It’s a dialogue between two people asking what they like to do in their free time; the students, once they’ve read through the dialogue are supposed to substitute various “free time” activities like “listening to music” “reading […]

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“Kit Kat” Copy Cat

Imitation might be the cheapest form of flattery unless a little logo borrowing is involved. The other day I was in this Mom and Pop shop (kagae in Korean) in the mood for some chocolate when I espied what I thought was a bag of Kit Kat candy bars. At least from a distance and […]

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The accidental journalist — Part 1

From 2000-2006 I was a feature writer for The Korea Times, the oldest English-language newspaper in Korea.   Starting out with book reviews, I moved on to feature articles, interviews, travel, culture, and the occasional news story. In that time, I had the chance to interview everyone from Korean War veterans and celebrities like Johnny Grant […]

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Happy Feet

 It might have been the coldest day of the year, but Spring is in the air.  “Customers at a Nine West store in Myeong-dong, Seoul, look forward to spring’s colorful fashions, such as these enamel shoes released by the brand yesterday. Bright enamel shoes are expected to attract many customers with the change of season.”  […]

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