Category Archives: South Korea

Melanie the great Magi

I am Melanie the great Magi.  I can manifest my deepest desires.

This is true, and really weird.  Last week I was thinking that I don’t like working 2-9 three day’s a week because I get out too late.  And also, I was thinking that I would rather work straight thru than have a break.  I was trying to figure out a new schedule that works better for me – but before I could think up my new hours, my job did it for me.

I’m getting a new schedule starting, well, I don’t know when, but they’re making everyone work 4 to 5 hours shifts.  No more seven hour shifts for anyone.  I’ll be working 2-7, taking 5 clients back to back.  On Friday I’ll be working 1-7 and I haven’t decided if I want a break, or if I should take 6 clients in a row.  On Saturday, instead of going in at 9 am, I’ll be going in at 12, which means that I can go out Friday nights again (this has also been weighing on my mind for the longest time).

I’m excited for the new schedule.  I’m going to miss my Starbucks breaks (I’m here now), but my day will be more efficient and I’ll be getting out two hours early.  I’m not worried about losing a client a day, I’ll make it up by taking one extra client at the spa next to my house (they pay $35 an hour).

So, I’m happy.  I’m a magi.  No, seriously, I am.  A follower of Zoroaster.  If I’m not mistaken, I think I read somewhere that Zoroasterism is the oldest religion in the world.  But I could be wrong.  I read about it in a book that I keep in my bathroom.

A magi can manipulate the stars and manipulate fate to his or her liking.  Say’s wikipedia.

I feel good today.  I still need a good sturdy tissue before it gets destroyed by my robust Polish nose, but other than that, I feel fine.

Today is Wednesday.  Wednesday…….What’s so special about Wednesdays?  Nothing.  There would be something going on in Korea if I lived there on a Wednesday.

I learned a good amount of words while I was there.  Let’s see if I remember them.

Ayoung-haseo   –  Hello

Gomsomnida  –   Thank you

Asa –  Awesome

Gaysecki –  This is a very bad word (mother fucker, but considered worse than that)

Doogei – two

Anna – One

Juseo – Please

Hunge Juseo – One please

Jowa – Good

Mool – Water

Kenchenio – Don’t worry about it

anyo – No

Aneeyo – No problem

Yes – Nay

I think that’s it.  I have a knack for learning languages.  It taken me one full day to learn my first word, but after that, the rest came easily.

Okay, back to work.  Four more to go.



Filed under journal, random thoughts, South Korea

Day Four of Korea

Time goes by way too fast on NyQuil.  It puts you in a whole other dimension.

I’m liking this way too much.  Laying here in bed and watching movie’s all day.

I had to give two massages yesterday at the spa down the street and it wore me out.  I fantasized about my bed and about NyQuil.

Ode to NyQuil

I shutter from a chill

I take a soft swallow

Of my NyQuil

Warmth envelopes my throat

It’s as if I’m floating on a boat

Down a green river of delight

Down into the emerald night, everything will be alright

The green river slithers down my esophageal

Filling me up as if a meal

It subsides in my insides thwarting instances of the flu

It presides in my insides turning my hue less blue

No more aches or fever bakes

No more cold toe’s, runny nose

Coughing, sleepless tossing

No more sneezing, breathless wheezing

It does what no pill can

I am a NyQuil fan

Grassy, sprouting, immature green

The color of youth, undecayed, tender, lean

You know what I mean


It’s the bee’s knee’s

I gave up on the poem at the end, a little.

I’m exhausted.  I can’t tell if it’s from the 14 hours of sleep, or if I’m still legitimately sick.  Let me brush my teeth.  Maybe I’ll feel different after brushing my teeth.

I feel a little better, but not by much.

I guess now is a good time to write about my day four of Korea.

Sarah had to work unexpectedly, so it was just Kristina and I to venture off into the big Korean city all by ourselves for the day.  I already wrote about that here.

That night we met Sarah’s little friend from Manchester, England, Rachel.  Rachel is absolutely awesome and I’m very upset I hadn’t taken any pictures of her.

We went to this backwards restaurant for dinner.  Here are pic’s from inside the restaurant.

That’s the way into the place.

This was my view while sitting at our metal table.

This was the menu.  It was two wooden boards with chalk pictures scribbled on them.  I wanted to point to eggs over my-hammy, but couldn’t find it.  I did, however, find a picture of a flying squid.

A quiet, omniscient boy in a black hoodie served us.  His hood was up the entire time.  He served us two cooked birds on two big dishes.   We each got a fork and a tissue napkin.  We were to dig in and eat from the same plate.

It was rustic, and I liked it, except for this one mysterious bit of food that I shoved into my mouth and couldn’t swallow.  Sarah lent me her tissue napkin so I could spit it out.  Rachel told me I won a prize for finding the inedible portion of the meal.

After dinner I asked Sarah to give me a cool, chill pose.

We went to the Red Bottle.

They had the Wii.

Hoards of alcohol went down my gullet that night.  When I reach a certain level of attention from the people in my immediate surrounding, mixed with a high dosage of alcohol, I start getting physically aggressive and my body wants to do weird spasmodic dances to keep the attention on me.

After beating everyone at arm wrestling (and telling them it’s not cheating if you throw your body into it), I started dancing.  Not breakdancing at first, but just regular dancing.  The more I danced, the more people paid attention to me.  The girls bartending grabbed me by my hand and pulled me behind the bar.   They fed me shots of jagermeister before turing me loose to dance some more.

It didn’t take long until I was on the floor spinning around.  I was trying to get little English Rachel to spin on her back with me.  I don’t recall if she actually did it or not.

I was breakdancing to Michael Jackson’s Beat It, and doing perverted things to a chair.  Why do I always end up fondling a chair?  I don’t know, I don’t remember.  But it’s over and it’s done –  I can close that book.

It was the alcohol.  That and I didn’t get much attention when I was a kid, so naturally stuff like this happens to me.

I was teaching this meek Korean man how to do the tango.

That’s all the pic’s I have of day four.  Now I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’m too sick to go out, but not sick enough to lay in bed.  I want to get snockered on NyQuil.

My Second Ode to NyQuil

You are my wife, my husband, my lover in sin

You shower me with kisses when you dribble down my chin

I hack up mucus, but you love me all the same

If you had ears and eyes, you would read my poems

and not think them lame

For you are my NyQuil

You are the bee’s knee’s


Filed under journal, Odes, South Korea

Day three of Korea

It’s 9:18 am and I’m laying in bed counting down to when I can have my next dose of NyQuil.  They say you should only have one dose every six hours, but for me I need it every five. I’m impatiently waiting for the six-hour mark to roll around because I want to avoid further liver damage. 

This stuff is fabulous!  It puts me out for a good five hours of deep sleep – no more waking up thinking I’m riding on a train or a plane.

If I didn’t call out of work today, I would be half way done with my first massage.  I feel so horrible for going to work yesterday.  HORRIBLE!  I feel horrible because now my clients are going to get whatever I have – and whatever I have is bad, really bad.

I never get sick.  Whenever I hear people complaining about their ailments, I scoff and think to myself  “Stop being a baby and suck it up,”  now I’m the baby.  I am thee biggest baby out there.

I have a half hour before my scheduled NyQuil dose, so I have time to write about day three of Korea.

Kristina, Sarah and I wake up bright and early for our journey to the buddhist temple.  

It was a long walk to the temple, so we had to put on hiking attire.  I chose to wear my new shirt that I purchased for $3 on a street in Korea that reads: 

                                                           Paris in the world,

                                      There’s really only one Paris in the world.

We started our journey by hiking up this long, steep Korean street.  Anything uphill does not get along well with me, but I was hungry and Sarah said there was a cute restaurant in the shape of a mushroom when we arrive at the top.  Mushroom house was my incentive.

On our way there, we passed by a lot of strange little restaurants.  There are so many obscure places to eat in Korea. 

This is one of the restaurants, but you eat outside in campy-looking tents.

Anyway, we arrive at the mushroom house and order the pork.  It was the best tasting pork dish that I ever had in my life!  It was delicious.  Fortunately I remembered to take a picture of it half way through.

This was considered an upscale place to eat in Korea.  They served us western-style by giving us soup and salad to start, and then the main course.  I felt rich and privileged for eating there, even though the whole meal only cost $13.  They served us a glass of hot water when we first arrived.  I thought maybe hot water was a Korean thing, but they were the only restaurant to do that.

Five more minutes until my Nyquil – yay.

Okay, so we hike a little bit more up the hill after we eat.  We walk past some angry turtle monuments.

And some writing etched in rocks.

Sarah poses.

Kristina poses.

And we arrive at the temple.

It is time for my NyQuil.  Here we go, down the hatch.  Ahhh, much better.

We go inside one of the temples and see people praying.  When you see it done in the movies, it’s different.  When you see it done in person, it’s very strange.  People sit or Kneel on pillows in front of a statue of buddha and stand up, then bow down, stand up and bow down.  I didn’t want to leave until I counted how many times this is done, but it became too strange for us to be there after maybe three or four minutes so we left.

They say Buddhism isn’t a religion, it’s spirituality.  But the way those people were praying – some sitting and studying scriptures, some sitting with prayer beads and others going up and down, up and down on their hands and knee’s makes it feel like a religion to me.

In my opinion, I think religion is any type of worship – person, place or thing.  I love my camera – that can be a religion.  But what my camera does for me, that’s spiritual.  Can spiritual growth only happen out of loving something?

I think the NyQuil is kicking in.

It was old inside the temple except for an oddly placed clock hanging up on the wall.  It looked like a cheap plastic clock you can buy at walmart for $5.  I kept staring at it and then staring at the people praying, and then I would look at the buddha statue – something just felt off.

Trail to the monastery.

Doorway shot.

A real life monk!

After checking out the temple’s, we go on a long, arduous trek up the mountain. 

This was no easy task, but I give myself props for doing it.  The hike seemed like five hours almost all uphill.  It was insane, but glorious.  I must have had some divine intervention beside me pumping my body full of electrolytes because I was totally up for the challenge.

Kristina, Sarah and I all laugh hysterically when we see this pic of Sarah with her hair poofed out.

I taken so many awesome pic’s, but I’m going to put them on Flickr rather than post them all here.  I’ll only post the bare essential photo’s here.

When we reached the top, it was pretty cool.

After we reached the top, there was even more trail to hike on.

But we were still happy.

Oh I’m so tired, but I want to finish out this day. 

When we made it to the end of the trail, we taken a crazy bus ride all the way down the mountain.  It was like being on a rollercoaster –  I loved it.  It was even more spectacular while listening to Rockapella on my Ipod.

Later that day, we went to a Korean barbecue (at least I think that’s what it was) and sat on the floor for our meal.  Shoe’s come off at the door.

I like the way the food looks before its cooked.

My friends are adorable!

Most places in Korea serve water in strange plastic containers they leave out on the table’s.  It’s strange because all restaurants do this – in the same non-elegant plastic containers.

And you drink your water out of a metal drinking glass.

Okay, more bed for me.  I’m beat.

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Still jet-lagged!!

I woke up at 4:30 am and didn’t know where I was.  I’m home safe tucked in bed, but I thought I may have been at an airport or on a plane.  This is the second day in a row this happened.  I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  It’s going to be a long day.

Okay, so after the fish market, Sarah taken us to a little restaurant that only serves chicken soup. 

As soon as we sat, the workers immediately brought out a bunch of side dishes to go with the soup.

The soup was bubbling hot when they brought it out.  It was so good even though the chicken was still on it’s bone with all the skin hanging off.  I didn’t care, I was hungry and I liked it.

One of the side dishes was a bowl of chicken assholes.

I ate half of them.  Nobody else wanted them.

This had been my very first Korean meal. 

Here’s some tips for eating out:

They use metal chopsticks, you don’t have to tip anyone, you pay the check at the door after you finish eating, Kimchi is served at every meal, and you must keep an open mind when it comes to food.  Eat a bunch of assholes for example, or huge cloves of garlic.  I was tasting garlic even after brushing my teeth twice.  Luckily, I didn’t have lingering asshole breath.

The food is relatively cheap over there, too.  And they give you a lot.

We went for a walk after dinner and some drunk guy insisted on taking a bunch of pictures of us standing inside a giant heart.

This may have been a different day.  All my days are confused, I’m just going by the order that my photo’s are in.


Filed under journal, South Korea

Korea: Day one

I’m at starbucks sipping on a free triple venti soy latte (buy 15 drinks get one free).  I’m a little unsteady, a little shaky, but here I am.  It’s strange to think that only two days ago I was in Korea and now I’m back here as if nothing ever happened.

I had the most wonderful, awesome time ever!  Nothing surpasses it as of yet.  I officially have the travel bug (lucky for me I never actually got infected with a real life travel bug).  I wasn’t among the 10-20% of travelers to get travelers diarrhea in Korea – thank goodness because we taken a few long bus rides.

I packed light.  All I taken with me was a carry-on suitcase and an LL Bean book bag.

I watched movies on the plane while looking at the fabulous view.

I drank a weird tea beverage in the Tokyo airport.

But was disappointed when I saw it was made by Coca-cola.

We got to Sarah’s apartment late and went to sleep.

The next day we ventured out to a fish market.  The streets were packed with people pushing into each other.  There were venders taking up every free space available, selling every kind of weird ‘fish’ found in the ocean.

These are weird sea creatures that people munch on.  Guess what people call them.

I’m thinking about opening up a Flickr account and posting all my pic’s there.  Posting them on wordpress is time-consuming and a pain in the ass. 

I’m gonna do that now.  I’m too lazy to type now anyway.

Okay, I just uploaded a few pic’s on Flickr.  Here’s the address, but I’m not sure if it’s the right one or not.  I have to go to work – boo.

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picture of American Airlines Terminal 3 globe/...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s one in the morning and I’m wide awake.  I stupidly slept all day because of jet lag and now I’m awake laying in bed watching The Karate Kid on netflix.

The night before I left Korea, we went out to a Nory-bong and sang our hearts out to karaoke while drinking Korean beer and snacking on stuff we picked up at a convenient store. 

I don’t remember the exact time I went to bed, but when I looked at the clock, I only had a few precious hours to sleep before waking up to make the long journey home.

I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow and slept through Sarah’s alarm clock, slept through Sarah and Kristina trying to wake me up.  I slept through Kristina trying to shake me awake by actually pushing her hand away from my shoulder.  They decided to give me another half hour.

I awoke in a blur, packed up my shit, threw on a hat and was out the door.  Kristina and Sarah taken me to the airport in a taxi and checked me in – then I was completely on my own to navigate the next two huge airports.

Before I got on the first plane, I spent a good 20 minutes in the airport bathroom just to be sure I wouldn’t have to go on the plane.  It was one of my brightest idea’s.

The journey home was a weird one.  I fell asleep a lot while sitting on the plane and waiting at the gates.  When I was asleep on the plane, I would dream that I was still sleeping at the gate, and when I was sleeping at the gate, I would dream of missing my flight.

I made it to the Shanghai airport and found out where the American Airline terminal was by spotting it on a huge digital display on the second floor.  Navigating the Shanghai airport was less confusing than I thought.  I exchanged $10 for $44 yen and bought myself a little chinese dragon before falling asleep at my gate.

Woman exchanging my money – “Fawty faw.”

Me – “Ummm…….What?”

Woman – “You get back fawty faw.”

Me – “Ohhh, yeah that’s good.”

I had a bad experience on the second plane – the big Boeing 777, 14 hour journey across the Pacific ocean.  I was in a light sleep when the stewardess hastily woke me up to tell me to put on my seatbelt.  She sounded very concerned, and in a hurry.  Seconds later, the lights went out – the big overhead lights.  They didn’t lose electricity, but I didn’t know that at the time.

I had no seat-mate.  I was lucky enough to have two seats all to myself, but I would’ve felt much better if I had someone, anyone sitting next to me to bring me some comfort.  I had a full blown panick attack.  I was about to take out the vomit bag and use it for a breathing device.  I was literally shaking out of fear – I couldn’t remember ever shaking out of fear other than public speaking.

I meditated, did breathing exercises.  The pilot came on the speaker telling us that there was no way around a pocket of air we had to pass through.  The stewardess’ were to take their seats for safety.

Just breath.  Slowly in, slowly out.

I never felt panick quite like that before.  The big overhead lights never came back on and the pilot never told us we were in the clear, so for the rest of the flight, I was waiting for disaster to strike.  I watched Harry Potter 7 two times before I regained composure. 

When I was able to relax again, I taken a light nap, but kept waking up in a panick whenever we hit turbulence.  I dreampt that the plane was taking me directly to Hartford instead of Chicago, and from Hartford I would connect to another flight that would take me directly to my house.

Finally we were in Chicago’s O’Hare airport.  I walked unsteadily to the nearest convenient store and spent $13 on a pack of cigarettes as soon as I passed through customs.

Woman at the counter – “These are $13.  Are you sure you want them?”

Me – “Really?  $13?  Yes, I still want them.  I was on a plane for 14 hours (and I thought I might die), so yeah, I could really use a cigarette.

I smoked two of them.

At Chicago, I couldn’t find where my terminal was for American airlines.  They had no big display like in Shanghai.  I aimlessly taken the escalator upstairs and followed the signs to the trolley car.  I asked the attendant standing outside the trolley if he knew what terminal American Airlines were in and he said “terminal three – hurry and get on this trolley and get off the first stop.”

Whew, so nice to hear someone who speaks English.  It was so nice to be in an airport that didn’t speak an asian language over the loud-speaker.  They talk so fast and high, making every sentence into a question.  Eastern language is not my favorite.  My ears could finally relax in America.

I just cried at the ending of The Karate Kid.  It’s 2:30 am and I’m still awake.  I taken two sleeping pills an hour ago, but I don’t think they will effect me.

I found my gate in O’Hare and sprawled out taking over two seats.  I closed my eyes and dreamt that my name was being called on the loud-speaker.

Loudspeaker – “Would Melanie please report to her gate.  The plane to Hartford/Springfield is about to take off.”

I woke up frazzled and asked a woman sitting next to me if she heard the last announcement.  It was something that had nothing to do with me.

Me – “Oh, good.  Thanks.”

She laughs a little.  I stop resting my eyes, and listen to my Ipod instead.

Finally, I’m on the last flight home.  I arrived at Bradley at midnight, my parents were already there waiting to bring me home.  I went to bed around 3 am and woke up at 4:30 pm because my dad was banging on my bedroom door, went back to sleep at 6 pm and slept until 9:30 pm and here I am, still awake at 2:30 am.

I’m going to watch another netflix movie.  Hopefully I can write about my trip tomorrow, starting with day one.  It was awesome!

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