Friday, July 24, 2009

A little love from a grade 5 student...

Baskin Robbins Commercial

Hey everyone!

We thought we would post a commercial for you to see. It points out one of the major differences between Korea and western countries. We have written before about how Koreans will often use a tone that we misinterpret. Well, this commercial is another example of a tone that we had to get used to. To us, this tone sounds like major whining. But we have heard some of the teachers at our school use a similar tone when speaking to parents on the phone. So, it cannot be as bad as we think! When we first got here we would complain to each other about the kids (and adults) "whining" to us all day. But now we are used to it, and we laugh. In this commercial, the girl is clearly not a small child, but she sounds like one. That is common here. You will often here women complaining to their boyfriends/husbands using a similar tone. They even flirt with each other like kids do- hitting, pinching, flicking, pulling hair. We think it is funny.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Wet Season?

Howdy! Cindy here.

We have been living through the wet season here in Korea. Every week someone tells me that it should be over at the end of that week, and then every week it continues on to the next week. Although the weather has been terrible, we are also feeling the pressure of being down to our last 4 weeks here. We feel like we need to make the most of our time. So, with that in mind, we agreed to go on a bus tour to Suncheong on Sunday. Since the majority of our time on this tour would be spent outside, we knew it was a risk. We packed umbrellas and hoped for the best. We should have packed life preservers and innertubes.

Our first stop was a pretty little road where we rented tandem bikes and enjoyed a quick ride amongst some big trees. The attraction here was the "big trees". One girl said to me, "You will amaze at the size, so beautiful". Well, these people need to come to Canada. The trees were midgets in comparison to ours. But still a fun bike ride.

Next stop was a Bamboo Forest. We took a million photos. I kept looking at the time because we were due back to the bus by a certain hour. As the time approached I kept telling our group that we should start to go back. I get a bit stressed about being late. I hate it. It is one of my little pet peeves. I would rather be VERY early than even a little late. I tried to keep my comments to a minimum. I know not everyone wants to be reminded about the time every five minutes. However, when finally everyone agreed to go back, we realized we were lost...and on the completely opposite side of the forest from where we needed to be. Yes indeed we were late. Very late. So late that the tour guide met us at the entrance to the forest because the rest of the bus had gone on to lunch. He walked us to the restaurant, where everyone was just finishing. So again, they all boarded the bus and waited for us to eat.

Well, Karma got us. As we left the restaurant, the biggest rainstorm I have seen here, pelted down on us. We screamed and ran in the direction of the bus. The wind broke our umbrellas, puddles soaked our shoes, the rain drenched every layer of clothing we had on....and this could all be seen by the bus of people waiting patiently for my group to finish lunch. As we got on the bus- hair a mess, umbrellas inside out, leaving puddles as we walked- the expression on the faces of the Korean passengers was one I could not read. We splish sploshed our way to our seats, and sat there dripping in total disbelief of what had just happened. I looked at the clock and said "Well the good news is we only have eight hours to go". Of course by this time the storm was over and it was just raining lightly.

For the rest of our day, it rained off and on, never as hard as the few minutes we were caught between the restaurant and the bus. We bought huge plastic rain jackets/garbage bags to keep us dry and to help us with any future need to impersonate Big Bird. Although our shoes made a sloshing sound everytime we stepped down, we managed to stay in pretty good spirits as we walked along a three hour path to a suspension bridge and then back again.

Would we do it again? Probably not. But do we regret going? Nope. When it rains everyday, sometimes you just have to take the risk. This one turned out a bit mucky. Maybe the next one won't. We'll let ya know!

Friday, July 10, 2009

1 year and 101 posts later!

Yes, that's right folks, Canaussie Karaoke has now been a part of your lives for just over a year! Not only has it been 12 months since we began documenting the trials and tribulations of our journey to Korea, but this post is also entry number 101 of our chronicles.
Over the last year we have posted 101 times, which is an average of 2 posts per week. We have brought you stories from Canada, Alaska, Japan, Australia and of course, South Korea. Canaussie Karaoke has had over 7500 hits in the last twelve months averaging between 150 to 200 hits a week and 20 first time visitors a day.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read our stories and share our adventures. Thank you for your comments and support. We hope that you have enjoyed our tales as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you.
Here are some of our favourite memories from the last twelve months of Canaussie Karaoke.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Nice Day for a Duck Ride


Cindy here.

Since we arrived in Daegu and first looked at the maps and tourist brochures, I have been pretty excited about something we refered to as "duck ride". There is a large pond/lake in Daegu where you can pay 8000 won and hop into your very own oversized plasitic duck. The base of the duck is a paddle boat, and you get one hour to paddle your own duck around! We have been waiting for the perfect duck-riding weather....and Sunday was the day!

After some confusion involving a taxi driver, a map, and poorly spoken Korean (on our side) we arrived at the "lake" and easily rented our very own large plastic duck. As always, we were the local celebrities. Children and adults were surprised and happy to see us as we made our way around the lake.

Beside the lake there were many benches and trees, which provided the perfect spot for families and couples to hang out for a lazy Sunday afternoon. We felt we should join in. So we bought some ramyen (instant noodles) from one of the many food stands, found a plastic table overlooking the lake, and enjoyed the Korean experience. All around us families were also enjoying a picnic and some relaxation. It was a very nice way to spend a few hours.

Our stress returned when we had to make our way back home. Despite the fact that we had a map, and photos of where the taxi driver needed to take us to get home, he didn't understand. He began driving in the wrong direction while we frantically called our two Korean friends, to try to get someone to tell him where he should be going. Finally we got ahold of one of our Korean friends and asked her for help. After a short yelling match on the phone, the driver agreed to take us the other our our area of Daegu. We are baffled why this happens so often, especially when we can show them on a map exactly where they need to go. But, oh well. We know that soon this will all be a story we repeat to people in Canada and laugh.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fish Therapy

For the first time in I can't remember how long, we woke up early today. 6:45am. It hurt. Before you judge us, know that even though we knew we had to get up early we couldn't get to sleep before our regular bedtime of 2:00am. This is what happens when you don't get home form work until after 11:00! Anyway, back to my main point, which was.... we got up early.. and it hurt.

The reason we raised our weary heads at this ungodly hour is because Matt and Mel's (you should know them by now) manager had offered to take us to Daegu's solution to being the hottest and most humid city in Korea, Spa Valley!

Spa Valley is a popular water park and spa complex. It is comprised of a wave pool (or some would say an incy wincy ripple pool) water slides, sauna, hot springs, diving platforms and most interestingly, fish therapy! Yep, you may remember our previous story about Dr. Fish, the coffee shop where you sit with your feet in a tub while tiny fish ferociously eat away your dead skin. Well, fish therapy goes one step further. Rather than just your feet, your whole body can appreciate the hidden benefits of a fish exfoliation.

As we laid down in the shallow pool and waited, hundreds of small fish begin to make their way to feast on our now soft and wrinkly body. The hunter becomes the hunted! The tickling sensation is unbearable but somehow you slowly learn to control it. After half an hour, feeding time was over and as we were leaving our oasis the pool boy came by with his net to scoop up the odd dead fish floating on the top of the water(I hope that wasn't my fault. Cindy and Mel scolded Matt and I for catching the fish and dropping them on each other but we just couldn't stop).

We said goodbye to our fishy friends, thanked them for their exfoliational services and went on our way. Yet another wacky Korean experience that I'm sure we will never forget.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009