Saturday, December 24, 2005

Population intensity

So, coming from a place like Saskatchewan, with a population of less than a million people, we have thrown ourselves into the middle of the other side of the world. Korea (with about 48 million people) can fit into a space the size of Saskatchewan about 11 or 12 times.
This has had serious ramifications on our notions of personal space and privacy. Looking out the window, we can see banks of apartment blocks owned by large companies like Hyundai and LG, each 15-20 stories or higher, that stretch down the street as far as we can see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Beard Watch 2005

Dec. 15.

It's been nearly a month here in Korea now and the beard is doing fine.

Those that know me will know that the number one reason I was looking forward to quitting my job in the bakery after six years and moving to Korea was that finally I'd have the opportunity to grow a beard.

Ever since I was only wee I dreamed of having a beard, whether it was covering my face with soap suds or an unusual fixation with lumberjacks (perhaps this also explains the whole plaid thing) , the thought of a beard has been one of the few constants in my life.

So there we were just under a month ago freshly arrived in Korea my beard filling out beautifully when fate played it's cruel hand. I had noticed that nobody and I mean nobody else had a beard. I understand the whole folically challenged arguement, when it comes to Koreans growing beards but why all the staring at my beard. I know its a fine looking specimen of a beard and deserving of attention but something didn't feel right.

Well lo and behold the truth would reveal itself through one of Hanna's co-workers. It seems that beards are considered "rude" here and belong on vagrants or those of low social standing. Sigh....
So in honor of my beard and the fact that it may very well have to go so that I can get a job teaching I have decided to start Beard watch 05.