Friday, December 31, 2004

Last Day

I am in Betty's Bay ( having just had a foam capuccino. Legs are still tingling from a mega ride into Franschoek pass, some salmon sald for breakfast, and then back. Very nice. Swam later across the dam (about 1.2km) in my wetsuit, in around 19 minutes.

It's a bit rainy and mellow, and there are a few options for tonight. I find my body is crashing at around 9pm (haven't woken up later than 8am since landing) so may well do something Ihaven't done in living memory: Go to bed before midnight on old years eve.

This years highlight:
Winning the triathlon in Tongyeong

The breakup with Fiona.

The Cape Times reports that South Africa will likely grow by 5% in 2005, which is great, especially in terms of jobs. I actually bought the Job Times today so we'll see what is happening.
Ryk Neethling is on the cover of Men's Health this month, did I mention that?

I'm looking forward to a jubilant and joyful January which I believe will be the basis for a super 2005 and a thriving 33rd year for me. Hopefully for everyone else too. Hope your night is full of fun and good things, whoever and wherever you are.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


On my last day in Korea, the 24th, I went for an awesome ski again with Pete, this time at Yongpyong. The rush back, and to the airport though was really stressful. We left plenty of time but traffic on Christmas eve was just horrendous, and I made it to the airport with 40 minutes to spare. Got a few thousand grey hairs after that experience.

I wish I could post pictures because I have so many awesome and bright pictures. I feel a bit out of whack because in a matter of hours I have been in extremely different locations. Korea, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Cape Town. And I am so on the move it has taken a few days for the news of that megaquake to reach me. If I was in Korea I would more than likely have heard about it within seconds to an hour of it happening.

I had a great Christmas with Alex. Played tabletennis and pool with a lot of new people, ate until I couldn't eat anymore.
I went to church the next day after a tough cycle. I realise how much I've changed after being in church again.

There's some interesting news from various areas. Sharon Heath's fiance broke up with her within weeks of her wedding, so she's not feeling too great. And so on and so forth.

But it's also good to be away from the computer. I am already quite brown, and loving the food. I am just eating lots of fruit and meat and all the eg (genuine) South Afriacan stuff.

In Gordon's Bay I bought R70 worth of biltong, including Kudu. Delicious.
It's been amazing seeing how much Allan's kid's have grown up, and Alex and Janet's kids I haven't even met before and they are really adorable girls. In the short time I staye with Alex Jocelyn became quite fond of me.

I lost my airticket when I arrived in Johannesburg, and also had to leave almost all my luggage behind at Incheon since the allowance is only 27kg and just my bike and box came to 27kg. But I bought some billabong sandles for R40 and a bag and some shorts and for now that's all I need.

I did try to connect to net earlier, using Allan's cellphone, but it cost me about R50 for 5 minutes (W10 000 for 5 minutes).
This internet cafe (where I am now) is 37km away from the camping sight where we're staying, so I might be out of touch again for a while.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

December 29

Cycled 52km, attempting to go over the pass to Franschoek but it became really tough. When I turned around I realised the wind and a virtually continuous uphill was what had slowed me down, and it wasn't me having an off day.

Went windsurfing later and had my list of contact numbers in my billabong pants and they got soaked and virtually unreadable.
Also played some volleyball.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

December 28

Arrived in Cape Town on the 27th, and went to Kleinmond and then to Theewaters dam.
Cycled over an extremely steep mountain called Elandsnek or Elandskloof. Did only 40km but it took over two hours since climbing up was very slow and it was too steep to freewheel down.

Swam across Theewaters dam with Mandy and Tim, and Sam and Lee in support in a red canoe, and Gareth paddling on a windsurfer board. 9:58 one way, and 10:37 back, against the wind and the waves.

I already have a sunburn but am loving the food, fresh air and the beautiful and friendly South Africans.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

December 26

I am sitting in Franschoek now, after cycling over a hectic mountain pass. I have to do 37km and back over the pass. But today is December 30.
On the 26th I did a 70km cycle with Alex and Christo. Very very tougfh because of the altitude and they are both in awesome shape. My heart rate spent a lot of time at 160.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas with Alex

This is one of my best friends. He's a very successful banker living in Johannesburg. I haven't seen him in 2 years.

We'll go for a cycle, have a barbeque with his family and just hang out and catch up.

On the 27th I'm flying to Cape Town. Posted by Hello

Hello Hot and Sunny South Africa.

Bring on the sun, the barbeques, the bikini's, the yellow brick roads and oh, I almost forgot, The IronmanPosted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bring on shorts, warm tar, and brown skin

And what about training in a t-shirt again? Yessssss! Posted by Hello

Watching Out For UFO's

If I see any UFO's from either Cathay Pacific or SAA I'll be sure to file a report. Posted by Hello

Above the Earth, and Clouds...

And around the world... Posted by Hello

Skiing on Friday, again

Yes, believe it or not Pete and I will be at it again tomorrow, this time in YongpyongPosted by Hello

Green Day

Green Day has provided the soundtrack for the last few days. This album really resonates with me at the moment. Assertive, somewhat aggressive, sometimes retrospective, introspective, always with some new perspective. Posted by Hello

Chlorine in the Air

Some parts of my apartment are cleaner than they have ever been, before or since I moved in, especially the wash room.

The amount of junk I have turfed out has been staggering. I think moving every now and then is a great opportunity to shake loose of all the dirt and excess jhunk we clog into the otherwise open spaces around us. Posted by Hello

I'm About Done in Korea...

In a few minutes I'm shutting down my computer and packing it away, and taking everything out of my cosy little nest here in Bahmgashi. So the pictures following are a porjection, as I have no way of knowing when I'll be back in front of a computer for any length of time... Posted by Hello

3 Years, 1 Job

For me that's some kind of milestone in the area of consistency. I needed to work consistently, develop a pattern. I'm happy I was able to settle down for a while and get my little existence on some kind of track, and a bit more organised than I have been. And it was important to start saving aggressively.

That hasn't been a simple matter. The $ when I left South Africa on 31/12/2001 was R12.4241. Today 23/12/2004 it is R5.63515.

Things have changed a lot in 3 years, and many of them good. Posted by Hello

School's Out

Today went by fairly quickly.

In most of my classes we played badminton. I gave away my soccer ball to my second class, and handed out various goodies.
I ate some yummy pizza in one of Christine's claases. In Grace's class one of the students said I am the best foreign teacher at Kang's. Quite a bright student too. Really? Me?

I felt a weird kind of metaphor while I was watching some of the kids trying to play badminton, and obviously being limited by an enclosed space. It made me think that in a way, my life here has become very restrictive for me. Maybe it's by design, maybe I just let it happen. But I really need to stretch myself out again in wide open spaces.

In my last class, my adult class, my diligent student helped me write vitally important notices for my Zipp Bwheel box. I asked him to write: 'This side up' and 'Fragile' and 'Don't put heavy loads on this box'. I am praying they'll arrive in South Africa undamaged. And I am praying that at the airport I won't have to pay billions of dollars for excess baggage.
I have two boxes filled with bike equipment, two big hiking type bags, and my notebook case, plus a small hiking bag. All that under 27kg?

Had lunch earlier today with Eric at Burger King, after taking my coinage in, and getting a new bank book. Coins came up to W116 000.

The day went by quite quickly, nothing amazing, but was otherwise fairly unexceptional. I greeted each teacher with a handshake and a few words, and some of the students too.

Good to be done. Posted by Hello

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Week 8 Day 4

Ran at 07:10 this morning with Corneli and Karlee.

Run Time:0:32
Distance: 4.5km
HRA: 125 (134 max)
Ran easy and felt comfortable, enjoyed the ice cold actually. Saw some ducks swimming ina small area of the lake that is still free of ice. Nice clear skies and good to be up and running first thing on my last day of work.

Post pending... Posted by Hello

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?

Or, did you miss me while I was away? Posted by Hello

How To Manage WorkPlace Negativity in One Easy Step

Leave, chuck, chaila, gaan weg, go away. Go on holiday.

I spoke to Mr Gold Rimmed Glasses (I've become rather fond of him) about the future (his and mine, it was a good and helpful discussion for both of us)and I really recommended to him he go on holiday and enjoy his life with his family. He recommended that I get married soon. If I understood him correctly it's been 7 years since he went on holiday. It sounds like his wife and kids sometimes go on trips, but he always stays behind and works.

I hope my school are not going to try to squirrel money out of me for my apartment. There is some damage to the bathroom door (which is how I found it) and the washing machine's lid has broken off (ditto). They never provided me with a telephone (well they did, but it didn't work) or a clothes drying rack, so I hope once I leave they aren't going to bicker about the above, but just get on with their side of the bargain, which is making two cash injections into my account on the day we agreed upon. Is that too much to hope for?

Fortunately Corneli will still be in Korea to make sure what needs to happen will happen as agreed. I'll cross those bridges when I come to them.

Kelly is in Phuket

Kelly is already on honeymoon, probably walking along the beach right now, enjoying summer. Good for her.

I hear that there have been huge storms battering Cape Town, and some floodwaters have been reported to be 'wondowsill high'. I'll be there in 4 days, by which time I'm sure things will be drier, and the mud and wet mopped up. I'll have to phone ahead and see. If it's really terrible I can make a different arrangement.

Come on summer... Posted by Hello

Bye Bye

Relax, this photo was taken ages ago. I've lost the beard in the meantime. Actually, it's been making a coming back these last few days.

The school is going to have a dinner tonight, but I still have lots to do, and I still have to clean my apartment and that is going to be quite a big job. For one thing, there is a bit of mould growing in the refrigerator already, even though I've left the doors slightly open.
I also have to find an innovative way to pack the Zipp wheels. It's just too much extra weight to put them in a bike cardbox when they barely weigh 1-2kg on their own.

I started teaching at my school the day it opened. I am the longest surviving teacher by quite a few months. I've had lots of ups and downs at my school, and I'm looking forward to finding something better, and hopefully an organisation that rewards initiative, loyalty and consistency.
I wonder what South Africa will have to offer? Swim coaching with Total Immersiona? Who knows... Posted by Hello

To Be or Not To Be?

There's a famous exchange betwen Carrie and Charles (Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant) in Four Wdddings and a Funeral, where Carrie tells Charles about her run. How many sexual partners she's had. When she's finished (somewhere in the 30's) she asks him about his 'run'. He, unable to compete with someone this worldly and, well, athletic becomes somewhat abashed, and mutters something to the effect of: "I don't what the $@*%! I've been doing..."

Carrie: Our timing has been very bad.
Charles: Yes it has been. Very bad.
Carrie: It's been a disaster.
Charles: It has been, as you say, very bad indeed.

In some ways I feel the same. I can blame the Ironman in part, which has swallowed up whole chapters of my life recently, but I must also say I've gotten myself a little lost and mixed up. I really need some fresh air, blue sky and free time to find myself again. There is plenty of that coming up.

I'll miss some of the eye candy here, from the flowing jet black hair and shy eyes to the beehive of lights and glitter that is Korea at night.

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Week 8 Day 3

No training but lots of packing.

Spent pre-Christmas Eve with Corneli. Lugged some heavy stuff to a taxi and then up the elevator and to her apartment. One of things I had was a cyclinder filled with coins. It weighed a ton! Once inside we counted the coins and they added up to more than R100 000! That's about R500 in coins.

She cooked an excellent dinner, and then we exchanged gifts. She gave me a beanie, a really cool key holder, socks and other little things that were special nevertheless. I gave her a friendship ring, some lip balm, and some Body Shop stuff. I'm glad I had a chance to spend time with her, and give her a card that really laid down my appreciation for all that this girl does for me. She's providing storage for a lot of my stuff too, which helps me a lot.

Whenever I am at her place I watch Jay, and Dustin Hoffman was on, to promote Meet The Fokkers.
I hope that's going to be showing on the plane. Posted by Hello


I'm guessing this was taken in Insadong. Focus on fun and color contrasting nicely with out of focus passers by.

This is another of Kim Sora's photographs. To have the clown in color and the rest in black and white is further evidence of someone who has mastered their craft to great effect. Posted by Hello


You can see you're dealing with an artist behind the camera here. Not only has she mastered composition, but she knows how to capture and balance light.

A good photographer sees the magic in the commonplace, and help us recognize (literally: see again) the beauty in and around ourselves.

What then does a good writer do? A good writer puts thoughts and words inside your head, in a tone and language that is accessible and understandable, as though these were our very own thoughts, and in a way that says simply but profoundly, "You are not alone. And there's more than even that. There is more to this world than just you and me. There's magic and poetry and power in you, in me, and right through all the universe here and everywhere. This is a world worth having, and with valuable land and living things. You too are valuable, and connected to all of it."

Maybe that's not what all writer's say, but that's what I'd like to say, to weave into the web of all my writing. Posted by Hello

Warm Lights in a Cold City

Photo courtesy of Kim Sora. Posted by Hello