Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Week 5 Day 2

Gym: 25 minutes
Including: 10 pullups, 7 Hamstring sets on each leg, 5 Quad sets on each leg.

Did some calf raises, and extensions, not so many but with heavier weights. Also quickly went through triceps and chest muscles. Was quick but quite tough - legs were quivering a bit afterwards.

Guy in the gym, Jin, kept talking to me - wanted to know if Corneli (Miss TV celebrity) was my girlfriend. So it was hard to get through everything and be Mr Chatterbox just before it closed at midnight. Did quite a few sets again of hamstring curls. What a big difference between the two legs. Even when I turn and do leg lifts, my quadriceps (above the knee on the front of the leg) on the right leg are not that strong.

Need to sleep well tonight so I can swim tomorrow. Even if I don't sleep enough I need to get in a swim.


I've been interested in starting up a business for some time. To move away from having a job, where you serve your boss, where you do something and get paid by someone else who is running the show. I want to run the show. To do that means you've got to start using your imagination. And you've got to imagine a market, and customers, and a product or service. Being a businessman is not very different from being a teacher. Your product either sells, or it sucks. Same with the teacher.

How to keep customers (or students) happy is a measure of how much the teacher cares, how happy the teacher (or seller) is doing what he is doing. Doing what works gives a sense of reward, a sense of enjoyment. Success in teaching depends on how much the teacher believes in what he is doing, and how much of himself he can see in the student, or how much he can see the student inside himself.

I have not known what to do with my money while I have been in Korea. I have made a lot of effort, and many attempts, to find an investment, a way to make my money work for me. There's only so far you can go using email and the internet. When it comes down to money, you really need to know you can trust the person who is advising you, that you are both on the same playing field.

So, if I return to Korea, I'd like to set up a way for expats to invest their money. Some sort of mechanism that finds the best and biggest advantage to being a foreigner in Korea. Maybe it is investing in blue chips like KT and Samsung. Maybe it is in some kind of Korean unit trust. Maybe it is finding specialists in different countries and synchronising the investment between them, and a source here. I don't know the answer, but I know I'd like a system like that - an easy to invest system, one that works and is easy to understand - I'd like that to be here. Maybe there is one already. But this is an area worth looking into.

If I go through my blog I can see that I've had plenty of flashbulbs - bright little ideas like this. Some I forget about, some I am too busy to attend to. I'd like to get around to them, otherwise I'll be a teacher, with just a teacher's salary my whole life. I'd like to start a habit where I devote myself, wholeheartedly, and passionately, to one idea a month. Even if I abandon it completely, at least I will learn something new, and grow.
This idea, (which sounds better :MoneyGrow or Octopi Investments) is something I'd like to discuss with Alex. He's a banker in South Africa, and we studied together. I'll see him the day after Christmas. Despite regular contact I was not able to find a way to leverage my finances, but I hope being face to face with him will provide me with some directions. I am obviously not totally dependent on him, but I do realise he is a professional in the area of finance, and I feel it is worthwhile putting first things first - getting the best information from the word go.

I also see how intrusive thinking can be. I think a lot. That's why I write so much. It interferes with my training, it diverts energy - from exercise and sleep - into mental buzz. Need to change that. If I think it must be about what I can DO, not neverending hypothesis or constant analysis. In December I'd like to see my training begin to dominate again, have a resurgence of physical activity and put the buzz in the background.

Imagination. It's far more important than intelligence. I told this to my two adults today.
By means of an illustration, I explained how intelligence, thinking, often limits what you can do. It often tells you what you can't do.
Imagination asks: what if? What if people could fly?
Intelligence says: Impossible. We have no feathers, we're too heavy.
Imagination: But what if we could. Wouldn't that be amazing.
Imagination asks, Intelligence answers, often with 'No.'.
The imagination allows us to dream, and if we are consistent in seeing our dreams, in dreaming our dreams, then the intelligence will try to find a way to bridge the gap, to find a solution. It may not be quite what we visualise - a man flapping his arms with planks attached. But it will allow us to fly.

Think less, imagine more.

>Posted by Hello


I was in a total dwaal - a daze - after Jan called, and I was also like: what the hell are you doing? What's going on with you?

I didn't have anything in the fridge so I just got some clothes, still damp, and then saw that it was pointless going to school because everyone would have left for lunch.

So I put on Tony Robbins and found some bread.
I chewed on a piece and listened absently. A few nights earlier I played something by Covey, an audio version of 7 Habits. I found material I'd prepared for my adult class on the table. An article from Men's Health on how to prevent cancer, and then it hit me that actually giving them a lesson on Effectiveness would help them and me. Covey says, after all, teach what you need to learn - it is the best way to absorb it.

So I did that today. I didn't sit down for a moment, and I just felt so energised. I started off bringing up the point that Mr Gold Rimmed Glasses had said, yesterday, he felt the lesson was "So-so."
I said an athlete can not perform if he does not go out and do the training, do the work. No matter how much he listens to the coach, reads books on running, watches sport on TV, at the end of the day it is about action. Same with English. Same with everything. I said no matter how well I teach, whether I am a 5 star teacher giving Powerpoint presentations every day, or the material is boring - the results will depend on what each student DOES!

I showed them the picture of the old woman who also looks like a young, rich, beautiful woman with her head slightly turned. One student (Mr Gold Rimmed Glasses) could only see the old lady, but the either guy, after about 2 minutes, recognised the young lady. But Mr Gold Rimmed Glasses couldn't see her. I showed her that the big nose of the old lady was really the jawline of the young lady. Nothing. No, it's an old lady. Couldn't see it. We both showed him that the mouth of the old lady was necklace of the young lady. Nope.
Eventually he got it.

I began to talk to them about a paradigm shift, that we see everything and think what we see is normal, but the glasses we wear may be tinting the world yellow, or red, or blue. One person sees an old lady, another sees a young lady. What are you seeing? If you can change what you see, and see what is really there (instead of what you're in the habit of seeing), then you can consciously make yourself more effective. In business, in your relationships, here - learning English. Good eh!

I felt like Robbins or Lipkin. It wasn't fake hype, or emptyspeak, it was just genuine motivation. Stimulus and response. You can choose your responce. Use your awareness, use your imagination, use your conscience, use your independent will to find the best response. Don't be automatic. Shift your paradigm, get proactive (habit number one) by putting something into that direct line that is causing your autmated responses. Get conscious. This type of thing. Mr Gold Rimmed Glasses, responded, I asked them to be more accountable, I asked them for more preparation. I felt I had created change, I had sown a seed.

It was good for me to go over this stuff again. Especially on a day that I felt I have been less effective, and coming to the end of a month, that has been, in terms of triathlon training, sub par.

Daniel wrote a comment that Ryk got so little airtime, and I gave my power away. Maybe, but the issue was important. I got it back today, and I got myself back too.
The difference between today and yesterday is that while yesterday I meant to go to gym, today I am.

Right now. Posted by Hello

Zoned Out

I woke up at 1:50pm this afternoon - Jan was calling from school. I'd missed the 13:30 meeting and I was totally out of it. I think I went to bed at 6am and after two nights of it my body just shutdown. I think I half expected Corneli would show up at some time in the morning and drop off that box. So it was not the best way to start the day, and sleep deprivation and disrupted patterns are turning into Enemy No: 1 for me.

There were no pertinent messages for me, and apparently no harm done, my first class is only at 15:15, but I don't like to make mistakes like that. What am I doing still asleep after 13:00!

The sleep I got seemed to be fairly high quality because my energy was OK today. But obviously no swimming.

I am feeling a bit like a ball in a pinball machine, bouncing in and out of classes, between students, and it requires effort to kind've really focus and see I am talking to someone and notice them.
So need to turn the volume in my mind down a whole bunch of notches. I feel this sort of stuff happens to me when I am out of training for a while. The energy rushes to my brain because it's just floating around in my legs and arms with nothing to do.

I think writing the Blog is using up far more time and energy than is really useful or helpful. So going to reduce the inputs here until I can get from grrrr to grinnnn.
 Posted by Hello

Pop Quiz Hotshot

It's about what you eat, how much you sleep, how much you let things bother you. It's what people say, to lift your spirits, when you've lost everything: At least you have your health.
Well, do you?

A recent poll in the USA has found that 0ver 80% of cancers are known to be caused directly by lifestyle. Cancer isn't just a bug or some kind of passing malaise. Cancer is the antithesis of life. The result of long habits hewn into our fibre: smoke, chemicals, vibes.
Cancer is something that grows, gnaws and finally consumes the remaining life and goodness. It's the result of long term not-living-in-a-healthy-way.

Exercising every day is one way to keep cancer at bay. I didn't make that up, it's science fact. It's one of many tips you'll find in magazines like Men's health.
Also: restrict red meat, take a multi-vitamin, substitute green tea for coffee, limited refined foods and fat, and eat more wholewheat stuff.
In terms of stress:
Deal with your fears, have a belief system, put balance into your life.

Being healthy shouldn't be a fad. Cherish and enjoy the gift of life, live it to the full, move, and you'll be around longer, be better. Life isn't just exisiting, it is to be here in the now, alive and kicking!

How healthy are you?
Barely surviving - the stress is starting to get to me...
Feeling great! I'm eating and exercising.
Who cares, I'm happy.
At the moment, OK
I think I've got some kind of bug
I'm in awesome condition - I'm good for a 100 years at this rate!


Free polls from Pollhost.com


7 Straight Days
For 7 straight days, don't say a negative thought, don't hold onto to it, and if it happens immediately release it, or erase it.
Be curious rather than judgemental.
At three consecutive days, if things swing and become negative, then the thing has to start over.
Be positive about solutions but remain aware of the challenges.
Focus, develop the habit of focusing on what's right, instead of what's wrong.
Believe in something. Believe in this race, and ability to prepare for it.

These are the things I need to do while on a 7 Day Mental Diet. I feel this all presupposes that I can start the day with a good night's sleep. If that's the case tomorrow, then Tuesday is Mental Diet Day.
 Posted by Hello

Monday, November 29, 2004

Week 5 Day 1

No training.

Fraid so - didn't go to the gym. Started searching frantically for my gymk card, did everything from going through the pages of books recently read, to pulling furniture away from walls. Finally found it in the cupbaord, at 2 minutes after midnight. I am so glad Monday is over. What a day!
I tossed a bunch of clothes in the cupboard after I got home on Saturday and just wanted the place to look a bit tidier. I tossed the card and sweat towel in with everything else.

Body, especially legs, are still a bit stiff and sore. Felt mentally less positive, by a large margin, than I have been lately.
Yes, I haven't been mentally as acute as I normally am, and I intend to change that starting now. Not being mentally Here and Now basically allows stuff like injuries, sickness and bad luck kinda stuff to happen.

I have felt worn out so missing the gym is not the end of the world. If I had gone I would have gone without dinner, and I am not sure if I really want my body revved up just before I go to sleep.

Monday is over, and once Tuesday is, that will be November gone. Then I have 15 weeks left, to prepare for this race. I'd like to move into a new month. November has been a bit dismal and I want to start taking charge of my training process, and that starts in the mind.

I intend for December to be a hardcore month, full of DESIRE AND DETERMINATION - doing some exercise every day.

Have you been lucky lately?
Just got a pay raise...
Got to work on time! That's a game of chance and luck!
Kicked butt in my last race - but luck had nothing to do with it
I got a bit lucky yes, but not saying more than that...
Bad luck all the way!


Free polls from Pollhost.com

 Posted by Hello

Man of Steel

I got this in an email from Jim Storey, Ryk's agent at Southwest Sports Management Group, in Tucson Arizona.

Melbourne, Australia - November 28, 2004 - Three-time Olympian and Athens gold medalist Ryk Neethling finished the three-day FINA World Cup 2 in Melbourne with victory in five events.

On the first night of competition Neethling swam a 46.94 in the 100m freestyle, (10th all-time global performance) which was the fastest time of the 2004-05 season and broke the Commonwealth record. Neethling then went on to win the 100m Individual Medley in 53.01, lowering the Commonwealth record he set in Durban last weekend by 0.12 of a second.

Neethling, who was named the Outstanding Male Swimmer of the meet, won the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and the 100m individual medley. Neethling clocked 21.68 in beating American Olympian Jason Lezak (21.72) in the 50m freestyle and took the 50m fly in 23.44.

Neethling has recently moved his training back to South Africa after spending 7 years training in Tucson, Arizona USA. Up next for Neethling
is the Red Bull Giants Relay on December 5, 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information on three-time Olympian Ryk Neethling, visit

When Ryk is training in South Africa, it's likely he'll be where his family is, in Bloem, and probably training with the same coach I used to train with, Simon Gray. I'd like to boost my swimming at the Club for a few weeks before the Ironman. It will be good to see Simon again, and maybe bump into Die Man van Staal.
 Posted by Hello


I watched two videos last night, and both were not very uplifting. Today I posted some amazing news about Ryk Neethling shining in Australia, winning 5 events, and no matter what I did they posted with the text all over the place. A mess. So I have just deleted them.

I had a terrible sleep last night, just very poor quality. There were few highlights today, including inside my inbox. One positive is that I got my first boxload of books over to Corneli's apartment, so that is the first step done.

Corneli is not feeling completely healthy, so the news from the dentist today is not helping her feel any better. At least she knows what the deal is. To repair the crown she got in the UK, is going to cost her R2778.00. Apparently a gold crown is cheaper than a porcelain crown. It all just sounds like nonsense to me, so I hope she finds another place that makes more sense. But she is not feeling as positive as I'm sure she'd like, and I can understand why.

In my last class of the day I taught two adults, and one of them was yawning and basically...resistant...and at the end of the class he asked which teacher would be teaching the class next month. I told him it would be me, and asked whether he was happy with the class. "So so," he said.
It actually made me really angry. I've put in more than a reasonable effort, and I don't really appreciate his attitude when he does as little as he does. I think he feels bad because there are only two students, and tonight he really lost a lot of face to the younger guy. He just didn't know what was happening and the other guy did, and we were doing a simple exercise using opposites in terms of the words: too and enough.
For example: He was too lazy to mow the lawn.
He was not energetic enough to mow the lawn.

He just didn't get it. He seems to have this snooty attitude that we must study world news, but he can't even master the basics. It's either too hard, too easy, or not relevent enough to his personal life. He thinks his English is really good, and to his credit his vocabulary is OK (although he couldn't think what the opposite of lazy was), but he can't make simple sentences. And his English lacks logic. So I think he felt more uncomfortable tonight than usual. I think I am more agitated than usual because I am just so damn tired.

Neverthless I changed my basic approach to suit him, and now that doesn't seem to suit him either. I first taught according to my own interests (the philosophy is that what interests you, and what you're passionate about, you can engender in your students). I gave a few Powerpoint presentations(two of which he missed), about Korea and South Africa.
I spoke about the Bushmen, and wanted to make broad comparisons between modern life which we regard as normal, and simple, natural living. He didn't like that. The other guy seemed amused and then gradually he seemed to start warming to it.
I asked him what he did want to talk about and he said he wanted to talk about relationships, since one of his relatives recently died. So we did that.

I am not all that enthusiastic to commit myself to the lesson now, because you get a sort of sit-back-and-watch-the-tv-teacher-and-learn-english-magically-and-if-you-don't-then-criticise setup. From him anyway. I just get a sense that he's all about being fussy, please me, serve me, give me. At least the other student is on board, and usually responds quite well, quite positively to the lessons. He has a sense of humor, he laughs. Mr Gold Rimmed Glasses wants to learn English but he doesn't want to know his mistakes, even though he did ask me to correct them for him.

I have allowed this guy to talk and talk and I find I start to think about other things because I start to not know what he is actually saying. He sorts of skims over words, like a stone skimming over water, rather than actually saying them.

Example: You have to wash dishes carefully otherwise you might leave some dirt on them.
His version: You've to wash deesh fully othwise you ite leaf dirt tem.
I'm just illustrating the degree of difficulty for me in terms of allowing a long conversation, and then knowing how to respond when you're getting lost trying to attempt to just get what was actually said. So there it is. This is where I am having some difficulty.

Maybe he feels good about himself, and maybe it's important that he just feels confident hearing the sound of his own voice. Maybe that's the gift I am here to give him.
I'd like to be more interactive than that, otherwise I am just being manipulative. But letting him think his English is good, instead of helping him isn't really how I do English. But maybe I still need to do that more than I have.
When he talks it's like when someone is speaking and it sounds like another language, and then you realise later that it is actually English. So maybe I can listen more closely to him. For the most part, if he talks in short paragraphs, I understand him very well. That's why he's in the advanced class. But there are some areas where he is running before he has learnt to walk.

He is involved in Import/Export and we have looked at that quite closely. It is hard to get someone going when you start off asking, "So how was your weekend?" and the answer is, "Nothing special."
"Did you do your homework? Did you write about what happened during the weekend?"
He was very talkative when we spoke about our time in the military. We had three or for lessons just devoted to chatting, and there was a great feeling afterwards. Perhaps I need to look harder at another area that can provide that sort of feedback. Maybe a topic like My Wedding Day, or The Day My Son Was Born.

I had an idea to discuss Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with them, since they are both businessmen. It may have the added bonus of making all of us, and some more than others, more effective for the class. And for something more fun, later in the month, I might also take my Korea Lonely Planet along and ask them about Places of Interest, in particular, good places to go skiing in Korea.

I'd also like to confront the student, in a subtle way. To basically ask him what he would like to do from now on, and then respond in a way to kind of let him know that so far he hasn't been happy with anything, hasn't really contributed, and the other guy has been, and this kind of fussyness is becoming a bit of a nuisance, a bit of a burden. Can he try to have a positive impact, can he do something to help, make some suggestions, speak when he has something to say.

I think part of the problem is he is comparing himself to the other guy, so I need to basically let him know that he's doing well, but that I'm not really prepared to be a chameleon if he is not going to be happy with anything I do, especially if the other guy seems to be doing okay. He must try to go with the flow a bit more. I probably need to talk to him without the other student being present, and also emphasise that he's doing well.

Being told by an adult student (and if I may say so, a so-so student) in your class that what you're doing is just so-so, at the end of a so-so day it's just so so and so, you know.
 Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Week 4 Day 7

Swim 41.5 minutes.
Distance: 2.5km
Did a 2km continuous cruise with paddles. Felt great. Could feel the water flowing against my legs and over my feet as I gained speed and rhythm.

1km - 15:34
2km - 31:07
250m - 3:31 (was aiming for 3:30 or lower)
Warm down.

Total distance swum this week: 2 swims, 5.05km (last week 0km - terrible, week before 5.25km, 3 swims)
Total time in the gym: 1hr 20 (Week prior, 2 sessions, 40 minutes total)
Total training this week: 2hr56


In my mind I obviously have an idea of how I want to train, but I am not doing that much at all. FOCUS!
I have improved on last week, and I am healthy, so that's something.
I have felt progress in my swim, and am enjoying gym a bit more. I have a good idea of what I need to be doing in gym now.

Good to see my weight is also stable. It's very cold so I am not going to obsess about losing 1-2 kg while I am here. Once I am in South Africa it should melt away pretty quickly.

Need to treat my foot with ice and rub it with deep heat.


Gym 4 times
Swim 3 times
Cycle at least 1 time.

Total training time should be at least 6 hours this week. I need to focus now because after December I need to be ready to work really hard.

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/training/index-weekly.asp?memberid=975&year=2004&month=11&day=22  Posted by Hello

Hut by Hut

I was glad (and sad at the same time) to read an article about South Africa in the New York Times.

Glad because some qualified people, who can connect deep into the heart of the West, spent 5 weeks and got to know what is happening in rural Southern Africa. They learned people's names, and their personal and private struggles. They got so close to the local people that they were able to report the following:
"Wheesh! Now I can feel the hardship," Nomfundo said. "Who is going to pay my school fees? Even the clothes. Where am I going to get them?" She tugged at her school uniform skirt, riddled with holes and hemmed several times to hide tears.

The article (by Michael Wine and Sharon LaFraniere)says that the life expectancy in the particular town they visited Lavumisa, in Swaziland )which borders South Africa in the far north east)has plummeted to 34 years. That would mean, if I lived there, I'd have about another year or two left of my life to live. The people dying today are dying from infections in the early 90's. Infection has spread and risen sharply since then. This bodes ill for 2010. The dire situation that the AIDS epidemic brings about will continue to unravel, and no one can predict just how devastating. What we are talking about is communities that become completely wiped out.
Imagine a small town. Then imagine you return to this town 7 or 10 years later, and no one is here any more. Here are a few shacks, a few signs that people once lived here. It is not a question of why they left. It is the fact that everyone here died.

So I am glad that attention is being drawn to this area. There should be a war on AIDS, and on poverty. These are the real terrors, the real scourges of our time.

It makes me sad to see and to know that in South Africa the haves are pretty unaware of the the terrible conditions the have nots have to endure, day in and day out. As a white South African, I know all too well how wealthier people isolate themselves in their wealthy enclaves and pursue their ambitions, and have their fun.
It's also true that if you want to help the poor, how and where do you start? I'd like to answer that question. I'd like to bring about an everyman answer. I don't feel there is anything like that in South Africa. Is there? I'd like to invent an identity, or a brand, which is accessible and transparent to the wealthy, and recognisable as a simple mechanism designed simply to alleviate suffering. It may be providing materials, or food, or clothes, or medical treatment.

It's fine to be successful in South Africa. It's fine to enjoy the fruits of one's success. That's fine, but not when you live right next door to people starving, and dying. That's the Holocaust Part II. That's really no exaggeration. More people will die in South Africa alone, from AIDS, than the Jews who died in the Holocaust. Yes, more than 6 million. The numbers are so large (currently 38 million infected in the world, 25 million infected in sub-Saharan Africa) that they defie the imagination. If you really want to enjoy yourself, first help someone out. Then maybe you can feel a true sense of fun, a true sense of the joy of living.

I don't mean to hold myself up as a Poster Child for human rights. I am also not going to be the first one to donate $1000 to a poor and suffering South African. But I do ask that we'll stop ignoring the situation that lives next door to us. I do ask that people stop sending emails saying how wonderful our lives are in South Africa. I remember someone forwarding me an email which was all about how lucky we are in South Africa. Not a whisper about AIDS in it of course.
Sure, let's be optimistic and grateful for what we have. But let's have some critical thinking too. Let's recognise that something extremely serious requires our urgent attention right now.
Let's have every neighborhood, or community setting up a fund, so that everyone can provide resources and help for those who can't help themselves. Not church based, no affiliation, simply a group called HELP: Help Every (poor)Local Person. It's delusional and misguided to believe you can find happiness in your own life, if right beside you, people could really use your help because they are weak and dying. That's my idea.

The idea is not to be emotional, or dramatic, or even heroic. It is simply to recognise what is happening and doing something, taking some kind of action, no matter how small. This needs to start happening with increasing urgency back home, and the first, and most important step, is just knowing, just recognising, that some people, and we know where, are having a really hard time. Then it is up to the individual to contribute according to conscience or ability. Civilization, after all, is the degree to which we show to what degree we are capable of taking care of the weak that live amongst us.

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Barbee of the New York Times. Posted by Hello

Laughing Gas

Took it easy for the rest of the day. At 14:00 it still felt like 8am. You get that sort of weak winter sunlight and it's a bit cold and gloomy.

I didn't go into Seoul to watch Jeannie dance. Corneli said it was quite good, and she met some interesting people. I was really pretty tired even in the afternoon. It may have been good but I cleaned up my apartment and organised a few things.

Corneli and I watched TAXI (with Giselle and Queen Latifah - and some amazing driving stunts) just after 11pm. It was really quite funny. It made me want to get a car and push it.
I'm looking forward to driving on the highways when I'm in South Africa. They've changed the license setup since I've been out of the country so I hope there won't be a big rigmarole to validate my license. I hope it's just a matter of signing something and paying a small fee.

Need to get a bit of exercise on Sunday - a swim at the very least. Posted by Hello

Wishful Thinking?

Guess who I woke up with this morning? Yeah Marilyn snores, but at least she's cuddly and her lipstick never comes off.

I didn't have a fantastic quality sleep, so I was happy to hang out at home, watch some stuff I've downloaded and get some washing done.
I watched an amazing documentary called Out of The Blue - The Definitive Investigation of the UFO Phenomenon. There is amazing footage of a UFO that actually engages with a rocket and destroys it. There is also a pattern of contact between some kind of airborne object, let's just say 'something', and areas on Earth that are usually off limits to average people like you and me. A lot of the footage is really provocative, and for me, quite exciting. It's easy to be dismissive, and it's interesting to see how much we don't know despite some alarming but mostly exciting evidence.

It's interesting to speculate whether the government is going to such great lengths to prevent public knowledge of this specifically to ensure that they stay 'the government'. What I am saying is some of the effects of contact with these unidentifiable things have resulted in serious malfunctions of military equipment (which the military obviously says is 'not serious' or 'unimportant'). It is quite an exhaustive documentary, gathering evidence from not only the States, but also Russia, France and the United Kingdom.

Common to all of the most compelling sightings is that they appear to make no sound, move incredibly quickly, possess vastly superior technology, absorb energy from their surroundings, including radio waves, and seem to be disk shaped and silver-metallic.
It is interesting what explanations, official explanations the government put forward to dismiss thought of extraterrestrials. Amongst others:
Weather Balloon
Swamp Gas

The implications, for some, are that these phenomena threaten our global security. But the majority of people feel that there may be more of a benefit than risks involved to humankind.
Afterall, it seems these incidents only occur in environments that are conducting either nuclear experiments, or nuclear tests, and it seems the interference is not hostile in and of itself. Maybe they are protecting our kind from the worst of our kind. It is a nice daydream, but I am not sure what relevance it has in our daily lives.

Then again, maybe UFO's are more likely to land on the White House Lawn, than I am likely to wake up with Marilyn after a night in Hongdae. Stranger things have happened. Posted by Hello

We got another good deal with the taxi - again just about W5000 each. We all wondered what had happened to Jeff.
We got back to Ilsan a bit later than last week, maybe 5:30am. Posted by Hello


We saw these guys again on our way to Club Cargo. Posted by Hello

Ooh La Laa

Sensitive as always, I asked her friends to pose with her, so they wouldn't feel hurt or left out. The sights and sounds of Hongdae on a Club Day night... Posted by Hello

Vanity Fair

Okay I think this is my favorite picture of the evening. This girl just has SUCH a sexy tummy, and this is where having a camera is just a great excuse to say "Hi."

Each of us posed with her and she really loved it. She said she's modelled for something but I can't remember what it was. I'm not sure if I can smile any bigger than that! Posted by Hello


At about this point my memory card on my camera reached its limit. I think it's 1200 pictures.
My camera also fell out my bag and on the floor. A Korean guy tapped me on my shoulder and there was my camera, the little LCD screen open like a broken wing, and my heart sank. Sharp really build sturdy little machines, because it was completely undamaged.
Do I look a little relieved?

Jeepers I've just looked closely at my camera now and there is a hairline crack on the top, about an inch long. It literally looks like a hair. I can still take pictures, and uploading images is fine, so that's all cool.

I think the roof of the camera, which is the part that is raised a bit to support a slot for a sound mike - I think that's what made contact with the ground, that's what bore the brunt of the impact. If it had been the other side, I think I would have been picking up fragments of camera. Phew.

I also think it is safe to say I won't take the camera out again for a while. I really need to have it in one piece for South Africa, because I'm sure there are quite a few desperate people waiting for me to arrive at the airport so they can steal it from me. I don't want to let them down. I am going to try to make sure I can keep my camera in one piece for at least one more month.  Posted by Hello

Watch This Space

Before coming here we went to see what was happening at COD. Dead AGAIN! The dancefloor was just about empty and the three of us started dancing - the music there is great so I don't know what the deal is with COD. A few people went onto the dancefloor but there were much livelier places to go so we didn't stay for long.

This was in MI, one of the places I went to a lot when Matmatta was still around. I met Katie o' Hara here. The last time I came to MI some of my stuff got stolen. I've heard I'm not the only one.

MI's definitely been revamped. They've added some screens and I think they've changed the DJ booth a bit. MI wasn't the greatest I've ever seen it, but I met someone nice right at the door.  Posted by Hello

Do you feel lucky, Punk?

I was feeling really...flippant...and kind've floating and when I met these guys they were actually really aggressive. He really didn't want me to take his picture but in a few seconds he picked up my accent, and he was thrown sideways when I told him I was from South AFRICA. He was fully expecting that I was a meegoogin (American), or maybe a Canadian but hell, Africa?

He prodded the Korean flag on my top and his eyes lit up a bit.
The rest of their outfits were kind've like Elvis. Good to see people expressing themselves eh! Posted by Hello


After a visit to Ho Bar in Hongdae, we tried to find the Yonsei students. We bumped into these three, all involved in tourism, sitting outside Route 66. I asked them where is Ha Ra Bu Gi (literally means grandfather)and the guy took all of us there. It was a nice walk.

The girl in the centre is a travel writer, and on the left is Jeongyoon, a travel agent. We had a nice time dancing, but Jeff wasn't too happy because he disappeared.

The green bands around thier wrists are for Club Day, which is every last Friday of every month, you can get into any one of about 12 clubs in a certain area for free after paying a once off fee of W15 000.

This place used to be called Hodge Podge. It's not quite my thing, but we had fun anyway. Posted by Hello

We were trying to catch a taxi out of Sinchon when we enountered this fisticuff between a taxi driver and his passenger. One of them had the other by the neck. None of us was sure which one was the taxi driver. I actually watched a movie on Saturday night called Taxi, with Queen Fatimah, and some hot chicks in a BMW. A lot of fun. Posted by Hello

This is my favorite (well, almost) picture of the evening. The inside of a light above our table at The Bar. Posted by Hello

Easy Now

This girl had a LOT of character. She was really feisty. Immediately after I sat down opposite Laurel she pulled my ears out from under my hat, and threw the tassles over my face, and then started punching me!

When we danced she stood there like a cowboy and I had to put on some sort of show.

I had to take about 5 shots to get this one, and nearly got my camera smacked out of my hand.

I wanted a picture of her because she reminds me a bit of the Nipper character we invented at school. On Friday we came up with a brand new version, a new Simulation - one that opens not on a beach, but a swimming pool right here in Ilsan, and it starts with missiles flying overhead and the lights of the pool going out. After that: mayhem.

I can't remember her name exactly but I think it was something like Eza. Posted by Hello

Kevin and Jeff at The Bar. Posted by Hello

Everyone Knows Your Name..

While I was chatting to them everyone I was with left. The Bar is the same place I met Nicky, the South African girl from Durban. Seems to be a nice place always worth visiting if you're somewhere around Sinchon.

When I found them outside, Valentin had met a Mexican, and they were chatting in Spanish, and I met a student at Yonsei who is from Finland. Sarah, I think. Yes, blue eyes, blonde hair, nice jaw, fresh face. Studying accounting though. I told her, for me, accounting is boring. Minus 1000 points. I also met Sarah's friend Katerina, from Germany.

Jeff was starting to not look too happy at this point. I think he ran out of money or something.  Posted by Hello


Laurel from Canada, who thinks she is a celebrity, at The Bar. The girl in the centre was quite coy, for reasons I won't go into, and on her left was a girl who said she is half Korean, half Japanese. I think that's really interesting.

I saw Kevin, who is working at pagoda now, in Sinchon, and Jeremy asked him about the chances of working around here. I also bumped into a Korean teacher who worked at Kang's once, quite a good friend of Dorothy's, who warned me not to leave Korea without being paid in full before I go. She left me with this chilling message:
"If you leave Korea before they pay you, don't expect to see a penny of what they owe you. Sort it out now."
 Posted by Hello