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February 12, 2005

Hmmm, so I joined Xanga... should I keep updating this page?? go here for my Xanga page: Scheesy

Posted at 2/12/2005 1:21:41 pm by steve
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December 24, 2004
Merry Christmas

Its the Scared of Santa Gallery:,0,2245506.photogallery?coll=sfe-events-headlines&index=1

Check out pictures 5 and 7, I think if I saw the Santa from picture 7 I would have been scared too.

Posted at 12/24/2004 10:01:36 pm by steve
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December 19, 2004
A Lookback

So as I'm getting ready to leave TJ, I've just been clearing out all my stuff from my parents' computer that I've been using for the past 10 months when I came across a few pictures...

Well this is the crew, the enviro 6-pack. We started together, and we almost finished togther. They all did last May, now its my turn to get that little piece of paper known as a diploma. If you don't know this wonderful group, allow me to introduce (from left to right) Andrew, Agnes, Erik, Cam, Paul, and Me. They all came to visit me at my place just before I left Waterloo to come to Tianjin last Febuary. These guys (and Agnes) were the main reason I ended up staying in my program all the way through. Without them, I probably would have transferred to some other program and got my degree, but it wouldn't have been the same. Well I'm coming back soon, so maybe we can take another group picture or something. Dang, my hair was long then.

...which takes us to the next set of pictures, going from longhair grunge (i dunno what else to call my mop of a haircut) to skinhead-like mohawk. In my defense, I think it looked really good. I miss having the mohawk.

Posted at 12/19/2004 1:22:57 am by steve
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December 17, 2004
Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

Ah ok so I've decided to make an amendment, sort of, to my previous entry titled, "Things I've learned." Specifically, no.6, pertaining to the accidental street food ordering of lamb genitals. Why you say? Well in a little bit I'm going out for some street food, one of last times I think for awhile (hopefully not too long), and I'm going to be ordering some lamb balls, on purpose. I think if I want my china experience to be complete, I need to eat some food that locals eat on the normal, but everyone else (read: western society) thinks is nasty. Well ok, so locals don't eat this on the regular, but I mean you can eat it if you want to. Its even on the menu, well if the place you're getting it from actually has a menu. Anyways, we're going to order said lamb balls at the end, just so that it doesn't ruin anything else. And if you promise to behave, I may even post pictures...

Posted at 12/17/2004 8:29:28 pm by steve
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December 16, 2004
End of an Era

Alright people you got your much needed break from me... After spending a month in korea and nine months here in Tianjin, I'm finally coming back to Waterloo/T.O. I'll be leaving here on the 20 to spend some time in Korea with fam and friends, then I'll be back in T.O. on the 28th. I dunno how long I'll be in Toronto for, since I have to be move my stuff in waterloo to a new apartment. Anyways, I don't have a car either, so meeting up with y'all will be tough, but doable. Dang, how did I manage before I had a car?

Posted at 12/16/2004 12:01:26 am by steve
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December 14, 2004
Things I've Learned...

Things I've learned while here... note that some of these may only apply if you're actually in China...

1. Always carry some emergency tissue. You never know when nature will call, and most toilets here don't have tp.

2. You have the typical phrases that you need to learn if you're in a foreign country: where's the bathroom, how much is this, etc... I realized in addition to those, you need to be able to clearly describe how you want your haircut to the barber. Too many stories about 50 year old korean businessmen who got their head shaved because they said "cut it really short" instead of "cut just a little bit".

3. When in a taxi, try and act like you're not a tourist, even if you are. Always pay attention too, since some drivers will jump on any time when your looking down or something to take the long way to your destination.

4. Before buying anything in a store you've never been to, try and build up the guanxi first, meaning strike up a conversation or something. If the store owner likes you, maybe he won't charge you the foreigner price.
5. Just cuz they'll tell you its hao chi (tates good) doesn't make it so.

6. When eating street food for the first time, go with someone else and let them order, lest you accidentally order the lamb genitals on a stick.

7. Always ask the street vendors to make it spicy. Just makes it taste better.

8. When choosing a place to eat, always pick the hole in the wall place over the nicer well established restaurant. You never know what great tasting dish you'll discover. Or what kind of worm'll start growing in you. Either way, its all about the experience. One of the best places I've eaten at didn't have walls or a roof.

9. Learn another languauge. It opens up so many more possibilities. Not all are good though. For example, "excuse me" and "kiss me" use the same words in chinese, but different tonal pronounciation. I've heard of people making that "mistake", but I've yet try... I mean accidentally say... I mean... hahaha, just joking.

10. Its not about where you are or what you do. Its the people around you that make life worth living. Time flies by when you're with great friends.

Posted at 12/14/2004 11:03:08 pm by steve
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November 15, 2004
Korea, a Foreigner's Perspective

Korea, Land of the Morning Calm,
Where morning rush hour is the busiest time of day,
Where people arenít popular, but feofle are fofular,
And where coffee is cuppee, but beer is hof,

Where apartments are houses, and houses are restaurants,
Gardens are bigger restaurants, but restaurants arenít gardens,
Where drinking something hot on a scorching summer day is refreshing,
And something cold on a chilly winterís night is invigorating.

Korea, land of mystery,
Where things arenít what they seem to be,
Up is down, but I can see
The only stranger here is me.

Here, high school is university, and university is high school,
Here, teenagers are actually happy instead of filled with angst.
Itís the only place where extra-curricular activities means more school,
But you can also be a professional computer-game player for a living.

East is becoming West, and West is turning East;
Where else can you find old-world street peddlers wearing Von Dutch caps?
Here, men carry purses, and women have names like Eugene,
Burger King is known for itís yogurt treats, and Pizza Hut for itís salad bar.

In Korea, blowing your nose is a capitol offense,
But vomiting on the street is an accepted part of life.
A healthy tan is frowned upon by women and men alike,
But a ghostly complexion is greatly desired.

In Korea, the group is exalted above the individual,
Yet its Pantheon of Celebrities has all but a dozen people in it.
Recycling is practically a religion here, a sophisticated art;
Donít you dare mix your paper and organics with your plastic!

Street lanes and traffic lights are merely suggestions,
Which presents a strange and seemingly irreconcilable paradox:
If only theyíd follow the rules of the road as they follow the rules of recycling,
That would break the stereotype of bad Asian drivers forever.

Korea, where white folk are the minority, and English speakers are the foreigners,
Where chili dogs and root beer are considered exotic,
Itís good to be reminded of this once in a while,
Lest we think the whole world has gone crazy.

Korea, land of mystery,
Where things arenít what they seem to be,
Up is down, but I can see
The only stranger here is me.

-Written by Isaac Surh

Posted at 11/15/2004 4:10:53 pm by steve
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November 12, 2004
The Holga Project

Ok so my Lomo-LCA broke sometime last July, and for awhile after going cameraless (cept for my rarely used digital) I mulled over the options of getting my LC-A fixed, buying a new one, or getting another one from Ebay. Well all seemed a bit pricey, so I thought I'd go the cheaper and more interesting route and try another format altogether, medium format film. That led me to the Holga 120, which is I think the cheapest medium format camera available this side of a Diana camera. Plus due to where I am, its not like I can go around scrounging through garage sales to get a Diana camera. Plus most people here don't even have garages.

Anyways, why a Holga? Its cheap (all plastic, even the lens!?!) and has some unique (read: easy to produce) functions to it. Most cameras, once you take a picture, automatically will forward to the next spot. The Holga has none of that. The shutter button is independent of the spool winder. Meaning? You can take multiple exposures on one spot of film. Most cameras are also lightproof, something the Holga also lacks. You have to tape up this bad boy, lest the back fall off while you wind the film. Improperly taping (or properly taping depending on your point of view) the camera leads to light leaks onto your exposures, getting red or lighter areas onto the film. Also due to the wacky lens (all plastic will do that to ya), you'll get some random blurriness and/or vignetting. All this adds up to an interesting experience everytime you take a picture.

Anyways, I'll shut up now and y'all can see the pictures. Feel free to comment, especially if you know more than I do about cameras. I'm a complete newbie at this.

1][Kyunghee at the Forbidden City holding our tour guide's umbrella]

2][The most excitement Ji could muster on her visit to China]

3][Kyunghee at the Temple of Heaven. And thats not the apocolyspe you're looking at, its just a large light leak. Don't worry, you didn't miss the rapture. Keep reading]

4][Some people playing on traditional instruments]

5][Deuksoo and Anthony at a goodbye dinner for someone. I can't remember who. Crap. Multiple exposures, 2 shots]

6][Jinyoung and Kyunghee at said goodbye dinner. Multiple exposures, 2 shots]

7][Aimee and Oliver kicking it on the sofa]

8][Mike and Dave flipping through some movies]

9][Ssangmi and Kyunghee at dinner]

10][Surprising Anthony and Dave as they get out of a taxi. They're not twins, they just dress like it]

11][My dad and uncles at a Japanese restaurant in Korea]

12][Umm dark shot of me at a golf clubhouse on Jeju Island in Korea]

13][Scenery at Jeju Island]

14][The standard family pose, with the classic eyes-closed pose from me]

15][Southern point of Jeju Island]

16][Horse on Jeju Island]

17][Taken at a botannical garden]

18][Old ladies selling mussels and clams]

19][Parents on a boat]


21][Palm Tree]

22][View of the Hyatt from the beach]

23][Hala Mountain]



26][Umm, I think thats Hala Mountain in the background]

27][Fishing from the rocks]

Ok that's all the pictures for now.

Posted at 11/12/2004 4:03:41 pm by steve
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Just for the Heck of it...

Posted at 11/12/2004 2:36:18 pm by steve
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Chocolate Covered Sticks

Happy Pepero Day!

Ok technically I'm late, since Pepero Day is actually Nov 11, or 11/11 (see, the numbers look like Pepero sticks). Mareketing wizards at Lotte, I tell ya. They get those koreans suckered in to buy anything these days. Still not as genious as Black Day though. Whoever thought up that deserves a prize.

Posted at 11/12/2004 12:34:53 am by steve
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