Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our New President

You may or may not have seen the results on CNN, but South Korea now has a new President elect. This election broke all sorts of records and gave the press so much to write about. I thought I would never see another non-Lee Myung Bak news story again right after the election.

An informal polling of my students, Korean colleagues and random people revealed that the majority of people feel that Lee Myung Bak is well qualified for the job. (He was Chairman of Hyundai, Mayor of Seoul, etc.) However, they were weary of his morals and past business dealings. The fraud allegations that have shared the spotlight with his landslide victory may or may not be cleared before the upcoming inauguration, but it will certainly make it a more interesting event.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Which Candidate to Chose?

I've seen many of these trucks with podiums and screens downtown recently.

Now I know it's hard to chose between Huckabee and Romney, (I hope you know that I'm kidding) but in here Korea, it's even harder to choose a candidate out of the final candidates. That's right, I'm not talking about 12 primary candidates, but 12 final candidates.

Since I don't have a television I haven't had the joy of viewing their t.v. ads, but I did see part of one of the debates on Sunday. AND have been present for some of the native campaigning tactics.

The most interesting includes campaign volunteers dancing on the street corners wearing their candidates color and displaying their number.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Weeks to Go: Thailand Here I Come?

The past term has been a bit crazy! I'm now teaching eight hours of classes. Working an eight hour day is normally not a big deal. It's normal right? But, with my chopped up 6am- 9pm schedule, I'm super tired and can't wait until next term (only two weeks away), when I will only teach seven hours (at hopefully normal hours).

Anyways.. Several months ago my friends and I began planning a trip to Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. We thought we were all settled and ready to go when the travel agency called me into their office for some "information."

Once I got there they told me we had a problem and that their parent company was going to charge us an extra 400,000 won (about $400) in fees for the trip. The reason for this charge? Simply because we are American. Apparently it is a common practice to charge Americans and Canadians more for hotel rooms simply because we are American or Canadian. Needless to say, we were upset.

We have since canceled our way-to-expensive trip to Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong and will probably just go to Thailand or Hong Kong. Either way, I'm ready for a break!

Relaxing with a cup of tea is much more exciting in Korea. Pictured above is a traditional tea house, complete with tea pots on the roof.