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Supermarkets -v- the People?

 

It has been bothering me since about the time it has been instigated. It’s a simple thing that shouldn’t really get me agitated as it has very little effect on me, and in many respects it is a good principal to take. It’s just that I think it’s the wrong step and I don’t think it really solves any problems, only encourages more populist resolutions to complicated social and economic problems.

What am talking about? Sunday closing for the so-called discount stores in Korea.

Now lets establish some terminology first.

“Discount stores” are what major supermarket chains are called in Korea. These include E-Mart (part of Shinsaegae international), Homeplus (owned by Tesco, the second largest supermarket company in the world), and Lotte Mart, which are the biggest ones.


I Feel Like A Big Deal

Hey, I’m feeling half self-important in a kind of ecstatic kind of way.

Someone went out of their way to nominate me Blog Awards Ireland 2013 in the Best Blog of the Irish Diaspora (or something like that) category. It’s, like, amazing and stuff. Thing is I’m lumped in with about sixty other blogs, including the Irish Times Generation Emigration blog (which I don’t think is fair as it’s this person’s JOB!), and other wonderful blogs like Kate Katharina, and of course Paju‘s finest WHATAWAYGOOK (yes, I often wonder if all the capitals are necessary but then again if you met the author…).


NaNoWriMo Busan 2012! Launch Party Sun. Oct. 28


Judo Tournament in Busan, South Korea


I had the opportunity to watch an incredible judo tournament held in Busan, South Korea, where I currently live and teach English.  The event was held in the Gudeok Sports Arena and attracted well over 300 competitors.  The tournament did not include Busan’s top tier players, or “professionals” as they call them, but had some fantastic talent nonetheless.  It was clear to me the moment I got to the arena that this would be a different experience for me altogether.  As I came into the building there were no concession stands, no t-shirts for sale, noone collecting money – I literally walked in off the street through the open do

Recognising Value in Korea

There’s a lot to be said for value. Much of what we value, or how we place value on something, depends on our recognition of the use and importance of the particular subject in question. Like a four day work week, which may have more value to a person who regularly works a five or six day week than to a person who only works three days a week. It’s all about how much worth we put in particular things.

Today is May 5. Up until around seven years ago this day meant nothing to me. There’s no reason to really celebrate May 5th in Ireland, other than when it is the first Monday of the month of May. In Korea, today is Children’s Day. In Mexico and the U.S. , today is Cinco de Mayo which is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride.


An Icy Adventure at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

South's Korea's northernmost province Gangwon-do is home to the city of Hwacheon and one of winter's most exciting events: The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, or Mountain Trout Festival.

Taking a Winter Dip at the Deokpo Penguin Swim Festival


On January 7th, I took part in the 8th Annual Geoje Penguin Swim Festival. This festival was just so much fun, and definitely one of my favourite experiences in Korea thus far!

Takin' the Plunge at the Haeundae Polar Bear Swim Festival

I had the pleasure recently of watching the 25th Polar Bear Swimming Contest on Busan's beautiful Haeundae Beach.




The World Famous (but all too infrequent) If I Had A Minute To Spare Global Caption Competition of Death and Love

Yes, it has been a while, but fortunately you may all rest easy, the World Famous If I Had A Minute To Spare  Global Caption Competition of Death and Love has returned, this time with a cherry on top. They cherry, you ask, is an  extra caption to be competitive about.

They’re at it again, those pesky Europeans, kissing in public. Benneton’s add compaign almost coming through here with a picture of Nicholas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel about to make their better halves a little upset.

So, if you could, a caption please:

 

As always, the winner of the competition will get a free subscription to If I Had A Minute To Spare and a pat on the back from me.

May the best caption win!!!


School Arm Wrestling Contest I.

This photo was taken in the kindergarten I teach at the Friday before Chusok. We had an arm wrestling competition and it brought out the beast in my students.

School Arm Wrestling Contest I.
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