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Neither Rain Nor Rain

Don't let the snazzy background fool you. I was annoyed.

Falling Rain

Dear Korea #091 - Running Through the Monsoon


Starting this week, I’ll be picking up some extra work in hopes of making some extra cash (at least for this month). While I’m hoping that this doesn’t mean awkward/late updates, I’m just writing this now as a warning. I’ll try to be good!

Korean summers are sometimes better known as monsoon season. When you’re not fighting off the dreaded heat, you’re probably getting caught up in rain somewhere. According to the weekly forecast in my area, it’s supposed to rain for the next five days. Boo.

Photographing the Busan Fireworks Festival 2012 Pt.2

If you haven’t read the first post you can read it here. At any rate, I am going to elaborate more on the topic and provide some great information about actually getting decent shots from this weekend. Since this will be my first actual time heading there with the intent of capturing images and not just enjoying the moment, I will be showing images of past firework events that I have been to. Don’t worry the information and techniques will be exactly the same.

Rainy Day Makgeolli

The weather in Seoul is considerably different this summer than it was last year. Last summer, it rained everyday, consistently ruining my weekend plans and causing a lot of damage here in Korea. This year, it is still rainy from time to time but it has yet to put a damper on my fun. I've actually come to like the rainy season in Seoul, love it even. Sure, there are the monstrous mosquitoes that have the ability to move like lighting and whose bites leave welts that take at least a week to go away. And there's the umbrella traffic that can be ridiculously frustrating. But, I've come to discover and enjoy the magic that the Korean rain brings in with each passing storm.

In Kuala Lumpur

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur this morning after staying in a small airport hotel last night. Taking the airport express train, we were carried from countryside through to suburbs and then briefly through the city until we alighted at KL Sentral, the main train station of the city.

After booking train tickets on to Ipoh for tomorrow, we found a taxi which took us in the central shopping and business area of the city, Bukit Bintang. It is also where we have reserved a room in a quaint guesthouse within sight of a large hotel we had been considering before our friend recommended otherwise. As we had arrived too early to check in, we left our bags with reception and set out to take a short wander around the locale.

Moonsoon Season

Well it's that time of year again. The part of summer filled with sticky humidity, gray skies, and a weeks worth of weather forecasts stating only 'scattered thunderstorms'. 

I looked out the window of my apartment this weekend to check on the weather's progress to find my street totally flooded!
 I know some people had it way worse and that the water went into the entry ways of some apartment buildings, or it was up to mid-calf in other places. 

Now if only we could get a rain day off of school I would be a happy camper.

Romantic Rainy Day Ideas....

I know its lame to try and drum up ideas for a romntic anniversary with ones wife via a forum post but our plans for celbrating our 2 year on a camping trip were thwarted by weather and so as a newb to the Busan area I need to pick some local brains. Just looking for some friendly advice on nice restaurants suitable for a relaxed evening. We're not big boozers (anymore)...we like good scenery, people watching, etc so of anyone has any thoughts for a night out tomorrow that would be tremendous. Awesome, thanks. 

Saturday, June 30 2012


It started raining today. They say it’s the beginning of the monsoon season. All I know is it hasn’t rained properly for over a month. They say it’s the driest summer ever. It’s only June. They say a lot of things.

I just finished making myself a mug of strong black coffee, turned a Tom Waits CD, brought in a reading lamp to the living room and have set myself up for a Saturday of writing in this rain dulled apartment of mine. When I finish that I’ll probably read.

비 비 Go Away, Come Again Another Day (in 21 months)


Alright, lame title (EDIT: is the new alternate title any better?) I know but it’s the best I could come up with for a subject that none of you readers are likely all that interested in. On Friday, South Korean mega-everything star 비 (Rain) announced he would finally begin his mandatory military enlistment on Oct. 11th. For those of you outside Korea, you may have seen him as Taejo in the awful Speed Racer movie, or perhaps even as Raizo in the also awful, but awful in an amusing way, Ninja Assassin. I would hope you’ve,  at the very least, seen his absolutely hilariously dance-off with Steven Colbert, but if not see it here.

I would argue these appearances make Rain, by far, the most successful South Korean star to enter Western entertainment. I also believe, probably more than any other star, 비 has also been the most successful branching out in different areas of South Korean media and that said I can say I am a fan of his work. First off, he’s an absolutely incredible dancer (I would rank him right up with Michael Jackson in his prime) and very engaging as an actor. I would recommend any Korean drama newbies to watch Full House (풀하우스), really a staple of the genre and what took Rain from a popular singer to megastar status. Finally, I would literally kill for those abs (and guys out there, be honest with yourself, you would too).

flooding in Cambodia

We arrived in Siem Reap to explore ancient temples and fabulous wonders late last night. The drive from Phnom Penh was beautiful, water surrounding the road everywhere you look, sometimes covering the road. There were many huts and small towns along the way and I was saddened to see many of them were flooded or had water up to the door when the house was on stilts. Rainy season in Asia. I guess you get used to it?

Our tuk-tuk drove us to some guesthouses to find one in our budget and as we passed the river through the center town, we realized we might be getting wet.  After a long night of (not exaggerating) torrential down pouring, we woke up to this...

Yangsan Tower reflection from a flooded running track

You + Me + Rain = <3

You + Me + Rain = <3

This couple was caught in the rain (and by my camera). I love rain shots anyways, but this one was nice with the lighting on the streets of KSU.

ARKPopPodcast Ep 25 by ARKPop

120:03 minutes (28.7 MB)


Due to Hurricane Irene affecting Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas and later the Northeastern United States, this episode was delayed considerably.  Yes, I don’t live in all of those places, but my Internet was down for 3 days after power returned to my neighborhood.  My family and I are fine, but there are a lot that are suffering in the wake of the first Hurricane this season.

Times Square Mall - All your shopping needs under one roof!

Here in Korea I've noticed a bit of a trend starting to emerge. They seem to like naming things after famous American hot spots. Yeouido is referred to as Korea's Manhattan, there's Rodeo after the famous Rodeo Drive and there is Times Square a mall in the south west of Seoul.

Although they don't really bare much resemblance to their namesakes they are all great places worth visiting.

Dear Korea #33 - Unnecessarily Stubborn

Dear Korea #033

I hope everyone is enjoying or did enjoy their vacation time! I know I did, even if it was a bit short. Some of that rain didn’t help, as it made me a little sick, but whatever. It’s all about making the best with what you’ve got, right?

With that mentality, I had a pretty awesome vacation.

On that note, I just want to say that this comic has some of the best readers in the world ♥


dancing in the rain

I feel like all I have been talking about lately is the weather here in Seoul but it is utterly consuming! It has been raining non-stop with no end in sight. Been trying to keep busy for my last few weeks here regardless but it is hard to keep a positive attitude with the grayness outside. Looking forward to my travels more than ever and hoping that the weather will cooperate for us.  No quote can more properly describe my outlook as much as this one, it has gotten me through some tough times before and continues to inspire me... 

Heavy Rain ~ AGAIN!

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!

So I thought the rainy season was done and dusted for this year. It had seemed long enough anyway but after a few days of sun a huge storm has hit Seoul.

I'd been visiting the National Museum of Korea yesterday and was lucky enough to have an umbrella with me when the rain began. Although the umbrella wasn't much use in the end because as you might already know when it rains here, it pours! I got well and truly soaked. Pretty much my head to toe was wet. It wasn't my prettiest moment I have to say.

Then this morning I was actually woken up by the thunder it was so loud. It seems to have been raining throughout the night and from what I read on the Internet this morning this rainy season has broken some records.

Seoul has received over 838mm (33inches) this July and about 400mm of that has fallen yesterday.

Shooting the Rain

One of the blogs I was reading awhile ago and I can’t remember the name right now, mentioned about a way to improve your creativity by taking on obscure topics like “weather” or “emotions” This may sound simple to some “just take a shot of someone crying” or “Shoot a rain storm… easy” However, take it a step further.

How do you convey “rain” how does it make you feel? Is it cold? sad? romantic? With emotions you can do the same thing. When some one is angry how do you feel? What do you do when you are sad?

ARKPop#18 – Gracefully, Maturely, Classily Yours, is That Okay?

85:03 minutes (38.94 MB)

The first episode after I’ve returned from my epic(ly normal) vacation marks the return of Cheon Sang Ji Hee the Grace to mainstream Kpop. Only time will tell how well they’re received.

The REAL 'Four Seasons' of Korea

Korean's say all kinds of grand things about the Korean peninsula; it is the most beautiful country, has the best, healthiest food, best education system in the world. All kinds of nationalistic ideals, which is great, having pride about your country is only natural, especially after how hard Korea has worked to get where it is today. Yet having pride for your country is different than straight up lying. If I had a dollar for every Korean that has said to me, "Korea has wonderful weather, we have all four seasons!" well, lets just say I would have a lot of dollars. As I sit inside on this warm June afternoon and listen to the downpour outside, I want to call bullshit on you, Korea. Best weather, four seasons? Bullshit. 

The Beautiful People – HBC Fest, May 2011

This is the another of many photo-diaries to come from the recent May edition of the HBC Fest. I thought I’d do something different and show as many crowd pictures From the Fest as possible. Plenty of music to follow, don’t worry.

I like to use the three-fingered-claw method for holding my phone. You?

ARKpopPodact - Episode 7 – Black Happiness

94:52 minutes (43.43 MB)


Our main topics for this week revolve around artists & entertainers and the secrets they keep and is it possible to succeed in Korean Entertainer as a non-Asian?  Our spotlight artist is Yoon Mi Rae, also known as T(asha)

ARKpopPodcast - Episode 6 – The American Dream

99:46 minutes (45.67 MB)


The seventh release and sixth official episode of The Always Rational Kpop Episode is here and it’s a bit of a doozy.  We spend a lot of time talking about comeback news and the fact that Block B hasn’t completely disappointed us.  We apologize for any inferiority in the recording as Noelle’s computer was experiencing complications from a heart murmur.  I also will apologize for my accent dipping in and out and changing, I don’t know what happened there.  Our “Free Talk” considers the American advance that everyone seems to be coveting so badly.


Conformity and Celebrity in Korean Advertising: Some Quick Thoughts

( Source )

What? Belgian surrealist art on a blog about Korean sociology? Yes indeed; but never fear, for I’ll be criticizing something Korea-related soon enough!^^

The painting in question is Golconda (1953) by René Magritte, and I’m sure many of you have seen it before. But what did you think it was about?

Safety on the sidewalk

I’ll just start by saying that I like the alliteration in the title, but as I am English I shall be referring to the sidewalk as pavement from now on.

Living in Korea you need to be aware at all times of your surroundings. For instance, an unlikely place for unforeseen danger is the pavement. It is not uncommon in Korea to be dodging people, objects and even vehicles whilst using it.

My initial introduction to the perilous pavements here was my foot colliding with the curb. It took several weeks before my body and mind became accustomed to the marginally higher pavements and I stopped tripping up at just about every encounter.

Pouring down rain during our walk to Costco. I wanted to show...

[Flash 10 is required to watch video.]

Pouring down rain during our walk to Costco. I wanted to show off my awesome umbrella. It was also a great opportunity to show Dani how to use the video function of the iPhone. Ended up spending 437,230₩ at Costco and finishing half a bottle of Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon.

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