Skip to Content

Recent Blog Posts



All Recent Posts

Keeping in mind that I like American-style sushi, Sushi Berry...

Printer-friendly version

Sushi Berry rolls


Sushi Berry hours


Sushi Berry menu





Keeping in mind that I like American-style sushi, Sushi Berry (스시베리) is my favorite sushi restaurant in Korea. I enjoy all the rolls as they’re big and tasty. Rolls range in price from 3,500₩ to 8,000₩. Check menu picture above.

The customer service is attentive and the chef speaks perfect English.

Directions: Go to Dongbaek Station (Green Line #204). Go out Exit 4, walk straight for 100 meters, and then take the second right under a bridge. Keep walking straight and it’s across from 7-11.

Hours: Open noon-9pm, closed 3pm-5pm.
Also, closed every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month.

Address: 955-4 U 1(il)-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Phone: 051-743-7566


About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, LastfmFlickr, and FacebookAsk me anything

 


Seoul City Wall VIP Tour with Mayor Park

Printer-friendly version
Mayor Park shows the different styles of stonework that are along Seoul's City Wall
Mayor Park shows the different styles of stonework that are along Seoul’s City Wall

If you’ve been reading my blog there’s no need to remind you of how in love with Seoul I am! I feel really lucky to have experienced so many aspects of the city and Korea in general. With all the great things Seoul has to offer it is really difficult to pick a favorite, but I must admit I do have one, and it’s Seoul’s City Wall.

Beautiful gardens surround Seoul City Wall
Beautiful gardens surround Seoul City Wall

Yesterday, (May 20th 2015) I was thrilled to be invited to attend a VIP tour of the Seoul City Wall lead by Mayor Park! The government is currently working to preserve and beautify what has been one of Seoul’s overlooked gems for years. As of 2014 over 70% of the wall has been restored and currently projects are underway that will create a comfortable place for tourists to enjoy.

Mayor Park presents the map of Seoul City Wall
Mayor Park presents the map of Seoul City Wall

Seoul’s city wall follows the natural landscape of Seoul, curving along the ridges of Bygaksan, Naksan , Namsan and Inwangsan and stretching 18.6 km. Built over 620 years ago, the history of Korea is engraved in the many varieties of stone work, 8 city gates and surrounding tourist attractions.

Mayor Park observes a shop located along the wall that sells organic souvenirs made by traditional material.
Mayor Park observes a shop located along the wall that sells organic souvenirs made by traditional material.
A shop located along the wall that sells organic souvenirs made by traditional material.
A shop located along the wall that sells organic souvenirs made by traditional material.

A unique aspect of Seoul’s city wall is that it is easily accessible from Seoul’s subway and in close proximity to many tourism attractions, cafes and restaurants. Mayor Park’s Tour lead us along the Naksan Mountain Trail which can easily be picked up from Dongdaemun Station.

One of the many museums showcasing art along Seoul's City Wall
One of the many museums showcasing art along Seoul’s City Wall
Street art on one of the alleyways near Seoul City Wall.  All of the artwork done along the wall was made with organic material
Street art on one of the alleyways near Seoul City Wall. All of the artwork done along the wall was made with organic material

1904108_983767260997_2048357003787335221_n

 11206031_983767285947_7970957305625469669_n

After enjoying the bustle of Dongdaemun, having a delicious meal, and looking at the modern marvel of the Dongdaemun Design center, there is no better way to step away from hustle and bustle of the city (while actually still remaining right in the city) and quietly stroll along the city wall while taking in magnificent views!

11136647_983767515487_4394548734320860723_n

The Naksan Mountain Trail is an easy 2.1km portion of the wall and takes under an hour to walk.   Café’s, museums and shops line the outskirts of the wall making it a lovely place for tourists to stroll, or take a rest. The trail is wheel chair and stroller accessible and has public restrooms. These facilities have been recently added and is a wonderful addition to this magnificent attraction.

 11107366_983767126267_5882948076733607140_n

  11006417_983767026467_9114171501584622739_n

Yesterday was an exceptionally gorgeous day in Seoul, and there was truly no better place to be then enjoying the tranquil city wall while learning about the history and rebuilding efforts from Mayor Parks perspective.

1908186_983766592337_8628537723011319048_n

If you are a resident or visitor of Korea do not miss the opportunity to visit a portion of Seoul’s wall. For more information visit www.seoulcitywall.seoul.go.kr or pick up the ‘Seoul City Wall Guide Book’ at any tourist information center.

The Seoul City Wall Guidebook available at tourist information
The Seoul City Wall Guidebook available at tourist information
Resources inside the 'Seoul City Wall Guide Book' that show how to access tourism attractions surrounding the wall
Resources inside the ‘Seoul City Wall Guide Book’ that show how to access tourism attractions surrounding the wall

If you’d like to see more media coverage of the Mayor’s VIP tour you can visit any of the following news agency links:

Financial News

http://www.fnnews.com/news/201505201538308696

 Newsis

http://www.newsis.com/pict_detail/view.html?pict_id=NISI20150520_0010962559

 YTN (video clip)

http://www.ytn.co.kr/_ln/0115_201505201700167844

TBS ( video clip)

http://tvcast.naver.com/v/397438

  Mayor’s Blog

http://blog.naver.com/seoulwonsoon?Redirect=Log&logNo=220365409373&jumpingVid=E76F55A15782AB94B47605037D38BE569F5F



5 Tips for Engaging apathetic students

Printer-friendly version

Engaging Apathetic Students

5 Tips for Engaging Apathetic Students


A reader question from Katrina about how to get her low level middle school students to participate in class when the last thing they want to do is speak English. This is a tough one and I’d appreciate some feedback from the readers (I’ll leave the comments open). But, here are 5 tips for engaging apathetic students that I hope will be helpful.

Choose Activities Carefully

The best ones are those where it’s almost easier to speak English than it is their first language. Some examples of good ones are ESL board games and surveys for ESL students. The survey one is particularly good because it gets students up and about, moving around the class. Anything that you can do to get students out of their seats is a good thing.

Mix It Up

Mixing things up is perfect to keep your students on their toes. Surprise them by introducing new activities into the classroom as well as interesting, relevant topics. Make them go with a new partner or group every once in a while.

Give some Incentive

Implement a reward system of some kind with a prize that actually has some value such as a pizza party or a gift certificate to a popular store. It may cost you a bit of money, but it’ll be worth it in the end when students are actually participating. Putting students into groups can be helpful so they can kind of police each other!

Don’t Expect Miracles

If students are very low level and apathetic, don’t be too hard on yourself. Do your best but realize that if a student is 14 or 15 years old and absolutely refuses to participate in your class, there isn’t much you can do. Avoid the power struggles and test of wills that you’re not going to win. If one or two students at the back of the class are sleeping, but not disturbing anyone else, don’t worry too much about it.

Praise even Small Things

If students in middle school are quite low level, they probably haven’t had much or any positive feedback about their language skills in years. Praise even small, simple things and make encouragement your #1 priority. As my boss in Korea once told me, my goal was to make my students hate English a little less. I think I accomplished that through using these 5 things that I’ve mentioned.

In my upcoming book I have a section about how to teach speaking to really low level students. It’ll be out in a week or two and it’s free to those who join my mailing list before it’s published:

* indicates required


Again, please comment readers and offer some of your own advice for this situation.

The post 5 Tips for Engaging apathetic students appeared first on ESL Speaking: Games and Activities.


Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea

Amazon
amazon.com/How-Get-University-South-Korea-ebook/dp/B00ORLRP2Y 

My Life! Teaching in a Korean University
eslteacherinkorea.blogspot.com

University Jobs Koreauniversityjobkorea.com

YouTube: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL0Q8kr18oQIo12jZrwIUdnU4C6eJV5rK


 


ESL Lesson Plans for University Students

Printer-friendly version

Lots of people are finding their way to this blog looking for ESL lesson plans for university students and adults. Help is here! I've shared plenty of my lesson plans over the years, but I'll put them all in one place to make them easy for you to find.

Sample lesson plan for Top Notch 1


Introduction to Cause and Effect Essays Lesson Plan


Smart Choice 2 sample lesson plan



Random Lesson Plans for Adults

 

8 conversation lesson plans for university students in Korea

Simpsons lesson plan

Second Conditional-If I Had a Million Dollars Lesson Plan

CELTA Lesson Plans

Celta reading lesson plan

Celta grammar lesson plan

Celta listening lesson plan


Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors May 7~20

Printer-friendly version

The Top 3 Contributors for May is Fat Girl, Mimi Y and June P! Congratulations. :)

bi-weekly11

 

button4



Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 


Why did Kim Jong-Un Suddenly Bail on his Moscow Trip? B/c NK’s ‘Policy Process’ is more like a Factional Mosh-Pit

Printer-friendly version

Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping watch the parade in Moscow.

You don’t see Kim Jong Un in there do you?

This is a re-post of an essay I wrote for the Lowy Institute a few weeks ago on why Kim Jong UN of North Korea suddenly decided not to go to Moscow.

Everyone wants to know why Kim Jong-Un decided, out of the blue, not to got to Moscow for the WWII Victory Day celebration despite months of it being talked up. So here’s my theory – North Korea policy process isn’t a process at all. It’s more like a mosh-pit of competing interest groups and factions trying to control major decisions like this. So randomness, like sudden cancellation of this visit or the UN Secretary-General visit this week, is just built-in. Even if North Korea wanted to be less erratic and more predictable, it probably couldn’t be, because of the way it is governed.

The rest of the argument follows the jump.

 

“A few days ago, Vladimir Putin hosted world leaders to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany. (And it really was the USSR that did the heavy lifting; stop watching Saving Private Ryan.) Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, was invited. For months there had been speculation, unrefuted by North Korean state media (the Korean Central News Agency, KCNA), that Kim would attend.

In the kremlinological curiosity that is Pyongyang tea leaf reading, KCNA’s silence was taken as approval by many observers. North Korea has often allowed Chinese officials to tacitly communicate its positions. If KCNA does not refute Chinese commentary, we often take that to mean silent approval. Given the recent warming of Russia-North Korea ties, observers similarly thought that when Russian officials repeatedly spoke of Kim’s attendance without a refutation by KCNA, that meant that the North Koreans had agreed.

Then suddenly last week, Kim apparently discovered a ‘scheduling’ conflict. China and Russia were caught flat-footed. The excuse that a sun-king leader, whose personality cult claims a semi-divine status for his family bloodline, could not change his plans is transparently preposterous. Instead North Korea sent its nominal, irrelevant head of state, 87 year-old Kim Yong Nam. One can only imagine Putin grinding his teeth.

North Korean Dysfunction

The whole bizarre episode illustrates two of North Korea’s uniquely dysfunctional characteristics, the sorts of permanent structural issues that inhibit smooth relations with neighbors and put-off all but the most intrepid or politically connected foreign investors:

1. There is no ‘policy process’ in the way that most countries, even authoritarian ones, have. It is often said that North Korea is erratic and unpredictable, and this episode nicely illustrates why.

Putin himself invited Kim. North Korea-Russia ties have been warming recently. Due to the Ukraine crisis, Russia needs friends not aligned with the West. Conversely, North Korea has always sought to avoid overdependence on one patron – China today. And relations with China have soured of late. So a Kim visit would have been a nice culmination of partnership useful to both.

On the other hand, China is rising, the world’s second largest economy, and a proximate neighbor in force. Nor has Kim Jong Un visited Beijing yet, as his father, Jong Il, did seven times, because he knew he needed the money and support. Visiting Moscow before Beijing would likely have been read as snub in Beijing, which takes such diplomatic pomp and circumstance seriously.

Normal countries would have wrestled with these tough trade-offs in some kind of systematized way, with some of that debate reflected in the national media. In time, a reasonable choice balancing raisons d’etat would have emerged. But in North Korea, major decisions like this routinely come out of the blue, with frequently disruptive effects. Because everything takes place behind closed doors, there is little openness to new ideas or thinking. Information is political distributed, so relevant arguments from experts do not enter the process early and shape choice sets. Personalism and ideology routinely trump merit in the North Korean hierarchy, as the Kim family and Korean Worker’s Party, have long since subverted state organs. And the final decision-maker is given to bizarre episodes, such as the Dennis Rodman affair, and lacks any serious training in relevant disciplines in social science, the military, and so on.

In short, even if North Korea wanted to be more predictable and less wayward, it likely could not be. The very structure of its elites encourage internal power struggles and rash decision-making, creating dysfunctional outcomes such as this very public snub of Putin or 2009’s botched currency reform.

2. The Russia episode also illustrates how badly North Korea communicates with the outside world. Needless to say, KCNA is widely distrusted, often given to ideology and bombast, and not widely read. This credibility problem means that when Chinese officials speak on North Korea, we often assume that is more accurate that what we hear from Pyongyang itself. That logic applies in this case as well to Russia. Because North Korea practices stalinist media centralization, there is little debate in an open media that can signal credible information to foreigners about policy debates. Hence we lean on sources from North Korea’s allies.

Yet this time, that proved to be inaccurate as well. Indeed, Russian and Chinese officials, who spoke with such surety for so many months, suddenly look foolish. Given this, to whom can outsiders look for reliable policy statements? The North often complains that it gets a bad rap at the UN or in South Korean and Western media. But as with the dysfunctional policy process, this is the logical endpoint of North Korea’s media shenanigans. If neither KCNA, nor North Korea’s friends can reliably speak to North Korean preferences, what other choice is there?

Two Possible Reasons for Not Going

Besides illustrating the kinds of structural deficiencies that make North Korean integration with foreign states and firms well-nigh impossible, the Russia episode suggests two further vulnerabilities that likely swayed the last minute, about-face decision:

1. North Korea is permanently dependent on foreigners. The great problem for North Korea in the long-term is economic near-failure. North Korea simply cannot stand on its own, unlike South Korea which could if it wanted to. Its economy has stagnated for decades; its people survive on edges of malnutrition; corruption has exploded since the partial marketization of the economy in late 1990s (as a response to the famine).

So North Korea has always needed external subsidization. In the past, Pyongyang managed to scratch out aid variously from the US, South Korea, Japan, and the USSR. But those days are over. The democracies will not provide aid until (highly unlikely) progress is shown in the nuclear talks, while Russia is weak, and increasingly isolated. This leaves China. I would imagine that at some point in the mismanaged, corrupted ‘policy process’ sketched above, the realization dawned that visiting Moscow before Beijing would anger the latter too much, and China today is vastly more wealthy and influential than Russia. If North Korea must have a patron, swapping China for Russia is a terrible choice.

2. The other likely reason Kim skipped the trip is fear of a coup. His father rarely went beyond China. To do so was too risky. For this Kim, the risks are probably even higher. Kim Jong Un’s crackdowns and executions since taking power almost certainly indicate that his grip on power is still shaky. He took over less than four years ago, and he was all but unknown, even within North Korea, at the time. A foreign trip is rare, enticing opportunity for elite dissenters in a regime like North Korea to act, so I predicted earlier this year that he would not go.

In short, this strange episode illustrates a lot of North Korea’s poverty- and isolation-creating constraints – the lack of predictability, the inability to clearly communicate preferences, the elite’s fear of itself, China, and even foreign travel. This is a recipe for stagnation.”


Filed under: Coup, Factionalism, Korea (North), Policy Process, Russia, World War II

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 


From time to time, I love to gorge myself at a Brazilian...

Printer-friendly version












From time to time, I love to gorge myself at a Brazilian steakhouse (Churrascaria). In Haeundae, the restaurant, Mercado (메르까도), will serve you seven different types of meat and baked cinnamon-pinapple –to your table– as much as you can eat for 35,200₩. They also have a salad and hot food bar, but I don’t waste too much time on carbs. Due to legalities, they no longer serve chicken hearts, but the menu is still great!

Directions: Take the subway to Haeundae station. Go out exit 3. Walk towards the beach and you will find the restaurant on your left, on the second floor.

Weekday hours: 5:30-10:30pm, Weekend hours: 12:00-11:00pm

Google: link

Address: 2F, 25, Gunam-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea

Phone: 051-743-5303


SURVIVAL TIP: All about taking the Korean Trains

Printer-friendly version

To travel from city to city in Korea, taking a train is probably the most safest and the best way as a foreigner.

There are several types of trains in Korea.

1. Regular Trains

Korail_ktx_sancheon_17

a) KTX : It’s the fastest train in Korea. By taking this train, it takes less than 3 hours from Seoul to Busan. Although the train fee is expensive, you can save time with high quality seats. If you go to Busan from Seoul by Mugunghwa train or a car, it takes more than 5 hours.

518-10m

b) Saemaul Train : Before the launch of KTX express trains, Saemaul was the fastest class of trains in South Korea, making the journey from Seoul to Busan in less than 5 hours. Saemaeul trains are distinguished from the more basic Mugunghwa trains by their larger and comfortable seats and the absence of standing passengers.

p1080047

c) Mugunghwa Train : The basic train which stops at many stations where KTX & Saemaul train are not serving. It is cheap but slow. Also there are standees who don’t have any seat available in the train.

2. Special Trains

130815_p11_korail

a) S-Train : S-train takes people to Korea’s southwest region. This is a new tourist train which launched in 2014. It operates between Busan and Boseong, South Jeolla Province, along the southern coast of the peninsula.

°¡À̵åºÏ(ȨÆäÀÌÁö¿ë)

b) V-Train : The ‘V’ in V-train stands for “valley,” as it travels through the remote mountainous areas of Gangwon-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. It is also referred to as the “Baby Baekho (white tiger) Train” due to the motif on the train’s exterior of a white tiger. It stops at Bucheon, Bidong stop, Yangwon, Seungbu and Cheoram.

°¡À̵åºÏ(ȨÆäÀÌÁö¿ë)

c) O-Train : O-train is a central inland region tour train. Its name derives from the word, “One”, as the three provinces (Gangwon-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do) in the country’s central inland region are connected by this circular route. It stops at Seoul, Wonju, Jaecheon, Yeongwol, Mindungsan, etc.

wp-dmz-train-580x316

d) DMZ Train : The DMZ-Train allows tourists to travel through Korea’s untouched natural landscape and historical landmark that is the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The train runs twice a day and tickets are available at each station. Tourists can also purchase a “DMZ Plus Ticket” which lets you freely board and depart at any of the stations along the way.

24090426

e) G-Train : G-train is a west gold train which has rooms with “ondol”, Korea’s floor heating system. It runs down the coastal area along the west sea. It stops at major travel destinations, including Boryeong and Gunsan.

14320_29098_1141

f) Wine & Cinema Train : In this train, you can enjoy wine and cinema at the same time. The Wine-Train runs between Seoul and Yeongdong every Tuesday and Saturday. Starting from Seoul Station, you go to Yeongdong to taste wine and try wine food spa. Then also stop by Geumsan to look around geumsan ginseng museum and town.

7fe021d2bf4d83146080ffcfac2a302d

g) Sea Train : This train operates along the coastal of east sea. Running along the beautiful East Coast, every seat is tailored to see the ocean and windows are larger than those in regular trains for visitors to overlook the majestic waves, beaches, and the blue ocean.

Try to enjoy any of these special trains!

button_main



72 Hours in Goa

Printer-friendly version

 by Mordecai Feldman

  Editor’s note:  My cousin, Mordecai “Morty” Feldman, occasionally writes articles for the Travel section of the New York Times. Last winter, Sweet Pickles & Corn’s Eli Toast and I joined him and his wife for a trip to Goa, India. He sent me the following story, which will soon be published in the Sunday magazine supplement, pending a few revisions and editorial streamlining. In exchange for me and Eli keeping quiet about a few indiscreet moments of the trip, he agreed to let the readership of SP&C have the first look at his dispatch. You’ll note that Eli and I do not appear in his article. This is not because we asked to be left out, it’s because Morty told us that he didn’t like us very much.

–Steve K. Feldman

nytimestravel

goa1

Good old Goa!  Good-as-gold Goa: the golden jewel of the Indian Ocean coast, former Portugese trading colony, cradle of Full Moon Party hedonism, famed stop on the Hippy Trail from Istanbul to Bangkok in the swinging 60s, and my home for a month the summer after my sophomore year at Dartmouth, where I truly found myself.

Laugh if you want.  Yes, I was strolling along Goa’s fine white-sand beaches, watching the sun, the color of a ripe pomegranate, sink into the placid sea, watching a team of locals drag a fishing scow up onto the sand. When they finally had the boat stowed next to a grove of coconut palms, they collapsed from near-exhaustion, but smiling and laughing in easy camaraderie, sharing cigarettes, their thin, lithe brown bodies oily with sweat—perfectly at ease and peace, content with their hardscrabble existence.  They had everything they needed in their little world right here—and how lucky I was to share just a sliver of it.  It was at that moment I decided to switch majors from Hebrew literature to finance and management. So I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Goa, and let me tell you, as an Options trader at JPMorgan-Chase, I don’t often get accused of having a soft spot for anything, except for making great gobs of money.

Of course the whole Full Moon rave has long since moved on to Koh Phagnan in Thailand, and Goa has a whole seems to have suffered from the “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” Yogi-Berra-ism, with most of my friends these days, when heading out for Asian vacations, opting for eco-tourism in Myanmar, Sumatra, and Borneo instead of the sandy stalwarts of Goa, Phuket, or Bali.  So, with my trading desk closed for a few weeks as SEC agents combed through our hard drives looking for the  evidence of insider trading I’d erased months earlier, I found myself with time on my hands. I thought Goa was fresh for a re-visit to see if the tandooris, the masalas, the chais, and of course the fiery vindaloos were as good as I remembered, or at least were better than Sammy Najapur’s on W. 53rd St., which always catered our casual-Friday lunches until our real estate subsidiary bought their building and tripled the rent, forcing them to move to Hackensack but hey what are ya gonna do?

My first pleasant surprise came when we found out that Goa had its own international airport. ( “We” being my latest wife of 10 months Tayghan, who instead on being mentioned in this article. Okay Tayghan, you got your wish. You got mentioned in the New York Times Travel section!  Congrats! Happy now? Do your friends and family down in Richmond even read the Times? ) With its own airport, that meant we could fly straight in from Charles de Gaul without mucking about in Mumbai, which still seemed to be reeling from the latest Pakistani-funded terrorist attacks. It would have been nice to stay at the Taj Hotel again, and taste the excellent brioche from their patisserie, but apparently the last of the jihadists had holed up there, and the Indian security forces’ elite Black Squad had to pry them out with tear gas and flamethrowers, and since then, word is the espresso there just doesn’t taste right anymore—residue from the tear gas perhaps?

From the airport, I decided to rough it for the ride to the beach. I was already in the spirit of my old backpacker days, so we hired a private car for $80 instead of a private limo for a still-reasonable $250. Tayghan protested, but I insisted we start out by getting an up-front, up-close-and-personal, boots-on-the-ground taste of Goa, and what better way to start than by sitting only 3 feet away from our private driver, instead of 9 feet away and separated from him by a plexi-glass divider?  India is all about the smells, and I wanted to smell our driver—that strange cumin / coriander / fenugreek / turmeric smell that Indians tend to faintly exude even when freshly bathed.

Goa’s accommodations truly run the gamut—there is something there for every taste and every budget—from the flashy 5-star resorts like the Amari Golden Mandala upwards of $1200 a night for an ocean-view suite, all the way down to charming little boutique resorts like the one we opted for, called the Anjuna Beachcomber Inn, at a wallet-friendly $280 a night!

goa2
Upon check-in we were greeted by the owner  himself, a charming rotund little Bengali gentleman named Naresh who had somehow escaped the “shithole of Kolkatta” (his words! His words!).  He was now living his dream running a little beach hotel, serving spicy curries and cold Mai-Tais and making friends from all over the world (You just made two more, Naresh!  Good job! You have the cutest little head-wobble!)

After stowing our bags, Tayghan immediately wanted to go shopping. I thought she might have been all shopped-out from the Duty Free in Paris during our layover—but guess again!  So I forked over my credit card and we strolled along the little strip of shops in the lane behind the beach. We bought some silk saris ($70 each), a teak incense holder in the shape of a hooded cobra ($135), and some bronze wind-chime mini-gongs at ($325). Make sure you bring your hard-bargaining skills to Goa—you can easily get 30-40% of the first quoted price, if you’re not worried about being seen as a cheap Jew. Tayghan was soon oohing and ahhing over some driftwood sculptures of Shiva and Vishnu that she thought would look great at our cottage in Easthampton, and picked out three or four. Tayghan stayed to work out the shipping details with the owner, and I continued on down the street.

Music was coming from several different shops and beach bars, creating a hypnotically  mellow mash-up  entwining Bob Marley, sitar-and-bamboo flute melodies, Hindu chanting, and Coldplay.  I passed by a incense and wall-hanging shop with its owner standing in the doorway surveying the passers-by with an easy grin and a twinkle in his eyes.

“What do you need, Boss?” he said.  “Weed? Coke? X? Acid? Anything you want, no hassle, boss!”

Well! Soon I found myself sitting on a coach in the shop’s back room, waiting for the runner to return with my order, the owner and I chatting about the changes to Goa in the last 20 years. “So many Russians now, my friend!” he said. “They are completely exasperating, I must admit to you!” And then the head wobble, followed by, “But they do have lots of money you see!  And so we must be welcoming to them!”

“The men are pigs, but their women are hot!” I remarked.

He gave me another wobble, and said “On that we can agree, my friend!” and then the runner came back with my order. Three hits of Israeli ecstasy (Flash! lightning-bolt imprint–$25 dollars each).  A gram of coke (Columbia, shade-grown coca leaves, fair-trade certified–$80). Two tabs of acid (Amsterdam, Snoopy Sopwith Camel imprint—$15  each). And a half-ounce of cheap Cambodian weed ($30). I added 10 Goa keychains and bottle-openers (50 cents each) for our secretaries and cleaning staff back at the office. Can’t forget the little folk!

With both Tayghan and I worn out but satisfied from our shopping haul, we spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool. For dinner, we opted for the restaurant at the Imperial Lisbon Coconut Hideaway, where the pistachio-crusted sea bass and curried king-prawns with the truffle glaze were simply to die for! The wine list was surprisingly impressive—as I sipped from an impressive bottle of Argentinian Torrontes Ugni blanc ($280), I thought, wow, am I really in Goa? And as I did a line of coke in the men’s room while Tayghan was chatting with the young Russian couple at the adjoining table, I thought, “oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Whooooooo, FUCK!”

I came back to the table, and found that Taygan’s new friends Dmitri and Sasha had invited us to a rave party on the beach by their resort! Well, I was a little too old for raves, but what the heck! Goa was truly a place for making new friends, and the X and the acid would make the music palatable, I thought.

“So are you guys married?” I asked our new friends while Tayghan was off in the ladies’ room.

“No, not married,” grunted Dmitri. Sasha, a thin, stunning blond rolled her eyes and looked away, an expression on her face of perfect boredom.

“Ah, how long have you been dating?”

“We are not dating. She is Ukrainian whore.”

“Oh, how interesting,” I said. “Um, how much was she?”

He gave me the rundown:  $300 an hour, $2000 for all night, $4000 for 24 hrs, long-term engagements negotiable with her pimp back in Kiev. “Yes, I bring three with me,” he said. “You want one?  I give to you, no problem.  You have threesome with wife.”

“Oh, haha.  Thanks, but I don’t think Tayghan would go for that!” I said.

“You are man, you make the money. You tell her—this is your vacation, you fuck who you want to fuck. You must be hard, and she will understand. You American men, so afraid to hit a woman!”

goa5Tayghan came back and soon we were off to the beach rave, where Teghan and I danced with one of Dmitri’s whores while the other two fellated him as he stood knee-deep in the ocean, hands clasped behind his head, gently swaying as the beat of techno matched perfectly the rhythm of the twin blond pony-tailed heads bobbing at his crotch. It was the perfect ending to our first day in Goa!

Up next for tomorrow: paragliding, an Indian cooking class (yum yum!), and visiting a Hindu temple while tripping BALLS!



SPAC ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW SPAC ON TWITTER

 

 


Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group