Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Hair Cut

Getting a hair cut. What a nice problem to have, and one that I hope I have for the rest of my life. Not just a trim around the side of my head either. That would suck.

So I need a hair cut. I'm quite worried because both of the foreign teaches here, who happen to be male, tell me that getting a good hair cut here is virtually impossible. Mark calls this the land of the bad hair cuts, but he's a little more on the negative side of things when it comes to Korea. When Daniel told me that getting a good hair cut was a really hard thing to do, I became quite concerned. What am I going to do???!!! Maybe I could convince my sister (who usually cuts my hair) to come to Korea for a visit. To expensive, crap!!

Well, I did what I always do. I started praying. And praying, and praying, begging would be more like it, or maybe pleading. Yes, that's a better word for it; Pleading with God to help me get a good hair cut. :-) Hey, God knows the number of hairs on my head, so the least I can do for Him is make them look good right? :-P

Well, thankfully, Mr. Lee (the Director) came through again. He heard me asking about where to go for a hair cut, (I think I had even asked him) and he suggested a place right across the street from the institute. He had just gotten his hair cut there the day before himself.

Apprehensively I approached the salon. There are about a half a dozed salons within a few blocks of each other and many more beyond that. There are hundreds of them it seems within our area. Now I know that it isn't true, but there are a lot of them. Call me a suck, but I'm not as adventurous with my head as I am with my stomach. I know I know, your so vain. Tough! Ask me if I care? Ya.

So, apprehensively I approach the salon. You see, I've been checking places out for a few weeks now because I knew the inevitable was going to happen. I need a hair cut :-S and it didn't seem like any of the places around my area was a man's or universal salon. I'm being a suck again I know, but hey, how many of you (men) would walk into a women's salon and get your hair cut. It's a guy thing ladies. Roll with it. :-)

Where was I? Oh ya, apprehensively I approached the salon. It was a dark and stormy night, and the wind carried an erie sound that caused the hairs on the back of your head ... wait, wrong story. :-P

Right, so I walk nervously into the salon. Well actually, I paced around in front of it first for a bit saying, "well, Mr. Lee did go in there, so, I guess it's ok. Men must use this place right?" I know I know.

Well, let me tell you, you should be so lucky to have a hair cut experience like this. Wow. :-) The treatment that I received, speechless. Now I know why people pay exuberant amounts of money to get their hair cut at some places. To get the treatment that I got, well, in the States or Canada, it would have been quite a pricy place. And the best thing is, in Korea, it only cost me about $15 US. Ha! I love this country! Talk about customer service, it's everywhere. Americans would feel like they had died gone to the third or fourth level of heaven. I don't know what I'm going to do when I go back to Canada! Sorry, but the customer service in Canada really needs a lot of work. You may be loved by everyone around the world, but your service, well, it needs a little work.

So, I walk in. They ladies take my coat and back pack and hang up my coat for me. I'm looked at by the stylist and I'm led to the sink where my hair is washed. Then the stylist begins cutting, (after of course I have mimed some instructions on how I would like my hair cut) (good thing I'm animated) and she really does a nice job. The whole time there is an apprentice I believe, standing behind us, and every chance she gets, she wipes the hairs from my neck and face with a soft foam thingy, like the stuff in a heavy duty camera case, but finer. Then, when the stylist cuts my bangs, she puts this foam thingy over my eyes and viola, no hairs in my nose, on my lips, or in my face. Very nice.

When the stylist is satisfied that my stubborn hair, (even my hair is stubborn, imagine that :-) has been cut and shaped, the "apprentice" (I really don't know what she is, maybe just an assistant) wets my hair. I'm still sitting in the chair used for cutting hair, and she lathers up this shampoo like stuff and begins giving me a massage. Ahhhhhh. Very nice. Wonderful! Yes, keep going, ahhh, oh, not so hard on the neck muscles, that kinda hurts, but, well, we all have to make sacrifices don't we. I guess I'll pay my dues and not complain. Back on the head, oh, small little chops, interesting. Yes, I definitely will be back here again, no doubt about it. Hmmm, that soapy stuff is really cool and tingly. Very invigorating and relaxing. I wonder what they would do if I fell asleep. Hmmm, better not. What oh, time to move? Rats!

Back over to the sink we go for a thorough rinsing. Oh ya!, I forgot. The chair that you sit in to get your hair washed is a back massager as well. As you lie there getting your hair washed, it vibrates at different pressure points in your back, working from the low back up to the mid back and down again, back and forth. I love this place.

Then it's back to the hair chair again where my hair is blown dry and some styling product, very lightly mind you, is applied.

The total cost as I said was only 15,000 won, or $15 US. I don't want to even think about how much it would cost in N. Am. Shheeesshh. I tell you what though, if it was moderately priced, you would have to book your cuts a month in advance, maybe three!

Now considering that many professional working Koreans make about 1 million Won a month, about $1000 US, this place is dirt cheap, yet many Koreans still consider it expensive. I love the almighty effect of competition on prices. Go capitalism! :-)

So how did my hair cut turn out? Well, it was ok. She didn't take much off of the top, so, it's still a little long. Over all though, I am pleased. The sides, which unfortunately is the thickest part of my hair, came out pretty good. She even blended the sides into the top. Next time, I'll have to have her cut the top a little more. That's right! next time. Why would I go anywhere else :-)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Pretty Historic

This is a post that I've been waiting a long time to make. Mostly because I knew it would take so long. Shortly after arriving here in Seoul, we celebrated the Chinese New Year. During this time, Mr. Lee, my employer, took me to a prehistoric site.

Now I have always wanted to see such a place. Think about it. How long has this place been around. People lived and died thousands of years ago, and I'm standing in the exact place that so many people had so many years ago. I guess if you don't get it, I can't explain it. It's just amazing to see how we humans used to live. And the reality is, it's not that much different from the way we live today. Would they be any different from us if they lived today. Exactly. We just live a little easier and cushier. We don't have to spend the majority of our time on survival.

Anyway, this is not a blog on anthropology and sociology. I guess for me, I love history, anthropology, sociology, and other sciences so much that the idea of actually going to a prehistoric site is well, pretty darn cool. I'm always amazed at how smart God created us humans to be. They weren't stupid by any means. Neither are we, though some make it difficult to believe. :-P

So, enjoy the pics. I had to come all the way to Seoul in order to actually see a sight like this. I've been to ancient ruins in the South, which was pretty cool, but this is even older. This is prehistoric baby! Ya.


A picture is worth how many words? Posted by Hello

Housing for short people Posted by Hello

Wipe your knees before entering please! Posted by Hello

Roomy Housing Posted by Hello

The Director and his son Posted by Hello

Info for my fellow Greens :-) Posted by Hello

Info Posted by Hello

Does your roof need fixing? Posted by Hello

How the homes were made. Posted by Hello

Cooking Beefy Fish Posted by Hello

Home sweet home. Posted by Hello

Famous Pots. I don't know? That's what I was told. Posted by Hello

Nice Weapons Posted by Hello

Get the Point! Posted by Hello

Jewelry Posted by Hello

Tools and Shuch Posted by Hello

Here fishy fishy fishy. Is this how one catches a beef fish? Posted by Hello

Needles Posted by Hello

Can you hack it? Posted by Hello

Inside of the home. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 10, 2005

ha ha ha

I'm sitting here in class at Lila at my computer. :-) Today they are having class elections, so I'm not sure if I will have my last class here today or not. Yesterday, I sat in my class wondering where everyone was and thinking, "am I in the right place?" They were having speeches by the students running for office. No one told the poor English Teacher though! Eventually someone came in and told me what was going on.

..... This just in. My class has been canceled. To bad. I'm sick right now, so a break is a good thing. As mentioned before, I teach at Lila, then it's back to the Institute for even more classes. I need sleep. I've been up late working on class materials. Poor poor Ken. No CLASS! I'm going to take a nap. zzzzzz....

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Yes, another food entry. What can I say. Last night I hooked up with a new friend of mine, Gi Ho. I do hope I spelled his name correctly. Any way, we went to a Japanese restaurant. I never thought I would really like Jap. food, but you know what, it was really good. We had sushi, and shamashi (i think that's what it's called) and all sorts of wonderful little things.

The fish that we ate were swimming in the tank right outside our window, that is, until we ordered our food. You want to talk about fresh fish, well, need I say more. The guy walks out with a net, and the fish are like, ooo! a net! pick me pick me! And then it's like, "Whoa, hang on there buddy, what do you think you are doing! Put me back in that tank. Ouch! Hey! That's not funny .... gulp... ok, let's talk about this thing. Ouch!!! Stop it, uh, why is my side missing? Then to make it even better. They take the remainders of the fish, heads and everything, and they make this really good soup. It's a spicy soup with lots of bean sprouts, onion greens, and a few other things. I was playing with the fishe's mouth with my spoon.

This whole thing got me thinking about fishing back home. The fish that we ate didn't seem all that different from some of the fish that I catch and I thought, hmm, scale em, fillet em, and eat em right there on the spot. Ha! Wouldn't that freak some people out. I could run around the camp sight eating fish, and pretty soon I'd have the whole place to myself. :-) I can't wait to try it.

Now, I'm not a big fish fan, especially if the fish are fishy tasting. (go figure) But all of the fish I've had so far have been pretty mild. Oh ya, I really like squid too. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Oh! another funny little thing that we ate was these really tiny shrimp. You eat them anteni, shell, legs, eyeballs, and all. They're so small you wouldn't be able to do anything else with them. I figured, hey, it's good enough for a giant whale, it's good enough for me. They actually were pretty good.

Anyone hungry yet? Just checking. You know, I'd order it all again. I really was quite yummy.

Mr. Sushi

Monday, March 07, 2005

I'm a Seoul Man, badotda da da data da

Well, it's official. Two Sundays ago, I was on my way to Church when it happened. I saw a foreigner looking perplexed and vigorously studying a subway map. I walked up to the individual and quickly helped him with his question. Little did he know that I myself (a now seasoned veteran of subway lostonianism) had only been here for less than a month. I walked away feeling, and knowing, that I was now an official Seoulite. Yes, I'm A Seoul Man,..., I'm A Seoul Man ... I really need to find the words to this song. I've been humming it for two weeks now!

Mr. Seoul