If a guy somewhere in Asia makes a blog and no one reads it, does it really exist?

Thursday, October 28

Field trip and vog

Yesterday, I had a field trip with the kids of Naeto Middle School to Mungyeongsaejae. Several kids were eager to speak with me during our hike. Our exchanges went something like this:

Kid: Hi Nick teacher.
Me: Hello!
Kid: Do you like Japan?
Me: Uh, sure.
Kid: I hate Japan.
Me: Oh. Okay. Why?
Kid: I like kimchi.

The museum there had a rather graphic diorama that depicted farmers defending themselves against Japanese invaders during the Imjinwaeran War, a seven-year war between the Choson Dynasty and the Toyotomi Hideyoshi Shogunate in the 1590s.

Amusing: "Beppu" is a Korean abbreviation of "best friend" (bestuh purenduh).

Funny: A kid was trying to say, "A man is fishing" during class, but since the "f" becomes "p" and "sh" becomes "s" in Korean, he said, "A man is pissing." I could hardly contain myself.

Funnier: These phonetic shifts are funny in Japanese too. A Korean guy was once trying to say 時間はまだ大丈夫ですか?(Do you still have time?), but with "j" becoming "ch", what came out was 痴漢はまだ大丈夫ですか?(Is molestation still okay?)

Another time, thanks to the same "j" to "ch" shift (and lack of extended vowels), the same guy asked me 宮崎のチンコはどれくらいですか?(What's the approximate length of penises in Miyazaki?) when he meant to say 宮崎の人口はどれくらいですか?(What's the approximate population of Miyazaki?)

Funniest: There is a traditional Korean song with a chorus that repeats, "Onara, onara, onara," which sounds like, "Fart, fart, fart," in Japanese.

Awesome: Korea's highest bungee jump is near Jecheon!

"Cheongpung Land has Korea’s highest bungee jump board at 62 meters. Since it is jumping from a high board facing Cheongpung Lake, the thrill is unspeakable. With an additional safety belt attached there need to be no worries about any type of danger."

That sounds like fun! But then it goes on to say, "In case of accidents, an artificial pool is set up at the falling point of the lake." Not very reassuring.

Totally unrelated: Living in Hawaii doesn't always mean fresh, hibiscus-tinged ocean breezes, especially on the Big Island. Mt. Kilauea spews over 1000 tons of sulfur dioxide daily, equivalent to 3,650 power plants. This produces "vog," or volcanic fog, that hangs over the Kona coast. That sounds worse than Kagoshima, where the residents can't hang their clothes out to dry because of the volcanic ash from the Sakurajima volcano.

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