Archive | February, 2009

Wet naked men!

21 Feb

I’m bathing in hot water, surrounded by men, they are naked, they are looking at me. In the corner there is a naked man getting a vigorous massage from another man, he is also naked.  I feel tired, I go to sleep with many men, I wake up, go to roll over, but there is a man there.

No this is not an excerpt from an erotic gay magazine, its how I have spent most of my nights in Korea.  As a cheap accommodation source we have slept at the Jimshilbangs, otherwise known as bath houses.  They are open 24 hours, it’s a place where you go to relax in the hot pools, saunas etc, all located within a high-rise building.   There is a floor for males and another for females with a common middle floor where you meet/sleep etc wearing issued pyjamas.  Despite my introduction, there is nothing seedy about it, there’s even a bit of a family scene, kids sometime splashing around, albeit 4am in the morning on a Tuesday……… ummmm what about school?

innocent little happa

The Jimshilbangs were one of the things that I couldn’t wait to get back amongst, I really missed them when I left Korea 5 years ago.  I remember the first time I went to one, I loved it, although it took a bit of getting use to, being constantly stared at. The Koreans love to stare, and when your the only naked foreigner in a sea of naked Korean men, you get a lot of stares. Just imagine how many stares I get now, as back then I was short haired and clean shaved, now I’m dread locked and tattooed (the 15 months I lived here, I never saw a Korean with dreadlocks, and the only people with tattoos in Korea are the mafia).

Modelling the Excitement Deterring Panties.

PS. Now I’m on the road traveling it is harder to insert photos into the posts as I do not have the time ie I’m in internet cafes, but I will try my hardest. I have added some photos to my previous Singapore post below.

Korean stag party (warning: contains nudity, soju and a near death experience)

19 Feb

In New Zealand we call it a “stag do” but in other countries it is known as a bucks party, bachelor party etc, it’s the big party the groom has before he gets married. 

This was my first stag do, and it has been great.  There were about 15 of us kiwi’s here, all of Ben’s (groom to be) mates from high school, and a few of us from university, a lot of us whom had all lived here in Korea 5 years ago teaching english.

barney-enjoying-a-joke

From what I have heard about stag do’s it is a time where grown men no matter how old go back to having the maturity of a high-school kid,  all whilst drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

On Saturday night after the family dinner with Ben’s family from NZ and Europe and Mia’s from Korea we got Ben dressed for the stag night in a pretty pink dress, pink tights, and pink hat. 

the-beautiful-stag

Then it was onto the bars/clubs  of the funky university area of Hongdae.  Without going into too much detail, there was a lot of soju(Korea’s version of Sake which is drunk in shots), maekchu(beer), norae bangs (private karaoke rooms), dancing on tables, nakedness (there was no stripper, the nudity came from members of the stag party and the old Korean men in the bath house where we slept) and general antics which are probably better off “left on tour”.

cheers-to-my-last-weekend-of-freedom

After partying in Hongdae, we ventured to the nearest Jimshilbang (24 hour bath house) for a bath and a sleep on the floor with the other guests. 

After waking (Sunday morning), it was off to a galbi jib (restaurant where you sit on the heated floor and meat is cooked on a communal hot plate in front of you) for breakfast/lunch before our stag soccer game. Well about 4 hours later, and half of Korea’s soju consumed, we bought a soccer ball, and headed to the closest soccer field. By field I mean flat hard dirt/sand area with soccer posts as they don’t really have grass in Korea, and if there is grass your generally not allowed to walk on it.

hanging-in-the-streets-of-korea

We found some university students who were keen for a game against the unruly mob of 11 foreigners.  After the worlds most pathetic haka (a famous maori war dance done by the New Zealand rugby team before every game) it was action.  We started shakily, but as we found our Northern soccer (the Dunedin university soccer team a lot of us played for back in NZ) combinations and sweated out the soju, it was great.  Long story short, the foreigners took the game 3-2 with the stag Ben scoring the winner.

It was in our celebration of our glorious victory I had my near death experience. As you have seen on the TV, when the professionals in the European league celebrate they jump on top of each, forming a human pile on the ground, usually a couple of players high. 

So, it seemed like a great idea to celebrate in this way. Unfortunately for me, I was the first on the ground. After about the 3rd 80 kg team member to jump on the accumulating pile, I was finding it hard to breathe, then add to this a full team, I could not expand my rib cage, I could not breathe. I was thinking “wicked, I’m going to die on freezing cold rock solid ground under a human pile of my mates in Korea”. That was my last thought, life went black!

The next thing I remember is slowly coming around, not being able to see, just seeing black, then my vision came back, and noises too, I could see a couple of faces really close, then I remember thinking that I should know who they were, they looked real concerned, it was my mates, I was alive!  I was still dazed, the boys were hugging me, obviously quite ecstatic themselves, as 30 seconds ago they were checking my vital signs and thinking how they were going to explain my death to my family “Ummm yeah Mr and Mrs Cameron, you see, we played this great game of soccer, and we celebrated the victory by all jumping on top of Hap until he couldn’t breathe, sorry about that”.

To celebrate my new lease of life, our soccer victory, and it being Ben’s last Sunday night as a free man, its was off to the after match function, and then another Jimshilbang.

hey-guys-you-have-lettuce-on-your-head

More people arrived today to join the stag bunch, including Mandy from Perth, so don’t worry mum, she will look after me and make sure I’m on top of the human pile when we celebrate our next soccer victory!

Best be going, having great times, loving being back in Korea, so weird and wacky.

Arrived in Korea

14 Feb

Arrived in Korea 4 hours ago, 8.15am, 1 degree celcius, a welcome temperature change from the humidity of Singapore.

Was a bit of a mission finding out where to go, all my mates had there phones turned off, so ended up up having to get Beno (groom to be) to direct me to where all the boys were staying. By the way, this is quite hard, as in Korea theres no such thing as an address as theres no street signs etc, just alley ways and lots of neon lights and signs. So you have to give the person the closest land mark and after that its “take first right, second alley after poilice station blah blah”.

Finally tracked down the hotel, which is also harder than it sounds, as its located where there are heaps of hotels. We are staying in what they call “love hotels”, which are usually hired out by the hour, by young couples who live at home (only move out when your married) and need a place to spend some “quality time” with their their loved one, or it’s a place where the married man takes his mistress. But they are by far the cheapest option accomodation wise

Was quite funny, I walk into the tiny little room, turn the light on, clothes strewn everywhere, 3 grown guys fully clothed squeezed onto a small double bed and one body amongst the clothes on the floor. I tried to get everyone up, but my enthusiam was lost on them. Due to there being no windows in the room, they also didn’t believe me that it was 11.30am. It looked like it had been a big night of catching up and reuniting after a long time apart. Or maybe they were just having a warm-up for the stag do (bucks party) which is kicking off tomorrw and going all day Sunday.

So now its 12.30, I have spent enough time on the computer and will got back and get them up.

Sorry, this was only meant to be a post saying I had arrived in Korea, now look where my ramblings have have taken me. I think I might go to the jimshilbang, which is the Korean bath house, I have been hanging out for this since I left 5 years ago.

Nuthin but love Hap

Singapore stopover

13 Feb

Howdy folks,

I’ currently at Changi Airport in Singapore making the most of their 15 minute free internet they give you. Great airport, two thumbs up Singapore.

It’s my second time to Singapore, as when I left Canada last time I wasn’t allowd to transit in the US after my dealings with immigration there so had to come all the way through Asia.

manicured-roads-and-well-behaved-cars

So, my thoughts on Singapore. One word for me describes it, manicured. Everythingis manicured, from the people to the streets to the trees to the fake beaches. Theres no rubbish on the ground, not even leaves, it is if there is somebody waiting for with a dust pan as soon as the leaves drop from the trees.

There seems to be no pulse, when I walked the streets, it is if I had earmuffs on, there was no noise, for the number of cars, there was no horn blowing, no shouting, something that is as common as rice in Asian countries.  Everything seems so organised, the cars are like marching ants, as if they have been rehearsing.

just-like-marching-ants

For me its a textbook made city, a something of a pleasentsville.  Obviously not a destinaion targeted to my knid of traveller, more so targeted to the businessman, the high-end shopper, for which it serves its purpose wonderfully.

Wah Wah wah, enough of my critcising travel report, all I really did there was paint of picture of myself as being a dirty hippy that loves rubbish and anarchy.

mosque-and-builing

So, on a warm fuzzy note.  Arrived in Singapore this morning at 5.15am, went into town on a free guided shuttle bus hosted by a Transsexual -somebody trying to warm me up for Thailand- and wandered around town. By the way, Singapore has done a great job at setting up infrastructure for the stop-over traveler, a definite thumbs up for me.

watching-the-world-go-by-in-little-india

I had breakfast in little India, its was great, wicked to be back in the unknown, the slight cultural changes, eg at the local little side-road cafe I ordered a banana pancake, and it got served with curry sauce, and I ate it while listening to the guys mp3 cell phone blearing out music that had me expecting a belly dancer any minute (didn’t evenuate) and breathing in his cigarette smoke. I loved it all, was great to be back amongst a different environment and watching life pass by on the streets of little India in Singapore.

lunch

OK, got to cut it short, have to go catch flight to Bangkok, where I have a 5 hour stop-over, then onto to Korea, pumped. 

Oh, and to prove that I’m not a dirty hippy despite all my ranting above, I just paid $7 for a shower at the airport, and I shaved (face), feeling a million bucks.

Nuthin but love Hap

End of the Australian chapter.

10 Feb

In 2 days time, I fly to Korea for friends Beno and Mia’s wedding. After 12 days there Mandy and  I go to Thailand to defrost.  A trip that was booked 6 months ago, but the only difference with it now, is that Mandy and I are not returning to Australia. 

My feet have been itchy for sometime now, loving life in Australia, great friends, great job, but I was just getting impatient, time is running out, I’ve got 3 more continents to get to, Antarctica, Africa and South America (I’ve been to South America twice, but haven’t lived and worked there). 

So it didn’t take much thought to burn the return Bangkok to Perth ticket when Mandy was sick of working her butt off at her 2 hospitality jobs. Plus we did the maths on how much money she would make if she came back to Australia and work the last 3 months of her visa to save money. We would be better off  living in Thailand, back amongst the culture, the jungle, the monkeys and living off peanuts.

You may be thinking, but I’ve already worked in Asia, yep I realise that, but the beauty of my plan is, there is no plan, just play it as it comes, and this time I landed on a prepurchased ticket to Thailand, so Thailand it is.

Future plans, as I said, there are no plans, just a goal that consumes me, “to live and work in every continent of the world before I’m 30″, 2 years and 9 months to go, I’m pumped. Africa, South America and Antarctica are in my sights. It will be a good year, I feel alive.

Antarctica applications are coming up soon. Australia put there jobs out in Janurary, unfortunately they were in no need of a skinny dreadlocked kiwi, they just wanted skilled trades peole and the like. But New Zealand Scott base is recruiting soon for deployment at the end of the year. I also made a few contacts, one of which for an Antarctic cruise ship company.  If anyone has contacts, let me have them.  Antarctica is a work in progress, my focus constantly on new skills I can acquire to help me “get on the ice” and new in roads to make it happen, and it will happen!

People ask me what are my plans after Thailand, I say “I don’t know”, and I love it.  I don’t know, and I’m loving that I don’t know, after a year of routine, a bedroom that I call “mine” (which I craved for so long in previous chapters after 2 years sharing a room, having no money, living out of a back pack), its great to not know again. 

Short-term the decision has been made for Thailand, and life will just fall in around it.  So watch this space, maybe divemasters (will do this in Thailand) maybe working the best job in the world ( I’m real excited about this. I poured all my energy and passion into the application), maybe India, maybe cycling, maybe sailing, maybe Antarctica, maybe Africa, maybe getting a complete body wax and becoming a male stripper in Ethiopia, I don’t know, but I’m excited to be back on the mission and to start writting some new chapters. 

Speaking of writting new chapters, here’s my Australia, Perth chapter, sign sealed and delivered. 

Nuthin but love Hap.

Animals of the Outback

8 Feb

This is officially my last swing at work. I have 3 more days of being an Exploration Field Assistant. It’s always in the last days of a job that you start to appreciate (more) your surroundings. It’s a time of “lasts”, eg the last time I will sleep in my donga, the last time I will have a laugh with my work mates, the last time I will go four wheel driving in the outback, the last time I will get on the plane to Perth etc.

This past year I have been lucky enough to have experienced the unique Austrlian Outback and all its glory. A big part of that glory are the animals that inhabit this vast red wilderness, animals that are as Ozzie as beer and barbies.

Below are photos of animals I have come across throughout the past year.  There have been some animals that I have failed to snap photos of, emu’s, wedge tail eagles and others I can not think of, but enjoy the ones I got.

Dingos. I’ve seen plenty of  these wild dogs cruising the outback. Dingo stole me baby!

dingo

Kangaroos, my new favourite animal, they’re so bouncy, happy and unique, plus they don’t want to hurt you, unlike most of the animals in OZ.  I’ve taken a lot of Kangaroo photos at work, but decided to post this comical one that I took 3 weeks ago when camping in Margaret River.   “Mum have you seen my socks”?

kangaroos-version-of-putting-your-head-in-the-sand

Cattle.  Woodie Woodie where I work is located on a cattle farm, so there are always our bovine buddies walking around camp feasting on the green grass of the camp, which is very much a delicacy in the outback, its like eating lobster in the desert.

cattle

Camels.  Australia is home to the largest wild camel population in the world!

camels

This is my pitiful photo of the first snake I saw. And yes I was scared shitless, that’s the reason the photo’s taken from a million miles away, check out my blog post I did on my my encounter with my first snake.

my-first-snake-and-yes-i-squeled

Donkies.  Now that’s a great arse!

hello-mr-donkey

Bungarras.  Otherwise known as Goanna’s are commonly sighted around the camp. From the tip of their tale to their head they are easily over a metre long. When you walk around the side of a donga (sleeping cabin) and startle one of these miniature dinosaurs, it requires a change of underwear afterwards.

bungara-finding-some-shade-under-the-dongas

bungara-outside-the-office-door

Frogs.  Now I’ve heard of  toilet ducks (toilet cleaner in NZ), but toilet frogs! You can imagine my surprise when busting for a pee and being confronted by this little fella (frog), to pee or not to pee? Now that is the question.

toilet-frog

It wouldn’t be an authentic outback post without mentioning those annoying little flying maggots that are so abundant this time of year. The flies applying first aid to my cut.

my-friends-the-flies-applying-first-aid-to-my-cut

The Australian Outback is a harsh unrelenting place to be, especially if your a sick/elderly camel.

The story behind the photo below is, I was riding shot gun with El at the wheel and the two passenger side wheels start sliding down the river bank into the boggy area. El giggling as my passenger side sank down so that I was nearly face to face with the decaying carcass of the camel. As you can imagine I exited the vehicle through the drivers side, but didn’t last long before I jumped back in as my gag reflect was about to start due to the stench. Luckily I was able to unbog it from the comfort of the odourless drivers seat.

bogged-by-dead-camel

As mentioned before, carcasses are part of everyday work up here, especially when travelling on the 400km of sealed outback highway-on any NW Australian highway for that matter- to Port Headland.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that cattle and fast travelling road trains hauling our manganese don’t mix.  But I had never seen anything like the photo below that I took a couple of swings ago while doing a field trip to Mount Sydney. It’s a mystery to me, maybe it’s the site of  a camel cult mass suicide.

grave-yard

OK Hap, enough of the dead animals.  Best I leave you with a warm fuzzy cute animal photo.  Although I have not come across any of our woolly four legged friends during my Outback chapter, they deserve a place in the blog.  Why? Because although us kiwi’s get the reputation as…….how do I say it ………as “sheep lovers”, it is our big brother Australia that has the largest sheep population in the world! (NZ has 40 million sheep and Australia has 90 million-and yes I realise that’s a ratio of 10 sheep to every kiwi and only 5 sheep to every Ozzie, but let’s not focus on that, Australia has the biggest sheep population, end of story).  

sheep_racing

PS, while googling for a “sexy sheep photo” (weird I know), this website came up as first choice,  AdultSheepFinder – The Worlds #1 Sheep Sex and Dating Personals Site  – now that’s weird! (bet you its an Australian site – haha, come on Australia I’ve had my fare share of sheep jokes, it’s about time you guys got your share). The website was blocked on my work computer, I just hope the IT guys don’t over my internet browser history!

Stay posted for my next post, it will be the last post of my Australian chapter.

Best Job In The World

8 Feb

Welcome,

If you want to see why I believe this job was made for me, then check out my visual CV for the best job in the world

If  want to see my video application, click on this link: http://www.islandreefjob.com/applicants/watch/yoeC_Pw9JH0

 If you want to see the making of my video application then go behind the scenes of my video application.

If you want to find out more about the best job in the world go to the official website.

NB: To my regular blog readers, this post is a sticky post (OK, I’m excited about the best job in the world, but not that excited), meaning I have set it to appear as the first post on my blog.  My most recent posts will be following this.

Cheers, Hap

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