Rock, Jazz, and Seoul

Friday night I made my first solo trek to Seoul, Korea. The main reason was to see Sting in concert. For those who have read this blog for a while, know this is not the first time I've seen Sting in a foreign country. In fact this is the third country I've seen him in.

So I took the fast train up to Seoul, and it reminded me how much I love train travel. Upon arriving in Seoul, I proceeded to wander the streets for a while, just taking in all the different sights, sounds, and smells of the city. After a couple hours, and one of the best cream puffs I've ever consumed, I decided to head to Olympic Park to obtain my ticket. I'm glad I arrived early, as it took almost forty minutes and many phone calls for them to find my ticket. In fact they gave me a better ticket than the one I ordered.

As far as the concert goes, Sting puts on quite the show. I highly recommend catching a show when he comes near your place of residence. After the show I went over to Chunnyun where Dominic Miller & Friends put on a show that equaled the Sting show. I sat mesmerized at the front of the stage watching Dominic and Neil Stacey play away on their guitars.

After the show I decided to walk around Seoul for a few hours, as I wait for the first train out in the morning. There were not too many people out on the streets, especially for a city of ten million. I did find some cool spots like an all night shopping mall and a market where you could buy grilled treats from the sea. Although at three in the morning, grilled squid and octopus just doesn't sound good.

By seven on Saturday I was back in bed. And later in the day I was actually giving directions around Seoul to people who have been here for a couple years. All in all, not too bad for a guy who has only spent a couple weeks in Korea, and can only tell Koreans "Thank you" and "Stop farting."

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I Told You So

First off, I told you I might have a problem with the yogurt drink.....

....and I've only been here a week.

Today was my day off, and I thought I do some 'splorin' around the area. I also wanted to pick up a DVD player for the apartment. I first headed over towards an electric store near Homeplus. On my walk, I remembered that I was curious about a large green mesh containment unit in the area. So I decided to check it out.

I realized that I was correct in my guess that it was a driving range. So I went in and drove 5,000 Won worth of balls. While I was driving, a helpful Korean woman tried to help me with my swing. Good luck with that!

Back on the DVD hunt, I found a player I liked, and decided to go home and check the internet to see if it would work. It would, so walked the half hour trek back to the store. And would you believe it, by the time I made it back, they had sold out of that player.

I then managed my first solo taxi ride. Destination Walmart. Once inside the Supercenter, I found a cheaper DVD player, and using my newly acquired cell phone, did the research from the store to see this is the one I wanted. So now I have a multi-region DVD player capable to handle my collection obtained around the world.

So now I will finish the rest of my night off with some yogurt drink and some DVDs.

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Be On Alert

Christians everywhere have been put on Gay Alert. According to this article believers everywhere are to be on the watch for Spongebob and his square pants after he and some friends released this terrorist video. Rumor has it he is running around with Tinky Winky and Barney in a gayification of American. They are believed to be armed, dangerous, and able to soak up a whole lot of water. They might also be traveling with Clifford the Big Red Dog, Aloysius Snuffleupagus, Bill Cosby, and Bob the Builder (Like a construction worker would hang out with gay folk). They are believed to be traveling in some form of magic school bus, no word if it is a short one or not.

So lock up your kids, destroy your television, and run for the hills yelling, "Wolverines!"

Or better yet, take up your sword and go all Braveheart on that little sponge if you see him.

Currently wearing (I kid you not):


Drinking Problem

They say it takes a strong man to admit to the world he has a drinking problem. Tonight I think I must admit that I have some signs that I might just have a problem. See, just the other night I didn't see any problem dropping a 1000 won on a fifteen pack of this drink I've discovered over here. And I had just downed a bottle of it at a local diner too. It wasn't too long after I got home when I pounded down another bottle. I then began to think about ways I could consume it. I stuck a few bottles in the freezer to see if it would be good in a frozen state. (Answer is yes!) It wasn't until I woke up this morning and found several bottles laying on my desk and floor that I realized I might have to slow down on the stuff. I'm just glad it is a dairy product, and has no alcohol content what so ever.

Here is a photo of some of my empties:

When I asked a friend what the name of this yogurt like drink was and I was told it is called Yogurt. When pressed, I was told it is also called Yakult.

In other funny Korean experiences, last night on television they broadcast Alarm für Cobra 11 - Einsatz für Team 2: Countdown auf der Todesbrücke. The kicker was that it was tranlated from German into English and then subtitled. And the lead male's dubbed voice was that stereotypical low English voice usually used to dub Asian films with.

BTW, if anyone is looking to contact me in an online way, I'm now hooked up with YM (rycordell), MSM (rycordell@yahoo) and Skype.

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Watch Out William

Last night I was invited to spend some time at the local noribong. This is a place where you rent a small room equipped with some monitors, a couple microphones, and a list of songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. Oh, did I mention there is even a bubble machine for added effect. For an hour or so, the room is yours to sing to your heart's content.

Just like a little kid who watched Evil Kenievel death defying jumps, and then mimicked them, I've been influenced by American Idol. So, I took a page out of the William Hung's guide to popularity in a foreign country, and grabbed the mike.

Now I'll admit, I'm not the best singer in the world, but you gotta give it a shot. And a shot I gave it. And I've found the song that will become my signature noribong song. It will become the song that I will rock the mike with, the song that I'll try to work in on every visit, the song that soon the Koreans will start referring to as Cordell's Song, instead of the original title of Jump.

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Why Blog?

This week at Blogger Idol the them is "Why ((Insert Occupation)) Should Blog...." Well, I've decided to join in and present:

Why Missionaries Should Blog:
1. It is a great way to stay in touch with supporters, with out the boring slide shows.
2. It helps dispell the idea that missionaries are technologically challenged, hence the slide shows.
3. It broadens your potential sphere of influence to spread the Gospel. (Although it is hard to get photos of any e-converts into your slide shows.)
4. It can give people a better idea that missionaries are normal people (what ever normal is) who just happen to be living in a different location. That and we make killer slide shows.

Well that is all I could come up with. I really need to get back to making a slide show. Or even better a cool flannelgraph presentaion.

Check out other's lists of occupations and why they should blog, and even add your own at: blogger_idol

Also be sure to check out as Darren, the creator of Blogger Idol, blogs for 24 hours straight to raise some money for charity.

Currently watching:


Leggo My Eggo

On my first full day here in Korea, I went downtown with Drew and Virginia in search of food. On the way to the restaurant we spotted a pirate statue. As Drew is a avid web searcher, he knows of the whole debate over pirates and ninjas. And while some might consider him a digital pirate, he quickly pulled out his ninja suit so he could pose for this picture. He wants to prove to the world that pirates and ninjas can live in harmony.

Now, not too far from this spot I was approached by a one armed Korean man looking for a hand out. Due to my lack of command over their language and lack of any currency in my pocket, I tried to ignore the man. Well, this tactic didn't work, as he walked a few steps along side of me, and then grabbed a donut right out of my hand and sped off. You would think that having a pirate loving ninja by your side would protect you, but no, I was now donutless in this strange foreign land. And if the whole thing wasn't so freakin' funny, I might have done something. That and the donut was free anyway.

Yesterday I watched this on Korea television:
(I'll say it's not Spielberg's greatest)


First Brad and Jennifer, now this...

What has happened to commitment these days? And if the world was not broken up enough about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston breaking up, how are they going to cope with this news?

In other news, I'm jet laggin' a little. My bags are still somewhere outside of my reach. Luckily, I've traveled enough to know what extra stuff to pack on the carry-on.

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Looks Like I Made It

Tonight I'm in Taejon, Korea. After making it back to the airport in Paris, where there was a brief terror scare, I boarded a plane that flew over Russia to land in Korea. I then rode for three hours on what I could only describe as a sauna on wheels. Got to have dinner with my friend Drew. I am currently sending off a couple emails and then it is off to my new bed.

My only questions now is when will my luggage arrive and what exciting cities did it get to visit?

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On Familiar Turf

The trip keeps on getting longer. After sitting in Bloomington for hours, we eventually departed for Detroit. I am not stretching the truth when I tell you we spent less time flying to Detroit, than we did circling the airport waiting to land. Would you believe that the extra time in the air caused me to miss my flight to Amsterdam?

Luckily, a quick thinking guy at a ticket counter did some magic, and I now sit in downtown Paris. I do have to admit, it is really nice to be back in Europe. I won't be here long, in fact I need to be heading back to the airport soon. But I couldn't resist coming into the city for some French pasteries and a doner kabob.

Oh, by the way, due to my one way ticket, extra luggage, and my general looks, I've been marked, and must be fully searched, including my carry-on backs unpacked, at every airport.

Hopefully my next post will be from Korea. But the way things are going on this trip, I wouldn't be shocked if it wasn't.


Heading East

Well friends. Today I am to leave for Korea. The problem is that Central Illinois is experiencing some wicked bad fog. Something to do with global warming I think. So now I sit at the Bloomington airport waiting for my flight. This flight was originally to fly to Detroit a couple hours ago, where I was to meet a coworker on the next leg of this trip to Tokyo. Due to the delay, I'm now catching a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam.

I'll post from the next free wifi spot I can find to keep you all two of you posted on this crazy adventure.


Counting On One Hand

Somebody recently asked me what I'm doing these days. It has been a while since I've updated anything here about my employment status. Well, here is the official, straight from the source update....

I'm moving to Korea in four days to join the staff of Taejon Christian International School, where I will work in their residence program. Specifically, I will be working in a dorm with twenty four high school aged students.

Ironcially, in an Alanis Morssette kind of way, I will be working alongside Drew, a good friend from my Germany days. He is the non-leiderhosened one in this photo. (Can you believe the other guy in the photo is allowed to carry a concealed weapon?)

It is crazy to think that it only has less than two months since I interviewd for this position. Now I have a Korean visa, have passed several psychological tests, and a plane ticket in hand. Now all I basically have to do is pack.

So I guess that means in a few days I will get closer (if not complete) my childhood dream to work in countries that were basis for comedic shows about war. (Germany - Hogan's Heros and Korea - M*A*S*H)

Currently watching:


Where Are The Celebrities?

This morning I woke up with a question on my mind, "Where are the celebrities?" See it has been a week since the horrible disaster in Asia, and I've watched more than my share of the 24 hour news channels. In all the time I've watched, I've only seen a couple of reports involving celebrities, but they were about the ones impacted personally by the force like Petra, Jet, or the filmmakers who gave us "Open Water."

But I'm wondering where are those who will join together to form a super group like U.S For Africa, Band Aid, or even Musicians For Free Range Chickens. When are all the big shots who put on The Concert for New York City, Live Aid, or America - A Tribute to Heroes (a telethon for 9/11) now on DVD going to get together to show their love, support, and desire to be seen by the world?

So far the only big celebrities to show up to help out are some of the stars of the movie Alexander. I know we can do better. So if you are a celebrity, or know one, please remember: "It's true we'll make a better day,just you and me"

And if you are not a celebrity, we need to remember that, "there comes a time, when we hear a certain call; when the world must come together as one. There are people dying, and it's time to lend a hand to life the greatest gift of all... ...So let's start giving..

Best Of 2004

It is time once again for my top of the year lists. But unlike many, I decided to wait until the year was over, just incase something good made it in the final minutes of last years shot clock. So I present to you my list of the five (or so) best of 2004 in the following catagories:

CDs - Released and Purchased in 2004

1. Johnny Cash - My Mother's Hymn Book
2. Sarah Harmer - All of Our Names
3. Bill Mallonee - Dear Life
4. Mindy Smith - One Moment More
5. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (Collector's Edition)
6. Martyn Joseph - Whoever It Was that Brought Me Here Will Have to Take Me Home

CDs - Purchased in 2004, but not released in 2004

1. Nelly Furtado - Folklore
2. Sixteen Horsepower - Sackcloth 'n' Ashes
3. Dawson & Christiansen - Duets
4. Last Train Home - Last Train Home

1. Simon & Garfunkel - St. Jakobshalle Basel, Switzerland
2. Bill Mallonee/Dolly Varden/Julie Lee - Borderline, London England
3. Hooters - Z7 Prattlen, Switzerland
4. King's X - Z7 Prattlen, Switzerland
5. Fool's Garden - Isle Of Innisfree, Freiburg, Germany

Movies: Viewed in the Theater

1. Shaun of the Dead
2. Lost In Translation
3. Spider-Man 2
4. National Treasure
5. School of Rock

Movies: Viewed on DVD for the first time in 2004

1. American Splendor
2. Garden State
3. Napoleon Dynamite
4. Before Sunset

1. Postmission: World Mission by a Postmodern Generation by Richard Tiplady
2. The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century by Paul Krugman
3. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by the Daily Show Writers
4. Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli S. Rufus
5. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge

Well, that is all for then.

Currently watching:


Fear The Tsunami

Tonight as I was flipping channels, I came across the Glutton Bowl. As I didn't think I could find anything more interesting to fill part of my New Year's Eve celebration, I decided to watch. For those of you not familiar with the Glutton Bowl, it is a competition of consumption. Several athletes battled in preliminary rounds of eating, with the winners heading to the final round. Each round consisted of different foods including eggs, mayonnaise, hot dogs, cow tongue, Rocky Mountain Oysters, and sushi. This event is put on by the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating)

As I know most of you will not take the time to catch a rerun of this battle of the bellies, I will tell you that the man who needs to be feared is one such Takeru Kobayashi, aka The Tsunami. This man, who weighs in at under 140 pounds, to shame several large guys who claimed that were banned from all you can eat restaurants. In the end he consumed over 17 pounds of cow brain in 15 minutes. Now that is an appetite.

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Well, to kick off this new year, and to toss another entry into the Blogger Idol, I'm posting a list of my resolutions for 2005. And since most people break their resolutions in the first week or so, I decided to take a different angle. So here is my list:

1. Watch more reality television.
2. Collect all CDs released by former members of the Mickey Mouse Club.
3. Become more culturally insensitive where ever I go.
4. Spend less time reading, especially my Bible.
5. Add some pounds.

See others' resolutions and even add your own at blogger_idol

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