Last Night Was Shaking And Pretty Loud

When I told some of my friends here that I was going to the Scorpions concert, I got mixed reactions. Some questioned my taste in music, others questioned who in the world the Scorpions where. Still others just blamed my extensive stay in Germany for my interest in hearing one of the fatherland's biggest selling artists perform.

All in all, it was a rather good concert. Once again my concert luck paid off, when I purchased one of the cheapest tickets, yet ending up in the most expensive seats. As far as the band goes, I was impressed with their musicianship. I actually had to try to remember the last concert that had guitar, bass and drum solos. To be honest, I even got goosebumps during the introduction to "Wind of Change." They spoke about growing up in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, and writing the song after it fell. Klaus then mentioned that on their first day here in Korea, they visited the DMZ, and thought about how the "wind of change" could easily see a change there too. And then the whistling began...

Although the best line of the night came during the encore. They had played all of their biggest hits, save one. To introduce it, lead singer Klaus Meine announced, "Don't worry Seoul, we will not leave without rocking you like a hurricane" To which the crowd burst into wild applause. Made me wish I could drop lines like that, and for it actually make sense.

Currently listening to: Scorpions - Wind of Change


The Future's In The Air

Jumping a train soon
For a night of rock and roll
With the Scorpions.

Still need to plan trip
But just don't know where to go
During Christmas break.

Planning my future
Trying to figure out "next"
and just what that is.

Currently listening to: Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane

In The Playground On The Dark Side Of Town

"Silence" is this week's theme at PhotoFriday. This is a the playground along the Michigamme River in Republic, Michigan.


In The Midnight Hour

One last baseball game
The last game of the season
Too bad they got beat.

Yet another game
Keeping me stuck on Facebook
Their version of Risk.

Down in the subway
A photo exhibition
That includes this one.

Currently listening to: Ken Oak Band -

In The City Of Blinding Lights

"The City" is this week's theme at PhotoFriday. This is a shot of the "Symphony of Lights" in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour.


I'm Waiting In Line

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know I enjoy the Korean baseball. It is playoff time, and the local team made it into post season play. The playoffs in Korean baseball are done differently than American baseball. Here is the basic version of how it works. The top four teams make the playoffs. The fourth and third place teams play a best of five series. The winner of that then plays a best of five series against the second place team. The winner of that goes on to yet another best of five series against the top team in the league.

Last night was game three of the second series for the Hanwha Eagles. They had been beaten twice by the Doosan Bears, so it was looking like this could be the last game of the season for the Eagles. I decided it was worth switching my days off to catch it. The only problem was that it was estimated to be a sold out game, and I did not know how to score tickets.

I checked with two different people to see if they knew anything. One got back to me informing me that tickets went on sale at three in the afternoon. I headed over to the stadium an hour earlier to get in line. On the way another coworker called me to let me know that the best way to see the game was probably on television, as I would probably not be able to get a ticket. Not being one to give up easy (as the many restraining orders are evidence), I decided to give it a shot.

I am happy to say that not only did I get a ticket, but I got six. This might not be a big deal to most, but it really is. See, they were only allowing two tickets per person at the ticket window. They had signs up stating this policy, but unfortunately they were all in Korean. After I got my first two tickets, I decided to get back into line. As I approached the window, I noticed they were stopping a guy. From the gestures, pointing, and tone of voice, he had already gotten his two tickets, and they were not letting him get more. I was a little worried, as I have a tendency to stick out in a crowd of Koreans. Luckily for me, I was able to get two more, get back into another line and score two more.

The best part of the ticket buying occurred while I waited for the ticket counters to open. As the lines grew longer, an older man walked through selling dried squid. Soon one of the stadium staff tried to get him to leave, as he was not allowed to sell in that area. The squid seller began shouting and waving his squid around. For about ten minutes he created a scene yelling, running around, and even selling some squid to the occasional person sympathetic to his cause. As I watched, I wished I understood more Korean. Yet at the same time, I enjoyed making up my own dialog for the argument. I could just hear him yelling, "But the people want their squid! You can't keep the Squidman down! " About ten minutes after the police escorted him away, he was back hawking his squid.
All in all, a good day of waiting in line, followed by some fun inside the stadium. But I'll save that for the next post.

Currently listening to: Ken Oak Band -


Before The Night Owl

It is almost midnight
And Friday is almost gone
So is the deadline.

I forgot last week
Until Saturday had come
To post some haiku.

New Radiohead
Is well worth the purchase price
And yes I did pay.

I might go and see
A German rock and roll band
In concert next week.

A new addiction
Playing Scrabble on Facebook
Just wish I could win.

Am I very odd
Starting laundry at midnight
Is a common thing?

Currently listening to: Gomez -

Right Here Waiting

The PhotoFriday theme this week is "Real Life." I took this shot in Hong Kong. I am beginning to think that while on vacation the only real life is that you see in the people who are living out their normal day to day lives.


These Wholesome Memories

"Wholesome" is the theme at PhotoFriday. Last week in Hong Kong, I experienced many different culinary delights, including chicken feet. They told me that it was actually considered a very healthy dish.


It's A Small World After All

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. I decided to go to the park during a torrential rain storm with the hopes many would stay at home. This allowed me the opportunity to ride Space Mountain about six times in a half hour. I completely lost count of the number of times I rode Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters ride. I know I rode it enough to come to the conclusion that 273700 is a pretty decent score. I am also glad that I was able to visit the park before they installed the Small World ride. I think the ten minute wait at Autopia, the "hey I'm driving a car that is on a track" ride, was the longest of the day. I even had time to catch all the shows, as well as get my photo taken with all the characters.

I have been fortunate enough to walk down Main Street U.S.A. in Paris and Hong Kong. There is something interesting about visiting the Disney parks overseas. Everything feels very familiar, yet there is a foreign feel as well. Usually this is made most clear during the stage shows. All the characters are the same, but they sound so different. I'm not talking about pitch, but the language they speak. You expect to hear Mickey greet you in English, but when he is speaking in French or Cantonese it messes with your mind. Too me, it actually make me think of the many people who come to America to see the Disney parks. They might not understand the language, but they know the entertainment we have exported around the world. And in the end, freakishly large animals dancing around a stage is always good family fun.
Mickey And Friends In Cantonese

Currently listening to: Aimee Mann -


Sheets On A Hong Kong Bed

I know some of you were beginning to wonder if there would be another real post, and not just those stupid haikus and photos every Friday. To be honest, I was beginning to wonder myself. It felt like life had gotten pretty routine and boring. Last week, however, I set out like Columbus, Magellan, Vasco De Gama, and other explorers of old looking for new worlds to explore, exotic foods to consume, and stories to post on their blogs. I have returned scurvy free and full of stories.

Today I tell the tale of the Hostel from Hades. After doing some research online, I booked the cheapest one I could find. For those unaccustomed to hostel life, this is not always the wisest move. But how bad can a place be if it is located between the Holiday Inn and the Imperial Hotel, and only a block from the Sheraton? Plus with a name like Chungking Mansion, it has to be good.

As I checked in, the guy looked at me and said, "You are big guy, the room is small. This could be a problem." Fearing that this might be the only bed he has, or that he would try to upgrade me for more money, I told him it should be a problem. A minute later I realized I could be wrong. He opened the door to the closet which held the bunk bed I would be sleeping on that night. I am telling the truth that when I was spread out on the bed, my head and feet hit two of the walls. I could touch the other walls with my elbows. At least the mirror made the room feel a little bigger.
After a rough night jammed in that room, I headed out on the town. When I got back later that night, I discovered someone was sleeping on my bed. I went out to the office to discover that they had moved my luggage out and I was getting a new room on the eleventh floor. This one was better. It actually had a bathroom attached, and space to breath. Even the air conditioner appeared to work. I woke up that next morning refreshed and ready for the day.

Interestingly enough, when I returned to the room about two hours later, I found that I was being moved to yet another room. The guy claimed that they were working on the air conditioner, and that he had a room back on the third floor. The room had the space and even had the bathroom attached. Too bad it did not have a toilet seat. But hey, I have traveled this world enough to deal with that. What I was not prepared for was sharing the room with people who have no desire to enjoy cool air, or air flow for that matter, during the night. For the rest of the week, battles were fought for the control of the air conditioning. At one point, one of my roommates felt it would be better to have the windows open, allowing the hot, humid air to permeate to room. With that hot air came the sounds of one of the busiest streets in Hong Kong.

In the end, I can not complain much, as my week in the hostel cost less than a fourth of what one night at the Holiday Inn would have cost. Heck, spending eight hours in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn would have cost me more than the hostel for the week. So would I do it again, perhaps. But next time I might pack my own toilet seat.

Currently listening to: KT Tunstall -