Monday, 4 June 2012

Things I Didn't Tell You About

This blog is supposed to function for me as a type of diary but there are so many things I haven't told you about. For instance:

I discovered a quaint little jazz club which I went to last week. Because of it's small size it has a very intimate feel to it and the music is too loud as is often the case in the bigger clubs. It has a cute French name: "La Cle", which means "The [Musical] Key".

The week before I went to another jazz bar that I had once seen while passing in a bus called Tokyo Jazz. Unfortunately the live performance started rather late (21:30) and I had already bought a movie ticket for later. I'll definitely have to go back there some day and get a feeling for their live performances.

Image Source

Yesterday I went to a jiu-jitsu tournament. It was surprisingly boring. Maybe the action and technical expertise improved later in the day, but by around 15:30 I left to meet up with my Taekwon-Do instructor.

There was this one guy standing in the back somewhere without his shirt on and at one time he did this Michaelangelo's David-pose that I just had to get a picture of.

One thing about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it gives you nice abs.

Last Monday was Buddha's Birthday, a national holiday ion Korea. I decided this year to use this period to get to know more about Korean Buddhism, so the week before I went to a seminar on the benefits of Seon Meditaion. "Seon" is the Korean word for "Zen".

And on Buddha's Birthday I went on a tour of some of the major Buddhist temples and sights in Seoul.

There were many great photo opportunities and I also got to take some videos of some dance performances done by some of the Buddhist monks (and nuns) in their celebrations.

Two weeks ago two students, Jen and Taewon, from the ITF dojang where I am involved tested for their first degree black belts. I've been very involved with especially Taewon's training and do feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments.

About three weeks ago I visited a Korean friend of mine in her hometown, in Heongseong. She, her husband, and I went on an easy, yet beautiful mountain hike in the area. We also got to catch up a bit. It had been about a year since we had spend any time together.

It was nice to see the farm we she grew up again. The picture above is of the house she lived in as a child. Her parents still live on the farm, but they had build themselves a more modern country house in the meantime.

Two Fridays ago I went to a Taekkyeon demonstration. The photo above shows some of the traditional ("farm") musicians getting ready. Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean folk martial art that is usually accompanied with traditional folk music. I miss Taekkyeon. I've suspended my Taekkyeon training a year ago because of time constraints and in order to save money for familial matters.

In April I hosted a Jeet Kune Do workshop. The guest instructor was Dr. Zee, somewhat of a self-made Jeet Kune Do celebrity and also an accomplished Oriental Medicine doctor.

I also travelled to Chuncheon with a friend visiting from Egypt in April. It was memorable.

Also in April I went to a theatre production of a friend of mine. She was both the writer and director of the play called "The Bag". She used different bags (backpacks, handbags, briefcases, etc.) to symbolize the emotional things people carry with them: their past, their burdens, their hopes and dreams. Although the play was completely in Korean and I could therefore only understand it in part, I still enjoyed it a lot. The lighting and choreography was brilliant and the acting very engaging.

This past weekend I had to go to our department's freshmen camp. The freshmen departed for the camp on Thursday already and stayed until Sunday -- us faculty only had to go for Friday evening until Saturday afternoon. Usually I have to share a room with another faculty member, but this time we all had our own rooms, and what a room it was! A big bed, with a widescreen TV and a bathroom with a jacuzzi!

There are probably many other things I've done which I cannot remember now, such as movies I had watched. Mirror Mirror is not worth wasting your money on. Snow White and the Huntsman is. Julia Robberts' rendition of a disturbed wicked stepmother / witch sucks; Charlize Theron's is exquisite.

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