Sunday, July 18, 2004



I really enjoyed my stay here in Korea. With all those freakish trips, visiting places, meeting people you couldn't really talk to. Walking 14 kms to see a sunrise, 30 kms on a bike (didnt post about that - cuz I suffered the "blogger burnout" towards the end), watching out for the uber cheap sales but not finding any, those Soju parties, lamyan overdoses. All of it.

Well, I guess, like all good things, even this has come to an end. I leave with a heavy heart.

I've packed my bags, cleared out my desk and my computer. Just gotta ride the bus to Seoul and then off to India.

I guess this would be the last post on this blog. Bye, Bye blog.

Bye, Bye Korea.

Monday, July 05, 2004


Pics from the Busan Trip

Will write about it later. Feeling pretty lazy right now :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004



The South Korean government has restricted access to many blog sites (,,, etc) in an effort to restrict the South Koreans from viewing the Kim Seon Il beheading video. So I'm not able to access by own blog from here. Though I can create and edit posts ( is not banned), I can not access my blog.

Until this changes I might not be able to follow up comments.... so please bear with me.

Thursday, June 24, 2004




A large elaborately prepared Korean meal consisting of chiefly pork, accompanied with various side dishes like bu·chim·gae, lettuce leaves, native grass and herbs, onions soaked in vinegar, roasted cocoons, fried eggs, and a hundred other things that you wouldn't even want to know. And ofcourse, So·ju

Tranlated literally, Sam·gyab·saal means three fold flesh.

This meal is usually served at special occasions like welcome parties, farewell parties, homecoming parties, birthday parties, graduation parties, thesis defence parties, and any other goddamn reason that you can think of. Infact other than drinking beer, this is the only way that Koreans celebrate.

The table is very low and everyone sits on small cushions on the floor around it. The table, typically crowded with more than fifty bowls, has a charcoal stove in the center over which the aju·ma places a metallic plate. Everyone gets a bowl filled with native grass & weed seasoned with exotic spices.

The charcoal stove is used to barbecue raw slices of pork, which incidentally come in an almost never ending supply. The raw pork is cooked in its own fat. Some may say the fat is cooked in its own pork, but the claim has not been proven yet.

Natives will usually use tongs and scissors, to cut the pork into smaller, more manageable pieces. They will then place the pork pieces onto small leaves, garnish it with some weeds, some cocoons, onions and god knows what! It is wildly rumoured that this small snack is delicious with exotic Korean sauces. The author would not like to vouch for this fact.

After a complete meal consisting of pork and various side dishes, comes the main course which may consist of either rice with Korean curry or icy noodles. Non Koreans would normally die of overeating at this point, but Koreans are known to have the chromosome SamgyabsaalBachillus 3TZ which enables them to eat meat and drink beer endlessly.

See also, Seng·sam·gyab·saal, which translated literally means Fresh (non-frozen) three fold flesh.


The Birthday Party!

That's a pic from the teeny-weeny birthday party our group celebrated this evening. EunYoung (yellow t-shirt) is the birthday girl, and No! I did not ask her how old she was?!

From L: Jungho Ryu, Hwajin Kim, Soonhyun Kim, Moi :-D, Eunyoung Bae, Yiseul Park

In case you missed, that's me with my foolish grin.... god I'm so happy to eat the cake! Btw, that was no ordinary cake, it was a sweet potato cake! Yes, sweet potato! And it was tasty :-p

Going out for dinner now... Soju, here I come - oh wait! I was under self-inflicted probation for two weeks. Hmmm...

PS: Photographs courtesy Eunyoung's Digicam.

Saturday, June 19, 2004


It's been raining since the past few days, but it's today that it's really hit me. Probably because I haven't got much to do, other than some routine work in the lab, you know like preparing titanium dioxide coated glass slides, loading them with dioxin, one of the most carcinogenic chemical known to man, and then blowing the shit out of it with UV radiation :-)

Yes, it's hit me today. I've been in this weird mood since morning. I dont know where my mind drifts off to.

It's really beautiful. The campus with the lush greenery, all the more beautiful with the drops of rain making every tree look greener. The soft sound of rain drops hitting every surface - music to my ears.

God - it's so romantic. Now, if only I had someone...

Friday, June 18, 2004


The night the sky was on fire...

Last Saturday there was a Firework festival in Pohang. And I waited till today to write about it, cause I wanted to do it along with the pics.

It was the most exquisite firework show I've ever seen in my life. Actually calling it "Fireworks" would be derogatory... it was an experience. A lifetime experience, I'd say.

Imagine this (if you can)....

The streets around leading to Bukbu beach were jammed. The first traffic jam I've seen in Korea till now, and from POSTECH to the Bukbu beach usually would have taken us 5 or 10 mins, that day it took us 2 full hours! Just in time for the show.

Spent another 30 mins to look for some place to park the car (Avishek's car). It was the first time I was seeing traffic rules being broken in Korea, people were breaking signals, changing lanes, making U-turns in the middle of the road. In short - it was chaos!!

Korean Mela
We were disappointed at the first glance. As they say, never judge a book by its cover, and they're right on their money! At first it looked like a Korean version of an Indian mela. The road running right next to the beach was swarming with people. There were stalls of games. The regulars were there, like shooting balloons and toppling pyramids of cans. But where else have you hooped a bottle of Chivas Regal or Johnny Walker :-D And plus, there was the stench of boiled cocoons (yes, I'm serious), live octopuses, squid and crab and freshly severed fishes :-p It's anything but food - I'm telling you.

It started...
Anyways, right at 9:30 PM (Koreans are very punctual) it started. The show I'll remember for all my life. I was standing on the beach, and right in front of me was the vast pitch dark sea, onto the left was the silhouette of a small hill, and onto the right was a huge building (some resort) behind which thousands of lights of the Posco steel factory glittered. This itself was a scene in itself... when suddenly the whole sky was lighted with a huge ball of fire accompanied with a loud sound.

The music started (there were speakers on the beach) and one after the other the sky was lit up in various shapes and colours. It was the best light and sound coordination I have ever seen.

What made it a lifetime experience was not the fireworks alone, in a moment I saw that the building (the resort on the right) was being used as a massive screen! Various scenes and graphics depicting Korea were being projected onto it's walls!

A three dimensional hologram in the form of an old man ;-)
PS: Watch Rudraaksha to get the joke!
There was more to come. After about 20 mins of this amazing show, everything stopped. And then on the horizon appeared a greenish face of an old man! It was a hologram, a light effect, I dont know how they fucking did it! And it moved. The mouth movement was synchronized with whatever he was saying in Korean.

At 10:00 PM, after 30 lovely minutes, the show came to an end with the words "I Love Pohang) lighting up the sky!

I wasn't able to capture the building being used as a massive screen but I think the pictures above will be some indication to what an exquisite show it was!

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Fortune (cookies) favour the brave!

Last night I had this funny incident with the lady in the Community Store who runs the cash counter. Being the handsome hunk in Korea that I am, I always used to get a smile from this lady whenever I was there treating myself to an ice-cream, or some noodles, or whatever.

Well, it was the sixth role of film in my camera, and I had grown really bored of clicking mostly inanimate objects or sceneries. So, after fooling around in the office clicking candid shots of all my labmates, I mustered up enough courage to go out and do some street photography. The real thing (tm)!

Well, 1:00 AM in the night, the best "street" I found for photography was the Jigok Community Store, thanks to my growling stomach. So I go up to the store, after failing to get some "interesting" shots in there, I get this bright idea of clicking the cash counter lady in action (which here implies accepting cash, and giving goods!)

I go right upto her and stick the camera in her face. And she starts blushing and giggling and shaking her head, and all that stuff people do when they become conscious. She stops one of the Korean lads, and asks him to ask me why I was clicking her snap! Well, surely I was dying to say... "Lady, I was getting bored, and this is the last shot in my camera, and I really dont know what to do with it, so I thought, why not you?!" But I realised explaining so much of English to the Korean lad would take me another hour, and it really wasn't a nice thing to say anyway.

"For memories. I go back to my country!"

Well said, Saurabh Nanda.

The Korean lad translated it to her, and immediately she bowed, expressing her gratitude.

"Indo?", she asked. I don't know how they got this name, probably from watching too much of live coverage of the Indo-Pak war, but that's what the Koreans call India!

"Yes, Indo", I replied.

Finally, I took the snap, ignoring the sneers and comments from Dhamija, who was standing in the corner somewhere, lest he be identified as a friend of mine!

The photograph was far from candid!

But anyways, while I was cooking my noodles in the microwave oven (there are two of them in the store itself)... the lady comes by with a pack of cookies, smiling from ear to ear. And offers me some cookies, says something in Korean, which I obviously dont understand! So lady, if a billion years down the line you learn english and you happen to read this blog, you'll know why I didnt mail you the prints!

Well, what the heck! If you get cookies for clicking such horrible snaps, who cares, keep clicking!

PS: This was one of the few shots I tried with the flash on - I know, it sucks!

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