Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas (or at least december) in Korea, and a very narcissistic first half-post.

Aww nuts.

I tried to fix up the pictures on this one, and instead blogger just swallowed most of the former post.

If one of the pictures that got swallowed was really special to you, request it in the comments section and I'll put it up for you.

To recap what got eaten:

most Koreans (especially females) don't show too many teeth when they smile: almost nobody smiles like this:

or this
or this

instead, you see lots of this:

and this: it seems to convey an image of modesty here; Girlfriendoseyo says it's also physiological: the muscles that pull western people's upper lips back so far are less developed in many Korean and east asian races' mouths, and mouths are shaped differently, to boot.

given such a limited range of smiles available for flirting and the working of womanly wiles, and a lot of girls have expanded their toolkit in different directions, with faces like these:

and an alarming number of knowing smiles to go with the ubiquitous puppy-dog-eyes and pouts:

this is about as toothy as it usually gets, below.

and this was the model image that brought on this line of thought: I fondly call this her "duck smile", it's amazingly common here, and on principle, I don't date women who use it.

It's cold now. Bring your old blankets to the nearest shelter.

a student gave me a sprig of oranges. i've never received a sprig of anything before. the oranges were fresh from Jeju Island (the Florida of Korea), and delicious. I love that class.

Christmas is in Korea!

What's that in the distance?

Let's look a bit closer!

Hey! What's that christmas tree made of?

yep. heineken is toasting the world. I don't have the energy to re-type my rant from before. Plus, it looks pretty in the early morning:

(oh wait: here's that mini-rant.)

That's right. In the middle of the city center, we have a big merry christmas from Heineken. Nice that they're sharing the spirit.

Would this ever fly in north america? Wouldn't the parent groups get all up in arms and demand it be taken down faster than a billboard of Joe Camel dressed as Santa outside an elementary school?

(a christmas ad from 1946)

Made me laugh.

My friend Tamie is writing devotionals for every day of advent. I love advent. Girlfriendoseyo and I had a discussion where I explained how the feeling Christmas gives me is one of melancholy, of winter setting in, but also of anticipation and hope -- the Christmas songs that touch me the most are the sacred ones of course, and of them, especially the ones about light in the darkness. Listen to the melodies and words of songs like "The First Noel" "Silent Night" "Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem" -- I remember lighting the advent candles being my favourite Christmas tradition, and the mellow, quiet mood of reading the Christmas story, or the prophecies in Isaiah by candlelight with my family, are still what Christmas means to me. Even now, I prefer the Christmas music, and decorations that set a meditative tone instead of a festive tone. Girlfriendoseyo and I walked around downtown Seoul, where a lot of lights are going up, and she preferred the green, red, and yellow lights, while I preferred the silver, blue, and white lights, because she preferred the warmth, and I preferred the melancholy.

P.S.: this is horrible: http://www.uglychristmaslights.com/

Advent. Look back, look forward, both with hope.

To my friends and family in Canada:

miss you tons.

love: Roboseyo.

P.S.: roboseyoism of the day:

White turkey meat and cranberry sauce are like country music and pickup trucks: separate, they don't make a lot of sense to a lot of people, but taken together, they explain each other's existence perfectly.

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