January Video

At the start of January, Elysabeth and I spent our time coping. We lost our little Molly. Still, to this day we giggle and remember her quirky little self. But this month, instead of my usual clip to clip video of Seoul, I decided to make a little tribute to the tiny pup.

Oh yeah, this is also my video for the month of January. ;-)

...get Lost my friends.


Wizard Shoes

I've been at my kindergarten for a long while now and at times I have been put into decision making positions. With that came the responsibility to hire people.

This experience was fascinating.

Applicants were aloof. Resume's were hilarious. And people simply blew it. But the other day I chuckled when I thought about one interview in particular.

Let's call him the British Taekwondo Master. He had long, pony tailed, blonde hair. A very nicely cut, grey three-piece suit and Benjamin Franklin style bi-focals. His face looked kind and his 6-foot frame stood lean and athletic.

He came to Seoul to pursue his dream of winning international Taekwondo competitions and in the interview intricately weaved me through how the Taekwondo masters in London established him as the next best thing. At which I replied with no words but a short glance at the colorful bookshelves with children's books, thinking, "Did you know you are interviewing to teach 4-year-old's how to say 'hello'?"

The interview felt like a vortex of odd. He talked. We didn't. He kept moving his hands in wavy yet circular motions as he spoke. My hands stopped taking notes. His eyes were serious. Mine were understanding, yet very confused. Simply, odd.

The interview ended when he said, "To be honest, and please understand me Mark, I feel like the Taekwondo spirit brought me to Korea, and even to the this office, to speak to  you, Mark."


As he left, he bowed very sincerely. Then put on a not-so-subtle pair of pointy suede shoes because in Korea you leave shoes at the door and wear slippers inside.

The vice principal, looking perplexed,  then quickly asked, "Why does he wear the shoes of a wizard?"

To which I replied, "Good question..."

...get Lost my friends.


Subway Observations

These days I ride the subway a lot. I recently started a job coaching soccer in English and the school's location caused a big jump in my commuting. So, three times a week, I spend close to 2 hours riding subways, buses and walking. It's nice, kinda. I read more, reflect more, but more than anything, I unintentionally observe my Korean compadres.

This brings us to today's post, Subway Observations.


In the midst of a brutally compact subway car sat an old lady. Small in stature, frail and sleepy. She looked like any other old woman on the subway but for some reason, I stood peering in her direction.

She sat with closed eyes and hands crossed. Again, nothing unusual but as the announcement rang over the loud speaker, "Next stop, Dongjak station," she casually opened her eyes and wiggled into a position to get up. But, she quickly realized the solid wall of people right in front of her and between the seat and the door.

"Uh, oh," I thought. "She'll never make it."

I stood corrected. She very gently grabbed hold of a young Korean girl's arms who stood directly in front of her. And in that moment, a very beautiful transaction of affection occurred. The old lady lifted herself up and with only a nod or two they successfully shuffled and switched positions. The old lady then scooted her way through the thick kelp-like crowd to the door. She made it, like so many times before in life.

In these moments a very distinct stirring of appreciation happens inside of me. I really appreciate the innate kindness Koreans show toward one another. Sure, this is not 100% the case, but it's definitely not rare. It's common to see, and I truly love seeing it.

It keeps a person kind, even in the midst of terrible subway rides. Beautiful.

...get Lost my friends.