Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Adventures in Revolutions...

Back at the beginning of February, I mentioned I was reading The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. If you have ever been frustrated, put off, or disenchanted with the Christian Church in North America, it's well worth the read. I should have been finished it long ago, but I put it down for a while to stew. I picked it up again last weekend, and was struck by this quote from Kaj Munk, a Danish pastor killed by the Gestapo in 1944:

"... remember the signs of the Christian Church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish ... but never the chameleon."

I fear that in an attempt to seem more appealing, the church in North America has become a chameleon. Some are changing to seem trendy and hip, others to become more like the glossy mega-churches who place a higher value on a new sound system than they do on feeding the poor, or fighting for justice in their own neighbourhoods. Just a thought.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Adventures in Wishing I was Surprised...

I read the following headline this morning, and while I shook my head, I must confess that considering the state the article hails from, I wasn't surprised.

"Texas bill makes it easier for the blind to hunt with guns"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Adventures in a Blooming Campus...

Last year at this time (well, technically this time last year was two weeks later than it is this year), there was only one nice day to get some shots of cherry blossoms on campus, and my camera battery let me down. This time, I'm happy to say, I spent yesterday walking around campus snapping away. Well, I guess that really, a digital camera doesn't snap; but to say that I spent yesterday wzzhring away just doesn't have the same appeal.

I thought y'all might like to take a peek at what I see on my way to work every day. Loverly, ain't it?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Adventures in Misadventure...

Last weekend was indeed a comedy of errors.

The Expectation:
A few friends and I would take a mini-road trip to Andong (about an hour and a half away). There,
we would have dinner at a delicious galbi restaurant. We would stay at the Windmill hotel, take long relaxing baths in the whirlpool tubs, and go hiking around the adjacent lake. The next day, we would find a museum or folk village to explore for an hour or so before heading home.

Rise and Shine:
On the day of departure, I got up around 7 o'clock. It was still as dark as night outside. By 9 o'clock, the rain, thunder and lightening had begun. Eventually, the storm abated, and 3 of us loaded ourselves into the car. As soon as we got off campus, it started to hail. Undaunted, we began our trip as all good road trips should begin: with breakfast at McDonald's. I have never in my life had such slow service. We were the only 3 customers in the joint, yet I'm convinced a carton of expired yogurt could have moved faster than the waif behind the counter.

Andong! :
After a rocky start, but a good Egg McMuffin, and a little more hail, we made it to Andong. We drove straight to the hotel to unpack and settle in, only to discover that the hotel has gone out of business. Gone. Kaput. Abandoned. Stalwart travelers that we were, we made our way to the galbi restaurant to recoup and refuel. When we got there, we were the only customers around. The woman who owns the place remembered us from last time, and invited us to stay at her place next time we're in town. She was so happy to see us, she actually sat down next to me and not only cooked our food for us, but FED IT TO US too! It was more than a little odd.

The Mountain Cabin:
Will full bellies, we set out to remedy our accommodation difficulties. We found an ad for a mountain cabin that looked nice. (Hiking was still on our agenda, now that the rain had cleared.) We called, asked for rates, asked if they had a bathtub, and asked if they had room for the night. Receiving an acceptable answer to all of the above, we set of down the highway. Then up a hill...around a bend...through a village...up, up, up into the mountain and deep deep deep into the woods. We found the cabin, grabbed our bags and headed for the front desk; the empty front desk. We called the number again, and were informed that there was a special event on at the cabin this weekend, and they were all booked up. Right. Thanks. So we drove back out of the woods, back down the mountain, back through the village, back around the bend, back down the hill and onto the highway.

The Seaside Hotel:
Eventually, after driving back to Andong, through Andong and out of Andong again, we wound up in YoungDuk. We found a seaside hotel that looked promising. We went to the front desk and asked our standard round of questions
: rates, bathtub, room for the night. We were good to go. We hauled our stuff up into the room, flopped on the beds, looked gloomily at the tubless shower, and had a cup of tea. By this point, the day was nearly spent, and we were looking forward to a nice walk on the beach, in lieu of a hike through the woods, the next morning.

The Next Morning:
Rising early-ish, we threw open the curtains to enjoy our ocean view. All we could see was noxious yellow sand. (For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know all about this seasonal phenomenon. If you're not familiar with it, check out my post from April 18th of last year.) The sand levels were rated 'hazardous', and residents were warned to stay indoors with all doors and windows closed. We closed the window, watched a movie on TV in our hotel room, checked out and drove straight home.

The Icing on the Cake:
I sat down on Monday to chronicle this fun, entertaining, but disaster of a trip in my blog. Three sentences from the end, my computer froze and I lost the whole thing.