Monday, 26 March 2012

Nuclear Summit in Seoul

Barack Obama visits Seoul for the Nuclear Summit that mostly talked the issues related with possible threats of proliferation of nuclear technology into terrorist hands.

Over 50 heads of states arrived to Seoul today with President of USA Barack Obama, Foreign Minister of Germany Guido Westervelle, Leader of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy,  Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt.

North Korea was discussed as well. New young Dear Leader threatens to launch a test missile soon. Seoul had said that it will shot down the test missile unconditionally.

Time will tell which of these promises will be held, cause the situation at the Korean penninsula is a pat if to use Chess language. North can reach Seoul and south from it ( including southern wall of my dormitory at Ajou University) with standard tactic weapons, not to mention nuclear ones. And leader of the North is crazy enough to starve his own people to death, hence he won't hesitate to strike South if it shots down the test missile. Unless Russia tells it's not her business and China stops treating Pyongyang ( formerly Phoenian) as it's little brother who needs special protection from harm.

A lot of other things had been talked at the summit and a lot of paper pages had been printed I assume. Again, time will tell weather this all paper was printed usefully or not.

Only daily real talks between leaders of the world would solve anything. If they meet only occasionally what do they think thay can achieve by that???

This is my all comment on Seoul Nuclear Summit.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Korea, free sms gate

When your beloved ones are abroad:
have you ever wondered how to reach them cheaply?

Or have you ever been in a situation that you already arrived to Korea, all your friends have cellphones and you have no connection to them? And your mobile provider demands Alien Registration Card and you wait for it endlessly, weeks are passing, formalities prolonging, life goes by you?

Here is a Free Korea SMS Gate

Hope it solves burdens of people who are in a situation I faced when I was there.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Mr Toilet

A tale of Mr Toilet who lived in a toilet house

 Korea is a remarkable country.  I love tiny cafes and restaurants, street markets and long lines of open markets with all kinds of vendors. Nice smiling people that would always stop and ask where are you from and how are you doing.

As you walk on by Korean streets full of advertising neons, K-pop music clinges to your ear and makes your day another happy one. There is this energy in the air.

And then you want to visit a toilet at times, after all we all do have to sometimes, right? I never was too much disturbed by variety of standards of Korean toilets, some of them however, were rather shocking.

There is an island on the way to Taen-gun located halfway a very long bridge, popular spot where crowds of people stop by. Probably it was in some Korean drama, because drama site is a tourism booster in that country. How surprised I was when I had seen a multiple chain of holes in the floor that had been toilets.

My smart Korean friend, Youna, who took me on that trip, said:
- But you see this is easier to maintain good sanitation. Thousands of people stop here and use it.
Hmmm indeed. But it also happens that a small tiny cafe made a toilet for it's guests in the closest gate staircase usually downstairs or between 1st and 2nd floor and that toilet is dark, rather uncleaned and defitnately had seen better times.

I cannot say I was bothered much. After all how a traveller can be bothered by anything? Beauty does not have to be always clean. It adds up to what I call unique charm of a place even if it is a doubtful charm of low class sanitation.

But apparently there was a dude that was disturbed by it all and he was 100 percent Korean. Sim jae-duck, was so pissed off with Korean toilet standards that he even founded a Korean Toilet Association.

More  than that. When he became a Mayor of Suwon, it was just before the FIFA Worldcup in 2002. Some games were held in the city not far from my alma mater, Ajou University. The Mayor thought to himself "Ok, so we have nice stadium that everyone is jealous for, nice coffee shops, awesome restaurants, goodlooking women, lots of shops, all fine. But we do not have many nice toilets."

It was then when he started his biggest quest for higher hygiene standards. He had a prostate cancer and felt weaker and weaker but still restlessly advocated for his cause. He founded World Toilet Association.

He was born in a restroom due to old belief it brings luck. Sim jae-duck built a toilet that reminds the world of those who are either not wise enough to have a clean one or not lucky enough to have one at all.

He donated his Toilet House to the City of Suwon :)

Wow, what a cool city I have been at.
Sim jae-duck died in January 2009 due to prostate cancer.