How We’re Flying Through Java, Brunei, Kuching, Penang, Cambodia and Thailand for Under $300

AFTER FOUR HOURS OF SHITTY MATH, I found myself awake past 11:30 last night, staring at my computer screen, clicking and refreshing as my desk lay covered in sticky pads noting various potential flight routes. PUS – CGK, CGK – PHN, BKK – PEN. Or PUS – BWN, BWN – KL, KL – BKK. PUS – CGK, JOG – SIN, SIN – BWN? Suffice to … Continue reading How We’re Flying Through Java, Brunei, Kuching, Penang, Cambodia and Thailand for Under $300

Guinsa, South Korea: Accidentally the Only White Guy Among 8,000 Koreans in an Extremely Holy Temple in the Middle of Nowhere

A VERY PARTICULAR DARKNESS envelops Guinsa at night. Arriving after sunset, I was met by the few dozen parked cars surrounded by something smaller than a village—a smattering of homes and restaurants, maybe 30 in all, mostly closed up by 8 p.m. The temple complex itself lies one kilometer uphill, wedged within a valley surrounded by mountains on the eastern border of North Chungcheong, the … Continue reading Guinsa, South Korea: Accidentally the Only White Guy Among 8,000 Koreans in an Extremely Holy Temple in the Middle of Nowhere

Busan, South Korea: Texas Street is an Angry, Lonely Place

Let me be clear: the lads only went to see boobs. This is why, after two-and-a-half hours of drinking through one of South Korea’s most notorious and least desirable red light districts—and having eyeballed disappointingly zero nipples—it seemed a good idea to ask the six-foot-two, black-leather-jacketed Russian man stumbling down the street at 2:30 in the morning: “Do you know where a strip bar is?” … Continue reading Busan, South Korea: Texas Street is an Angry, Lonely Place

Notes on Visiting a Korean Acupuncture Clinic

NECESSARY PRETEXT: I am a nervous laugher. I laugh uncontrollably in bad situations. I’ve laughed at funerals, giggled at being dumped, chuckled at the doctor’s and chortled at the dentist’s. So it should come as no surprise that, after my first half-marathon resulted in a strikingly painful bout of runner’s knee, my first visit to a Korean acupuncture clinic was a seemingly delightful experience, as I … Continue reading Notes on Visiting a Korean Acupuncture Clinic

A Long Way Back

THERE ARE TWO directions from South Korea to Canada: a long way back, and a short one. I’m not speaking in metaphors here: one is literally 10,799 kilometres, while the other is closer to 15,444. According to this online distance calculator, when I tried to drag the location marker across to Toronto from Busan over Europe, by around Iceland it simply suggested flying over the North Pole … Continue reading A Long Way Back