Welcome back loyal OYIT readers! If it's September 11th, 2012 then you just awoke from your hibernation, stumbled out of your cave in Northwest Pakistan and sauntered straight into an Islamabad internet cafe to see what you'd missed this summer. The surprise answer is NOTHING! Everyone on staff was too busy spending time outdoors or with their rapidly shrinking families. But now that the political conventions are over and the dust from last week's giant meteor has covered the sky, blacking out the sun for the next millenium, we're back like many of your favorite CBS and WB shows.
Today I start off a week of us recounting what we did over our summer vacations. Mine began with a bang way back in May when I deactivated my Facebook account so I could withdraw even further from my limited social network. I amplified this effect by then immediately traveling to Seoul, South Korea where Facebook is banned and everyone uses a weird social networking program called Cyworld. One thing that isn't banned, but actually celebrated, is family. I stayed with my sister, her kids and my Korean in-laws for this week long vacation and saw everything the birthplace of M*A*S*H* had to offer.
This was actually my second trip there, my first being the summer fifteen years prior. I believe it was the band Nelson who once sang: "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." In this case it was the opposite, as the Republic of Korea (as South Korea is technically known) has grown and sprawled as much as Phoenix, AZ while I'm the same as I was in 1997: tall, unpopular with women and spending well over half of my discretionary time/income on professional wrestling. Below are some of my favorite pictures from the trip with commentary, so you can understand what it was like to visit another country. Most of our readers have never been outside the state where they were born.
I sat next to this woman for the flight from Los Angeles to Seoul, which for some reason took almost 60 hours as we made one complete rotation around the Earth - ostensibly to avoid air travel regulations of the One World Government.
Buddha's Birthday is the holiday Koreans celebrate while Americans celebrate Memorial Day. Instead of having a BBQ of animal flesh they have a celebration of Buddha and a ceremony where you hang paper spheres from the sky in the hopes he blesses him.
This was a tshirt for sale in a popular clothing store in Seoul. It symbolizes how Koreans view Obama and represents a hope for unification - not between North and South but between RoK and the United States. There is no reason we could not absorb them into our growing economy.
This was taken in the Korean version of Target. As you can, they enjoy the same luxuries of modern life many of us do and have some of the same problems (dry skin).
If this story gets five comments or 500,000 pageviews I will post many more pictures of this trip - including one of me being tossed OVER the North/South Korean border where I land flat on my ass. In case it doesn't come across in my articles, I am very interested in the world outside the open borders of the United States. That's why, unlike George W. Bush, I really enjoy the experience of traveling abroad. Inexplicably Immigrations and Customs Enforcement let me back in the country upon my return. Perhaps they don't track everyone who donated to WikiLeaks!
More to come...