Saturday, May 3, 2008

Resale Joy

This morning, Justin and I went downtown to What the Book, which is, as far as we know, the only English used book store in the country. I've built up some extra books here that I don't plan on keeping forever, but I wasn't sure if it would be worth selling them. Used book stores are notorious for not paying for romance because they get published and sold in such large numbers (there's some twisted economic thinking for you there). In the US, at Half-Price books, I've gotten seven dollars for an entire bag of books.

I took 3 romances and a wide-release hardcover by a bestselling author (I figured I'd at least get some money for that) to try it out before lugging everything downtown.If I couldn't get a good rate, I figured I'd try for a bookswap with some other teachers or donate anything age-appropriate to the school library.

What, then, did they give me for my four books? $4.50 for my three romances and nothing for the hardcover, because it's now available in paperback. That means I got $1.50 for each romance. This is insane. I have NEVER gotten anything CLOSE to this rate before. In the US, I'd be lucky to have come out of there with a dollar, total.

Used Paperbacks here usually retail for $4-$5.The idea that I could pay for one new book by selling back three... Wow. I honestly can't stop thinking that this was a mistake and next time I go in, I'll get the dollar.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mah bukit:

... I has found it.

What was it doing in Malaysia? Srsly.

PS. If this post makes no sense to you, check here. It probably still won't make any sense, but at least you'll know why I was so amused.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cherry Blossoms

Just some shots of the playground by the school, which I took a few weeks ago. Pretty, huh?

By now, everything's gone green.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Glory of the Noraebang

Still sitting on some Japan pics, but with parent-teacher conferences and the aftermath of the trip (read: 8+ hours of sleep per night for a week), it's been tough to find time.

Of course, our utter musical hedonism this weekend didn't really help. This marked our first noraebang doubleheader--a considerable slide down the long, slippery slope to addiction. For those unfamiliar with the noraebang, or "song room," it is undoubtedly Korea's greatest contribution to the world, with all respect to King Sejong, of course. (And East Asians argue back and forth over who invented it first.) Anyway: in the West, weekend warblers have to belt out their tunes in a classic karaoke bar, in front of dozens of strangers all competing for time on the same open mike. In Korea, though, karaoke establishments rent out small private rooms to parties of 2-10, which not only cuts down on the competition for mike time, but also ensures that any flops will only leave you humiliated in front of your closest friends.

Call me hooked.

And this weekend, Nana and I indulged twice: once at the humble Brown Noraebang in our apartment building, where we sang with college buddy and amateur rock god Mark Lee, and once with a crew from the school at a spacious "luxury noraebang" in the Hongdae neighborhood downtown. Never in my life had I imagined that one day I would wake up with my vocal chords sore. Before this year, I didn't even like to sing!

In related news, Nana has scored a cult hit among the coworkers with her rendition of Europe's "The Final Countdown," rated as VH1's "Most Awesomely Bad Metal Song Ever."