A Travellerspoint blog

October 2006

What You're All Dying to Know

...and what I don't know about it

Well, everyone has been in a tizzy over the recent nuclear tests by North Korea. Kim fired missiles a few months ago, once again turning the nation's eyes to the Korean peninsula. Then nothing happened. And now, again, N. Korea has fired. And everyone wonders, what will happen now?

Here is my understanding of the problem (and to be honest, my location in Seoul has not bettered my knowledge of this topic. I have the same access to the English-speaking news that you all do, and access to the Korean-speaking news that I do not understand, which renders it useless). For years, Kim has threatened that he would interpret any sort of UN sanctions as a declaration of war. As most of the American media says, this could be as it has always been empty rhetoric.

The Pyongyang government wants to see these sanctions lifted, as it sees its actions as defensive against the West, which would like to see a regime change, but has not declared so formally.

The North knows that it cannot launch a nuclear war without swift retribution, and indeed claims that it wishes to see a "nuclear-free Korean Peninsula." But fearful of appearing weak or submissive, the North has also said that another launch could happen.

So, in short, when asked what I think about this, I have been saying that I don't. While it alarms the recesses of my mind, it is not an out-and-out worry, and I hardly think of it day to day, particularly as time goes on. I worry more about getting paid on time, or how exactly I'm going to teach TOEFL speaking and essay to certain classes at my new job. So to my friends and family NOT living in Korea: that's all I have to say about that.

Posted by lrbergen 07:35 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Last round of Vietnam photos

Nha Trang, Saigon

Ok, I think this is it on my pictures. I finally got the last cards put onto a CD so here are some more pictures!

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Taken from the "bus" on the way from Quy Nhon to Jungle Beach. Note that the quotes indicate that this was the "bus" that was really a van meant for 12, but packed with about 21. Good times.

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View from the main house at the Jungle Beach resort. Rain. So much rain.

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My hut, separated from the beach only by a line of trees. No electricity whatsoever.

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The view from my hut, Jungle Beach.

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These were little shelters the guys set up to protect you from the sun. The beach was very secluded, populated every once in a while by dogs. Or cows.

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Look! It's me at the Cham Towers in Nha Trang! Exciting!

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More of the Cham Towers.

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And to spice things up, a black and white.

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Leaving for scuba at 7:30 am, Nha Trang.

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My first day of scuba.

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Pretending to ride Mr. Thanh's bike. I never did actually ride one. Don't let the pictures fool you.

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Taking a nap with a cigarette, here is the hard-working cook on our boat. He really did make fabulous food, all 4 days I was on his boat.

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Mr. Thanh's wife made this dinner for us and we ate on the beach under the palm trees. Fabulous.

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Mr. Thanh (left), his friend the coffee-maker, his wife and I having coffee.

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At Zippo's Bar, Nha Trang. Great bar, sage advice.

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View from our hostel, Saigon.

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With Una (Ireland) and Loren (USA). Spreading the peace sign wherever I go.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Saigon.

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A photo from the War Remnants museum, Saigon.

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Old American plane at the War Remnants museum, Saigon.

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Our crazy waiter with the flat top at Allez Boo bar, Saigon. Notice the fella in the background, not sure if he should smile because he may or may not be in the picture.

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Pho. Best. Food. Ever.

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Some government building on a beautiful day, Saigon.

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Posted on all of the lampposts, Saigon. Danger.

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A neighborhood I chanced upon when I got lost, Saigon.

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Statue at the Taoist temple, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, Saigon.

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In this pagoda, there was the "Hall of the Ten Hells" where there were mighty gruesome depictions of the fates of hell. Here is one of them.

Ok. On that note, Vietnam is finished on my blog. Kind of sad, really, but an accomplishment nonetheless. Enjoy!

Posted by lrbergen 07:16 Archived in Vietnam Tagged photography Comments (1)

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