I’ve been poking around Nu Flickr to see if I can choose the size of these linked images. I suppose you clicking on the photo above to see it in all of it’s 1200 pixel wide glory is something I should be pushing.
Last night I was hipped to an article written by a Korean teacher about all of the things foreigners need to keep in mind when working in Korea. I feel confident that I can sum it up as, “The pathological attachment to Confucianism in our culture means that my life is shit and I can’t do anything about it except drink the misery away. You fighting against that makes my life even more difficult. Please do as I do and suffer.”
I do think that adapting to the culture you live in is important, but only to a degree. Once you feel you’re being moved into situations that make you uncomfortable that’s where you need to draw your line. You don’t need to go see a prostitute with your boss if you don’t want to. If your religion forbids booze, don’t drink it. Vegan? Good luck on getting fed, but you still don’t have to eat Korean BBQ with everyone else. There a lot of things you can put your foot down on that might make you unpopular, but they will be accepted by the locals.
If you do find yourself drawing lines non-stop… and more importantly: You find that you’re the only expatriate there who is drawing these lines… Then this is a sign for you to get out. Your quest to visit every locale in PSY’s Gentlemen video is not worth you being miserable for a year.
Or you can stay there, napping on the last train because that’s the only peace you can find.
This is a scan of a print of a photo taken with the Pentax MX, my training camera.
Let’s talk about the greatest weakness of digital photography: The death of your data.
My external hard drive died two weeks ago. (UPDATE: About 70% of the images were rescued.) This came at the exact same time as I was on the verge of flying back to Japan to strangle the entire corporate structure of my previous place of employment… I tell yah, Japan is pretty good to work in for the most part. But once you’re gone you can fuck off and die as far as they’re concerned… So the death of the hard drive was the shit icing on the shit cake.
My iPhone visiting Brick City was the shit ice cream piled on top of it.
See, photography is only as good as the medium you store the images on. And while film might have a century before the souls escape from it, digital is gone with the next hardware failure.
This happens to my comic files a lot too. I’m generally a nomad. I go where the ESL Edutainment jobs are. Things get shaken, smacked, and lost when you go from nation to nation. And since most non-moving storage devices like memory sticks and DVDs don’t have nearly enough storage capacity needed for today’s high rez imaging they’re not an option. For the most part I can live with my lack of saving things properly, but sometimes I’d like to blog about something and without a decent image to go with it none of you will care.
Long story short: Buy two or three external hard drives and make copies on all of them. Even the terabyte ones are affordable. If you don’t, you’ll be like me and only have what you’ve littered around the web.
It can happen to youuuuuuuu~
This is the subway in Fukuoka. It looks like the app was Hipstamatic. Forget which station I was pulling into here so I’m going to say it’s Akasaka just because it’s fun to say. Try it.
I think this picture is of Jongno Station in Seoul, but I’m not sure. I took it like seven or eight years ago now. A lot of water has been pissed over the bridge since then and my photos of that era are almost like looking at Mars Rover photos: Kind of familiar. Kind of alien.
I keep telling myself I’m going to tell a story about my expat experiences one day after I get enough distance and a better sense of perspective about them. That way I can tell it without bile being spit over everything… Well, I keep telling myself I’m going to make a comic about it. But since I haven’t been able to finish anything I start in that arena over the past six years I doubt that’s going to happen either.
I took this with a Pentax MX, I believe. At the time the 1200 pixel wide image I have in my files was a monitor-filler. Now it’s got plenty of space. In another five years, all of my images will be postage stamps thanks to the continued increase of screen resolution. I would feel smug about it being on film and thus being rescannable at a higher resolution, unlike my fixed resolution digital images. But I bet it’ll be hell to get something to scan it with by then for less than the cost of a murder.