Category: Journal

IP’s 26th Anniversary Party

It was IP’s 26th year anniversary this past weekend.  It’s hard to think that this establishment has been open for just over a decade before I arrived to South Korea.  I can remember the first time I visited The International Pub in 2002.  After being in Korea for some time, I eventually met a couple other foreigners who mentioned the place to me.  You have to remember, back in this time, we didn’t have smart phones; there was no Face Book, Skype, online groups, or even easy online access for myself.  I didn’t know about IP before coming to Korea, or much on anything regarding South Korea and the Changwon area in general.  The only way for me to find things out was to go out and look.  I was living in a more isolated poorer area in Masan, so I didn’t have the access or knowledge of places like IP existing.  It was around 6 months of being here that I actually started to meet other foreigners.  The teacher that I actually replaced had mentioned the bar IP to me when I first arrived, but I am guessing I was in a little bit of culture shock and travel fatigue that the information just went right through me.
So on a weekend in 2002, I decided to be a little more adventurous and try to find this International Pub.   I didn’t have much information to go by.  All I knew was to get to The International Hotel in Changwon City.  I eventually got to this point and didn’t really know where to go next.  I was amazed at the difference to this area of Changwon compared to the area that I was living in and places I had been in Masan.  I walked up and down the road in the Jungangdong area looking for the sign to the International Pub, but, was unsuccessful.  The IP was very difficult to locate and a bit hidden away without knowing the exact building to look for.  Finally I saw what I thought to be another foreigner in the distance, and decided to walk in that direction and try to keep up in hope that this person may have been going to the IP themselves.  I saw the person enter a building as I got closer.  Went into the building myself and looked for signs of this bar inside.  I was in luck, and saw something saying that The International Pub was on the third floor.  I made my up the stairs and finally, there it was.

I was very surprised in how many people were in the bar.  I had not seen so many foreigners and non-Koreans in months.  Not since I had left Canada anyway.  I sat down at the bar and was warmly welcomed by the bar staff and the owner at the time.  Within a few minutes, I began to meet a few others living in the Changwon area.  It was really nice to be socializing in English again.  I am sure that there may have been a few people in the bar that night that I know today and that are still here themselves.  It was a fun night and a rough morning the next day, but I am to this day happy that I decided to go on my adventure to find The International Pub.

Fast forward to today, 15 years later, and I was back to help the IP celebrate their 26th year from opening (of course I have been there several times within those 15 years!).  Once again, I was happily surprised to see the turn out and the number of people that came out to help them celebrate.  For myself, most of the people in the bar were new faces to me, but there were a few others that of course knew.  People were having a great time and I got to catch up with a few others, some had had seen the week before, and others that had been some time pass since seeing.  I was another fun night, and even though I don’t make my way out to the IP much anymore (or any other bars for that matter), I am always glad that this place exists, has been here longer than myself, and knowing that it’s going to be there in the future for those times when I want to go, have a drink, and both meet new people and chat with the ones I know.

Thanks again IP for another fun Saturday night and hope there are many more to come.


City 7 and a Movie

I headed on over to City 7 the other week to do a bit of shopping.   I was also meeting a couple of friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.  We were going to meet up and catch ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ at the Imax there a little later.

It has been quite some time since I had visited City 7.  I wanted to get some shopping in before meeting my friends and seeing the movie.

When I arrived, I decided to grab a coffee and sit outside before hitting the shops.  I noticed a Star Bucks was there now.  I don’t remember that being there the last time I was here, but, maybe it was and I just didn’t notice it.  I went in to the Java Bean coffee shop as I was familiar with it, got a coffee and headed back outside.

I sat down on one of the benches, and had a look around.  There was also a new waterfall/fountain  near the middle of the center.  Don’t think that was there either, but, again, who knows?

It then dawned on me that it was possible that a lot of things have changed here since last visiting.  All of the stores that I liked to shop at may have changed or are no longer here

It was such a nice day out, I enjoyed my coffee and looked around some more.  The maintenance people were out power hosing the sidewalk areas and were slowly getting closer to where I was sitting.  Just enough time to finish my coffee and head in to shop.

As I walked in, I noticed that a big sporting goods store that was near the main entrance was closed down.  Nothing had replaced it either as the old sign for the place was still there.  Must have happened recently.  Looked around the main center area and also noticed that my ‘Tommy Hilfiger’ store was gone and replaced by a Nike shop.  Oh well, there went my main reason to shop.

I went for a walk through City 7 and it seemed like a few places had changed, which is natural, but also noticed a lot of places had closed and were vacant.  It seemed a little strange to me.  There also didn’t seem to be that many people around.  Normally this would be ideal for me, less crowds, better shopping, in and out.

I began to wonder what was going on here?

My only conclusion was that the rent for shops was probably very high and that the closing of Lotte Mart (or moving locations) also hurt.  Then I remembered that places here seemed to change or close even when City 7 first opened.  There use to be a Quiznos Subs here too that I was so sorry to see leave.

It’s too bad seeing places close or leave City 7 as it is a very nice area and an area that is nice to hangout at.  I enjoy the open concept of the place and the outdoor areas around it.  I hope that people will continue to go there, but can understand why the amount of shoppers seems to be dropping as the number of stores drop too, for whatever the reasons may be.

There were still a lot of store open, some old and some new, as well as coffee shops and restaurants.  It was still an enjoyable shopping day for me and I managed to grab some new things.

It was time to meet up with my friends and get the tickets to Mad Max.  At least City 7 has the Imax now and the theater still seemed pretty busy.

I’m not going to give my review of Mad Max on here, you can ask me the next time you see me.  I did enjoy the movie, and that’s about as much as I’ll say for now.

One thing I can recommend if you are ever going to see a movie in 3D, get the children’s glasses!

it sound funny, I know, but the 3D glass for kids are so much more comfortable than the regular one.  They are still a decent size, look pretty normal, and don’t hurt around the nose or ears as much as the adult glasses!

Trust me, it could make your 3D experience a whole lot better!

As for City 7, I still enjoy the environment and hope others, like yourself, get down there sometime, even if it’s just for a coffee.  I’m feeling bad now that it took me so long to get back over there and plan to visit more often this summer!



Making A Music Video

It was a fun couple of days filming the shots for the music video for ‘Caged’.
This was the brain storm of Paul Roberts, who wrote the song and came up with the idea for the video shoot.

I am now on a vacation and taking 4 or 5 months off from Korea and heading back to Canada.

It was great that I could fit this in and help out with the camera work.

Everyone had a great time and it was something new and different to do.

You can watch the final video cut above and find some of the behind the scenes photos here below.

Enjoy the video and looking forward to doing something like this again!