Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seoul Flughafen

Seoul Flughafen
Originally uploaded by Jens-Olaf
politisch unkorrekter Motorradhelm, aber keiner weiss das.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shawn Matthews 1974-2006

Foto taken by Shawn Matthews

Shawn war einer der ersten englischsprachigen Blogger in Korea, später in China. Vor einem Jahr hat er sich das Leben genommen. Nicht Wenige haben aufgrund seiner Schilderungen aus dem fernöstlichen Alltag den Schritt nach Übersee gewagt. Seine beiden Blogseiten Korea Life Blog und China Life Blog sind nur noch in Fragmenten vorhanden.
Korea Life Blog
China Life Blog
Shawns letzter Post, 'bye everyone'.

Jake in Peking versucht seine Erlebnisse mit Shawn festzuhalten. Sein Post am 23. Mai.

Das Foto oben, ein Friedhof in Korea.
R.I.P. Shawn Update 2012: Seine Seiten sind zum Teil noch da, der Chinateil fast verloren. Nur ein Blogabschnitt ist da, obwohl das Account auch teilweise von jemanden anderem benutzt wird. Goodby everyone. Die Kommentare sind jetzt geschlossen. Das ganze Situation gefällt mir nicht. Teilweise vergessen, teilweise wieder hoch geladen, teilweise zerbröselt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ein Arbeitsplatz in Osnabrück

Ein Arbeitsplatz
Originally uploaded by Jens-Olaf.
Ein Blogpost zu diesem Photo

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Foto-Essay Korea

Gehörte ursprünglich zu diesem Buchprojekt 2006/2007:
Galbibbook, Expats über Korea
Die Photos müssen noch eingefügt werden:
In 1996 a North Korean submarine was stranded on the shore in South Korea. Most of the crew members did suicide or were killed by their commander but a few managed to escape. They fled into the mountains and a 49 day long manhunt by the ROK-Army began. The media covered this as a headline hourly every day. This incident seemed pretty serious as such North Korean spy infiltration had almost stopped in the 80s.

While the South Korean military was tracking down the surviving North Koreans, we were spending our vacation on the Songjeong beach near Busan with my parents who flew in two weeks later than we. The tension between North and South was already mounting and people were told, the situation was near to war. But it has been always like that.

Despite all, we were enjoying the gorgeous and crispy September sunny day at the Songjeong beach. It was off season, so empty and quite. Songjeong beach was than reserved area only for the military then. On that day some military unit was drilling because of the incident (this is what I learned from the officer on the photo later on. My wife noticed that one officer had been watching our direction for a while. So I thought he's going to kick us out any time, because it could be dangerous staying there because they were also shooting some kind of drilling ammunition with a tiny parachute attached to it toward the sea.

He finally came to our direction and approached us with shy smile. My wife acted as if she weren't Korean all along. He could speak English a little. We chatted a little asking each other the usual where-do-you-come-from sort of questions. We tried to keep the conversation going on. He was searching for something to talk about. Then he told me he has black belt in Taekwondo and asked me whether I wanted to see it. Before I answer to him he pushed his riffle in my hand and showed me his Taekwondo skills. Until that very moment I had never had a weapon in my hand before.

Ten years later we went to the same beach again in August. The military was still there but not to drill instead to spend their summer day off. The beach is more or less open to the civilians now. New roads had been paved direct to the beach front. As a result the beach was as jammed pack with people as Haeundae in Busan.

The coast is not guarded permantly anymore, times has changed.
Near Pohang the soldiers were allowed to have some drinks spending their sparetime. It's a beach where army members with family can join. They enjoyed their one day off.
And another scene from Songjeong beach 2006

Small factory 1993

My 42-year-old brother-in-law ran a factory in Busan with about a dozen employees which produced handles for pots and pans. Business was done by telephone only. No computer,no fax. He always had cash problems like many other small business owners because he was seldom paid by cash for his products by the pot makers. Even in the 90s it was still a practice to make a payment by so-called "promisary note", a sheet of paper which promises cash payment in 3 to 6 months whereby the parts suppliers had to buy the raw material with cash. Sometimes the pot makers couldn't pay him on time so he got pots and pans as a payment. So my 72-year-old mother-in-law sometimes sold them to the neighbors by word-of-mouth. She even once opened a shop to sell them because there were just too many of them.

My mother-in-law opens the shop with a ceremony.
She threw some salt towards the door after the first customer did not buy anything. It was to keep the bad ghosts away.
And the factory in Seoul
Even today these small manufacturer can be found everywhere, Busan, Yong-do

History and TV drama 1996
Koreans living far away from their home country sooth their homesickness by watching TV dramas. Copied dramas are circulated among expat Koreans in US, Germany etc. When they get a whole set of new mini drama, they most probably watch them throughout the night until they eyes ach. It's mostly about triangle love stories with delicate family-and-friends relationships. But the other popular TV dramas are about the history: from Koguryo to Chosun and the Japanese occupation to present. It seems that the popularity of the history dramas didn't subdue ever since I got to know the country. Germany has a difficult history too but it is focused only on last century. A drama about the killing of the Emporess Min was being filmed when I visited the one of the palaces in Seoul. This image shows japanese military assaulting the palace one hundred years ago.


Changing Seoul
Mid 90s the old Japanese colonial government building on the Gyungbok palace ground which housed the national museum then was a thorn in the eyes of the Koreans. The last sign of the Japanese occupation was being tearing down five decades after the independence. A similar development happens in Berlin where they are dismantling the People's Palace of the GDR in the center of the city right now.

Korean history
We were hitch hiking through South Korea in 1994. Visiting some ancient ruins. Here a stronghold of the Paekche period. It was a ruin and we felt sorrow that history would vanish this way. We got to know recently that this site has been rebuild and changed for better.

A restaurant 1996-2006
This restaurant has survived the Asian crisis of the last decade. Always it has offered rawfish as main dish. Often they get fresh sea food from the coast near Busan. Therefor some divers are taking a small boat early in the morning. If the restaurant is packed with guests they try to serve as fast as possible. When they are too exhausted later they go to sleep at the same place after midnight.
The most exposed place for having dinner or lunch in Busan

Sense for improvisation
The first surprise in Korea was to see how they are doing things like connecting a new phone number to the net. In one day. In Germany we had to wait for weeks after moving in a new home. The man from the telephone company just climbed up the telegraph-pole, one foot on a huge nail or something alike. 1993

It can't be in Europe 1993
There are Buddhists and recently new Christians statues too, spreading throughout the cities

If you are staying far away from Korea occasionally bad news reach you through media. Some accidents, a collapse of a shopping mall. This time a taifun which caused a terrible impact on the ships in all Busan bays. Some people did not survive the incident.

On my first stay we bumped into a demonstration in Busan during night. The change toward democracy was done already but people were not sure if a set back could happen. Just too close to the recent past. The athmosphere was tensed but nothing happened.

Beeing a miguksaram: Some like the attention they get as foreigner in Korea, some not. This girl did not know that the kindergarten children were looking at her. Or was it the popcorn? In a park in Seoul 1993

No food but this guy chared his rice on Chiri-san, South Korea, early in the morning.June 1994.
We were reaching Chirisan peak awaiting a hostel with food to buy. All wrong. We ended up in a big hall during night, left side men, right side women. We had no sleepingbags. So she was allowed to sleep between us at the man side to get some heat from the bodies. It was damn cold. When all people left the place for catching the sunrise, we three stayed at the place having breakfast. The soldier, who had his one week vacation of the year shared his food with us. The home of his family down in the valley below.

To spend time on a hobby is a new experience in Korea. It's obvious that there are not many sailing boats along the coast. Here are some beginners trying to master a recently unknown sport.1996

Learning for school is much harder for Koreans than German students. During evening they are coming home. They enter the subway and busses in a certain rhythm. First the younger ones and before midnight 16, 17 years old students. But it seems they like their school even during summer holidays. The children were playing with the equipment of the kindergarten which is in the same building. 2006

Sports, summer and daytime

Siesta in Spain, it is because of the heat, no activity during lunchtime. In Korea the summer has temperatures as high as in Southern Europe but often plus the unbearable humidity. The photo was taken around 1pm on a mountain peak above Gimhae. 34-36°C.

In Europe they often say Korea would have no tradition in soccer. This was 10 years ago, a playground in an apartment complex.
Nowadays the enthusiasm for the national soccer team is even greater than in Europe. The Korean fans are louder, more creative and more enduring than the boys from England.
Two Koreans in Germany preparing for a worldcup match in Hanover 2006.
To be a fan of the national team, 'Be the Reds'
Be prepared, no action without food
Be there, not alone
Get a flag
Follow his instructions
Do not forget to sing, here is a list of songs
At the end you are waiting impatiently for the final whistle. Cause you have lost your voice from cheering and shouting, you are close to dehydration. And at the end the south korean team won her first worldcup game outside the homeland. Great.
[Jens-Olaf Walter]

Monday, May 07, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hier ist nicht nur eine Tuer zerbrochen

Woodstock Tallinn
Originally uploaded by Jens-Olaf.
Mehr zum Woodstock in Tallinn in den vorherigen Posts.

Woodstock in Tallinn

Der letzte Post dreht sich um die Ereignisse in Tallinn, besonders der Angriff auf den Musikclub Woodstock. Bis jetzt bin ich noch nicht dazu gekommen, das alles aufzuarbeiten.
Hier ein Fundstueck zum Woodstock aus dem Internet:
Im „Woodstock“ ( [EE])
lebt die Hippie-Ära wieder psychedelisch bunt
auf, Live-Bands spielen dort auch.

Nachtrag: Das ist der Bericht: Warum das Woodstock?

Thursday, May 03, 2007


At tuesday on estonian tv there was shown a video footage of the siege and later storming of the music pub Woodstock in Tallinn during the riots and looting last week.
The guests had to defend two severe rounds of attacks. I walked there yesterday to take some pictures from the scene, I did not intend to go inside.
But then I saw two people going in through the covered doors. They were broken before.
First I walked to the shop behind, two step upstairs. Kind of Heavy Metal stuff, t-shirts and dark colored items are selled there. A young guy,with long black hair, roughly explained how his shop survived the attacks, the inside doors not broken. I asked him about the rumors that the so called estonian scinheads were apparend in the Woodstock nearby, maybe a target for the angry crowd outside. He explained that, yes, one could call them scinheads but not in the way we ussually imagine them. 3 or some of them supposed to be among the guests at that night. These Estonian scins view themselfs rather as security guards, not the guys who go out and insulting people. Let s call them small sized scinheads.
Then I asked if the Woodstock pub downstairs is open already. Yes he said and I went down. A cellar, kind of alternative sub culture we have in Germany, that s the way the environment looks like. I went further on and behind the bar there was a room where 6 or 7 people around the table were sitting and had a meeting. They were looking as they were part of a left wing anarcho scene, rather the opposite of scinheads. They saw me passing and one asked me what I was looking for. They were in a state of beeing pissed off with everything. I directly explained that I had seen the video before. And that I am covering this, but before I wanted to put the things the right way. Eventually one woman offered me to follow upstairs. She was the one with a perfect English. Going upstairs in the Woodstock we arrived in an after war space. Things broken, already piled up after cleaning 30 hours since the attack. They wanted the Woodstock to reopen it the other day. Also a reason why they were looking stressed out, but it was their pride to show they are there beside the experiences of that night. I started questioning how they defended the pub. All windows broken, and a hill of street stones shows what the attackers used as weapons among other things. Also fires were made with molotov coctails. The reason why the pub survived the assault were the socalled scins. They were throwing back the stones. Most other guests were hiding deeper behind the scene. The bar was strong enough to withstand the impact. Tables were turned with the plate towards the windows and used as barricades. When damages continued and the angry crowd outside were growing up to 200 people as they said, the guests found a way out. The rioters stormed in. At one point one thing the rioters did not realize, the way the guest had disappeared - something I should not explain - the Woodstockers find a way that saved their lives, as she remember it. The remaining rest of the pub was broken into pieces.
She knows an Argentinian restaurant owner who always emphasized that Estonia is a real quiet place comparing to others, now he wants to leave.
And only Estonian journalists and crews were there to cover this part. So it will be news only among Estonians. But that s the way it is.
Woodstock 1

Unten im Foto sind die zerbostenen Toilettenschuesseln zu sehen. Die extrem harte Steinplatte des Billardtischs in Truemmern. Viele Einrichtungsgegenstaende sind auch durch Feuer zerstoert.
Woodstock 2
Woodstock 3

Nur ein Teil der Steine

links die Tische, die als Barrikaden benutzt wurden, rechts die Bar, die die Verteidiger vor den Steinen schuetzte.
Woodstock 5

Eine zerborstene Tuer, rechts oben das Schloss.
Woodstock 6

Die Waffen unter anderem
Woodstock 7
Woodstock 8

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Originally uploaded by Jens-Olaf.
Bin zur Zeit in Estland - das Fersehen in Deutschland hat ausfuehrlich berichtet. Deshalb ist alles bei
eigentlich muesste hier mal ein ausfuehrlicher Bericht rein, aber das schaffe ich erst naechste Woche.