Tag Archives: facebook

Making An Impossible Challenge Possible

2 Apr

I have been so lazy with my blog so far this year and for that I truly apologize. Usually I write about the big goals I have set for myself then post regular updates on whether those goals have been successful or not.

For Lent this year, I vowed to give up my two biggest vices; Facebook and Alcohol. I decided not to post about this because I was sure, like every other year, that it would most likely be an epic fail and would be a bit embarrassing to admit defeat!

For anyone who knows me in person, you know how much of a party animal I can be. For the sake of my liver, my general health and maybe even my sanity, this needed to stop! As for Facebook, I realised I was totally addicted. I think most people I know are pretty addicted to Facebook, but I discovered that I really do post an obscene amount of times each day and it was wasting so much of my time. I de-activated my profile, un-installed the Facebook App from my phone and vowed to everyone who would listen that I would be staying off Facebook for the grand total of 47 days (None of that cheating on Sunday’s nonsense….I know my Dad would not let me get away with that!!)

lent2014

 

As you may or may not have guessed, this particular challenge was nigh on impossible for me. I could list a million excuses as to why I could not stay away, many of them genuine and a few made up, but I will not go into details and instead will admit total defeat. In fact within 6 short days I had logged back on and posted the “Pharrell Williams – HAPPY – I am from Seoul” video which I filmed and edited. It seemed nothing could keep me from sharing the good stuff in life with friends and family. I was told off by some close friends and soon deactivated for another few days but FOMO (fear of missing out) settled in pretty bad and soon I found myself logging in again and decided this was one battle that, for the moment, I was not up for fighting. Facebook, for the time being, was staying out.

As for the other half of my lenten fast, I am delighted to say that I have, miraculously, stayed off alcohol for over 1 month now and have even decided to EXTEND this no-drinking extravaganza for another month. The hardest day of all was St Patrick’s Day, but once that hurdle was complete, the rest of the month was a breeze.

So what makes an impossible challenge (for me!) suddenly possible? How is this, Lent 2014, the first time in a decade that I have successfully managed to give up drinking? The answer to this question is one small little word. One word which changes everything. And that one word is….Running.

For the first time in about a decade I have seriously committed to getting in shape and am doing this by running. Every morning and every evening. Sometimes in the gym, sometimes around town. Up hills, along tracks, over bridges. Up stairs, down stairs, in stadiums, down motorways. For the past month I have committed 100% to running and it has been an incredible experience and one which I hope I will keep up for the foreseeable future. As part of this new found love, some friends and I signed up to a variety of 10km races all over Korea which have been great fun and these shorter races even led me to signing up to and completing my very first Half Marathon, an experience which I will write all about in my next post.

Here’s to another month of alcohol-free weekends full of fitness and fun!

 

 

Six Degrees of Separation- Do you know this guy?

25 Jun

Man who lost his camera with over 2,800 photos in Amsterdam

**UPDATE** - They have found the guy!! The power of facebook!!

Facebook; you may love it, you may hate it, you may waste most of your days browsing through it, but one thing it certainly has going is that it makes the world a smaller place. The guy in the picture above lost his camera in Amsterdam this week..a camera containing over 2,800 images of his no doubt amazing trip throughout Europe. Some one has since then found the camera in a train station in Amsterdam  and has posted the photo above and the message  below, which has been shared over 13,000 times on facebook in the last 10 hours, in an attempt to track down the owner;

“My father in law found a red Nikon Coolpix camera on 2012-06-20 in the train at the station Amsterdam Amstel in the Netherlands. His photos show a trip throughout Europe from about 2012-05-07. Since 2012-06-15 he stayed in Amsterdam. We would like to give him back the camera and the photos. Please Like, Share and spread this photo around so we can give him back his camera! Thanks!”

 Losing a camera is bad enough but losing one with over 2,800 photos…that’s devastating. TRUST ME, I’ve been there and I felt like a little part of me had died.(You can read about my camera/ballon adventure HERE!) That is until some kind stranger found it, tracked me down and gave it back to me. And it felt like all my dreams had come true at once. So, can you make this guys dreams come true? Email anke.appel@gmail.com if you have any further information that could help. Let’s hope some really good Karma comes to the guy that found the camera too, just for good measure! :)

Who is Joseph Kony?

7 Mar

Who is Joseph Kony? Kony is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, and head of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA is known to have abducted and forced more than 30,000 children to fight for them, turning young boys into child soldiers and forcing them to kill their own parents or face death themselves, as well as turning young girls into sex slaves. This is not new, this has been going on for over a decade!!

What is Kony 2012? KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. The time has come for us to unite and make it known that this war and this brutal mistreatment of children must end now!

Watching this video sent shivers down my spine and seriously gave me the chills. It is disturbing to see what the children have been through (and are still going through!) but also uplifting that we as ‘the people of the internet’ have the power to make a change and stop this war. We can make all the difference. Don’t ask “Who am I to stop a war?” Instead ask yourself, “Who am I not to?!”.

So as to give a balanced blog post that does not simply regurgitate a video shared on my facebook wall, I would like to direct you to the blog ‘Visible Children’, which gives a critical review of the Kony 2012 campaign. The post talks about Invisible Children as an organisation, the break down of their finances, whether military intervention is such a good idea and how ‘reliable’ their statistics are. The last paragraph of their review really stood out to me and I think it’s something we should keep in mind.

“If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.”

Bye Bye Bad Blogs

9 Mar

Too much Soju...

Blackout Korea; This site displays photos of people passed out in public all over Korea. Too much soju, too much cass. Too far from home. This site has been featured on many other sites, some newspapers and magazines and appears to have caused a lot of controversy in the last year. It has now been made private on blogspot, so that only 100 people can access the posts. However all the photos are still floating about online. I guess, like the famous quote from The Social Network movie, “The internet isn’t written in pencil… it’s written in ink”. Those photos are here to stay.

English Teachers Out; I was going to write about this site after hearing that they were using pictures from Blackout Korea and comparing them to photos of Abu Gharib, somehow comparing the foreigners (who took these drunken photos) to Prison authorities in Afghanistan who captured, abused and tortured people. But as it appears the site has recently been shut down, I will say no more.

Texts from Korean Girls; Considering how much I love the hilarious site “Texts from Last Night, I decided to check this one out. However apart from maybe a few giggles, it is actually pretty awful and I guess pretty racist. I mean OF COURSE their English is bad…can you imagine if we, as english speakers, tried to text people in Korean…Disaster.com! In fact I decided to try this out on google translate to see just how disastrous it would be…

Example of a txt from the site, ““I will make you eat kimchi and sex”

Here is what she may have wanted to say, “I will make you Kimchi and we can have sex”

Korean (thanks google translate) “내가 김치를 공급하고 우리가 섹스를 할 수”

Then back to English(google translate)… “I have sex with kimchi and we can supply”.

So….yeah it could have been worse! the good news is this site has not been updated in over 5 months so I guess even the founder realised what he was writing about was in bad taste.

There are SO many wonderful blogs that you SHOULD check out, but are there any blogs that you feel are just plain AWFUL??

Sending Justin Bieber to North Korea?!

3 Nov

So a few months ago, an elaborate viral campaign was set up here, in an attempt to send Justin Bieber on a tour of North Korea.  The head ache enducing starlet wouldn’t have stood much a chance of survival in what many people refer to as ‘the scariest and most isolated nation on earth’.

Even if the rising star was given permission to enter North Korea, it wouldn’t be much of a tour considering the capital has only one night club and the majority of the population would probably be banned from going anyway.  

 

The site owners released a statement saying they were not doing this prank to cause hate against Bieber or to try to send him to North Korea, but that they were “simply trying to making it look like his biggest fan base was in North Korea.” Funny, considering the poor north Koreans don’t even have internet access and couldn’t vote for themselves!

Justin Bieber

 

One funny comment I saw when it turned out, sadly, that we WOULDN’T be going to North Korea was;

 “What the hell is this!? I Specifically asked for Justin bieber to sing for MY birthday? NOBODY disobeys Kim Jong Il! Nobody. Not even Justin Bieber”.

Another said;

” Yes send him here to Best Korea…North Korea is Best Korea”. (posted by Kim Jong Il himself?! ;0 )

Too funny.

Despite the intentions, good or bad, this entertaining little news snippet made me think who else we should send to North Korea, should we be given the chance… what do you guys think? I shall start with my top 5… (which could well change..!)

1. Janice from ‘Friends’.

2. The whole cast of ‘The Hills’. Gah.

3. Nikki Graham from Big Brother.

4. Sarah Palin.

5. Cast of Twilight.

Oh and ANYONE who consistently invites me to play farmville on facebook. Gah.

The best things in life are free…NOT!

22 Oct

So last Friday I came across a facebook group advertising free tickets to the Korean Formula 1 races. I was skeptical at first, because I knew the tickets were selling for 150,000 won or more, so why on earth would they give them out free to the public. The facebook event organiser, Chad Raquel, informed us it was for foreigners only and it was a scheme run by the government promoting the Korean F1 and showcasing the country as a foreigner friendly place to be.

I clicked attend, not willing to let such an opportunity pass. Despite my skepticism I also remembered that the Government were currently running a series of free weekend trip to seaside towns and villages to promote tourism in Rural Korea(Rural20), so why not promote the F1 by giving out a few 100 tickets to foreigners. However it was puzzling that the whole process was via facebook and not some official website.

A few friends of mine decided to fork out 50,000 for the return bus to the racetracj in Mokpo, 4 hours south of Seoul, which departs Sunday morning at 6.30am. So you must sacrifice your Saturday night out, pay 40 bucks for a bus in the *hope* that it’s not some scam where 600 stupid foreigners stand waiting in Parking lot 7 for tickets which will never magiacally appear.

So I just clicked onto the facebook group to confirm it was all going ahead before I finally paid my deposit for the bus to discover the whole thing has been cancelled. No email went out to alert people who may have already started the trip there, such as people from Jeju or Munsan or other such places. They simply placed a note on the event saying they apologize but the free tickets have been cancelled blah blah blah with no reason why!

 

So instead of making themselves look good they are going to cause an uproar, especially if 600 angry people are left standing in some random carpark Sunday afternoon. Stupid  lies. Gah.

Kickin’ it in Geumchon…

3 Sep

“I see white people, they walk around like everyone else…they don’t even thought that they’re white!!”

On thursday I met up with 2 other couchsurfers and English teachers in Geumchon for dinner. I thought it was just going to be the 3 of us, so you can imagine my surprise when I walked into this cute little Vietnamese Restaurant to see….25 white/foreign people!! It’s funny, but after just meeting Korean people and people who just speak Korean for nearly 2 weeks it was  awesome to be able to have a proper conversation with someone who speaks fluent English! The group are all teaching English in and around Paju and meet up every Wednesday night for dinner. They even have a facebook group called the ‘Geumchon Massive’, so you can check out what sort of fun things they have planned!!

I made friends with 4 girls who live in my city and 2 others who like 2 stops away on the train. I arranged to meet up with Jo, a Canadian Cser and fellow English teacher, on Friday night so we could go partying in Hongdae together with a froup of Seoul CSers. It turned out to be a total disaster though as neither of us had phones or internet acces to contact eachother so wires were crossed and we never met in the end, which involved me travelling all the way to Seoul by myself  and getting lost again! I still had fun though and met a group of 9 CSers and got to experience Seoul nightlife at its best which is nothing short of MAD.

In Korea you cannot buy a phone without your ‘Alien Registration card’ . First you must get a full medical examination, then they will take your passport for a week or so (which is very frustrating!) and will finally process the ID card within 10 days.  Once you have your ARC you can then purchase a mobile phone. I must say it’s weird being referred to as an Alien or a foreigner all the time, but something I guess I’ll have to get used to!!

In Seoul it appears that the bars and trains seem to have some sort of partnership. All public transport out of Seoul stops at midnight. Which is when most people are out in the bars in the trendy area of Hongdae drinking their weekly pay cheque away. The bars start to close up around 6-7am which, conveniently enough, is just when the trains start running again! So if you want to party in Seoul, you must either cut your night short like Cinderella and be home at midnight or be in it for the long run and party ALL NIGHT LONG.

I came across this video on YouTube. It was made my 3 English Teachers living in Geumchon and is preeeeety hilarious!

Ce Sera Sera

20 Oct

I just found this note, now a year old, and thought I would share it with the world. It’s interesting that 12 months ago two of my goals were to ‘live in Australia’ and ‘teach English in Korea’. Another was to learn another language… Done and Done!

I’ve being doing a lot of thinking lately about the future. And as the saying goes, “You can’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been”. This got me thinking about the past, about highlights of my college years which have recently come to an end, of days in school but most of all of the people closest to me…my friends.

The soppy person that I am, I have been listening to “Friends Forever” Graduation song by Viatmin C. It’s weird to think it was OVER 5 years ago that I was listening to this same song upon leaving school…a place that still and always will have a lil place in my heart. :) In less than 3 weeks I shall be graduating from college and although it should be one of the proudest and happiset days of my life I can’t hep but think of all the amazing people I will be saying goodbye to. All the cool journo kids and my buddies from European Business, all the people I met from all walks of life through various clubs, societies, and even the good ol SU and bar! Of course contact shall be kept with all those closest to me but it is an inevitable reality that for every 5 friends I keep in contact with there will be 20 that I will probably loose touch with forever…people who, in the ever so slightest way, made an impact on my life, made me smile and changed me for the better!

When in 5th year of school I made a bet with one of my then close friends (Suzanne Murphy) that we would both be famous by the time we were 25. Not in a huge hollywood way, but well known within Ireland at least…and preferably rich…of course! With less than 2 years to go that goal has long gone out the window. It’s funny how your life goals change.

I noticed an interesting status on another friends facebook page recently inquiring about what she should do with her life and also commenting on how awful careers guidance councillors are. I believe mine, Mr Buckley, advised me to be a fisherman. Wasn’t QUITE the career path I had in mind…

Jeni , another close friend, seems to remind me of how quickly we are all “growing up”. How life moves by so fast, people close to us seem to be settling down, getting married and having babies. Not me…of no…I don’t plan on growing up for quite a while thank you very much. My parents think I have the “Travel Bug”…no offence mum and dad, but a “bug” doesn’t normally last over 10 years…that would be some nasty case of the flu. Nah me and travel go together like bread and butter…it’s not just a phase, it’s a way of life!

Now that I am finally graduating, Degree in Journalism thank you very much, I have no clue with what I’m to do with my life. Most people in my class are (similar to most people I went to school with) settling down. They are fighting this blasted recession and getting themselves proper jobs and setting up lives for themselves. Not me though…I want to get out of Ireland as soon as I possibly can…I want to live in Australia, I want to go teach English in China or Korea for a few years…heck I don’t actually care what I do or where I go as long as it’s one hell of an adventure.

When I was 8 my parents brought me on holidays to the Bahamas…absolute paradise you can imagine, yet all I can really remember is 2 things. Befriending an American girl my age called Aerial (yup like the mermaid…that’s probably why I liked her) and a t-shirt my mum bought me. It was blue and had this big flamboyant muti-coloured fish on it and above the fish it said, “When you are you, you are Unique!” It was the most God awful t-shirt, about 2 sizes too big and not “trendy” at all…but to this day I still live by that quote and it has stood by me throughout life- stay true to yourself and you shall shine!

As much as I love my random travels and adventures I have this little voice at the back of my head, bugging me daily, trying to get me to do something constructive. I look at my like minded friends (mainly who I have met through the wonderful world of couchsurfing- our love of travel brought us together!) of the same age and see them starting to structure their lives, (I’m thinking of you right now Ali, Aine and Sara!), and wonder should I be doing the same.

I am a HUGE fan of the ‘Art of Non conformity’ website and would love to live my life in that way…for a while anyway! ;) For now I think I will set a few more goals…I’m sure in another 5 years I will look back and they will have changed again…but sure so be it…Ce sera sera, whatever will be will be!

Ce Sera Sera

Most of all though, I want life to be an amazing adventure…and I want to find someone special to share the this amazing adventure with.

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