A Travellerspoint blog

Sorry I left you for so long, really i am.

Baseball, bicyclettes, Presidential haircut, Traffic Jam from hell, Vietnam and sleeping under a rose bush. My spring update

sunny 22 °C

Heloooooooooooo people of the world.
Mee So-Yum is really sorry she has not written a blog entry for over a month but she was busy doing ladies things like riding bicyclettes (see below), going to the ballet and eating canapes. She was also busy hiding under her desk thinking that large guy on the other side of the border was about to proceed with his pretend thermo nuclear war. Mee So-Yum has also today just fell out of the hair salon sporting a new Park Geun-hye inspired hairstyle so stay tuned for photos of this and in the meantime google Park Geu-hye.

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Its well past the halfway point here in Seoul and i cant believe how quickly the seasons have changed from completely freezing ,to cherry blossom season (1 week long) to an almost summer where every day gets hotter and hotter. Most days now i am walking around campus in the Australian national uniform , thongs and a t shirt and loving the shock horror looks on people's faces as remember koreans are well dressed and people from sydney are absolutely NOT.

With so much to tell you about the last month of my life and no space to tell it unless you want an essay of biblical proportions here are some of the highlights of what I have been doing on top of my copious amounts of school work of course cough cough.

Given that I had no exams during the mid semester break last month and all my class mates were busy spending 25 hours a day studying (the korean school day has 26 hours to counter for all the study they do), I shocked everyone by casually slipping down to south east Asia to my third home away from home ,Ho Chi Minh City for a four day R & R.

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I just love Ho Chi Minh it really is like ummm ....Bangkok on valium? The food is amazing, bars and places to hang out cheap and rocking full of people from all over the world. I spent most of the time doing exactly what the above photo depicts, chilling out and watching the world go by with not too much to worry about except the fear of having to eat Korean food upon my return to Seoul. Here is the x rated version of the above photo (look away if you are under 18)

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I attended my first ever baseball match last month, a big boozy afternoon in central Seoul with about 19,999 Koreans and just two foreigners. It was really interesting seeing the way the crowd cheered on their teams by singing songs about each player in perfect tune along with music. I have to say that our side of the stadium (the Twins supporters) were less musically capable than the other side of the stadium (the lg somebody somebodies) who sounded more like a semi-professional high school choir. I also realized just how big my head was as i enjoyed trying to warp various team memorabilia around my head. Here is a collage of the day oh and making collages is my new favorite thing to do:

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I hope you all had fun celebrating Buddha's birthday this weekend just gone as much as I did. On Friday I spent 7.5 hours in a traffic jam on my way to Pohang in the Country's south and then 4.5 hours driving up a mountain on Saturday only to find there were no car parks and a two hour wait to get into the temple at the top. GRRRRRRRRR this really was a test of my patience but thankfully there were no tae kwon do kicks or kimchi rockets fired and my good buddies and hosts were able to source a smaller temple at the base of the mountain which features on Korea's 10 cent coin.

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As another blog entry comes to a close, i still cant believe that I am well past my halfway point in Korea and still not able to count to five or to tell you what my favorite korean food is apart from Mr pizza and Paris baguette. What I can confirm is that Koreans love eating eggs in just about everything. As for now, I hope you are enjoy yourselves wherever you are in the world. I need to go now as i have some pressing issues to attend to such as a 40 minute slow-walk at the fitness center and a mammoth drinking session with my class mates on campus, its student festival week hooray. Lets hope i dont spend tonight under a rose bush.

Over and out

Jeremy

xx

Posted by Jeremy M. 22:58 Archived in South Korea Comments (2)

Raining down in a sea of flames, manias and more glasses

A rare insight into the north korean air force, phone and hair mania, the on-going issues with deciding what pair of party glasses to wear and more.

14 °C

As the South Korean stock market plummets, China worries about instability on its nearing boarders and Washington sends its top diplomat to Seoul just now, I am much more worried about the swine who on Wednesday stole my very sad looking almost four-year-old hole ridden adidas socks from the communal clothesline. Whoever you are, I don’t want to know your intentions but please look after my filthy socks, they have endured a long hard life attached to the bottom of my stinky feet.

Despite having been warned that my hometown may soon rain down in a “sea of flames” thanks to some craptacularly old soviet missiles that have been fuelled and pointed, life continues as normal in Seoul and just yesterday we were all given a rare look into the north Korean air force.

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Last week when tensions were at their highest, I decided to make a little documentary Jeremy style on the situation so please check it out you may be surprised. This is my first ever video so let me know your thoughts. click on the below link to view it on youtube:

watch my clip on youtube here..

With world politics covered, I want to shift your attention to manias. So think beatlemania, computermania, kimchimania etc… I've been about two months now in South Korea and have noticed two manias that are just so… Manic and they are:

1) Smart phone mania: It is not surprising that South Korea has an almost 100% smart phone ownership rate and i have been trying really hard for weeks to capture this.

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You can almost get a feel of what I mean from this photo I took last week but the horrible lady stage right ruined the moment, how dare she or anyone ever read a book. I have also been secretly looking over peoples shoulders trying to work out what they do with their smart phones and everyone is just so busy: From old guys playing bikini baseball to young ladies shopping for water bottles and watching videos of babies, it's quite amazing to watch everyone slowly working themselves towards a life with RSI

2) The obsessionwith the hair:
Its so annoying that just about anytime I go into a restroom or a gym change room there is always an abundance of Korean guys spending AAAGGEEESSS fiddling with their.......... hair (I almost put another word here). They will often stand there for over 10 minutes playing with the ends of their hair and its just annoying. Apart from sometimes discreetly marvelling at their beauty, this obsession drives me mad as I fight for a wash basin so I can do more important things like clean my feet or wash my grasshopper.

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Last but not least, I am still having an Elton John moment every time I walk into or past a glasses shop as they are always wall to wall of party glasses; South Korea knows no other style. I need your help in choosing my next pair of these party glasses so let me model a couple of different styles from the week and see what you think. If I buy the first pair it comes with a free K pop star as pictured.

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Have a great rest of your weekend.

Posted by Jeremy M. 19:34 Archived in South Korea Tagged fun Comments (0)

Geishaphones,A STATE OF WAR AAA, cherry blossoms,Japan+more

The miscommunication about nuking, Beautiful Japan and geishas, Julia Gillard's accent, Rampant Cherry blossoms and more

all seasons in one day 7 °C

Good evening from sizzers , have you located and poured yourselves a soju now that this entry has popped up? Anyone scared about nuking?

For the first time in my life i'm officially in a state of war and not with a snoring roommate or with a shoe matt thing but with North Korea. There has however been a big miscommunication as when kim jung fatty boom said he was going to "nuke the Chinese" he was simply referring to warming up last nights dinner in the microwave. I don’t want to take any chances and just in case his microwave does actually blow up this is a photo of me from Monday night when i first heard about the threat.

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Despite being only 40 km's from the DMZ I'm officially not worried or scared yet/ at all and neither is anyone else I have spoken to this week. It seems that all you guys are just watching too much CNN. What seems to be fuelling the verbal goblety gook are the huge annual military exercises currently taking place on this side of the peninsula that have been taking place at the same time every year for over 10 years. This mixed with the recently imposed sanctions whacked on the north are whats making them say ridiculous things like they will nuke America if it doesn’t vote for gay marriage. Hang on, for once I agree with something they are saying.

So, now that politics has been covered from the epicentre of it all its time to talk about me hooray;

Osaka and Kyoto were such delightful places and the first thing I noticed apart from an attack of the bicycles and loads of cute yappy dogs was an absolute absence of forks. This was a little frustrating as I spent most of my time eating amazingly tasty and expensive food like a dinosaur which was a little different than in Korea where i constantly drop their metal chopsticks on the floor and start crying, you cant eat their food like a dinosaur its just too fiddly. I also felt on a few ocasions my tongue protruding from my nose as i discovered the hard way secrelty infused wasabi in most of their rice dishes.

It is difficult to think of a single highlight as Kyoto is easily one was the prettiest cities i have ever been to yet seeing a lady and her husband on a leash strolling through a shopping mall Sunday morning was way cool too, you be the judge.

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A further big highlight was Sunday when wondering the streets of Kyoto I kept running into geishas who would happily pose for photos then whipp out their......boobie#$(just joking) i mean geishaphones before the next happy snap. While we are on the subject of photos, when i become prime minister in a few years I am going to absolutely make sure that every single Australian will not be allowed to graduate from school until they are competent in using an SLR camera. I got rather annoyed this weekend when despite being in the land of crazy cameras, time after time people kept taking shit photos of me cos they didn’t follow my instructions of 1) hold down 2) focus 3) take photo/foto

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Hayfever sufferers look away now because i am going to talk about flowers ACHOO. I felt very fortunate to be in Osaka during spring as pink and white cherry blossoms were just so rampant that at times I thought it was snowing. The streets, parks, alleyways and buildings had millions of these little bundles of blossom all over the place and combined with such great weather it made the trip really worth it despite the sometimes absurd prices around town for things.

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As another blog entry draws to a close and the uni work pile gets dustier, I am excited to be presenting next week to the entire legal faculty here at the Catholic University of Korea on Australia's legal system. I will be telling them dingoes do actually eat babies just like what happened to Azaria and that kangaroo courts exist. I will tell them that sadly Julia Gillard's accent is real and that she loves giving out money then taxing it straight back.

I’m not joking but this weekend I may venture to the Ganghwa Peace Observatory where you can peer through telescopes into North Korea. If i don’t do that I plan to cycle around and in the han river just like Jesus did.

Over and out for now, here a picture of the tastiest meal I had in japan.

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Posted by Jeremy M. 03.04.2013 04:57 Archived in South Korea Comments (2)

Soju and Kimchi are taking over my life

breaking a tenth commandment, the truth about party glasses, coffee with a straw and NO GANGNAM JUST YET

Greetings people.

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I first want to say on a not so happy note from the bottom of my heart, rest in peace to former class mate Chris Drake who was taken from us last week whilst trying to save a girl from drowning. You were the nicest guy on campus, you died a hero and will always be remember as an awesome guy. As your endless journey begins beyond imagining and past the stars,no one thought mother nature could be so cruel.

It has been an interesting week+.5 especially with the above happening but dont worry I have awesome teachers and peers who have been keeping me busier than a bee around a honey pot especially now that my part time job as an english assistant has started. It is so fulfilling being able to share my knowledge of english with people who also get so much out of it. Now i know why its always the teachers who love their jobs and never any other professions ever.

My pea sized room continues to be as comfortable as ever but the fun and games is starting to wear off as I catch people throwing socks in the machine with mine and taking showers at 3am with the door open GRRRRRRRRRR. However I have discovered the ultimate way to get up people's goats and will use it at anytime should people shower at ridiculous times of the day or disguise their socks amongst mine.

Most of you know the shoe thing in asia right where you dont wear them in the house etc... I accidently broke what felt like a tenth commandment the other day and have never in my life felt my feet to be sooooo dirty. I stepped onto the below wearing awesome size 10 $200 lacoste going out shoes which i think people are jealous of and was scalded by a 70 something ugly old man who had flames coming out of his tiny ears as he cursed me with.... random abuse. OOPPPS SORRY MAN'

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A a recently diagnosed 4 eyes,I am happy to say I have no hesitation in wearing glasses all day long just because i can. BUT during an elton john moment this week when i decided an extra pair of specs might be a good idea, my worst nightmares were confirmed k when i walked into a glasses shop called Happy Glasses which was next to another glasses shop which was next to another glasses shop etc... (Seoul is a mega city remember) and started to weep as I soon realized the only style of glasses available in this city and possibly entire country is PARTY GLASSES.

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I will give a cash prize to the first person who can pick 2 different styles in that photo because i cant!
When this trend emerged a few years ago in Sydney's CBD we were all fooled into thinking there was a fancy dress party somewhere with an awful lot of people going, right? So, we were all fooled and 5 years later I hate to admit it but... IVE BOUGHT A PAIR AAAAAA but nerr ner nerr you cant see me in them just yet because i feel like a dick head.

Seoul really is a cute city and I cant help but chuckle every morning when my coffee is pumped out of the Paris Baguette kitchen looking like this:

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Its got a straw attached how cute is that? The only bonus i can think of is for the lippy wearing people because it just burns my mouth.

OK folks enjoy your weekend I am off to GANGNAM TOMORROW NIGHT HOOORAY this will be the highlight of the travel blog i can feel it in my waters.

Looking forward to sharing it with you soon.

MISS YOU

not! IM loving it here!

J

Posted by Jeremy M. 23:36 Comments (0)

Hi from Sizzers,missing you all like a baby misses it pram

Cupcakes without icing, LOVE HOTELS YAY, no gangnam style just yet, blootered men on subways and enjoying local wildlife.

rain 8 °C

Hello my darlings. A big thanks for all your kind suggestions on what to call Seoul. The winning name with a total of 1 vote from me actually is... SIZZERS, write it down. Oh and stop asking me if I have been to Gangnam , thats next month!

nb - please click on pictures for captions/descriptions

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Here is a quick rundown on the north south situation as it gains more momentum around the world this week. Before I do, as we are speaking of quick run downs let me warm your reading eyes up with a photo of what would be a great place for a quick rundown, my local love hotel. I have yet to spend a night here and like how it’s just so private that pedestrians can still see your number plate if you are dumb enough to drive in with your shag.

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So, the north south thing is taking up an awful lot of airtime on the many tv stations here which frustrates them as they cant watch baseball, seriously. From what my class mates, teachers and friends say its just another day in paradise for people in south Korea and they get very tired of hearing the same threats over and over again. They don’t seem to care too much and reassure me that I have nothing to worry about as the USA are in town and have plenty of fancy artillery on hand to keep the 1 million +north Korean army away. I however am a little worried and have been hiding under my blanket every night with a torch (and a 3 sojus)waiting for things that go bump to stop with little success. BUMP there it goes again dammit.

I moved into the dorm at university last week and moved out 2 days later due to a life threatening situation that arose. You should have seen the combined look of sheer terror,panic, desparation and gigantic outrage on my face when on the first day my roommate walked over to me, politely gave me a massive set of earplugs and apologized in advance for a snoring problem. . After 2 nights of not sleeping and listening to some very dominant snoring, really wanting to break his lap top+ Samsung galaxy and feeling like a cupcake without icing, I was out quick fast and into what the Koreans call a goshiwon. Think of it as A pea wait.. no, flea sized room with a shared bathroom and laundry, Is quiet THANNKKK GODDD, next to the train station and costs me $300/month, thats right, $300a month, thats right $300 a month and yes I wrote that 3 times.

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Although I'll admit to experiencing gigantic culture shock especially due to living in the burbs, I am enjoying it and have already made loads of local and international friends who have been soooo welcoming. It definitely is true that Koreans love to get within three sheets to the wind on most nights of the week and a trip on any subway after about 8pm always makes you chuckle at the high amount of men so blootered you could tap dance on their head and they wouldn’t even know you were there. mmmmmmmm let me try that tomorrow and get back to you..

Well, thats it for this week folks I shall now leave you with a picture of me at an advertisemt for my favorite Restaurant in Seoul. I am also hopoing that as the winter frost subsides you shall be seeing less photos of me in that butt ugly black everest jacket too.

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JUST KIDDING

Posted by Jeremy M. 07:47 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Izzards of gizzards, DMZ, Bathouse+road rules and boobs

week 1 over. A visit to the scariest place on earth, having my jewels inspected in a traditional bathhouse, izzards of gizzards (see below), inventing my own traffic rules +more

sunny -1 °C

Greetings everyone .
Recent weather events in this country have forced me for this week only to change my name to Eskimo Jeremy, the iceblock in glasses. I am also considering changing my name next week to Mee So fat should my current dietary habits continue.
So, the big first week is officially over and I am sitting in my dorm with no sign of my roomie yet so I will continue to sit here naked and cross legged on the floor drinking soju. Tomorrow is the most dreaded day in a student’s life, THE FIRST DAY BACK AAAA but its been a busy interesting week thus far.

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In the colder months here where you can literally freeze your boobs off, Koreans decide to get them out anyway (I also have boobs) but at traditional bathhouses one of which I couldn’t resist visiting the other day. It was such a relaxing mid week activity in 38 degree water but It was quite….. interesting. Just when I thought what felt like being in a naked retirement village swimming pool surrounded by geriatrics was enough, what made my adventure even more interesting was almost everybody taking great pleasure in putting my jewels under review with their curious Korean eyes. Would I do it again? OF COURSE, its good to be proud.

A further highlight of my week was to a place where my boobs were kept well protected by thousands of landmines and big (and sometimes very cute) soliders. The “the scariest place on earth” as per Bill Clintons description, The Demiizatriused Zone (DMZ) or the border point of north and South Korea. A huuuuuuuuuge military presence was noticeable not far out of Seoul and as we got closer and closer to the actual DMZ roads became completely deserted with just tanks, military guys and roadblocks. It felt EERIE to be in this region and it definitely was not a place for wondering off when you need to pee because you would probably start world war three and get your legs blown off. As the 2 counties are at war and in the past both civilians and soldiers have been shot , killed and dragged across the border into the north never to be seen again we were told by our guide that we were not allowed to scoff or make hand gestures. I thought this was interesting and unfair as over the border in the north we all know plenty of scoffing goes on at dinner time by their big fat leader but sadly he doesn’t share any of the cakes does he?

Here is my short video from the border
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DROcH3O48oI&feature=youtu.be

Standing inside north korea for a few seconds from within one of the UN joint security area buildings and being watched and recorded by north Korean soldiers + loads of fun police (south Korean soliders) was just so eerie and also really sad as its impossible to see how the end of separation is ever going to be near.
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I have to stop saying Korea is a funny place but it really is! They love to queue up for ice cream in arctic conditions and One of the things I like most about living here is that you invent your own set of pedestrian road rules which everyone accepts. All week I have been changing sides on the footpath every couple of meters just because I can and no one gets upset like they do in Sydney where you can lose and eye for walking on the wrong side of the footpath.

Last but not least I have on a few occasions been so desperate for food that I have just given up and ordered from the only place open in town kind of thing. This almost landed me in a psychiatric ward the other night after I ate something that I thought was a vegetable roll with a tasty looking black outside. After consulting a Korean friend I was told this was a bunch of gizzards from multiple species. The look on my face at that point was omg was it from the 4 legged friend group? Luckily it was not from that family but still, I ate izzards of gizzards eeeeeeewwwww. I spent the following three dinners and lunches lurking around Paris baguette ,a Korean owned chain of patisseries that even the French think are pretty awesome.

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In closing I do need your help in coming up with a shortened more western friendly sounding name for Seoul. We call Bangkok bangers, Singapore singers but what do we call Seoul? I thought sizzers but that’s too similar to singers and Ah Seoul as my dad likes to call it is just too rude.
So, no sign of my roomie and I think im going to start going through his bags looking for drugs, because I want some if he has them.

CYA

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Posted by Jeremy M. 07:02 Archived in South Korea Comments (3)

I arrived alive, sorry guys.

Quick hello from Seoul to say... IM HERE

sunny -3 °C

Dear blog just a quick one today;

sorry to break the news but I survived my flight and am in Seoul hooray.

rrr ok link function not working just click on it below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Q6F7Ac0NY

For the hearing and visually impaired, the above video basically says this;

The flight was quite enjoyable as blue is my favourite colour and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend 11 hours flying than inside a Korean air 747-400 the entire thing is decked out blue inside and out. Whilst flying over a blue blue ocean and through the blue blue sky it all became abit overwhelming for me.

Its damm cold here but consuming the snow is quite fun and it's also interesting that the only type of cars I have seen all day is the world's least good car, the hyundai.

Over and out have a good week!

Posted by Jeremy M. 07:17 Archived in South Korea Comments (2)

The almost time to go entry

Monkey babies, burberry men, how to say "can i not have kimchi with that?" and an english lesson.

Welcome to those who have recently joined my blog and an even bigger hello to the hanger onerers who have lasted this long you all make me so happy.

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SO I haven't left for Seoul yet, RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR you are all thinking but the good news is that I leave in just under 1.3 weeks time and I am officially even more eggcited than the last time i said this.

This week has been spent doing trip crucial pre-departure activities such as checking which mountains within the Korean wilderness have wifi on their peak and which mountains do not (this is actually true) as I will only walk to the top of a mountain where i can access grinder and face book. I have also been trying to work out if my uni is exculuded from the list of where Seoul's infamous burberry men hang out. So you wanna know what a burberry man does? According to my lonely planet book they are men with a penchant for Burberry trench coats, they hang around outside universities and flash students at first opportunity. I will be devastated if my uni is on their exclusion list!

While we are sort of on the same topic check out the below 1 minute clip of an english teacher in Seoul trying to get across a very important message whilst maintaining a straight and happy face the entire time it made me laugh so much.

click here to view

So that's it for this week folks, I am running out of time and I feel it is important i push on with trying to learn how to say in perfect Korean "can i please not have kimchi with that"

Ill leave you with a news article about scientists in South Korea who hav invented glow in the dark cats, what will be next?

click here to view

Over and out

Mee So-Yum / Jeremy

x

p.s did you remember to grab a chair and pour yourself a soju?

Posted by Jeremy M. 14:10 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Welcome welcome and welcome... and welcome

The first ever entry

rain 22 °C

Heloooooooo... there and thanks for stopping by Seoul Time, by Mee So-yum, the blog that’s all about me.com

Please sign up to my blog so that you will be informed when i make entries (once a week) and have ability to comment. Through this extremely interactive, hyperactive and informative NON BORING blog you will should be able to get a snapshot of me attempting to understand Korean culture whichever way that pans out.

As I have not yet actually left for Korea the next couple of weeks will be spent doing important things such testing my camera and uploading photos of scary people i see on the bus like this guy below who sat in front of me yesterday in glebe...
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As I am going to Korea I felt it important to adopt a more Korean name. This is how I came up with Mee So-Yum as I felt it had quite a connection with me and when said out loud over and over again makes everyone think you are a nutcase.

Well that’s it folks for this week's blog entry, only 3 weeks to go now and I am quite officially eggcited! I will leave you all with a picture of my hero, you all know who he is

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J

Posted by Jeremy M. 02:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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