Your Helmet Won’t Stop A Speeding Car…

I grew up during as time when the wearing of bicycle helmets wasn’t really a thing. And how could it be? I couldn’t wear a helmet while wearing earphones to my walkman, now could I? This was long before the advent of earbuds but honestly, as long as I was wearing a ball cap to protect my scalp from the sun and I was home before dark, my parents never imposed the wearing of a bike helmet. These days? Depending on the community you live in, the requirement of a bike helmet may be law. But there isn’t a day where I don’t see multiple people cycling in heavy traffic areas without a helmet.

It is what it is. Some people are more apt to follow rules and best practices than others. But the curious thing is, what purpose does a bike helmet serve? If you’re a young child and you happen to topple sideways on your bike, a helmet may save your skull from cracking on the edge of a sidewalk; no question. But whether you’re a child or an adult, you’re helmet won’t save you from any significant incident, such as getting struck by a moving car. This makes one wonder why it’s considered so necessary on most cases. And this post is about all of those little “rules,” not just bicycle helmets.

The reason behind certain rules and regulations isn’t always clear. And more often than not, it can seem unnecessary and perhaps even excessive. Especially if you find yourself on the receiving end of a penalty in relation to any of it. One good example is last week, when I was issued a traffic ticket for performing an “illegal” turn. I won’t get into the specifics of the ticket, other than to say that I definitely performed the alleged action, and the section of legislation does render it unlawful. So I really can’t argue the traffic ticket. But I couldn’t help but feel that I had done nothing wrong or unsafe and that being issued a ticket because of it was rather ridiculous.

The point behind today’s particular rant, is that even though it seemed perfectly safe and acceptable to me, doesn’t mean that it would be to everyone. In most cases, an incident likely occurred that led to that action becoming unlawful. By that logic, it becomes important for people to observe those laws and abide by them. Not only for their own safety, but the safety of others. At the risk of opening my comments section up to a plethora of argumentative points of view, this concept applies to a lot of rules, regulations and laws that are being enacted in response to the current state of the world. Some of them may seem unfair or excessive, but they all have the aim to protect and safeguard the population as a whole.

Most people can’t discern the difference between their “rights” and doing “what’s right.” The two often don’t go hand-in-hand and don’t always apply to one another. And sometimes, we need to abide by certain rules in order for society to continue to function normally. This is the cost of living in a modern society where we live in mass gathering of populated towns and cities. I’m quite certain that if a vehicle clips me while I’m out cycling, my helmet likely won’t do a damn thing to save me. Just like wearing a face mask “may” do nothing for me or the people around me. But I acknowledge two things: the first is that I can still observe my rights as a person while abiding by the rules. The second is that it costs me nothing, which tends to make peoples’ theatrics over most of these issues more than a bit ridiculous. this is why you’ll always see me do both those things, so long as it’s required of me. Food for thought… ☯️

Who the F%&k Is Sally…?

Without necessarily bragging (okay, maybe I’m bragging a little) I can usually manage about 50 push-ups before failure. That’s if I haven’t done anything prior to the push-ups, of course. About ten years ago, I could do far more. In karate, we made a point that our push-ups were always on our knuckles or fingertips. This was great for developing certain aspects of our art, including striking and pressure points. There’s no denying that push-ups are a fantastic exercise for building a bunch of different muscle groups.

Most people don’t realize that you can even change up HOW you do your push-ups for even more variety. This includes close-grip push-ups, wide-grip push-ups, single-arm and a bunch of other varieties that I usually don’t have the balls/muscle structure to try, Push-ups are about as classic an exercise as you can get. You can do them anywhere, require no equipment and they present a challenge, no matter what your fitness level. Needless to say, I’m a fan of them.

Some time ago, I found this video on YouTube of a guy demonstrating a push-up challenge called “Bring Sally Up.” The premise of the challenge is pretty simple. You play the song and every time they say “Bring Sally Up,” you push to the upper push-up position. When they say “Bring Sally Down,” you lower to the loaded push-up position and hold there until they say “Bring Sally Up” again. I decided to try this thing from a cold start, meaning I hadn’t done anything physical prior to starting it.

Theoretically, I should have been able to crush the 3:30 video without any issue, since it amounts to just over 30 push-ups (I didn’t take an exact count). But by 2:45, I was at muscle failure and dropped to the floor. My chest and arms were killing me and I was coated with sweat. It’s the pause at the bottom that does it. It’s absolutely brutal. During the version of the video I watched where the fitness trainer is providing some commentary, it’s mentioned that the more you perform this exercise, the stronger you become and the longer you can hold out. Like most fitness programs.

Anyway, if you’re looking to increase your push-up game and want to try something different, I highly recommend it. If you type “Bring Sally Up” into your search bar on YouTube, you’ll find multiple versions of the song; some where you see people doing it, some not. The version I like will be shared below this post. What I like is that there’s a timer display that counts up, showing you how far you’ve gotten. This is either good or bad, depending on whether you’re the kind of person who likes seeing time go by. There’s also a “beep” every thirty seconds, letting you know the progress you’re making in the event you aren’t watching the screen.

I like finding different ways to stay in shape. Exercise is (or rather SHOULD be) a daily part of life when you have Diabetes in order to ensure one’s continued health. Sometimes it can be integral to find ways to keep it interesting so that you don’t get bored. Boredom during fitness is one of the sure ways to ensure that you’ll skip days and eventually slip off the rails. So I gladly take any opportunity I can to try something new. Without butchering myself in the process, of course. Check out the video below and give it a try. Leave your results in my comments section, if you do. ☯️

Shisa: Under The Watchful Eyes Of Okinawan Guardian Dogs…

I’ve been exposed to Japanese culture a great deal throughout my life; a byproduct of studying Okinawan karate for 33 years. And yes, I can easily say that there are important differences between Japanese and Okinawan, but for the sake of this post, we’ll lump them in together. After all, all Okinawans are Japanese but not all Japanese are Okinawans. Moving on… During my youth, I had the opportunity to be exposed to, and study, some of the Okinawan culture long before I actually travelled there. And one of the first things I was exposed to was Shisa dogs.

The year was 1996 and I was about to graduate from high school. It was as tumultuous time for me, since I had no idea what direction my life was taking and no clue as to what I wanted to do with myself. I was starting college in the fall at the insistence of my parents, even though I was being thrust into a program I didn’t want (computer programming). All I knew at the time was that I was at the peak of my martial arts skills and I wanted to continue to study THAT. This is something that would be made difficult by the fact that I would be living an hour away for school. But Sensei and I worked it out and we agreed on a training schedule that would accommodate my needs.

I stopped by his house on graduation night, since his son Guillaume was my best friend and would be graduating as well. While I was waiting for Guillaume to come down the stairs, Sensei approached me with a small bundle and handed it to me. “For you,” was all he said. In his usual custom of keeping things simple, he handed me a small, black trash bag that was knotted at the top. I could tell there were moving parts inside, but little else. I asked him if I cold open it immediately, to which he replied I should. I tore open the bag to find two small porcelain Shisa dogs inside.

I’ve had them ever since, and it allowed me to study their origins and purpose. Bear in mind that dial-up internet was barely a thing at that point, so my research had to be genuine and hands-on. But I managed. I learned some interesting things along the way. For example, some refer to them as lions and some refer to them as dogs. Sensei always called them dogs and by virtue of that, I’ve always referred to them as dogs, as well.

The Shisa dogs I keep at home

The pair fo dogs Sensei gave me for graduation are simple porcelain and semi hollow. I keep those at my office, since they’re smaller 9about the size of tennis balls) and fit on my office’s windowsill. The ones pictured above are the ones I purchased myself in Okinawa and are about the size of candle-pin bowling balls (the ones without the finger holes). The ones above are made of soap-stone and are quite heavy. I foolishly purchased them in a shop in Naha on Okinawa. Sensei nearly lost his mind when he saw them, considering my suitcase was quite full.

These dogs originate from China and actually have Buddhist origins. They usually come in pairs and stand guard on rooftops or at doorways/gateways. They be standing forward or off to the side (as pictured above) but the mouths are always facing outward. The thought is that the open-mouth dog (on the right) is roaring to ward off evil spirits while the closed-mouth dog is inviting the friendly spirits. What’s nice with the ones pictured above, is that there’s no mistaking which dog goes on which side.

Since these dogs were brought in from China before Okinawa became part of mainland Japan, their introduction was separate in the two places. The Okinawans use Shisa dogs in their day-to-day culture and you’ll see them in front of most buildings, including temples, homes and businesses. They’re basically the equivalent of gargoyles. Just an interesting part of the culture I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy during my martial arts journey. ☯️

Bravery And Fear may Not Be Separate

Everyone likes hearing tales and stories of bravery or knowing someone they consider to be brave. In those situations, most people would utter phrases like, “they’re SO brave…” and “I’d never be able to do THAT! I’d be too afraid…” And the latter is particular, because most people seem to associate bravery with the lack of fear and this is about as incorrect a thought as one could have. Being brave or displaying bravery doesn’t mean that one isn’t afraid. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s start with my preferred habit, which is to define what is is I’m talking about. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “bravery” as, “the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear or difficulty.” A pretty straightforward definition, but I want to point out a certain aspect of that definition that sticks out and digs to root of what I’m getting at today. The definition by no means indicates the absence of fear. It does, however, define it as being strong enough to confront one’s fears. And THAT is the important difference.

To be brave doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. fear is a normal and expected response to something that is worrisome, stressful or dangerous. It by no means suggests that if you’re afraid that you can’t be brave. Bravery (or valour) kicks in when you make the decision to confront that danger despite that fear. This can apply to a significant number of aspects of ones life, including work, interpersonal relationships, medical situations… hell, just stepping out the door in the morning. Some folks have something called Agoraphobia, which is the fear of spaces outside the home.

But if one can find it within themselves to do a thing regardless of the fear it incites, this would be bravery. Not the absence of the fear itself but the ability to confront or embrace it. Some good examples I can provide would include in 2015, when I started getting my eye injections. I don’t think I need to explain that the prospect of having someone slide a needle into my eyeball with the intentions of injection a medication into it definitely had my lizard brain saying, “Nope. Not happening. get us the fuck outta here…” Obviously, the prospect of eventually going blind outweighed my fear and I confronted it, and I continue to get these injections every seven to eight weeks.

In the beginning, I had plenty of people commenting and telling me how brave I was for going through that and that they’d never be able to, because they’d be too afraid. Bloody hell, you think I WASN’T afraid??? I sit through something that’s usually reserved as a bad scene out of a horror movie. Of course, I’m afraid. But I confront that fear. The result is that I come out of it with a maintained ability to see clearly, which allows me to do the little everyday things like retain the privilege of operating a motor vehicle and doing my work without special accommodation.

Another good example is testing for black belt. I’ve always trained very hard in karate. I’ve always been confident in my knowledge and abilities in karate. By that logic, testing for black belt shouldn’t have been an issue. But I would be outright lying if I said that I wasn’t scared shitless in the days leading up to the test. But I knew that if I wanted to continue my education in the martial arts that I had to take the added step. The result is that I was able to continue on my martial arts path, start teaching and continue this education, even today.

Granted, the inherent danger associated with those things are passive. Think about a firefighter who rushes into a burning building to save someone trapped inside. Do you think for one second that they aren’t scared? The fear is very real and the danger associated with it is very real, as well. Every time a police officer performs a traffic stop, there’s always a fear that they may be confronting someone violent and dangerous. There’s a CONSTANT fear. But they do it anyway. Now, this is the other end of the stick, of course. But the concept still stands.

Bravery doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It simply means that you find the strength within yourself to confront those fears and do it anyway. That’s where you’ll start to notice that you can accomplish far more in life. And you’ll be happier. No one wants to be controlled by their fears. And everyone can be brave. All it takes is the strength to step out that door the first time. And once you do, taking it one step at a time. ☯️

Let the Bodies Hit The Floor, Let The Bodies Hit The Floor…

No, the title doesn’t refer to Drowning Pool’s song. It refers to a particular reality that most people don’t seem to acknowledge about fights in the real world; y’all goin’ to the ground. Unlike what’s seen in the movies, real fights don’t involve a long, drawn out exchange involving multiple landed hits by both parties while exchanging witty, macho banter. Unless the one who initiates the fight manages to land that first hit, a real fight will usually involve a good handful of missed swings and awkward trips, followed by one or both opponents grappling each other and going to the ground.

For the most part, most traditional instructors advise that a practitioner should focus on one style, only. Sensei always used to preach, “One Style, One Religion, One Love.” And for the most part, i can get on board with that. How can one work towards mastering any given style if one spends their time diluting their time with multiple styles, schools and combat types. Martial art is a subjective thing. One style that suits a particular practitioner may not suit another. This is why one should take time and be patient when choosing a school.

That being said, one also needs to recognize that one can’t truly learn or understand the martial arts without including certain aspects that aren’t included in all styles. For example, we can agree that karate is primarily a striking art. Before everyone jumps on my comments section, I said “primarily.” This means that certain combat styles will lack certain required tools to properly defend oneself in a fight. If your style is mainly offensive or striking, you may not be able to adequately defend yourself by blocking incoming attacks. If one practices nothing but blocks and never learns to throw a strike, one will always be on the defensive and won’t be able to bring the confrontation to a close.

So what happens when the striking and blocking ends and the bodies hit the ground? You ever have someone weighing hundreds of pounds on top of you? Before anyone lets their mind slip down into the gutter, it can be very difficult to throw an efficient strike when you’re rolling around on the ground. This is where learning a grappling art can be integral to proper self defence. Beyond integral. Necessary. I was lucky in that my Sensei also held a black belt in Judo and he incorporated throwing, grappling and pressure points as a standard along with the karate aspect (his school was called The New England Academy of Karate & Judo)

I’m reminded of a full contact match I had while going through basic training. Our instructors thought it would be a good idea to pit me against a Tae Kwon Do black belt. It was an incredible match and we both got our bells rung, but good. We faced a very specific obstacle; our styles weren’t compatible for a controlled fight. As long as he kept his distance, I couldn’t reach him with my small circles blocks and strikes. If I managed to get in close, his high-flying and spinny techniques were useless.

I’m being a bit of a dick in terms of that last comment, but the reality is that in an actual combat situation, that incompatibility would inevitably lead to those opponents going to the ground. The fact that I was in a controlled match is the only thing that prevented that, in my situation. But that’s why I highly recommend taking the time to learn at LEAST the basics of rudimentary grappling and ground work. It could make all the difference in a real life situation. ☯️

Letting Sleeping Ghosts Lie…

So, my October 13 celebration/grieving was a bust… My wife warned me that this would happen. Another testament to how one should always listen to one’s spouse. Typically, I would have a home office in which I could write, stream some shows and be alone with my thoughts. This usually allows me to reflect and think back on my past experiences and what has brought me here. This year, since our basement isn’t completed, I had nowhere to go besides our living room. And that seemed to fall short for what I’ve usually done in the past.

Once supper was served, I was able to coax my son Nathan with the promise of holding on to his device if he completed a couple of homework tasks on it first. He agreed I got him squared away in his room with water and snack. Check. The youngest, however… Our evenings are typically on the quieter side since Alexander is usually pretty calm when his older brother Nathan isn’t in the picture. But for some reason, either because there was a full moon I was aware of or some stars aligned against me, or perhaps we can simply go with my usual belief that life doesn’t care about one’s plan, he was a roiling Tasmanian Devil of energy and was destroying everything in sight.

By the time we managed to get him to actually go to bed, I was physically and emotionally exhausted (not from him) and just wanted to go to bed. Which I did. Like an old man. Then I slept for over 11 hours, leaving behind the last instance of celebrating the day I completed basic training and took to the field. I’d like to say it was a restful sleep, but I woke up the next morning feeling as though I had been struck by a freight train. This is a testament to the fact that one can potentially sleep TOO long.

I did get one silver lining on Wednesday, which came in the form of an old troop mate reaching out to me: Randy Tabada. Y’all may remember Tabada, if you read the post I wrote back in February of 2020. If you didn’t, you can read it here. Tabada was a member of my troop during basic training. Our bunks were across the aisle from one another and he was one of the few select people from our troop that I actually spent time with, outside of the training environment. When he came back to Regina in February of 2020 to take some courses at the academy, I had the opportunity to share a meal and fond memories with him.

It was wonderful to get his phone call and reconnect with him. We discussed a number of outstanding issues that we’ve both been facing and we agreed how it was a little sad that out of a troop of 32, neither of us really had contact with anyone besides each other. I recall making an effort to reach out to everybody prior to our 10-year anniversary with the intention of organizing a reunion. I sent out a feeler email to see who would be amenable to getting together. The negative response was almost unanimous, which was a little sad.

At the end of the day, I didn’t get to observe my special day the way I would have chosen. Such is life. Although my intention is to rediscover myself and find out who I am outside of my previous career, I knew there wouldn’t be some climactic revelation or fireworks involved. But given that I’m now a veteran, it would have been nice to reminisce in my own way, one last time. Especially since my intention is to prohibit Fireball (or most other forms of alcohol) from ever entering this house again. I’m a veteran. It feels weird to say. It’s a title I usually always associated with my grandfather, but one that I’ll carry with pride. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to step out into the world and discover who I am. Or rather, who I may become…☯️

Be In The Now…

It’s important in life to recognize that life exists only in the immediate moment. That makes it equally important to live in that moment. I found a meme online that got me thinking about all of this and it went a little something like this. Bear with me, as I’m translating indirectly from French…

“If you want to be sad, live in the past.”
“If you want to be worried or anxious, live in the future.”
“If you want to be in peace, live in the present.”

This is not mine and to be honest, it was a meme and I can’t source it. I’m sure I could research it and try to figure out where it came from, but unlike providing information on something Diabetes-related as I often do, I don’t believe it’s necessary for the message I’m trying to convey. And just to be clear, this doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be PREPARED or PLAN for things. It simply means that your thoughts and your essence shouldn’t exist outside fo the immediate moment.

This is where you are. This is where you exist. To allow yourself to live outside of that context brings suffering. And that’s the last thing you need. Take the time to appreciate where you are. Soak in the environment. Take on the scents and sounds of your life. And take note that if any of those aspects don’t make you happy, you have an inherent responsibility to do something about it. ☯️

Let It Go And Let There Be Light…

In 2009, I closed up shop on life as I knew it. I closed my karate dojo, quit my job and left my friends and family to pursue a life-long dream and come out to Saskatchewan to start a new career. Basic training was tough, but despite several different types of adversity I made it through with flying colours and started the journey I thought would last the rest of my life. Today is the anniversary of the start of that journey. For years, I’ve observed a tradition on this day that involves toasting to my brothers and sisters.

This toast would take the form of one shot of Fireball for every year of service I had accumulated. The first few years were reasonably okay and it was a nice way of recognizing my comrades and celebrating without being able to be with them. After all, we were posted all over the country, so doing anything specific is difficult. But right around the fifth year of celebrating this day as a personal holiday, it started to get a little bit tough. I don’t think I need to explain that having five shots of Fireball whiskey in a row makes for a bit of a rough night.

Despite that fact, every year I’ve stubbornly held out. All the way to ten years, where over the course of a few hours, I would celebrate by taking ten shots. Is anybody else’s liver hurting yet? Needless to say, the following year I needed to find a different means of celebrating. But this year, things are different. In April, I started a new job. For the first time in my life, I have a permanent home. My children were born here in Saskatchewan. My wife is from Saskatchewan. The memories and experiences I’ve gathered during a decade and a half of being out here far outweigh any of the difficulties I’ve faced in recent years.

So I’ve decided that this year is the last time. Time to move forward with life. Memories and experience are simply that and how can one be expected to move forward if one is constantly reminded of what was lost, right? It’s been difficult to ignore that the rough seas I’ve been navigating over the past three years were out of my control, caused by someone else and even without any measurable benefit to the party in question. Some people just like to watch the world burn. But if I don’t let go of my hate and start moving forward, all it will do is contributed to my own suffering, which if you haven’t been paying attention, the elimination of suffering is kind of my jam.

So here’s to my brothers and sisters. I hope you all stay safe out there and continue to fight the good fight. My fight is not over, it’ll simply be in a different arena. Time to find out who I am outside the uniform and pursue new dreams. Time to find some peace. ☯️

Some “Social” Commentary…

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about social media. You can read that post here, but the irony is that last Monday the world got a brief, if albeit very real taste of being without social media for a period of time. For me, it went unnoticed until my wife texted me and asked if my Facebook was working. I opened up my app and found that I was able to scroll through my feed without issue and it looked like folks had posted stuff, so I thought nothing of it. In fact, we were convinced it had something to do with our internet at home, or perhaps my wife’s devices. Turns out that the feed I was looking at was exactly the same as it had been hours earlier and hadn’t refreshed. I keep so few friends on Facebook that apparently I didn’t even notice.

Within a couple of hours, I began to see articles online about the outage and the impact it was having on people. It was entertaining to me, the one who was able to make his way through the entire day without a care whether he had social media or not. The fact that I was at work kind of helped, since I was focused on that as opposed to my phone. But the outage apparently affected several social media platforms besides Facebook. By the time I got home from work that evening, the outage had been rectified and things were back to normal.

When I took the time to reflect on it, I found it disheartening how so many people were “affected” because they suddenly couldn’t use these platforms. I felt that it further went to fortify my position that we, as a society have come to depend on social media and the internet far more than we should. It wasn’t until my voice of reason (my wife) pointed out that some people actually depend on social media platforms to run and advertise their businesses and an outage can be detrimental to those businesses. When viewed through that lens, I can get how having an outage of several hours would be detrimental.

Despite the love/hate relationship I occasionally have with it, for better or for worse, social media is here to stay. Hell, I don’t even make money off this blog, but I’d be upset if our platform went down for any period of time. So I get it. But I think it should serve as a bit of a wake-up call for some who were unable to get through their day without posting, viewing and using their social media platforms. It’s definitely a demonstration of the current mindset of society. Who am I to say whether it’s good or bad? ☯️

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers. Although one should reflect on it often, I hope everyone has something to be thankful for this year, despite the current state of the world. Be safe, be healthy and take the time to be with those you love. ☯️

Squid Games: A Review (includes spoilers)

I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon for anything (unless it’s required by law) as I typically find most fads and “popular” shit are usually overrated. That being said, some things tend to slip through the cracks on occasion and my wife and I sat through all the episodes of Netflix’s Squid Games in the last week. I’m going to provide my thoughts on the series and be warned, there will be significant spoilers herein. Read at your own risk…

I have to say, it contained a number of ups and downs and ultimately didn’t disappoint. To provide a bit of background, the show involves hundreds of people who are in financial strife and facing harsh collectors on their debts, participating as contestants in a contest of children’s games where the losers are killed. The show is based in South Korea but isn’t subtitled. There are only 9 episodes but Netflix shows it as “Season 1,” leading me to believe there may be more episodes in the future.

The series follows the movements of Gi-Hun, a down-on-his-luck Korean man who is heavily in debt and at risk of losing contact with his only child when his ex-wife is threatening to move to the United States with her new husband. Right around the point where Gi-Hun believes there may be no way out, he’s approached by a man on the subway who offers to play a child’s game in exchange for money. When they’ve finished playing, the stranger offers him a business card with a phone number to participate in more games for more money. The show is a bit slow-paced at the start, but once Gi-Hun calls the number and accepts, the real show begins.

Gi-Hun is rendered unconscious and wakes up to find himself in a room with several hundred other people. Masked individuals, armed with weapons come in and explain the rules of a child’s game they must participate in. The first game they play is “red light, green light.” When the people who are still moving after “red light” is called are killed, the horrific reality of the contestants’ situation becomes clear. Over the episodes that follow, the herd is significantly thinned as defeated opponents or losers are shot and killed, with a secretive side business of sending the bodies down to a sun basement to harvest the organs for the black market.

Alliances and partnerships are made, and quasi-friendships are developed. Not least of these include a previous friendship between Gi-Hun and his childhood friend, as well as a connection with an elderly man who appears to be slowly losing his coherence due to a tumour in his head. Emotions run high and heart strings are tugged as the final contestants are all killed, one after another, including the elderly man. The best friend kills himself when the games come down to him and Gi-Hun, crowning Gi-Hun the winner.

Gi-Hun leaves the games, now a wealthy man but burdened with the guilt of all the deaths that were forced upon his soul. this causes Gi-Hun to reject his fortune, which prompts the mastermind behind the games to reach out. It was a bit of a stunner to discover that the old man who had been killed by losing to Gi-Hun turned out to be the one behind the Squid Games. He plays one last cursory game with Gi-Hun, after which he dies in his bed, having succumbed to the tumour in his brain, apparently one of the few actual truths behind the man.

The season ends with Gi-Hun wearing a nice suit and walking through a subway terminal on his way to the airport to see his daughter in the US. He’s stopped short by seeing the same man from the first episode, playing the same game for money and providing a card to a random stranger. Gi-Hun confronts the stranger and takes the card and calls the number, on my to be addressed as “Player 456,” which was his number in the games. He’s told to get on the plane and go, fo this own good. It ends with Gi-Hun turning around and walking back into the airport terminal, which leads me to believe there’ll be another season.

All in all, it was what i would easily describe as a train wreck. Weird and gory, but difficult to peel your eyes away. Once we started watching, we made it through all nine episodes within a week. What’s more is that they’re roughly 1-hour episodes, so they can be a bit long to sit through. But the content keeps you engaged and it has plots and subplots, which makes it more than just a random show about contestants being killed for losing a game. I highly recommend it. ☯️