By John Stringer
As mentioned last time…
“Hilarimouse Engerish abounds.” Not wishing to be superior or disparaging but it is humorous seeing Engerish featuring so prominently across South Korea, such as the brightly neon-lit SODOMIA Hotel on Rodeo Street or the Queen’s Room. And it’s near cousins…
But at least there is “happymoney.”
Hauling in to Incheon International Airportfrom Christchurch, the first thing I noticed was how QUIET everyone disgorging from the plane into the Incheon cattle yards are. A large hall full of sardines, and EVERYONE is silent, respectful. This seemed very unusual to me. In European or American contexts, people would be chatting and talking. Not here. It appears to be a public mindset I suspect a survival instinct in a society so full of people.
I really like Incheon airport. It is spacious, well-lit, caters to people, and has won several awards. The architecture is spectacular. Public sculpture is very modern in South Korea. Although, there are glitches. This gigantic phallus on the main drag outside the airport. “Sou Korea..velly fertile?” They even light it at night. Ahem.
ongdo Central Park is worth visiting. It has the distinctive “Tri-Bowl” building. It supposedly represents the “sky (airport),” “sea (port),” and “land (metropolitan traffic network)” but I just see inverted Columbia space shuttle booster rockets.
Then of course, there is this (below) [not photoshopped]. “Sou’ Korean boys… velly good flow.”
Korean food is flavourable and delicious; the style is to go to open air BBQs where the staff roast different meats in front of you and you wrap it in various vegetables and edible leaves with your fingers. A common drink is Soju (“burned liquor”) which is like Saki. Korean food is balanced with good fresh vegetables. Cost-wise Korea is about the same as NZ but eating out is a bit cheaper because they have the populace to drive down establishment costs, something we should consider in NZ (ie try some Immigration).
Being rather high up, and from Christchurch, we were perturbed to find this small wooden box in the closet in case of fire. I guess you climb inside it? Inside was a tinfoil fire blanket and a thin rope that you tie to a hook on the wall by the window that doesn’t open. We spent about 20 minutes each trying to open the window at various stages of our stay, which is set ajar. Merely a hope of saving yourself as you burn to death. We never did work out how the box would help. Maybe just tentatively reassuring and ticking a hotel insurance box. Everything inside was completely useless.
Part of our visit was for a wedding. One of my new relatives is Eun Yee Un who collected us and was a marvelous host, but knows not a shred of English, or us Korean. Yet we communicated well and thoroughly enjoyed eachothers company all week. Lots of smiling and nodding and laughing, universal human language. Koreans are most generous.
Next time…off to North Korea.
Tags: John Stringer