Monday, May 24, 2010

Why I Love Korea #295

You never know when you'll be treated to a bit of street theater.

This morning, I was on my way to work, just a blah Monday morning, when I came upon today's surprise performance: an ajosshi fight. When I came around the corner of the grocery store next to my school, I saw the dwarfish, slightly slow man that sweeps the delivery area pulling a man in a suit off a delivery driver (OK, I'm not sure he was the driver, but there was a truck and he looked truckerish). The man in the suit was clearly walking his very young daughter to her bus stop. He started to walk away, but then changed his mind and came back to yell at the guy for a bit. If I were Karl, I would have stopped to record it, but they were yelling and being pulled off each other and I have kids to teach.

I have to say, seeing that girl, I felt a bit robbed. My dad was a golden gloves champ, but I never got to see him stop on the street to fight some random guy. Hmmm... my family is campaigning to get me to move back home, maybe I can negotiate something... but I digress.

My point is, even on a drizzly Monday morning, you never know what to expect when you are out and about in Korea. Maybe you'll see a group of teenage boys waiting for the bus with their arms around each other looking like they are posing for a hair product ad. Maybe you'll see a group of ajjumas fighting to be the first in a shop when it opens. And maybe, if you're lucky, you'll see a dad in a suit get pulled of a much-larger working class guy by a slightly oversized dwarf. :-)

Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Blades of Blood

is a new Korean film starring that guy with the vampire canines that does all of the commercials that Jang Dong Gun doesn't do. I'm sure he has a name, but I just think of him as "Teeth."

Anyway, it was a historical drama from the time of Lee Sung Shin. Usually, I only hear about him and what a godlike man he was, what with the turtle ships and all. This movie only mentioned him in passing and focused on the political drama going on at the time. So, I that was my favorite part. I'm not sure what percentage of the movie was historically accurate (the political stuff, I mean, not the main plot lines), but it was good. There was a completely unnecessary storyline with a gisaeng, but I'm sure someone thought the movie could use a pretty face.

Spoiler alert: the movie has a very depressing ending and there is a lot of blood (first decapitation happens within about the first 5 minutes. Notice I said "first.") Overall, I'd recommend it, though.

It's showing at Yongsan CGV with subtitles and presumably select other locations have subtitles, as well.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

No Sleepy Sunday for You!

Promptly at 7:00 AM the heavy equipment got rolling. When I got home last night, an excavator had been parked for the night on the side of my house, but it was too dark to get a good shot. So, I'll let today's photos of my gate and from my gate suffice. Note: objects are exactly as close as they appear.

In order to actually go through the gate, I've got to step over all of the rusty pipes being replaced. Hopefully, they will take those with them today... I didn't get a picture this morning, but when I went out, there was an open pipe coming out from under my bathroom. Nice-uh. I can only hope that it is the shower drain, and that it has now been attached to something.

Monday evening update: The pipes are laid and covered with dirt. Hopefully asphalt will follow tomorrow. The heavy equipment and pipes are no longer surrounding my house, but the workers are still here. They were yelling at the teenage girls to stop talking so loudly as I walked up the street on the way in from work. Pretty rich coming from men using jackhammers and excavators at 7AM on a Sunday. I also noticed that a small chunk of the side of the house has been knocked out. Fortunately, it's just cosmetic. And not my property. :-)

Saturday evening update: After a short period on Friday during which I was trapped in the house, because a ditch had been created, equipment was blocking the gate, and safety lines had been erected to prevent crossing the ditch, had I been able to catapult over the gate (since I couldn't open it). My landlord to the rescue: he came and yelled at the construction guys and they poured the cement and covered it with dirt within about two hours.

I'm not sure what they got done today, because it pretty much looks exactly the same. I did see worshipers trying to leave the temple next door this morning faced with the same ditch. So, the workers are slowly moving down the street, but they can't possibly be done, so I'm not sure why they moved on.

I've also noticed that other houses had larger chunks knocked off the bottom edge by the excavators. I wonder if any of them will get compensated...

Tomorrow, I'll try to get a shot of the street as it currently looks. Due to the widening, the electric poles are now in the middle of the street. Nice-uh. I've seen too many concrete barriers get taken out by cars trying to get on (or off) the sidewalks to think that those skinny little poles are long for this world.