Monday, April 2, 2012

Well, that about wraps it up for Korea

It's not like I'll be visiting the North any time soon. I had a mixed time in South Korea - good for the first few weeks, then dipping in the middle due to a lack of money where I mainly survived on free toast and had some lousy hostel experiences, before perking up again at the end. Gyeongju was good too.

Because I'm generally shy, reclusive and run away if a pretty girl offers me an orange (true story), I didn't give myself many opportunities to experience Korea's famed odder side during my stay. Like attending a Cosplay convention, or professional Starcraft tournaments that sell out stadiums and earn players six-figure salaries (that's six figures in US dollars - six figures in Korean won is about three nights' accommodation).

Fortunately, it's impossible to walk down a Korean high street without seeing something zany. And I shouldn't despair, as BBC Three documentaries have taught me that Japan is basically a synonym for 'mental,' so I have plenty to look forward to.


I walked past this thing for a week trying to work out what it was, until one day I saw women selling drinks through its chest plate. That didn't make me any less confused (Seoul)

At least here, you know you're getting either Thundercats or slags (Seoul)

I thought this was a dancing car exhaust or something, I only just worked it out (Seoul)

Where does this leave Darwin? (Jeju Love Land)

But if nobody smoked, the ash child would never exist. Don't let him die! (Jeju Island)

Look how sad the cigarette looks. They left me no option, I had to start smoking (Busan)

Seriously, does everything need to be a cartoon character? (Busan)

It was cold and I was in a hurry, so I regrettably didn't have time to investigate the authenticity of this bizarre bit of franchising (or plain copyright theft)

A century of trash gets pride of place in Amnam Park (Busan)

What the shit is this? (Busan)

Do these guys know their logo is a pair of flying tits? Who's going to break it to them? (Busan)

More shit innuendo. 'Ha ha ha,' etc.
I wouldn't have thought it if that hat wasn't emphasising his nudity (Seoraksan)

Oh come on, you're not even trying any more.
Give me some innuendo to work with (Seoul)

'Caw' mug (they spell it correctly on the other side, but that has its own problems) (Jeonju)

This unpleasant street gargoyle is the most freakish creature I've seen since Haw Par Villa.
I think I had a Ghostbusters toy of it (Jeonju)

Symbolic art or idleness? (Gyeongju)

Fortunately, this level of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 never got past the development phase (Gyeongju)

The 'and' really clears that up (Gyeongju)

This can only be either a commendably large-scale prank by a Korean Monty Python fan or the end of human civilisation (Seoul)

South Korea route map

(N.B. I went back and forth a few times)

A Seoul
B Panmunjom
C Jeju-do
D Busan
E Sokcho/Seoraksan
F Jeonju
G Gyeongju

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