Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Hwaseong remains the same



I was a little stingy in Japan when it came to paying entry fees for palaces, museums and things, and when there was usually a slightly inferior alternative nearby that didn't cost me anything. But after walking the perimeter of this old Korean city, I was interested to see Hwaseong Palace itself, which was also refreshingly cheap. Why am I only staying in this country for three weeks? I could easily spend a year here. Maybe I will. With my diet and general health, I should have at least seven more years left in me.

They also put on free shows every day of the week for anyone who wants to watch spinning women, martial arts, precariously balancing kids and other activities Koreans get up to when they're not playing Starcraft. If these guys toured the UK, they'd make a killing on the bland audition TV show circuit. But they're not, they're here with me and you don't get to have them until you learn more about this country and stop thinking of Asia as just 'India and those Chinesey ones.'

I'm partly talking to the me of a couple of years back, when I was unwisely trusted to write whole websites about countries in all parts of the world despite never having ventured further than Spain, which I was too young to remember. I'd be too ashamed to read whatever uninformed crap I wrote about the countries I've visited since.


Hwaseong Haenggung
(ν™”μ„± 행ꢁ)



North Korea might have nuclear missiles, but they'll have to get past these guys first



I'm not even sure which character I'm controlling



Try this at home, kids. Do this now!



Main courtyard



Yeah, this place featured in a Korean drama BLAH WHATEVER WHO CARES?
(A lot of people care)



Just look how much these guys love their jobs



Bongsudang (Kingy's house)



Another poorly executed panorama, because I have a feeling you like them



I still like these roofs too



In a needlessly complicated exchange system, you can pay for things by first buying an old-style coin with your modern Won. Still, it's quite a nice coin



Zelkova wish tree. I always mock these things, so I thought I'd put it to a rigorous scientific test by wishing for something so unlikely, there's no way it could happen by chance...



How did they know???


If I appear to be naked in this picture, don't be alarmed - my tailors informed me that the materials they use are magic or something, and can't be seen by stupid people. You know, like in 'The Emperor's New Clothes' by Hans Christian Andersen.

...I am actually wearing something, right?


Today's relevant soundtrack: Hans Christian Andersen, Fairy Tales (Librivox). Yeah, I'm sticking with it.


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