Friday, November 19, 2010


As many of you may know, the G20 summit was held here a week or so ago. And it was pure madness. I'm pretty sure that you didn't see it on the American news, but the protestors were ferocious and viciously treated. People were tear gassed, many went to jail, and one woman set herself on fire in protest of something or other. To protest an international conference of this nature never made much sense to me. They were probably protesting some government's stand on something or other, but it just looks like you are protesting international cooperation which makes you look like kind of an idiot.

The conference was held in Gangnam, which is closer to where I live than the rest of Seoul, and the place was blocked off for miles around. I didn't try to ride the subway there, but if I did, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have stopped at any of the surrounding stops, just cruised through until we were well away from the chaos. All local businesses were closed down for the week, too. The business owners were basically told to take a vacation and offered no compensation, which is, to me, the fact about the conference most worthy of protest. My co-worker's in-laws have a nice Japanese restaurant in the vicinity and they had to shut down, loosing money every night.

The conference was in Co-Ex Mall, which is the biggest indoor shopping complex in Asia. And it is enormous. The first time I went there, I walked for about two hours in one direction, looking for the movie theatre before I found it, and I still didn't hit the end of the place.

I am at the tail end of my stay here in Korea and even though I have a little over three months left, I can't help but think it will go very quickly. My stay so far has gone by so fast, I feel like I just arrived here, tired and disoriented, a week ago.

I still have so much I want to see, even though I feel like I've seen a lot. I've missed some of Korea's most famous sights: castles, temples, the french quarter in Gangnam (oh yeah, they have one of those here), the 63 bulding, the Co-ex aquarium, Namsan Tower, even the Kimchi museum sounds like it would be a blast. I mean, where else am I going to find a Kimchi museum? Curiously, three out of those sights are in Gangnam, so maybe that's what I should do next weekend...

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