Saturday, August 15, 2009
Soo bha bok su kha pi
I decided to pretend to be a tourist in the city that live in....Never mind I have at least another 9 months to live here...the was still some major thing I needed to see.
First on the list. "Soo bha bok su kha pi"
Or as you may know it Starbucks Coffee. When Starbucks first opened its stores in Korea, it couldn't use English letters for the sign. It had to use the Korean alphabet. That rule has since changed...and all of the other stores changed their sign...all except this one.
After I got a picture of that, I went out to the prison museum. This is a structure that was built by the Japanese during their occupation of Korea. It housed mainly political prisoners. I think it is almost needless to say that the guards behaved badly.
The prison sort of reminded me of Alcatraz...only in this prison...the cells were full of poor Korean manikins being tortured laughing Japanese manikins. And you wonder why a lot of Koreans have deep seeded hatred of the Japanese built into them.
Then again...Japanese history brushes over all this history with the audacious claims....that they were occupying Korea to assist in its industrialization....
For me...the saddest part of this museum....a museum that is dedicated to the struggle for independence of the Korea nation....is that the struggle never succeeded. For all the pain and all their suffering....the Korea people were unable to liberate themselves. It took 2 atomic explosions for Japan to surrender...64 years ago today...to free Korea.
On a happier note...
Finally, I went to Seoul Tower.
I took a gondola up the hill. I could have spent an hour walking up the hill...but then I would have missed the sunset...
Unfortunately, the smog took care of that for me...the brown air was so think that I couldn't watch the sun sick over the horizon on a perfectly cloudy day.
I began to miss Seattle...for its clean air and drinkable tap water...