For this week's post I decided to go with more of a slideshow approach and show everyone some of the awesome/hilarious/weird things I've come across so far in Korea. I've encountered some pretty crazy signs, customs, shops, foods, and people in the past 3 weeks but sadly I didn't have my camera with me every time. So... Here are the highlights that I was able to capture since my arrival. Enjoy!
Up first is this sculpture that I ran across on my walk to the subway station. It's a cow that's having a pretty good chuckle with a mouse who is flashing the peace sign. And there is a giant dump at their feet. (Sorry to start off with poop jokes, but that's how this blog is going to go sometimes...) Is the cow laughing because he knows this epic bowel movement could crush the mouse under it's sheer mass? Or perhaps the mouse is giving the peace sign because he just dropped the largest deuce in his species' history. Either way, it's a pretty hilarious sculpture to walk past all the time.
Next we have a friendly foot, presumably advertising for a shoe store or a podiatrist or something of that nature. Clearly my skills in Korean have skyrocketed since I arrived. At first nothing seemed too suspect about this guy but then I realized, the foot has feet! And also a pretty creepy look on his face. I followed his gaze, to see what it was he was grimacing at, and there was nothing but a clothing store for elderly women. Maybe he is eyeing it jealously because he knows he will never fit into the luxurious cashmere cardigans they offer, being a foot and all. But why the creepy grin? And why the feet? I guess they're so he doesn't have to walk on his face.
Third is this "Men's Hair Shop" which is a bit of a misnomer, since you can't buy Men's hair there, try as I might. At first this place looks pretty classy, offering a "professional cut & color" to all. Then I noticed the guy on top of the shop. If it's tough to tell in the picture, he just had a giant line shaved down the middle of his head. But he's also giving a thumbs up. It seems to me that if you wanted to draw customers in, you wouldn't want to show someone on top of your store that has a ridiculously horrible haircut. But, the guy is really stoked about his new do, so maybe they're saying, "no matter how crazy a haircut you want, we'll do it! Even if you want a line shaved in the middle of your head."
Then we have this awesome pencil case. Many of my students have these really cool animals to hold all their school gear. Zebras, giraffes, dogs, the whole zoo. The only creepy part is when it looks like they're rummaging around inside a gazelle's brain trying to find an eraser. And sometimes I have flashbacks to that time I was stuck on Hoth and had to sleep inside a ton-ton. But that was a long time ago.
Finally, we have the mountaintop gym. I had heard fables of this place, but never believed it was real until I stumbled upon it during an afternoon jog near my apartment. I was in the middle of my run, listening to some classic Hinder to keep me pumped up as always, when I spotted a little trail that led up into the mountain. Curious as to where it would take me, I followed it up. About 10 minutes in, I passed a mountainside badminton court, which was pretty weird. But then I reached the pinnacle and found this! An outdoor workout area for anyone who could make the trek up there! They have these gyms in random parks around the city, but this is by far the coolest I have seen.
Well, that's all the sights for this week's blog, but I'm sure I'll have more in the days to come. In other news, I went to Nagwon (or Nakwon) this weekend, which is a 3-story indoor music "arcade." I would try to describe the store's immense awesomeness, but words would never be enough, so I'll leave you with this other guy's video that he took of one floor of the place. Suffice to say, if you love musical instruments, and have a credit card that isn't maxed out, don't ever, ever go to this place.