[GOING TO THE BLOGS]The New Seoul Tower?Recent visitors to northern Seoul may have noticed a new twist has been added to the Cheonggyecheon project. Designed by pop artist Claes Oldenburg, the spiraling tower standing at one end of the stream has caught the eye ― and consternation ― of the blogging community. At BigHominid’s Hairy Chasms, (http://bighominid.blogspot.com/), Kevin provided his take as to why locals are less than pleased with the design. “Koreans are understandably miffed that an Americans [sic] was paid to take a public [poop] in the middle of downtown Seoul.”
Robert, of “The Marmot’s Hole,” (www.rjkoehler.com/), had a similar impression. “The Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Big Pile of Poo on the Cheonggyecheon,” are absolute must-sees for any global traveler. While the majority of readers of the blog shared his opinion, some managed to avoid dropping comparisons to human waste.
Writes JiMong, “My first impression was [it is] just like a Christmas decoration in front of the Lotte Department Store in Myeong-dong.” Michael gives the structure a slightly positive spin. “Seriously, I have to admit [Oldenburg] might have telephoned this one in, still it’s better than the typical bronze amputated limb or lump of metal that’s in front of most office buildings in Seoul.”
Models need not apply
Koreans and Westerners alike have long bemoaned the priorities of many English institution managers when hiring teachers. Photo requests with job applications only serve to reinforce the belief that blonde hair and blue eyes often trump a degree and experience as essential qualifications.
But a shift in thinking may be upon us. ScS, from “EFL Geek,” (http://eflgeek.com/) stumbled upon this tongue-in-cheek job classified advertisement at a popular Web site for English teachers: “UGLY TEACHERS NEEDED.” While providing hope for the less-attractive, it apparently won’t eliminate the need to send a photo.
Celebration and circumspection
As Chuseok approaches, some bloggers have taken time to post on the Korean holiday. Skindleshanks, at “Skindleshanks’ Cafe” (http://skindleshanks.blogspot.com/), provides a collection of his students’ drawings capturing the essence of “Korea’s Thanksgiving.” Readers of his blog can vote for their favorite.
At “SeoulLife.net” (http://seoullife.net/), Cat, while shopping for a “Foreigner Chuseok” party, reflects on the little things in Korea that she’ll miss upon leaving.
Finally, while not directly related to Chuseok, Jeff’s recount of his traffic accident at his blog, “Ruminations in Korea” (http://www.jsharrison.com/korea/), provides a stark reminder to holiday travelers to drive safely. Happy holidays to all.
by Scott Hammel