Wednesday, 22 October 2008

There and back

Last night was no different to most other week nights - I went to Hapkido and came home. I decided to document the walk there and back and to take in more of the things I see but am usually oblivious to these days due to familiarity. Here are some of the sights of me playing with my camera.

Above is the outside burning rotisserie of a restaurant that sells chicken. The place is only open in the evening and the smell is enticing.

The usual sight of cars rushing to their destination. I actually enjoy night-time traffic, the sounds and the sights of rapid movement. There are plenty of cars on my walk, most eagerly ready to try and knock me down with little success so far. I admire their resolve but not their intentions.

Above we see some kind of fitness poster and 2 spinning barber poles. Legend has it that these poles are supposed to 'advertise' brothels close by. Though no Korean has so far confirmed this to me, many Westerners believe this to be true. This surely cannot be 100% correct as when I came here in 2005 there were hundreds and hundreds around the city. I'm told that there IS an element of truth in this for some of them. One things for certain, they aren't advertising barber shops being open at midnight.

I pass this bar every night and I'm dying to go in just because of the name and the Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef images. Gaudy lighting and cheap decor are commonplace here. The plastic chairs are for people who want to drink outside, though not many do this with the current evening weather. Yes drinking outside on the street is VERY popular and acceptable in Korea. Another big plus for this nation! I wonder if this could ever happen in England, I severely doubt it.

Here we see the familiar sight of some inflatable illuminated advertisement outside of a building. These wouldn't last five seconds back home would they. If my Korean is correct, it is for Mr. Mong Ki (monkey perhaps) but I don't know what they're selling. From time to time you see embarrassing foreigners astride of them downtown whilst blind drunk.

Here's a familiar sight. Rubbish. You'd be amazed at how much fills up places here. This looks like someone collecting some to later sell, like a rag-and-bone-man. I often see people in the day and night-time scouring the streets looking for things. Often they are elderly. It is an unsettling sight but a frequent one.

What could be more representative of Korea than the mixture of neon and the church. I still find it literally unbelievable the amount of churches here. On my walk I counted at least fifteen in the skyline. You know them from the neon crosses atop of them, usually red but from time to time ordinary light or even bright green, though not all have tacky paintings on them like this one. There must be thousands and thousands of these in Korea if Daegu is representational of the nation. Surely they can only be half full at best. They are unmissable and unmistakable.

Another shot of the church, this time with one of the local playgrounds in view.

Nearly home now. This is one thing I still can't get over. People leave their rubbish in the street and it's collected usually overnight. It's not right but it's the way it is in some places here.

Eerily quiet, no cars about. My journey almost over and ready to begin again tomorrow.

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