Friday, June 30, 2006

Boonis, he's the glue that holds families and friends together. He's also the head of the household Posted by Picasa

Korean goodness.  Posted by Picasa

SLC punks. Posted by Picasa

Very angry that my drink is empty.  Posted by Picasa

Flag boys reunited. (that's Flagstaff boys) Posted by Picasa

Happy days.  Posted by Picasa

You could be here. Posted by Picasa

Hooligan lost in the forest.  Posted by Picasa

Bonding moments.  Posted by Picasa

Too damn happy.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Something to Remind Us Lest We Forget

Once again my sadistic side led me on an adventure this last weekend: Seodaemun Prison. For those of you who are unaware, South Korea is a relatively new country, about fifty years old. Sure the actual country has been around for longer than that, but at one time or another the country has been under the rule of the Chinese, the Russians or the Japanese. If you ask the North Koreans they'll say that South Korea is under American control right now. I think most of the occupation consists of western style food franchises and ESL teachers.

Anyway, back to the prison. I thought it would be interesting to go to a place that people were trying for decades to get out of; sort of like visiting Alcatraz. The difference with Seodaemun Prison is it was built in 1908 (I believe) by the Japanese to house Korean Nationals. A concentration camp or reeducation camp is a better description than a prison. All the interrogation rooms are intact as well as the different torture devices. There are graphic portrayals of physical, mental and sexual torture; as well a displays of interrogations and executions. It's creepy, but the really creepy thing was to think that not so long ago this was a reality, and that I wasn't standing in a rebuilt building but the actual place where all of this went on.

Every county has their awful history, the Nazis and the Jews, the US government and the Native Americans, the Conquistadors and the Aztecs, the Canadians and the beaver population. I'm not quite sure what dirt Canada has on it but I'll find some. The point is we learn about these things in schools and we hear about this on the news, but it gets glossed over and is just another statistic after awhile. Places like Soedaemun make you see the awful truth. I'd like to joke, to end on a lighter note, but I can't. Soedaemun is a place I'm glad I went to go see, and a place I probably won't go back to.

On Saturday we went bungee jumping. Fun.

Main prison hall.  Posted by Picasa

Main prison office. Bad stuff went on here.  Posted by Picasa

"Um, sure guys. I'll do it if you will."  Posted by Picasa

How long do you think we should leave her up for?  Posted by Picasa

An entertainment device dreampt up by the likes of Wiley E. Coyote.  Posted by Picasa

Looks like I caught me a waygook! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Good Traditional Flogging

We went to the folk village last weekend and got a good dose of Korean culture. The folk village is kind of like an old school Korean Disneyland, except without the rides and the lines. So maybe it isn't like Disneyland.

We wandered around and saw how people used to live their lives: how the grew crops, what their houses looked like, how they tortured people. A funny thing about myself, show me a traditional Korean wedding and I'm mildly interested; show me how people were jailed, tortured and killed and I'm enthralled. I like to think I'm a peaceful person, but it's the seedier and darker side of culture that I find fascinating. Do I want bad things to happen to people? Absolutely not. Will I read about it if it does? Absolutely. I think I'm 1/2 pacifist, 1/2 masochists.

No thanks, I'll pass.  Posted by Picasa

Showin the Koreans how it's done (whatever it may be).  Posted by Picasa

I've got a new asian girlfriend. She doesn't say much and has a surprised look on her face most of the time. Apparently she really likes clay jars.  Posted by Picasa

R and R Posted by Picasa

Dance sucka, dance.  Posted by Picasa

One of the more popular activities at the Folk Village.  Posted by Picasa

Bad Ass! Posted by Picasa

This is kind of like a toned down, asian version of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Posted by Picasa

Silly Waygooks.  Posted by Picasa