15 October 2008

Seoul: Jamsil again

Only one photo today, though I had a good day in Jamsil.

I started out by window-shopping at Lotte Department Store, before visiting Lotte World's cinema and sitting through Eagle Eye, a very interesting action flick about the post-9/11 Orwellian surveillance in the US. I must say, however, that writing the Korean caption for the English soundtrack seems to be a work of art in itself, as concepts not familiar to South Koreans must be left out or substituted (i.e. speeds in miles per hour will be translated into kilometers per hour equivalents), vulgar language needs to be translated into something much milder (so that younger audience can be admitted), and so forth.

I followed with a round of bowling, which left me soaked in sweat - fast - due to the higher humidity here in Seoul. I then considered entering Lotte World Adventure, the largest indoors theme park in the world, upstairs, but decided against it, as it seemed to be a poor value.

I ended my Jamsil visit today across the street, at another branch of Kyobo Bookstore, where I bought a few metaphysics books and window-shopped a bit more.

This is my only photo today. I was able to find the entire five seasons of my favorite skinny neurotic miniskirt-suited lesbian lawyer! These are Region 3. Didn't buy these though, as I already have all five seasons of Ally back home (themselves imported from the UK, and therefore Region 2 and PAL). My DVD player at home is code-free, and also converts PAL to NTSC.

I can also spot another series, The X-Files, featuring one of my favorite lesbian power icons, Gillian Anderson (who may/may not be lesbian, but is certainly a lesbian power icon without doubt). Speaking of Anderson, she'll be starring in a new movie, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, already showing in the US and UK, and opening here in South Korea tomorrow. I'll make sure to watch that too.

On another topic: as I walk around Seoul, I see plenty of coffee houses. While some are familiar American names like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean, most of them are the local chain by the name of Angel-in-us Coffee. It's a nice name, but when I saw it at first, I misread it as "Angelina Jolie" - and I continue to be reminded of Jolie whenever I spot an Angel-in-us. That's not good; everyone knows I am a lifelong card-carrying member of Team Aniston, and have very low opinions of Jolie!

Some current events here in Seoul tonight, according to SBS News, state that the Bank of Korea is hesitating about the planned issue of the 100,000-won (USD $100) banknote next year. The controversy is currently over the back side of the note, which will feature a 19th Century map of Korea; the original banknote design omitted Dokdo/Liancourt Rocks, for fear of offending Japan, though a later revision added it in at the urging of nationalists and citizens' groups, and nobody at the central bank can decide which one they would rather accept. I think it's very telling of the current Lee government's tendency to sell out to right-wing governments overseas at any cost. Another reason (though unannounced) that I think is likely: the front features an image of Kim Ku, a leftist independence fighter that the New Right Foundation calls a "vicious terrorist on par with Osama bin Laden."

Another is the presidential radio address, started for the very first time this Monday and to be continued every other Monday. This is a good development in concept, but without a chance for the opposition party to deliver a response, as is the case in the US after the presidential radio address every Saturday, it's only going to be another propaganda tool for the Lee government to manipulate the public opinion with.

News from back in the US, according to live news feeds in the subway, state that Obama's lead over McCain has widened to 14%, after consistently pulling 9-10% ahead in recent polls. This better hold! I'm already quite bummed about the Canadians giving their own W puppet, Stephen Harper, a larger minority government.