18 December 2008

Korea Recap: Final Photos

Here are my final photos from Seoul, mostly from December 13th, except for the final one from December 14th.

This announcement board adorns a subway station on Seoul Metro's Line 2 under Euljiro. It's quite interesting.

The bottom center asks South Koreans to save a billion liters of petroleum. This can be done by asking ten million petroleum users to conserve 100 liters (25 gallons) each. Relying more on mass transit, rather than driving, can easily save 100 liters of gasoline in under a month. Saving 100 liters of crude oil could be a bit more of a challenge, however, as one liter of crude yields several liters of gasoline.

The top left, from the National Human Rights Commission, says: "Differences can't be discriminated against." Various characters, from the homeless to a black rapper to a gay man to a transwoman, speak out about themselves, and why discrimination is foolish. My favorite character, however, is a cat, who says, tongue-in-cheek: "I think humans are pathetic too. Can I discriminate against you humans too?" Never mind that the commission's rulings are nonbinding, and that the 2MB government would rather not listen to them.

Further evidence of the 2MB policies are on the top right, a standard thought police poster again reminding me to turn in every leftist in sight for a 30 million won reward.

Here is a map store. I can pick up road atlases, globes, and more. It's closed in this photo, but could be of interest to me on a future visit.

The store is run by Seongji, South Korea's leading map publisher. My road atlas for last month's road trip was published by this company too - and it was excellent! For now, I brought my atlas to the US, so that (1) it'll be a reminder of the road trip and (2) I can plot my next South Korean road trip, which may be as early as next spring.

The Republican city government is threatening this mall and all other subterranean malls too, by attempting to sell them to the highest corporate bidder who is certain to jack up rent and bring in only corporate shops. This store has a protest banner as well: "Choking the throats of mom-and-pop merchants. Grand Nationals, blow yourselves up."

Here's another store, one that makes signs, often lit, all Christian. It's one of the few that doesn't feature a protest banner.

This is one of the signs made by the store, showing the Christian genealogy running from Adam to Jesus, as documented by the Bible.

A tourist map of Jeju Island. I'll certainly fly over there the next time I am in South Korea. On top of all my statues from the past three months, I can definitely use a pair of harubangs.

Jeju tourism promotion office, closed for renovation.

The message on either side of the door - ᄒᆞᆫ저옵서예 - means "welcome." It's in Jeju dialect, and the standard Korean equivalent would be 어서 오세요. Most mainland Koreans recognize that word from Jeju, plus harubang (grandfather), but that's about it.

I certainly look forward to being thrown off by the utterly strange dialect when I arrive in Jeju. I'll also love taking in the island's unique culture and sights while at it too.

Now, I've arrived at Incheon Airport, cleared security and immigration, and picked up my Canon camera. Time to kill a few hours before my flight to Los Angeles boards. I took this photo, even though planespotting is technically illegal at Incheon, or any other South Korean airport that matter. (Many South Korean airports, including Busan Gimhae, are military airfields, so the no-photo rule would be strictly enforced at such places.)

The above is a Korean Air 747 with special arts promotion livery, complete with a Mona Lisa. That plane will fly to Sydney after sunset.

For that matter, Asiana also ran a flight to Sydney the same evening, though on a standard 777. Asiana does have a special livery 777 to commemorate the opening of its Paris route, and I saw it, but it was operating to Hanoi instead. My flight to Los Angeles, yet another 777, wore the old mocha gray paint job.

Asiana's passenger 747 fleet is down to five now, and I spotted three of them: HL7417 (combi) which had brought me back from Hong Kong, and now going to Singapore; HL7418 (pax) which flew me from LAX to Incheon twice, sitting overnight for a Beijing run the next morning; HL7428 (pax) which flew me from LAX to Incheon once, often flies the President, and was operating to New York, departing at the same time as my LAX flight. It was glad to see these travel companions again.