Thursday, 20 December 2012

Gangnam Syte Means the World is a Small Place: One Lesson Learned in the Last 60 Years

About ten years ago, I started my travels with a trip to Aisa. My first venture outside of North America was to Singapore, which meant involved taking Korean Airlines from San Francisco to Seoul and changing there ot Singapore Airlines. I was charmed by the Koreans, and emboldened to try a small escapade that one of my guidebooks suggested.

Since I had 5 hours between flights, I got a temprary visa and took a local city bu into downtown Seoul. It was about 7 a.m. local time when I started and it was obvious that the pasengeres were regulars with nearly everyone nodding greetings to the others.

 I tried to take in as much as I could, and when we got to the centre of the city, I got off thinking I could take the same bus back to the airport. Alas, it was not to be. Given more than five hours I mih have found where to take the return bus, but I had much less time.

So I decidend into the subway system, trying to remember exactly what the subway map had said about getting to the airport. As I stood in the car, staring up at the subway map, a yount man asked in very good English if he could help me. He didn't understand my accet, but when I showed him on my map where I was headed, he was most helfpful.

There, he pointed out, that's where I should change trains. And there was the spot where I'd be just steps from the airport check in section. How much he understood of my English is unclear, but what is certain was his delight in helping me. What a contrast with the heavy weapons on the bridges over the rivers, andmy own memories of the Korean War.

When the gangnam style video began makin its appearance in the cybersphere, I  wasn't keen on seeing it,.  Yet this is wha is coming out of that country, 60 years after that war.

The moral?  Well, maybe that if fi you wait long enough popular culture will triumph.

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