Second day at Korea

Changed the hotel from Castle to Central in Suwon City.
Lost internet and email connection, Movie channel, and even morning call(But got a nice free breakfast, though). Fortunately the work ended rather earlier (still 9:00 pm….) and there is nothing else to do, I got out and enjoyed wandering around downtown Suwon City. Again, stupidX10 for not bringing my digital camera-enhanced mobile.
At the center of the downtown we can see this ancient gate surrounded by traffics, shops, and restaurants.
Tried to climb up the wall (it seemed possible even for a lazy person like me) and stopped from fear of being arrested or insulting local people’s feeling (a Japaense fork climbing on top of our inheritance!). Life is short, I might never have the chance to climb that wall and see Suwon City beneath. From now when I look back on these days, I will also remember this decision making moment, the moment I chickened away from my intention but probably more “adult” way of enjoying a national heritage – just watching from outside. I strongly believe the best way to enjoy an ancient building is to get into it, climb up the stairs, walk through the facility, try to feel the same way as the people in those days. Writing my signature on the bricks or taking a piece of it out is of course out of the question, but if watching is the only way to enjoy the building, I would rather stick to Discovery Channel.
Window shopping at downtown was curious in some way. I used to think I don’t pay any attention to the fancy fashion outlets that illuminates in Shibuya and Shinjuku, but when I walked through the tiny outlets in small streets I always felt something was missing, something a bit lonely. Then some fairly big brand-shop appeared and I felt at ease, at home….even though I never do any shopping in those malls……A good way of knowing what you really take for granted. But in hindsight, those outlets were nothing different than the Japanese counterparts. Karaoke bars, DVD shops, Nike outlets, Convenience stores…the only difference is the ubiquitous smell of Kimuchi and Korean letters. Maybe there are only two things that are easily visible in Suwon – the traditional Korea and the Westernized marketing system. Probably this is happening everywhere in the world. One way to escape from this trap is the communication between local people. I need to get in touch with them and share what we feel and enjoy. There, the key to find out a tryly interesting, Korean culture might reside. Well, all I could do that night was to THINK about those things, not even trying talking to local people ;-(