Saturday, October 08, 2005
Notes From Seoul
Misc. comments and observations:
American music rules over here. The cab we got into had Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" blaring on the radio; I heard early Fountains Of Wayne coming out of some cafe as we walked down the street.
There's lot of Korean cars over here, and little else. I saw a Honda Accord today and it stuck out like a sore thumb. What's shocking is the range of vehicles offered by Hyundai and Kia - everything from microcars to large motorcoaches.
Bicycle traffic is minimal, and there's fewer mopeds than in Europe. Small (<250cc) motorcycles are the two-wheeled transportation of choice, and they even run them down the sidewalks. The riders appear to be wearing knee/shin guards similar to those used by hockey players. There's very few larger motorcycles; I think I've spotted a total of three sportbikes.
My goodness, you couldn't pay me to drive in this city. The traffic is terrible.
The US Embassy here is guarded on the outside by Korean SWAT officiers, who have a little four-wheeled minitank and some armored buses. Clearly, us Americans have taught them well.
Officers here usually aren't armed, but I've seen some carrying batons of approximately 4' in length. I would not want to get hit by one of those. The one gun that I've seen was near the Korean government buildings, and appeared to be a HK53.
13-hour time adjustments are harder to make than 6-hour ones.
Korean taxi drivers are extremely obnoxious around the airport, and will do everything they can to weasel travelers into a cab. We managed to fight them offer, took one of the "limosine buses" into Seoul, and found that it worked out quite well.
I had some tofu soup today that appeared to have one of everything that's ever been harvested from the sea tossed into it, and the broth was much like Tabasco sauce but without the vinegar. It was pretty damn good soup.