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Saturday, May 4, 2013

The good, the bad, and the terminally stupid . . .

Walking to work this morning, I took this shot of  newly reopened Namdaemun/Sungryemun and thought how much I love this crazy mixed-up country.

I was working at a local newspaper when an irate ajeossi set fire to National Treasure No. 1 in 2008 and was amazed it had no security or sprinkler systems. I've been walking past it almost daily as it has been rebuilt, and was happy this morning to see it open, and full.

I took this pic, crossed with the light and veered right, assuming I could enter the gate that way. There was no entrance so I slipped through the fence, wanting to get off the main street before the lights changed again, as it's one of Seoul's busiest thoroughfares. The mistake was mine, but it looks like the most obvious way to enter.

I then encountered another irate ajeossi, this one in a uniform, who tried to physically push me back over the fence, onto a road now full of traffic. The only English he could speak was the word "Go!" which he screamed at me loudly. I held up my hands, told him to remove his hands from me and took his photograph.

Well done, Korea, for restoring the gate. Perhaps you need to give your tour guides a few lessons if you want people to feel welcome here.


  1. Tracie. Testing Koreans, one irate ajjeossi at a time. ;)

  2. You still got that magic car that turns into a bus? I know you could have taken him!