We can tell this country is crazy about technology. Samsung and other brands have transformed South Korea into a country whose cities seem like they’ve just stepped out of science fiction movies. Huge screens, LED screens, animated advertising in the elevator, on the train and on the facades of buildings fight each other for people’s attention.
In stark contrast are the towns and villages in the countryside. Time seems to have stood still here 50 years ago. The houses are simple, there is no advertising and as a blond foreigner I stand out like an alien.
Our next stage is the metropolis of Busan in the south. The city is not exactly pretty, but exudes the charm of tough industry. But the city has the largest shopping center in the world. A stark contrast to the hermitage in the monastery where we dedicated ourselves to the martial art of Sonmoudo.
As we stroll through the city and the harbor, we notice the entrance to a pub. “No Japanese” is written there in English. We think that’s very radical. Are the conflicts from the Second World War still not settled? Or are the immediate neighbors not very well behaved here? We can’t find an answer.
The fish market offers fish and seafood straight from the sea. Squid, spider crabs, puffer fish… there is nothing that cannot be found in the sea.
The market is similar to the zoo’s aquarium, except that the residents here have a very limited life expectancy and are fed rather than fed.
In the evening we see the industrial city lit up in the lights. We stroll along the beach and go to a bar. A bar that doesn’t exclude Japanese people. This year the song “Gangnam Style” by Psy known worldwide. I’m curious how the South Koreans appreciate this world-famous song from their country. Right at the beginning of the journey, Michael and I started the project of shooting our own music video and we choose wilder and wilder locations where we imitate Psy’s typical dance moves.
Music is playing in the pub and I go to the bar with a desire for Gangnam style. “Only a tourist can wish for something like that” I read on the bartender’s face. He complies with my request and to the astonishment of the other guests, Michael and I start dancing Gangnam Style to the song. The other guests quickly recover from their shock, roar with laughter and come over to show us what we’re doing wrong. After the song ends we have a few beers together.
The night is getting short. Our new friends in the bar make us go to bed late.
What would they think of us going to the Japanese the next day?