Relaxing Business Trip to Korea

November 1997

Last modified: November 25, 2004

What's up with these nasty copyright notices?

World Travelogues

In November 1997 we were invited on a business trip to Korea by friends from Softmagic, Inc. of Seoul. Yes, we did have some business issues to talk about, but in general it was a pleasant excursion to a country where I haven't been to yet. It's now too late to write a travelogue, but there is still space for some pictures and impressions.

img0001.jpg (87195 bytes) The food was really excellent. It's the thing I remember most from the trip - we ate, ate, and ate. All the good things. Lots of good BBQ beef, which I love =)
img0012.jpg (78268 bytes) This is the back of a restaurant. I was never really concerned about health issues, since the food tasted so well and I had less digestive problems than back home in America.
img0002.jpg (55707 bytes) Seoul is probably the most crowded place on Earth. Too many people, too many cars. How do you solve the parking problem? First of all, underground parking (unlike the new Sony entertainment center in SF, which added movie screens for thousands of people but not a single parking spot). Then, even these spots will fill up. So you park additional cars perpendicular to the "properly" parked ones. leaving a short gap. If someone needs to leave, they just push the "illegally" cars to the side. Of course it would not work with all the stupid safety measures of US cars which don't allow you to remove the key with the transmission in N...

Traditional Folk Village

We went onto a one-day trip to a folk village "near Seoul". It was near because it took less than four hours to get there. If you thought that the traffic in LA was bad, try Seoul.

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For exhibition purposes only.

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This guy was doing all sorts of jumping on and across the rope. Maybe it was just my impression, but his incredibly high voice may have been related to the profession...

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The food was, as always, excellent.

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The old fashioned way of making paper.

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The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

By request of John, we went to the DMZ. It was quite impressive to see two countries armed up to their teeth waiting for the enemy to invade. The related propaganda was equally impressive and from personal experience I must say that it was by no means lacking compared to the Communist propaganda of the other side.

Taking pictures was either illegal or impossible.

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We were not allowed to take pics of N Korea, so this is S Korea.

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I am sure this picture is in a way illegal: what you see thru the window is N Korea.

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More of S Korean watch towers.

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S Korean propaganda: "Come over, life is much nicer her" (or so we were told)

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Border post right by the freeway to Seoul.

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Let's hope that some day the sun will shine on a reunited Korea... Just don't make the same mistakes as the Germans.

General Impressions

There was so much stuff to see, wonder, and enjoy. A few random shots...

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A compact van?

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In Korea, everything is named funny. English, but funny. "Brain" chewing gum is another example.

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Last minute make-up in the subway before the date?

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Have you ever seen such a tidy subway car? I haven't...

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All I understand is "beer" and "coffee". But somehow that was sufficient - besides, we had native guides.

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Cross traffic ahead (we were going the wrong way thru a one-way road, and everyone seemed to be so peaceful about it...)

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Signs are in English, too, there are many US troops around. I liked the icon better, though.

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Old meets new. A new ugly building right next to the old king's palace.

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Squeezing 6 people into a Kia

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Traffic, for once different:
Pedestrians, STOP.

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A few seconds later:
Pedestrians, WALK.
I kid you not, this sequence is true and representative.

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