Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trick Cyclist

No, not rhyming-slang for psychiatrist, but one of the members of a group of young guys going bicycle tricks in front of Bosingak.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thumbs Up

This is just one of the many unusual sculptures at the Seoul Olympic Park complex. I will feature some more of these in future posts. The folks in the blue shirts give some idea of the scale of this particular piece.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What a Bummer


I know about Genghis Khan and his son Kublai Khan, but I was unaware of the great "Bum Khan". That was until I happened to look closely at the top of the toilet paper dispenser in a cubicle I needed to visit recently. I assume that the association of the name with the purpose of the toilet tissue is just an unfortunate coincidence, but nevertheless I found it amusing. Fortunately (?) I happened to have my camera in my bag. I suspect that the flash going off in my cubicle provided food for thought for the folks in the other cubicles.

To complete the theme of toilet humour for this entry, I saw a young Korean woman in the supermarket recently wearing a t-shirt that had the following text written on the front without an accompanying image (those offended easily should not read any further): "MY CAT SMELLS OF RAT PISS". I have no idea what this means and neither do my Korean friends. I am told that a lot of young Koreans like to wear clothing with English words on them without necessarily understanding what those words actually mean. I suspect that the young woman I saw fell into this category.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Fountain Framed

Looking across the Mong Chon Fortress moat at Seoul Olympic Park. Although once a defensive feature of the fortress, the moat, and surrounding park, is now a beautiful place to ride a bike, go for a walk or have a picnic. This shot was taken of the fountains in the moat through one of the openings in the Gommal Bridge.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another Bridge

I have commented previously in this blog about the bridges across the Han River and threatened to post photos of more of them. Well, today we have the Dongho rail/road bridge at Oksu. This photo is taken from the northern (Oksu subway station) end, looking roughly south-east.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Stormy Skies

The image above is a tone-mapped composite of three separate exposures I took of the so called "Incubator" building on the grounds of SNU Research Park, Kwanak-gu. This painting-like effect makes the already unusual structure look even more surreal, particularly as a storm approaches.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Palace Guard Procession

I have seen the changing of the guard ceremony at the Deoksu and Gyeongbok palaces several times, but this was the first time that I had seen the guards and musicians parading through downtown Seoul. At periodic intervals the musicians would begin to play (loudly), while marching, which made the parade even more stirring.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wakeboarder

When I first saw this guy on the Han River I thought that he was water skiing with a single single ski. When he got closer I could see he was on what looked more like a snowboard (a wakeboard?). I watched him for quite a while and he seemed to spend more time in the water than on it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wongaksa Pagoda

Looking across TapGol Park towards the Wongaksa 10 level stone pagoda (National Treasure No. 2). The pagoda was constructed in the 1460s but is now enclosed in a large glass case to protect it from weathering and further damage. A close up of some of the detail on the pagoda can be seen here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Foot Massage

A man walks along a specially constructed path designed to massage one's feet. These paths are in many parks around Seoul. This one is in the grounds of Olympic Park.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Post a Poster

A series of posters on a community notice board in Ichon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dragon Falls

This pretty little spot is called Dragon Falls and is on the grounds of the National Museum of Korea.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yongsan Family Park

Yongsan Family Park, Near Ichon subway station and next to the National Museum of Korea, is a great place for a picnic. This shot was taken from the pedestrian overpass over the railway line.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lift Off!

A group of dancers launch a colleague into the air as part of a performance in the Saturday Family Concert series at the National Museum of Korea, Yongsan.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Bird Flew (Flu?)

A Korean magpie at Seoul Olympic Park. A couple of years back scientists from the Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service at Anyang detected the presence of the H5N1 type of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in dead Korean magpies. Given that there is currently a significant outbreak of avian influenza in South Korea, perhaps it pays to admire these birds from a distance.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Street Performance

A young girl in traditional dress dances as part of a performance during the Lotus Lantern Festival.

Sign of the Times

I took this photo on the north-eastern side of the Hangang Bridge on the weekend. Although the many signs in the foreground and background at the top of the shot were what caught my eye, it wasn't until I got home that I realised there were actually a lot more there than I had first thought. How many can you see?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This One's for Ewe

Two stone-faced sheep on the grounds of the National Museum of Korea, Yongsan.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shooting the Shooter

A photographer's eye view of a performance by dancers at the Lotus Lantern Festival. As I was having trouble getting a clear shot of the stage where the dancers were performing I thought that I might as well take a shot of what he was filming.

Buddha's Birthday

Today is Buddha's Birthday and thus is a public holiday here in Korea. This photo was taken at the Jogye-sa Buddhist Temple and shows the colourful lanterns that appear everywhere in the lead up to this event.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Flock of Cranes

A cluster of new apartments under construction just south of the Han River. The photo was taken looking to the east from the bridge at Dongjak.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Black Eye

While walking along the earthen wall of the Mong Chon Fortress (Historic Site No. 207) at Seoul Olympic Park I came across this little guy happily munching on the greenery.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Under My Umbrella

With a few drops of rain, Insadong is almost instantly transformed into a sea of umbrellas.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sleeping at Samgakji

I boarded an early train at Samgakji subway station recently and found this gentleman fast asleep. I am amazed by the number of passengers sleeping on trains, particularly early in the morning; I also wonder how many of them miss their stops and have to double-back.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ghostly Apparition

A photo of a Neighborhood Map at Dongdaemun subway station with the reflected image of an illuminated advertising poster.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Now you see him...

On Saturday evening we went to see the Rick Thomas magic show out at Olympic Park. He performed many classic stage illusions, some with new twists, and a couple that left us wondering "how on earth did he do that". No tigers on this tour but, with an amusing support act (a magician/clown), beautiful show-girls and a leggy assistant, it was an entertaining night out. The photo above shows the poster advertising the show.

Now an old joke (like me) that my father used to tell, which goes something like this: "I am a bit of a magician myself; many times on a long drive I'll suddenly turn into a petrol-station".

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lotus Lantern Festival

Last night we went to the Lantern Parade in Jongno in the heart of downtown Seoul. It is run as part of the Lotus Lantern Festival leading up to Buddha's birthday on May 12. Thousands of performers in colourful traditional costumes paraded carrying basketball-sized lanterns while giant lanterns were driven on the backs of vehicles or pushed along as in the photo above.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Morning News

The elevator in my apartment building has a little video screen inside above the door that displays news announcements, the day, date and time. As you can see from the time stamp in the bottom right of the shot, I was off early this morning to take more photographs around Seoul.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Palace Promenade

Two well dressed ajumeoni with the main hall (Junghwajeon) of Deoksu Palace behind.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Koala Konglish?

According to Wikipedia, Konglish is the use of English words (or words derived from English words) in a Korean context. I think that the description on this packet of a kind of pastry qualifies as such (you will probably have to click on the photo to go to the larger image to see the words clearly).

As an Australian, I find the reference to the koala highly amusing. A former Minister for Tourism in the Australian Government, Mr John Brown, once described the Koala as "a piddling, stinking creature that wees on you". Certainly not the image I'd like to have as I am about to chow down on a Choco Bong!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 2008 Theme Day: Numbers

My Theme Day photo is of some numbered apartment buildings near the 63 building (another numbered landmark in Seoul) on Yeouido Island. There are actually five numbers in the shot; can you spot them all?

Here is a list of the 181 blogs participating in this theme day:

Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Busan, Korea South by iamnbinb, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chesapeake Daily Photo (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Chicago (IL), USA by Focused Light, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Concordia Sagittaria, Italy by Patrizia, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Dallas (TX), USA by turtle, Darmstadt, Germany by Elsch, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Mary, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hong Kong, Hong Kong by Rachel A., Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Ioannina, Greece by Christos-Ioanna, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Malaga, Spain by Paula, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Medan, Indonesia by KT, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Montpellier, France by Marie, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, North Hampton (NH), USA by Amy, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Penang, Malaysia by Maltelda, Perth, Australia by Elevation7, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea by Jules, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Riga, Latvia by Riga Images, Rollag, Norway by Stormel, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, San Francisco (CA), USA by Louis la Vache, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Seoul, South Korea by Phil, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vichy, France by Delphsnl, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,