Saturday, January 06, 2007

War Memorial of Korea

Stupid Tourist Saturday!!! Today's adventure takes us to the Korean War Memorial. It started blizzarding in Gimpo before we left. Urban myth tells us that the Inuit's have more than 100 words for snow. If this is true, then let's describe this blizzarding snow as 'tlamo blotla' (look it up).

The grounds of the museum were expansive and very pretty. The main courtyard took design notes from the Vatican and has wings of the buildings on three sides and then an arc of flag pole pillars completing the enclosure.

The museum houses 5,000 years of war artifacts and tells the stories of valiant Koreans throughout the centuries in a multitude of dioramas. I am not about to refute the scholars who must have spent a lot of time putting the exhibits together, but... some of the historical facts seemed a little bit skewed.

Koreans have an immense amount of national pride and it seemed that the exhibits promoted that idea of heroism, Korean bravery, and Korean superiority in war tactics. Maybe museums everywhere do this but I haven't noticed it to this degree before.

One of my very learned friends in Alabama did have to re-educate me on some of the fallacies of the Civil War because "History books are only written by the winners."

After leaving the War Memorial, we journeyed to the Electronics Market in Yongsan for some DVD selections and finally home to Gimpo.

Rather than a DVD, we decided on the big screen and went to Night and the Museum. Apparently, it didn't get very good reviews and I've talked to a lot of people who didn't like it. I must have just been in the right mood but I really liked it! I can't explain why exactly but it might have something to do with Mickey Rooney going around calling everyone 'butterscotch', 'hotdog', or 'hopscotch' in a very threatening manner.

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