Gangnam style

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

  • It’s Chuseok in Korea, a three-day holiday that is often compared to Thanksgiving in the USA. Typically the holiday is a time when Koreans visit their hometowns to share a feast of Korean traditional food and drink with their families.

    I had expected Seoul to be empty. People had told me it wouldn’t be crowded because there is a mass exodus from the city as people go to family homes throughout the country. However, I found that quite the opposite was true. The palaces and other popular tourist spots were utterly rammed with Korean tourists pushing and crashing into one another like it was a half-price sale in an Apple store!

    It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm though the air felt crisp and smelled like autumn. I like these days, when you can feel the seasons change, when summer is lingering around like a guest who doesn’t quite know when to leave. Summer is always a welcome guest in my world. I wish she would never leave. I suppose that comes from spending much of my life living in a country where our relationship with summer is something akin to a long distance love affair.

    As the day drew to a close the crowds showed no signs of abating, if anything they were just getting into the swing of things. I stood for a while and watched a girl wearing fluffy bunny ears and a sparkly white dress lead a crowd of random people in an impromptu ‘Gangnam Style‘ dance. Everyone was smiling and laughing and lots of people were gathered around watching and taking pictures. There were street vendors with games set out on the pavement, and people selling snack foods all around. The streets were anything but empty, and that was fine by me.