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Seoul Olympic Park

July 25, 2010

The rationale that I have given for not posting daily is the fact that I can channel the time I spend crafting blog posts into doing things that I can blog about. A really roundabout logic but, oh well, it’s the truth.

2 Saturdays ago, I decided after doing finishing my Anthropology coursework to head out somewhere to take a breather. Of course, to aid me with my decision-making, I had the trusty internet. After sieving through many possibilities, I decided that a ‘no retail therapy’ route would be safest for my wallet and I needed a bit of greenery (because textbooks made out of dead, process wood does not count). So I decided on the Seoul Olympic Park and knocked on a friend’s door to see if she wanted to go along. She did.

Seoul was the organizer of the 1988 Olympics and the park today stands as a prominent reminder of the illustriousness of that event. Even though 22 years have passed (that’s more than I have been on this earth! o.0) since the Olympic Games, the park is still modern and relevant, and its beauty makes it a place frequented by Seoulites of all ages. There are cafes, fountains, performances,public art displays and even a museum inside the park itself. When you step into the garden, it is akin to being transported away from the hustle bustle of the concrete jungle and the vast expanse of space coupled with the nice finishing touches of artwork relaxes one’s heart completely.

When we exited from the station, we realised that the name was rather misleading and we had to traipse another 10 or so minutes to the park itself. Along the way, in the middle of the busy roads are statues of the different sports that were represented in the Olympics.

I suppose this (above) is origami-wrestling. The one below is possibly badminton-surfing.

And this is probably sumo-discus.

Above: Random awesome graffiti in a car repair shop.

So when we neared the park, everything cleared out to this wide expanse and in the midst of it, loomed the gigantic Olympic structure. It was really stunning!

These houses (above) must be really expensive.

I see these (below) all over Seoul but I still don’t really know what their function is. I always thought they were to collect mail but I don’t think anyone mails stuff to the Olympic Park. (Makes a mental note to check)

Loads of couples and families were there on the weekend, it’s a great place to unwind.

Loads of people practising skating under the gigantic structure.

Because the World Cup just ended not too long ago at the time of visit, the whole place was decked out in a football atmosphere. In any case, WC or not, football is a big thing in Korea and a favorite past time of men, apart from computer games.

Above: A family enjoying a game of foosball.

Look at the kid go!

Father enjoying a leisurely Saturday afternoon with his children by kicking a football around in the mock pitch.

Korean children getting their arms painted with a Korean flag or such for free.

Korean children playing at the children’s park.

One commonly seen Seoul skyline is the backlit cross of a church amongst residential and corporate buildings.

The surprising thing is that there was a museum in the park. After coming to Seoul, I have learnt to appreciate that their attempt at making Seoulites a more art-appreciative society is really thorough and their focus on minute details, not just large-scale events like Singapore does. Having a museum in the middle of a park is a novel idea and the best part was that the temporary exhibition was that of the work of Keith Haring! Everyone recognizes his work, even if they don’t recognize his name. Don’t believe me? Just read on.

Above: Kids playing in front of a red container emblemed with quintessential Keith Haring. (Psst, you should have been hit by a sudden illumination/dawning/realization of who this pop art genius is by now!)

People strolling alongside the cafe. Isn’t the exterior of the cafe also amazing? It’s so artsy and to-die-for!

Live performance at the park 🙂 This saxophonist of an ajosshi was playing tunes of the past and many were thoroughly enjoying it. Especially the ajummonis (below)!

And to end off the whole affair, a sweet picture of lovebirds.

On a completely unrelated, unromantic note, my friend and I took a detour -and to give you an indication of how expansive this park is – we walked for more than 3 kilometres before finally meeting an ajosshi who directed us to the subway. We walked 5 subway stations. How’s that for a breather?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. amandalu862 permalink
    July 26, 2010 6:07 am

    nice skirt.

  2. 윤기 permalink
    July 27, 2010 12:12 pm

    It’s not a mailbox! hahah, at least not for regular mail. It’s where they place “벼룩 시장” (flea market) flyers and all, like a community newsletter.

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