Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm just back from a lightening trip to Korea. I was there on the 59th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and was struck that apart from supplements in some of the daily newspapers, there wasn't much fuss.
That war was a big deal but has now seemed to have slipped into history.
Seoul changed hands three times and the country was pretty much flattened.
It was the first and last "UN" war and to many the last "just" gathering of a coalition of nations to fight in the name of forgotten ideals.
Lots of people were killed and the suffering was immense.
Who thinks about this footnote of the cold war now?
I'm always struck by the street grub in Asia. The German sausages available in NYC or Toronto are replaced by various creepy crawlies cooked on the grill. Not as shocking as the bugs and offal on offer in the Beijing night markets, but the lunch being scoffed by commuters around Seoul Central Station is still challenging for a western pallet.
This trip was a bit of a blur given I was there for less than 24 hours and right off a trip from Brazil but there were still some things of interest.
As on previous trips this one involved a ride on one of Korea's super fast trains.
That's fast.
The space, quietness, and ride put any train (including Eurostar) in Europe to shame.
South Korea is enjoying a prosperous time. Hyundai seems to be sucking up the void created by the collapsing American auto industry and the relative weakness of the Won is fuelling the growth of Samsung and LG, eclipsing the electronic giants in Japan. Despite this there are plenty of people being left behind.That's it.
I've had a ton of sleep and the heat and humidity of HK doesn't feel as draining as it did when I dragged my ass from the airport late last night.
I'm off to Bangkok on Sunday for three days and then its back home (?) until the 6th when I head to Canada where I'll celebrate another year on this planet a couple of days later.
I hope everyone is happy and healthy.

1 comment:

Lennie said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you!