Sunday, 30 March 2008

The first global Yongin (an ode )

For some reason each Korean town seems to have tacked on something to their name to give the general character of the city. "Happy Suwon" for example .

"The first global" Yongin. That's the official name of my little nook of the world. It's a pretty special feeling to know that of all the global Yongin's we were the first. But I do at times query the validity of this title.

I'm not sure exactly what is global about my town. I could see the connection if perhaps by global they meant "not in the slightest sense global at all". Then it would make perfect sense. We do have a mcdonalds and a dunkin' donuts. They were pointed out to me on the first day I got here by my benefactors with a great sense of pride, as if to say "See ? Just like home!". But that really is the extent of it.

My theory is that in a liberal and enthusiastic sense of aggrandizement some folks somewhere decided they would include the concept of "First" and "global" and the rest was lost in translation.

To say Yongin was famous for many things would be akin to child molesting the truth. We are however the prestigious home of "Everland". The disney world of Korea. Except one needs to remove all the connotations of "fun" or "excitement" for the comparison to do justice .

About the most interesting thing about everland is that I know some Russian people who work for them as dancers of the "European extravaganza". They come onto stage in bleached blonde hair (contractually required) wearing traditional European garb to help perpetuate silly Korean stereotypes about a world they blissfully wish to remain ignorant of. Although sometimes seasonly the premise of their existance is less cultural and more sexual fetish (see picture). But we love and expect that about Korea , don't we ?

Yongin also has the Korean cultural village. I'd visit it except the flaw is I suspect the place is like a concentrated mix of Korean culture. Something surely no sane man would willingly edure and surely not something that should have the word "attraction" attached to it.

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