Friday, August 13, 2004

Here is yet another installment of Korean ingenuity. You can order food in the park here. You can call them up and say bring some food to the 3rd bench after the Magnolia tree and they will bring it. Not only will they bring it, it will come with various side dishes and stainless steel bowls. They will return when you are finished to pick up the bowls and leftovers, free of charge. How cool is that?

This morning when I was walking to work I noticed a woman struggling trying to pick up a large metal sign on the sidewalk. I went to help her lift it and noticed that it was a "No Parking: Tow Zone" sign. The damn thing was blocking where she wanted to park. Now, who could be so inconsiderate as to place a no parking sign right in front of a bank, right where this poor lady wanted to park her car? Right on the sidewalk where people walk? I mean, that's just rude.

For the past few days the main story in the Korea Herald has been about Chinese-Korean relations. They are not doing so well and it's all because of the ancient city of Goguryeo. The city, which is now part of Manchura is claimed by Korea as an important part of their history. A couple of weeks ago, the Chinese government removed all references to Goguryeo from their section on Korean history. China also said the move was a precursor to a similar revision of history in their state school books and all official documents. The Korean government freaked out. They have set up a commitee to examine other country's history textbooks to ensure they do not follow China's lead. (Bad news: Korea isn't in other country's textbooks) They are threatening cutting ties with China and instituting sanctions. Just in case you were curious, the city in question existed from 37 B.C. to 668 A.D.
It is also located in what is now North Korea so it's inaccesible to a lot of Koreans. Don't get me wrong, the city is a big part of Korean history since it was the gateway for Buddghism into the peninsula but I am surprised at the intensity of the reaction. It's not the first time one country has attempted to revise the history of another. Heck, it happens all the time. America is revising it's own history right now (pretty soon no one will ever remember that weapons of mass destruction were part of the equation in going to Iraq.) Let China say what it's not like anyone is really going to believe them.

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