Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Seoul is a Carnival
I keep telling myself I could be standing in the midway of a carnival. The night sky is awash in neon. Fried food is readily available from the street vendors. Music is blaring from every shop and restaurant – each one a little louder as they compete for your business. Step right up! Seoul can be a carnival.
What’s amazing is how this scene is taking place in the heart of the business district. If I walk a few blocks, I’m quickly surrounded by men and women in business suits rushing to catch their train or bus after a long day of work. Skyscrapers surround us – Samsung’s headquarters is right around the corner.
But not all of those business people will go home – many will head to the carnival. I’ve discovered that Koreans (at least in Seoul) love their nightlife. Late dinners and even later drinks are typical. Karaoke is a sure bet. Doesn’t matter what day it is – even Monday nights appear to be happening. In fact, the streets get so packed, cars have to fight their way through. The streets are literally taken over by pedestrians. That left me baffled – shouldn’t everyone be in their pajamas, maybe watching some TV before turning out the lights? Apparently not in Korea…
It was impossible to take a picture capturing the chaos. But, notice all the people in the middle of the street and the signage everywhere.
A vendor selling beautiful fresh flowers let me take his picture. Vendors selling food and trinkets were on every corner.