Monday, April 14, 2008

Songtan Is Not Just For Drinking...

It's also for shopping! Here are some pictures I took this weekend so that I'd remember Songtan and the good times I'd had there. First of all, I love Songtan early in the morning. There is no one out yet. You can walk the streets and everything is still closed. It's really peaceful, which Songtan usually isn't. Usually it's teaming with U.S. military and Koreans selling everything you can imagine.
Here is one of the bootleg DVD stores. Any DVD, just $5. They have the latest theatrical releases. Obviously, as you can see, copyright is not such an issue here, neither is anything trademarked. I'm pretty sure that Disney and Pixar did not give permission for a "Finding Nemo" themed bootleg DVD store.Here is the Blue Opera. It's our favorite place to just sit down in Songtan. In the summer when it's ridiculously hot outside, we pop in for the AC and some ice tea. In the winter we pop in for some hot tea. Really, it's so relaxing in there. The atmosphere is great, and it's the image that most often comes to my mind when I think of Songtan. I've spent hour after hour in that place, often two or three times in one day. It's not uncommon to spend 3 or 4 hours in here throughout the day.Here are some of the crazy things for sale in Songtan. Sandra actually bought me this statue of liberty with a dragon holding a sword letter opener. She said "Now, you'll never find something like this again." We both appreciate the tackier things in life!Check out these pants. Now, I love this. Who believes this crap? The price tag said "MSRP $405." Ok, so the manufacturer's suggested retail price is $405. But, this store is selling it for $28. Wow!!!! That's a great discount they have here in Songtan! Yeah, I think it's a knock-off. Also, who the hell pays $405 for a pair of jeans?This is a pencil holder with a green bear/frog or something like that holding onto it. The funny thing is that to me, it looked as if the animal were vomiting into the pencil holder, as if it had been out drinking all night long before it went to work in the morning as a pencil holder.There are also a large number of foreign restaurants here. It's always worth a trip here to get some non-Korean food. The English is not always the best, even though there are tons of foreigners there.You can also get anything custom made in Songtan for you. Almost anything that is. I got a leather jacket made for me. The only place in Korea that I could get clothes made for me, Songtan and Itaewon. It was a great deal. Check out the crazy lining that has this weird prisoner of war message thing. Click on the picture to get a close-up view to read it better.Here's the last picture I took in Songtan. I think it's beautiful. Why bother asking native English speakers how to translate something? Just do it and hope for the best. So, this is how they say "tow-away zone." There are literally thousands of these little bits of Engrish around. Come to Korea and see for yourself.


Arpege said...

i love all these posts! And you look supercute in your new jacket! And you're all set in case you becomee a prisoner of war!

Thanks for all these posts, and getting to see all these places and people and things you've told me about.

you're gonna miss your korea folk....

mtpmbell said...

The item that is replicated in your leather jacket is called a "Blood Chit". It was used as a "guaranteed reward" of sorts for local nationals returning shot down aviators back to friendly forces. Each true blood chit contained a serial number representing a certain service member. The local national would show just that number to friendly forces as proof. After proof and identity were proven, repatriations were then planned and executed. Depending on which theater you were operating in, you just had to point to that local language translation.

Anonymous said...

the pow tag is a remake of an issued liner from WWII in case pilots went down in either hostile or friendly territory they had a baseline communication with the local language. i understand you may not understand its significance, and im not trying to make you feel bad or anything but it is far from wierd.

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