Last night I went for a night on the town with a couple of friends and missed my usual blog session. This was a reschedule of Monday’s get together that never materialized. It was a lot of fun, and I didn’t get much sleep (I won’t tell you more than that–LOL).
This morning I worked at the Information Fair for Foreigners sponsored by the organizers of Hi Seoul, an annual festival showcasing the City of Seoul. The event was held just outisde the steps of Seoul City Hall. About 40 organizations and businesses assembled to offer information to foreigners living in Seoul. I managed a booth for about five hours and answered people’s questions about adjusting to life in Korea and public services available to them. Many foreigners, mostly Americans, Koreans, Canadians, and an Australian stopped by to chat with me. Representatives from most of the other organizations also visited my booth to let me know what services they offered. The fair was fun and well organized, although somewhat typical of Korean public events. Men dressed as palace guards paraded around Seoul Plaza, the greenspace in front of City Hall, simulating the Changing of the Guard ceremony repeated performed at Gyeongbok Palace. They dressed in bright yellows, blues, and reds, some carrying long pikes, others royal banners, most bearing Korean musical instruments, drums, cymbals, and horns, which they played as they marched.
The event also featured the all-too-common Korean dance group performing choreographed hip-hop and R&B dance numbers on a stage. These types of groups perform at virtually every festival in Seoul. The loudspeakers blast deafeningly loud music that can be heard for blocks. The groups usually include eight to 10 women and one man wearing parachute-style jumpers or body suits. The dancers are all attractive, very fit, and dance well. The event also featured an traditional Indian dance routine, a tae kwondo demonstration, and two clowns on stilts (they were very good). The performances repeated over the course of several hours. Although well done, I would have perferred to have the speaker volume a bit lower. At times it was difficult for me to talk to visitors who stopped by my booth because the music was so loud.
All in all, the event was successful. My wife and son stopped by in the afternoon, and my son enjoyed all the kiddie freebies handed out at different booths. The weather cooperated, vascillating between sunshine and cloud cover. I needed both sunscreen and a warm jacket. Although I had to work today, I could not have asked for a better assignment. It was far better than being chained to a desk.
Blog Note: Sorry Wade3016, regardless of your friend’s position with the company, she would not know what’s going behind closed doors in New York between MSN and AOL. Executives are usually really tight lipped about these things–except for the one unnamed source who leaks it all to the press. The media has an uncanny ability to sniff out news, and the Google, Comcast, and now Yahoo! reports that they will invest in AOL only corroborates speculation that Microsoft is also interested in AOL.