Wednesday, May 24, 2006


So, it's local election time in the ROK. On May 31st, Koreans will vote for their mayors, local governors, local councils, and something called "heads of local autonomous administrative bodies" (still not quite sure what that is).

What this means in practical terms is, small armies of those adorable Daewoo trucks...

...outfitted with large, blaring speakers and ginormous pictures of various candidates have been patrolling the streets, making their presence known at all hours (7 A-freaking M?! Seriously, I do not need to hear loud nationalistic warbling before I wake up). They've been everywhere.

But suddenly, today, things were silent. Suspicious. Then I read that the current governing party decided to tell everyone to stop campaigning for a little while.

Apparently, they're worried about being trounced in the election. They were already expecting to do badly, but then this happened last Saturday.

I don't know many Koreans who are avid followers of politics - probably they just don't like to discuss it with foreigners, possibly because most folks I know are under 40 and I've been told that they're an extremely apathetic demographic. When asked if she'd vote in this election, one of my co-workers just laughed. But that was before the dramatic slashing incident. I wonder if it'll be different now?

One thing that's been on everyone's minds here, however, is the lead up to the 2006 World Cup. Most of Korea's world cup team, I think, normally plays on the Seoul team, the Red Devils. There's even a catchy promotional song designed to get everyone properly pumped. One TV commercial features men doing their mandatory army service singing and dancing to it. And everyone's in red. Many people (including several of our students) have been spotted wearing these promotional jerseys:

Every restaurant, it seemed, carried last night's lead-up game with Senegal (which ended in a disappointing 1-1 tie). When Jim and I finally finished work and went out for some soup, the game was over, but the huge TV in the restaurant played Korea's goal over and over. And people were into watching it. Again and again.


Blogger Evil Robot Boy said...

Why hasn't anyone approached the Red Devils to appear in a Rock the Vote style commercial? (or....ROK the Vote? Yep, I had to go there) That would surely get those apathetic 20-30-somethings out in droves.

Oh, and what's with the truck being labelled "STD"? Is there a Venereal Van to go along with it?

10:53 PM GMT+9  

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