Monday, May 19, 2014 8:45
, Korean Life
Yes, it’s ridiculous to hold President Park responsible when the accident is so obviously a reflection of a society that appears in many ways to have modernized but remains mired in corruption and inefficiency that escapes much comment until disaster strikes.
For Park, the real test will be whether she and her ministers, advisers and aides can impose the discipline needed to instill order in projects and programs that often rely on largely hidden networks of influence, blood ties, friendships and payoffs.
The inner details of relationships among Korean power brokers are largely mysterious to most of us except when scandal propels a politician or tycoon into the news. Continue reading...
Korea’s doors, fences, car windows, and social media profile pictures are a sea of yellow ribbons right now. In the aftermath of the sinking of the Sewol ferry, yellow ribbons have come to serve as symbols of hope and solidarity for the Korean populace. The unanimous presence of yellow is reminiscent of the yellow hats, fans, and handkerchiefs that took Seoul by storm during the funeral processions of the late former president Roh Moo-hyun, who took his own life Continue reading...
When the door to his office wouldn't budge, Yol sensed something was blocking it. After a call out to his office mates and several shoves, it finally opened a crack. Through it he saw a soju bottle on the floor and several wadded tissues. Then, at the base of the door, the fringe of a purple checked shirt he recognized from the evening before. This couldn't be happening. “Let it be something in the office that fell to the floor,” he prayed. Continue reading...
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Sorrow at loving you when I'm forbidden.
I watch from the offing, a smile on my lips.
It was a cruel heaven that made me a queer.
A glass of light booze cures a pound of cares.
Cheery conversation sets our woes to flight.
The mirthful night flows with the lilting music. Continue reading...
While not nearly as famous or touristed as England's Stonehenge, the Plain of Jars in northern Laos poses a comparable historical puzzle. No one can say for certain what the literally thousands of immense stone vessels – some weighing in excess of seven metric tons – sprinkled across more than 90 sites throughout Xieng Kouang Province were originally intended to be, who exactly built them or when, nor how some of them were transported as far as 50 kilometers from the sites where they were quarried to their current locations. Continue reading...