Elwood 5566

The Changing Face of Song-so, Daegu

Posted in Comparative, services and facilities by 노강호 on August 27, 2011

I returned to the UK for a summer break to the usual welcome. This time, the train company that carries me on the last leg of my journey, to Wivenhoe, Essex (UK), had changed from First Connect to National Express and for the third consecutive time, the train’s only toilet was out of order. In the winters of 2009 and 2010 it was locked. This summer, I took my wash-bag to the toilet, put shaving cream on my face in preparation of having a shave, only to discover there was no water. Indeed, there was more water swilling on the floor and the lip of the toilet was decorated with shit. A big thank-you to National Express and British standards! Then, a few days later the riots began. Britain is indeed a dirty, second-rate nation and I no longer intend bemoaning the state of the country.

great to see standards maintained over a number of years

Three weeks later and I return to Korea and to Song-so, Daegu. Mr Big has opened as a mobile telephone shop, Mutory, where you can sit and drink coffee while pondering which hand-phone to buy. The high-rise block which began in February 2011 is almost complete and the butcher’s in my local Dream Mart has closed. Meanwhile, Migwang Spolex, the sport center and bathhouse I use, has been given a face lift (Migwang Face-lift, August 2011).

Creative Commons License

© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.

As a note, it is now autumn 2012. In summer 2012 I travelled back to the UK and on both trips to and from the airport, British rail toilets were again either in a filthy state or could not be used.

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5 Responses

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  1. Unctuous Jones said, on August 29, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Welcome back!

    Have you seen Pat Condell? He had a strong reaction (as usual) to the riots here. I’m hearing more and more about lawlessness in Britain.

    • 林東哲 said, on August 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Ah, Pat Condell, I have watched him before and love his passion but I wish he made a link to those greedy politicians who a year ago were robbing the tax payer. My local MP in the UK took something like 16000 pounds and is still in position. No 24 hours courts for them or harsh sentences. However, Pat has the balls to say what many people would like to. I tire of hearing the argument ‘they’ lack opportunity because positive discrimination and a myriad of policies now give many an unfair advantage. When I last taught in a British secondary school I had parents accusing me of racism because I had told their kids off for not doing homework.

  2. Unctuous Jones said, on August 29, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Also, apologies for changing the subject but getting back to our discussion of non-orchestral music: this is tremendous.

    • 林東哲 said, on August 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Awesome!! I listened to this four times in a row before browsing for other Gould pieces which had footage of him actually playing. I love the slight background noises and am sure at times you can hear what is either his breathing or subdued muttering – which I’ve read he was quite famous for. Then I switched track to watch some footage from Justin Bieber’s movie ‘Never Say Never’ which i watched on the flight back from the UK and which quite impressed me. Sure, Bieber is not in the league of Gould but there is a corresponding passion in his eyes which is nevertheless inspiring. I usually dislike most pop music- especially highly commercial pop but their is something about the Bieber package that is alluring. Should I feel shame?

      Thanks for the link.

      • Unctuous Jones said, on August 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

        I am immensely gratified that it met with your approval. I can’t quit listening. My days are full of BUM BUM BUM bum bum bum bum bum bum. I interpret the background noise as him singing after a fashion, much like I’ve heard from certain autistic people. (Bob Wills famously refused to leave off with his bizarre hollers and simpleminded commentary during songs. Not sure why I’m mentioning this.) I envy the obvious bliss that Gould’s job afforded him. He played much of the huge Bach repertoire plus much more, so I find his eschewal of sheet music to be slightly discomfiting; it is, what, a 25 minute piece?

        I know very little about Mr. Bieber apart from the occasional study of his coiffure. I refrain from judgment.


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