Monday, June 8, 2009

Spicing up public transportation

Decorations abound in Seoul area public transportation these days. Silk flowers grace the interiors of city buses that serve my home-work route, along with banners declaring something about love, flowers, and Gwangmyeong City. I remember similar scenes aboard the same buses around this time last year, so it's possible the floral outpouring is in observance of May's family-focused holidays (Children's Day on the 5th, Parent's Day on the 8th) and Teacher's Day on the 15th.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera in hand over the weekend when I noticed strings of fake garlic hanging overhead in my subway train. The garlic, along with some scary-looking faux birds (I'm an ornithophobe), plastic crabs, and posters with scenic shots of Korea's western coastline were promoting the city of Taean. The region was struck by the nation's worst oil spill in December 2007. Since then, you can imagine why the once bustling fishing town has seen a decrease in visitors anxious to taste the local fare. Recent news reports say the water is clear these days, and the residents are no doubt hoping the government's efforts to draw visitors back will prove effective. KBS colleage Sarah Jun recently visited Taean and said she didn't encounter many crowds during her visit, but she did reluctantly indulge in some clams, from which she reported no ill side effects!

I'll try to catch the Taean subway car (Line 1) sometime this week and share some shots of the non-odoriferous garlic. (In my experience, public transport around Korea is already plenty redolent of garlic fields.)

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