Life in the ROK

West goes East: The lives and adventures of a Californian couple living in Seoul

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What up. Just wanted to clarify my statement about Korea becoming comfortable as a developed nation. I ain't mad at Koreans or anything and don't want anyone to get the wrong idea.

There are corollaries in the American experience to the manmade fountain in a natural lake in the blog entry below. For example, the Gettysburg National Tower, which was erected in 1974. Personally I kind of liked it and appreciated the expansive view of the Gettysburg battlefield. Many, however, considered it an eyesore and an insult to the integrity of the site, so much so that it was imploded in 2003.

It's been shown that trash and litter disappear as countries become developed. Countries clean up when their people get enough wealth to have some leisure time to perceive their physical surroundings and think about aesthetics. Then they act. In the US that is evident in the renovation of former industrial neighborhoods etc into parks and other uses, e.g. most of Manhattan.

It's interesting to be in Korea now and see it so soon after becoming a developed nation. This country was just ash and rubble barely 50 years ago, and before that not much better. Koreans only were able to own and drive their own cars as little as 20 years ago and threw off the shackles of military dictatorship around the same time. Now South Korea is the 10th largest economy in the world and will freely elect its 5th president in December this year. It's an exciting experience to be here and so closely to see it emerge on the modern stage as a great nation.
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