Saturday, November 18, 2017

Day 88: Park Chung-hee Memorial Hall

Today Hajun and I had made plans to study together in 수색 (Susaek).

I ended up waiting more than an hour at the station, almost freezing my hands off before Hajun showed up ㅡ ㅡ. Today was the first day with minus degrees during the day~
Sometimes we misunderstand each other since we mostly message in Korean and I guess today was one of them. So when he finally showed up, he'd borrowed his parents' car and bought me a cup of hot chocolate.

Our options were to study at either Hajun's school or a library nearby. We decided on a library and soon found one. Apparently what we ended up finding was nothing less than the 박정희대통령기념관 (Park Chung Hee Memorial Hall).
The place was open but only the memorial hall as the library was under construction(?).

Oh well, we were already here and not in a hurry so why not go inside?
It was surprisingly interesting!

Okay so what exactly was this place?
I took a snippet from the President Park Chung Hee Memorial Foundation website:

Now let's go on adventures!

Today's tour features the derpy Hajun as our guide!
The wall to the right of the entrance featured a timeline with what I guess were accomplishments and events during his reign.
There was a hidden speaker playing sewing machine sounds that could be heard in the next room. I got a minor shock when I first saw these dolls as I'd thought that maybe it was a screen playing a movie or something.
Hajun grabbed my phone at this point and wanted to take my picture on the stairs since I exclaimed how picturesque they were. But nope! I didn't feel like having my picture taken so I ran away.
'Let's fight and construct'
These were Park Chung-hee's own notes and sketches on how to improve South Korea's infrastructure.
It felt a little surreal to look at.
And pictures from the inauguration of one of these highways.
Now we entered a section showing how Korean houses evolved.
To the left was an old Korean toilet.
With a little fake poo hahaha.
This was actually a really cute idea! The houses were actual miniature models but the humans were holograms interacting with each other and pretending to be working on the construction of the houses.
Here is a board showing 'The change brought by the Saemaeul Movement.'
The Saemaeul Movement was a political initiative by Park Chung-hee, which helped modernizing rural Korea.
The pictures to the left are before and the ones to the right are after the movement.
Picture from a missile launch.
This section was my favorite!
It showed the 'Overall view of the development achieved during President Park Chung Hee's era.'
Under the glass floor was a big map of Korea and, while a Korean male voice explained, the light in the room went off as different parts of the map of Korea below the glass floor lit up to attract our attention.
Now we'd reached the third and last exhibition hall showing the President's private life, personal belongings, and family photos.
Here is a photo of him and his wife.

Outside we found two cars on display.
'The car that President Park Chung-hee usually used to use to greet the public or for events.'

We were getting hungry and it was time to find a place to study. We walked into what we thought was a convenience store at the site of the Memorial Hall but it turned out to be a souvenir shop and a (pretty pricey looking) café.

It was probably better to just head downtown so we hit the road.
On the way, Hajun asked me if I wanted to see the runway at his school, which he told me about the first time I went to his school, that is no longer in use. Well of course!
It's the piece of land behind the green fence.

The area in 고양 (Goyang) near Hajun's school is SO so different from Seoul! It was really interesting to drive around and look at all the little shops.
80% of the time when I try to take pictures of Hajun, he makes weird faces.
Loads of small flower shops~

For lunch, we stopped by Mom's touch (맘스터치), a Korea based chicken burger chain that a couple of my Korean friends have claimed to be the best chicken place in Korea, before heading towards Hajun's school to study.
As we drove away, I noticed this Korean version of the old internet with the 'this is Sparta' guy.
We found a study room at Hajun's school from where we had a view the school's baseball field. The sun was going down as I took this picture.
After a couple of hours, none of us could concentrate anymore and we headed home. I thought he'd drive me to the station so I could take the train and subway home but he drove me all the way to Sinchon as an apology for making me wait at the station earlier today.

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