(Top) Photo from last September.
(Bottom) Interesting way to write "Morning Coffee" (모닝커피). Wonder if it derived from the Japanese pronunciation.
The inclement weather meant we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves, just like the last time I was there. The set is just comprised of empty buildings, so there's not much to do beyond walk around, but it's a nice spot worth a visit if you're in the area. As I'm kind of interested in 20th century Korean history, and in looking at stuff from these eras, I think it'd be neat to turn some of these places into "folk village"-type places, with restaurants, movies, exhibits, and other old-timey stuff. There is something a little like that, I guess, in Incheon called the "Sudoguksan Museum of Housing and Living" that looks neat---but whose site seems to crash my browser---though I don't think it'd be too practical to have something like that in Suncheon since not many people pass through. But interests of foreign residents aside, I don't think these kinds of folk museums would work too well because it doesn't seem like a time period too many Koreans would be interested in revisiting in too much detail just yet. Anyway, the weather on Saturday was shitty, but we had a nice time and saw a Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (무당개구리), so that was neat.
Speaking of wild animals in Korea----HAHAHAHAHAHA---searching google news for Jeollanam-do stuff took me to a recent article in the piece of shit Seoul Times about wild boars. Here's the first couple paragraphs, if you're interested.
Wild boars are threatening many cities and rural areas of South Korea due to its fast breeding and disappearance of its predators such as tigers, leopards and wolves.
Ever since 2005, there are nearly 30 cases of wild boars attacking residents and citizens in the city, and the total crop damage last year was worth 6.5 billion won (some 6.2 million US dollars).
In 2006, goats have been cruelly torn and bitten into pieces every night by an unknown creature in remote Saengil Island of Wando-gun, South Jeolla Province. About 20 goats have been killed and residents got scared without knowing what or who this monstrous killer was.
Hmm, well no fucking way Korea would have wild animals, I thought, but the Joongang Ilbo points us to some other good stories about boars going wild in Korea. An interesting article from April, 2006 titled "A hunting ban spurs city boar baby boom" says that a recent study showed twice as many boars in and around Seoul than in other parts of the country. It continues, um, like this:
At least one of seven recent incidents would have been humorous had it not resulted in injuries. In September, a boar weighing about 130 kilograms (290 pounds) burst into a bar in Amsa-dong in southeast Seoul, injured a customer, escaped and then attacked a man in a nearby park. The animal was eventually tracked down and killed after leading pursuers on a day-long chase.
A contemporary article goes into a little more detail, lol:
After police failed to corral the boar after a search by the officers assigned to the area, they mobilized 90 foot patrolmen and two police cars for an expanded search that began at about 7 a.m. By the time the animal was spotted again, at about 11 a.m. at the south end of the Cheonho Bridge, it had traveled back across the river.
The police used hunting dogs and anesthetic guns in their search, but the boar did not give up easily. It was captured at about 11:30 a.m. and, after a struggle with its captors, was stabbed and killed by a knife-wielding professional hunter who had joined the hunt. “We wanted to catch it alive but it just wouldn’t give up,” an officer in the search team said after the wild pig was dispatched.
The pig ended up getting stuffed and mounted, in that order. *cough* The first article also says that in 2004 there were 254,000 wild boars in the country at the time. Damn. The paper also points us to an article about a boar that drowned in the Han River, and to another one that eluded 90 pursuers for 12 hours near the Blue House. Here's a photo of the outcome:
The first article says that they have boar season in some parts of the country, but I don't know anything about that. However, an article from a few years earlier says that boars were protected animals, and even though a naver search turned up results for boar meat, that article says boars were "off the menu." It talks about a bill being drafted, but no word on if it went into effect. A 2005 article says that people are allowed to kill boars only if they damage crops and, at the time, damage gravesites. Also mentioned in that article were Manchurian black bears, which were reintroduced to Jirisan a little while back, and a 2001 article called "10-Year 'Sabbatical' Restores a Mountain" tells us that the wild boar population there was apparently thriving. Searching around for "Jirisan wild boar" doesn't turn up much beyond a little mention of a boar restaurant:
This wild boar dish has no smell typical of boar and does not contain any artificial ingredients. Though the price is a little more expensive than other restaurants, the tender and delicious meat of wild boar here is very distinct, and this restaurant consequently has many guests.
Here's another mention of boars in an article about a 2001 tiger sighting, lol, in Gyeongsangbuk-do. So as not to end on a smarmy note, Wikipedia has a gold-star page on "Mammals in Korea." Cool, but I can't figure out how to open the external reference pages I want to see.