Friday, November 27, 2009

Haemil construction, continued (game interrupted)

Today, I visited Mr Chung Mong-joon's new parking lot. Except it was not a parking lot but a public park where people use to jog, play, enjoy the view on the Gyeonghuigung Palace, and breathe fresh air from the woods. Particularly on week-ends.

On previous saturdays, we sometimes had a tough time breathing : toxic exhausts from his future think tank headquarter's working site* invaded the whole area, irritating our eyes and throats, and I seriously worried about the life expectancy of people manipulating this stuff (definitely too aggressive to be just paint), all day long, and without any special protection.

This morning, we had to wait for over one hour to play, and our game was suddenly interrupted when the huge crane folded, using the dead center of the sports field in the process.

Beyond the crane, which itself covered well over 100 square meters, the central field was also dotted with one big truck and two smaller ones, plus at least two personal cars which had nothing to do up here. At one moment, an old man passed by, jotting down on his notebook one or two license plate numbers. Long after he departed, a small water truck joined the party, but was kind enough to park off the field : after all, we had decided to play on the remaining third of the field without waiting for about 30 huge air con systems to be lifted from the ground to the working site... trying not to think about what would happen if one of these blocks fell down on us.

When we thought we would recover the left third of the field, another personal car arrived and made sure the right wing shrunk even more. And when the trucks cleared the area, the crane stopped the game.

Before deciding to play in spite of this mechanical ballet, we had plenty of time to admire the soon to be completed building. As we saw before, it could be an interesting landmark under less controvertial circumstances. Who knows ? After his election, Chung may decide to offer the site to the city, exposing his personal art collection or presidential library...

Last week, workers removed the old and ugly concrete wall separating Haemil grounds from royal grounds, and I hope they will make something nice, more respectful of the surroundings. They wouldn't dare leaving it like that, out in the open, confirming the impression that the Royal Palace and the park behind are just Haemil's backyard**.

But there seems to be something like a moat around the new castle, which now boasts a staircase leading down towards the palace... I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one gate for the future monarch to visit his dependencies...

... and why not, on saturday and sunday mornings, watch some game of parking - football.

Seoul Village 2009

* see previous episodes :

"Haemil - a Think-Tank or only a Tank ?",
"Chung Mong-joon keeps rising...",
and "
Mayor OH Se-hoon answers"

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