What to write about…what to write about…
I could write about the G20 summit that was held in Seoul this past Thursday and Friday. But the only way it affected me personally was the additional security presence on the subway for the past few weeks. I had to work, so I couldn’t go see the protesting. Believe me, I wanted to.
I could write about Peppero Day, which is a Korean Holiday on November 11th. Being autumn’s version of Valentines Day, Peppero Day is celebrated by people giving peppero to each other, akin to valentines. Peppero are sticks of bread covered in, or filled with, chocolate. The long sticks literally resemble the date: 11/11. But because every time I have to type ‘peppero’ I will want to type ‘pepperoni’ (and because I just told you everything I know), I’m just not going to deal with it.
So I better write about…
L O T T E W O R L D
Hmm. Does that graphic between “Lotte” and “World” remind you of a different company? I just can’t put my finger on it…
Anyway, I went to Lotte World (pronounced “low-tay”) on Saturday night! Lotte World is a giant indoor-outdoor amusement park. Yes, both indoors AND outdoors. The inside portion is a giant oval dome, not unlike a football stadium with fantasy-fulfilling adventure replacing the seats. Capturing the essence of the dome on photograph was difficult. Here is the best I could do:
Oh, I didn’t mention there are three stories and an ice rink carved in the middle? Sorry.
These pictures are facing opposite directions, so they give you a pretty good idea of what the inside looks like. The first picture was taken while waiting in line to ride the hot air balloons, which you can see floating along the track in the ceiling. During the ride, the slow creep of the balloon enhanced the view, even though I had to ride with four Korean 8-year-olds huddled in the depths of the basket, afraid of the height.
Walking outside, I was transported to Florida.
Transported to Florida, of course, because of the clear night, which so reminded me of the glorious southern sky. What did you think I meant? Surely, there’s no other giant fantastical castle in the world, especially the sunshine state.
While the outside was just as big, if not bigger, than the inside, we left it to be explored another day because, frankly, it was cold.
But that’s okay, because there were plenty of rides on the inside.
The first ride we went on was the Sinbad the Sailor ride. Well, he’s really more of a pirate, wouldn’t you say? Probably from the Caribbean area, too. Strangely enough, we followed Sinbad through an exciting adventure on a small boat going roughly the speed of run-down Segway. It was on this ride that I noticed my experience at Lotte World would be different than at American theme parks because I couldn’t follow the narrative of the ride. That is to say, Sinbad spoke Korean. So when we entered a room with a Madame Tussaud-esque Sinbad dueling an eight-armed creature for a giant gem, I had no idea what was going on. But I just drooled and laughed, clapping at the bright colors.
We went on the Jungle Adventure ride: a thrilling trip down brisk white rapids in a circular tube!
We went on the Ancient Egypt Pharaoh Cruise: a trip through unknown pyramids in a jeep!
The hot air balloons, too, and others. Also, I ate two churros.
Then there’s the parade. If you hadn’t noticed in the earlier pictures, Lotte World is already in the full swing of Christmas, and the Christmas season (mid-November, right?) wouldn’t be complete without a Christmas parade. It took place on the top floor around the ice rink track. There were dancing pixies and gumdrops. Cream covered floats and vehicles. And look who made an appearance at the end:
I like the laser Santa had installed on the front of the ‘slay’ for all those pesky… enemies of Santa.
I was taken aback by the Christmas decorations in Lotte World, to be honest. It’s too early. And I don’t want to start thinking about Christmas yet anyway because it will probably consist of me sitting alone in my apartment eating a can of beans. Don’t these Koreans know to wait until after the AMERICAN Thanksgiving? I hope this issue was addressed at the G20 summit.