Yesterday I gave a presentation about the college to a couple of visiting professors from Thailand, followed by a tour and a fancy lunch of modernized Korean palace food.
One of the professors skipped out early to meet with his family but the other one eager to chat. I learned that in Thailand it’s incredibly difficult to become a full-professor. You have to write a textbook, and not just any textbook, ‘a GOOD one’ as he put it. Even if you have a PhD and have taught at colleges in the States it’s not enough. The King has to sign a document to approve you promotion!!! Thus both of the visitors were only associate professors, even though they were quite accomplished and in their fifties. One had written a few books, but ‘not good ones’.
It turns out that the professor who stuck around had visited Korea once before as a tourist. “You know the first place we went!” he told me, expecting confirmation. I responded, “Actually I have no idea.”
His whole family marks out for historically-themed Korean dramas, particularly Dae Jang Geum and Jumong, so their main reason for coming was to visit Dae Jang Geum Theme Park in Yangju
Let’s take a virtual tour:
No rollercoasters?!?! Theme is yes. Park is yes. Theme Park is no!
Looks like all the renovated palaces I’ve been to, only far outside the city. I imagine that it would be just as disappointing as going to Hollywood, another place I haven’t visited.
I’ve caught glimpses of shows like Dae Jang Geum while flipping through channels and witnessed some traditional performances in Insadong, but the language they use is an old style and thus less conducive to my practical-based and already inconsistent learning of the language.
That aside, I think it’s great that Korea can shill their entertainment industry to neighboring nations for profit. An un-cited sentence in the wikipedia article even states that, “The DVD box-set of the series was given to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il by South Korea’s President Roh Moo-hyun during the Korean summit in October 2007.” Well if it’s good enough for him…