Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend 16 of 52.

The 63 Building, including the 63 SeaWorld Aquarium, the Wax Museum, SkyArt, and Fanta-Stick

We spent our third weekend in a row on Yeouido Island, this time conquering the 63 Building. It was built in the 80s for the Olympics and was the tallest building in Asia at the time. By now it's not even South Korea's tallest building, but I bet it's the goldest. There are several great tourist activities inside the building, and World Cup season proffered us a sizable discount. We decided to do four of the five activities, foregoing an IMAX movie.

The SeaWorld Aquarium, probably intended to be confused with the theme park, was right next to the ticket booth, so we did that first. It might have been just the lesser crowd-density or the proximity to the animals, but we enjoyed this aquarium significantly more than we enjoyed the one in Busan. We saw the hugest turtle, the Tyrant of the aquarium. We mistook seals for funny looking manatees. There was synchronized swimming. And some fish nibbled on our fingers!

From there, we headed underground to the Wax Museum. Neither of us had been to a wax museum previously, so it was fun and photo-oppy. And then we shot up to the 60th floor for a foggy view of the city at the SkyArt art gallery.

We were meeting Korrine and friends for dinner and the evening show, Fanta-Stick, but we were done with all of our perusals a couple hours early, so we killed time at the resident coffee shop, Beans 'n Berries. Dan had patbingsu, a seasonal Korean dessert with ice cream and fruit and shaved ice. And then he had a sleep.

And then we saw Fanta-Stick, a show similar to Stomp, but with traditional Korean instruments, a ghost story, and, I learned later, the song scoring system used in Korean karaoke rooms (called Noraebangs). It was very entertaining, and someone from our group, Chris, went up on stage and drummed around and got a gift bag with wine. Korrine herself excelled at audience participation and gave a comforting hug to a morose character who paid her in lollipops. I thought they did a good job incorporating things I've noticed about modern Korean culture, including the constant spontaneous Paper, Rock, Scissors matches and the ever more pervasive throat clearing. Afterward Dan got to pose with the cast, and it is the most perfect picture of Dan's life.

Some underground vending machine goodies. Now with Pulpy!

Dan sat on an empty escalator. If you go out early enough on the weekends, nothing is terribly crowded. [Disclaimer: I told Dan when to stand back up so that he was not collected into the escalator belt.]

The giantest and probably oldest turtle ever!

All kinds of penguins. The penguin on the left was completely accessible, though you weren't supposed to touch him. He's got his World Cup soccer ball in the background.

Resting headless.


This fish has got to be Leviathon, right? It was tons of feet long and so creepy.

Spider crabs also creeped me out. The older I get, the stronger my gag reflex becomes. And these poor cow fish on the right just wanted to hang out, but I suspect the bigger probably wanted to eat the littler and that's why the littler was caged.

Hanging LED lamps were fixed in some of the fish bins. Probably studious fish needing reading light.

A synchronized swimmer as sighted from the Thrill Deck. I don't know what thrills are meant to be seen from the deck, but when we walked over, this was all we saw.

A cascading fountain of aquariums.

The Giant Otter is a Dan-sized otter. He is just shy of its 2 meters.

The seals we thought were manatees. Isn't that a weird looking seal? And they were so dumb to watch. This guy would come up to the glass and then flip over backwards and swim away on his back. It was so dumb! And it made me laugh a lot.

Dr. Fish on Dan's fingertips. This is what we were trying to do to our feet last weekend. It's like little puppy nibbles. I liked it.

A seal show. These were the regular kind of seal.

I've never seen jellyfish with faux coral bums. It's a good idea, though, jellyfish.

The regular kind of jellyfish.

We pressed a penny to remember things by.

The reptile respite. I thought that alligator was fake until I walked back over and he had turned around.

Just lounging around. I'm pretty sure the lizard on the right is a V. Dangerous.

Kids at aquariums.

Wax things. Artificial eyes.

With presidents. I thought I was positioned in such a way that Obama's hand was resting on my head (as I'd seen a clever Korean do only moments before). No. It does not look like that. And how uncomfortable does poor Lincoln look?

Hairy thumb.

Ghandi's level of self-esteem made everybody just a little unsettled. Why not put on a shirt if you know you're having company?

Me and that fellow Florida thinker Thomas Edison. We obviously weren't ready for the first take.

Salvador Dali and a severed head. The head was in the haunted hallway, which I found pretty scary. There was a man walking around with a mask trying to spook me.

The Last Supper. Dan making contact.

In Hollywoodland. Dan is doing his Elvis face. I am doing my Korrine pose! So convincing was my pose that when I was scrolling through the pictures on my camera, I thought it was her.

Dan and his former employer.

And, because we are such great foreigners or perhaps because Dan is so tall, they slapped us on the front of the W1000000 bill.

Real bill faces.

Bridges and apartments from the 60th floor.

Such fog. Layers.


Parking lot.

Fisheries Wholesale Market on the Han River.


Bridges and islands and helipads.

Of course a photo zone. Maybe Dan's face looks like that because some little girl had just knocked something over with a great crash (and secretly I think it was on purpose).


This is an older low-level part of the city. There's so much movement in the cityscape.

Innards out.

Dan's nap.

Fancy lamp.

We picked up some World Cup headphones, because we are into it.

I read an INSTYLE magazine and met some unusual headlines: Sit on the Fame. Like a Goddness. kick off your door. False.

Dan woke up bored, so we walked back through the aquarium hoping to catch a show or see some more of those doofy seals. We caught a choreographed scuba swim, set to the Mario Water Theme, and it was good.

We were confounded by some shirts.

And the otters were out! What a score. There were tubes set up so you could watch them run around like hamsters.

What a weirdo.

Wearing red got you a ridiculous discount on Fanta-Stick tickets, $11 instead of $50. For real. Bandana Dan wore this bandana that we found on the street (and then washed twice) after the first World Cup game.

Playing a flicking drinking game. I think whoever gets the tab off wins or drinks or wins and drinks.

I don't remember who won, but Dan always wins everything, so I'd guess it was him.

The Fanta-Stick stage. Drums. Ghosts. You can read the story here if you are interested.

The cast posing for photos. This girl was so shy she didn't stop covering her face.

Visual perfection. Nothing can trump this.

A meat shop open at 11PM. Oh, and Trump World.

The subway was open on our ride home. That always feels weird and voyeuristic.


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