Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Election Day

Today was a regional election day, and schools and businesses had the day off. For the weeks leading up to this day, it's been impossible to miss the large groups of campaigners gathered at every busy city intersection and near government buildings with their signs and fliers. They are mostly older women (ajummas) keeping themselves busy -- extremely busy. They've been handing out business cards, pamphlets, leaflets, and probably even moist towelettes to all passers-by. They are dressed in the bright primary colors of their candidate, with matching hats, scarves, shirts, fans, or gloves, often with their candidate's name or slogan emblazoned on them. They carry large signs and move them in perfect synchronization. They bow in unison when large crowds pass. They smile and wave. For hours.

They are a bit annoying.
They're like sunflowers; they bow to you as you drive by. That makes you, dear constituent, the sun. (Side note: the red text on their shirts reads "Education is Key!" and I wonder if that, plus the yellow color, is meant to reference Sewol-ho mourning, which also is symbolized with yellow?)
Also, they're not doing it necessarily because they are politically dedicated enough to spend so much time in the sun chanting or cheering along to loud campaign music. A Korean friend told me -- to my great surprise -- that most of these ajummas were getting paid very well for what amounts to a part-time job. She went on to explain that Korean politicians spend huge sums of money on their campaigns. That doesn't surprise me, actually. Between the enormous banners draped from the sides of tall buildings and rental of specalized campaign trucks that drive around the city day and night, nothing about these campaigns seems thrifty.

Anyway, I couldn't really care less about the actual results of this election. I spent my day off secluded in a cafe, working. Four bucks bought me an iced latte and five quiet, undisturbed hours that I needed in order to correct eighty first drafts. I was certainly more productive this afternoon than I have been in weeks.

For dinner, I ordered an entire large bulgogi-sweet potato pizza and ate half of it. No shame. The rest will be consumed shortly. Then I watched Lego Movie, which was highly entertaining and lived up to expectations, and did some other non-school related work until suddenly it was 1am and I wondered where the day had gone.

Granted, I woke up at noon, so I didn't have all that much time to begin with, but seriously, can somebody get me a Time Turner?

One random day of school tomorrow, and then a three-day weekend for Korean Memorial Day. I'll try to catch up then...

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