This blog is the record of the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition media tour through South Korea and Japan. The nine winners of the award, college journalists from across the country, will be updating this blog from the trip with written reports and photographs as they travel through Seoul, Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo. Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute news and reporting.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Korea Is the Future Is Now
Robots, dog couches, retina scans, talking appliances, monorail cars, steam screens and virtual mail drop boxes. No word yet on the price, but this country seems to be light years ahead of the West when it comes to technology.
Other indicators: the cellphone-to-person ratio is nearly 1:1, at least according to Pansy, the tour guide to who took us to the Demilitarized Zone (more on that later). There are giant, constantly playing televisions everywhere in the city, most of them on the top of skyscrapers.
Seoul is pretty much a giant amusement park, and at times can be kind of childish. Every time a train arrives, a bell chimes that sounds like the completion of a video game level. Same with the elevators in our hotel. There are colorful characters -- three-dimensional and flat -- scattered throughout the city, and sometimes voices pop out of hidden speakers in the ground or on rails.
But the country's history is also so deeply grounded here, even philosophical in its integration among the towering buildings. There are shrines and old-fashioned roads across the street from City Hall. And a few blocks past our hotel is a tranquil palace that captured our minds for two hours as wandered through it in the rain.
OK, someone else put some pics and other stuff on here about the DMZ and such. On to Japan tomorrow!
- September (4)
- The Return of Milky Boy!
- Arrival: Chicago
- End of a (2 Week) Era
- 1950's Geisha Is 2008's Prostitute
- Tokyo Arrival
- Rock Garden at Ryoanji
- Korea Is the Future Is Now
- Did We Mention This Trip Is Free?
- The Beginnings of an Adventure
- The fate of the world depends on CALORIE MATE!! ...
- Quake Hits Japan
- Chicago Arrivals
- South Korean soaps?
- Japan Airlines
- Hudson Is My First Roommate
- Luggage Nirvana
- Trip Prep
- Shaken Leader of South Korea Promises New Beginnin...
- "Standing Up for Workers’ Rights in Japan"
- Media Frenzy Over Suspect In Vehicle
- Entire Cabinet Offers to Resign
- 21,000 Police and Countless More Protesters Take T...