01 February 2009
That's So American: Mall and Movies
I don't know how I managed to live over a year in Seoul and not know that there's a mall at Yongsan. I've been to Yongsan Station a couple of times, but never noticed the huge "multiplex" building RIGHT NEXT DOOR! You'd think I'd notice such a thing.
I went to the iPark Mall for the first time during the lunar new year weekend with my gyopo relatives. We only went to the theater, but it appears to have all the features of a mall: shops, eateries, move theater, and central heating/cooling system. The mall is a little cluttered and stuffy for my tastes, but it's definitely worth another trip.
Over the holidy weekend, I also accompanied my cousins to the US military base at Yongsan. We weren't able to go to the comissary, but we did get to shop at the fast food eateries. It's pretty embarassing how excited I felt when I purchased a large bag of Cheddar Sun Chips for $1.95! We also had dinner at the hotel. I ordered mediocre Carne Asada tacos, and they were awesome!
We also caught a movie at the theaters on base. We saw Disney's Bolt. Surprisingly, Miley Cyrus' voice did not make my ears bleed, and I quite enjoyed the film. I have to admit though that I was a little startled by the playing of the National Anthem before the start of the film. I was leaning back in my seat, enjoying some Sweet Tarts when at the blare of trumpets, my cousin N. whispers, "Quick! Stand up!" Baffled, I jolted upwards, then noticed on the big screen, a patriotic montage of smiling soldiers, waving flags, and cherubic children. I looked around at the other theater goers and saw them staring intently at the screen with their bodies at attention, and hands plastered at their sides. I followed suit, but couldn't help but feel a little weirded out. I'm proud to be American, but for a moment, I felt like one of those pajama-clad guys in the Apple 1984 commercial. On the other hand, for $4 movie tickets I will stand attentively through the Anthem, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and wear red, white, and blue.