Wednesday, April 9, 2008

National Assembly Elections

It's election day today and another chance for a day off. Unfortunately it's also the first real rain storm of the year.

The National Assembly is a different legislative body but the process is pretty much the same as the presidential election I mentioned a few months ago. Now if you care about it you already know who won, so the only thing I can add is that I am happy election season is over. And I'm not alone in either; I wasn't the only one who got woken up by friendly reminders to vote:

I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of clapping hands, tacky Korean songs, and some dude yelling in a mike. It felt as if someone was slowly bolting a screw in my brain. I hate Korean elections because they are LOUD.
or who had to put up with it during school hours:
They are dancing with the sound of loud music. I enjoy listening and watching them but i can't stand it sometimes specially during our class discussion. Even when i close all the windows in the classroom, we can't concentrate in the class because students are busy listening and sometimes stand up, sing and dance, too!
But this is the perfect summary of the whole spectacle:
This has meant that for the past 3 weeks rigorous campaigning has taken place in every nook and cranny of this tiny country. Let me assure you that campaigning Korean-style looks nothing like our tacky lawn-signs and occasional door-to-door hand-shaking. No, here we've had dozens of trucks circling the city, blaring our campaign songs from 7am to 10pm DAILY. There are advocates for each candidate positioned at the major street corners, dressed in matching outfits, singing songs, handing out yogurt drinks and dried squid, whose ceaseless attempts to pester pedestrian and distract drivers grew old after day 1. Some of the larger apartment complexes (read: mine) even have advocates positioned at the driveways leading in and out of our buildings to ensure that we are bowed to each and every time we pass through. If you're really lucky you'll get an impassioned Adjuma (read: older Korean woman) taking up the mike at one of the many soap-boxes which have sprung up in our parking lots, admonishing the transgressors and extolling the virtues of Mr. Mokpo 1-9. All of this is delivered directly into our apartments via the 1000000000mhz sound systems that are installed in each one of these temporary lecterns. Long-story-short: sleep has been hard to come by recently. I am thanking the heavens above that it will be over by nightfall but even that doesn't seem quite soon enough.

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