10 days, or not?

Due to the scheduling of traditional Chuseok (Autumn Harvest Festival, full moon) which follows the lunar calendar (Chinese calendar) and the National Foundation Day of Korea (Gaecheonjeol, always Oct 3rd), plus the newly returned Hangeul Day on Oct 9th, many employers were offering Monday Oct 2nd as a special holiday… then government got in the act to declare it a “temporary national holiday.” The idea being that by giving folks the Monday, it generates a 10 day holiday period (Saturday, Sept 30 ~ Monday Oct 9) for domestic tourism (good for the economy).

A few problems with this.

  1. The “temporary national holiday” only means thatmost government offices will be closed, it’s not a holiday if an employer doesn’t want it to be.
  2. Folks who routinely work Saturday or Sunday (I teach a grad class on Saturdays) may not get those days off.
  3. Global events go on regardless — the SAT (US university entrance test) is Oct 7, the last date for routine applications to US universities. My son is doing the SAT.
  4. International flights are basically sold out. Instead of improving domestic tourism (which may happen) it is worsening the international tourism deficit (benefit to domestic economy from foreign tourists Minus local currency spent abroad).
  5. Many salaried folks, and students, will have to make-up the new Oct 2 holiday. Fortunately my school had already built this into the schedule. Some friends elsewhere have a new day at end of the semester, which impacts previously scheduled departures.

Analysis after the fact will be interesting.

 

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Daegu Metro’s New Monorail in Action! (Line 3)

Finally, it’s running, and I took a ride. The Disneyland Daegu Monorail!

Daegu-Monorail-Line3-in-motion

In fact, I didn’t realize that it was free today (Saturday), that regular services hasn’t yet begun… I just knew that I was in the neighborhood and I needed to get to school, and I should be able to transfer effortlessly to the subway that goes to Keimyung.*

Daegu-Monorail-Line3-crowdedtrain

Apparently lots of folks were taking a free joy-ride at 11:30am on a beautiful Saturday… can’t say I blame them.

(I LOVE trains!)

There’s even a designer train (poor photo here, but it has children’s anime action figures and such painted on the sides… and as I happens, I boarded at the Children’s Park station).

Daegu-Monorail-Line3-designertrain

The part they prefer not to talk about is that they ended up purchasing (japanese) technology for the train sets, but they are hopeful that as the system gets busy and they need more train sets, they can buy domestic.

Daegu-Monorail-Line3-Hitachi

apologies for any discoloration and other quality issues in the photos, I was working quickly (yes, really had to get to school) with the old smartphone and available lighting (too much shiny stuff around for flash).

* Because Line 3 was free today, the direct access to other lines was closed, so had to walk outside and enter the subway from street level. No problem!

Miryang’s Cheonggyecheon

The small city I live in (Miryang [밀양] pop. ~95,000) is doing a bit of urban renewal.

Like many Korean cities it covered over smaller streams in the 1960s-70s, and is now uncovering them and making them far more attractive than they ever were. While this negatively impacts automobile traffic, the aim is to increase foot-traffic. Miryang has added a board-walk / wooden bridges along and repeatedly across, and added two small ampitheaters, each seats maybe 200.  It’s a really nice effect, with large granite stones along most of the banks, a couple fountains here and there, and the boardwalk/bridges is really cool, can traverse much of downtown this way, away from traffic. (We can question whether money should be spent like this, but at least it came out nice, not just more concrete!)Miryang-Cheonggyecheon-Ampitheatre

Today we saw break-dancers and some traditional musicians putting on a show. It’s only 5 minutes from my home, and behind me (the photographer) is beautiful Miryang River, and one minute walk to one of Korea’s three great pavilions, Yeongnamru.

NotSoSmartPhone

Bought July 2011 when pre-sales of the next generation model was beginning (hence roughly one year older technology), my Samsung Galaxy Tab (original) is having a hard time.

Android Gingerbread today is sortof like running Windows95 in 2015.

* Crash or really needs a re-boot at least once per day.
* Can’t add apps.
* Must use ‘Lite’ versions of some websites.
* Some website functions crash the browser (like uploading a small image of the phone here!).

Oh well, still unlimited data plan (3G) at only 35,000won per month, I guess I’ll keep it until phones &/or dataplans get cheaper.