Poll Dancing – On The Streets

It is election season here in Geoje.  The first signs appeared three or four weeks ago when one morning a corner of the five-way road junction near the entrance to the yard sprouted a man wearing a sash who bowed to as many passing vehicles as he could.  Over the following days, the single figure seemed to change each morning, then become two figures and occasionally three; always wearing sashes and bowing continuously.

Two weeks back things started getting more serious.  One morning the duo/trio on the one corner was suddenly replaced by groups of a dozen people or more on several corners and lining the road leading to the yard.  This is still going on every morning and every evening to catch the rush-hour going to and leaving work at SHI.

The most I have managed to find out about the election so far is that voting will take place for a city leader (I guess a mayor) and some sort of representative for education.  Candidates are plentiful, well supported and committed.  Each candidate has a number and each number has a bright colour so that one can differentiate between the groups (some readers might be interested to note that Number Six is conspicuously absent from this village).

Each group has a light pick-up truck with the flat-bed made up like a cross between a carnival float and an advertising hoarding.  Obligatory posters can be augmented by any combination of flat screen televisions, preaching pulpits and deafeningly loud PA systems.

The pick-up being smaller than a campaign bus, it can be creatively parked in a greater variety of places to maximise impact.  On Thursday last week, Number Five, Orange parked up on a traffic island just outside our flat and let rip with and all-day blast of endless pop music and shouted exhortations over the mic from six-thirty in the morning through to sunset.  For the full eleven hours, forty to fifty supporters lined all sides of the street dancing in unison to the songs, chanting to order and bowing to all the traffic during the breaks.  Number Seven, Red did the same trick on the same spot two days ago.  Who needs Eurovision when there is all this to enjoy (especially when the UK entrant is reported to have the longest odds in national history this year at 175/1)?

Exactly when the voting is due to take place I do not know but sooner would be preferable to later as the blaring PA systems are starting to get a bit wearing.  Best of British to them all.

Number Five, Orange on the campaign trail

Six Weeks Later…

…and all of a sudden it is May already.  Hong Kong was lovely but the planned continuation of the story from there fell by the wayside almost as soon as the previous posting was uploaded.  I could blame the British Airways strike.  Doing so would not be entirely fair but it is entitled to a mention.

Hong Kong was a stop en route to London to celebrate a family birthday.  Our flights booked with BA, we were concerned when the strike was announced but received many assurances that we would be all right, flying as we were outside the action dates.  Not so: at short notice our departure from Hong Kong was cancelled and rescheduled leaving us disappointed but still grateful to make it to London in time for coffee and desserts at the birthday dinner.

From London I went to work in Oslo for a week while Leyla headed to Baku for two weeks of catching up there.  Having been away from Norway for over a year I had forgotten just how quiet Oslo can be on a public holiday.  During the fifteen minutes I spent waiting for a bus in the city centre on Easter Monday morning, I saw a total of three cars, one tram and six people.  The only thing missing was a tumble-weed.

Back to Korea via London went smoothly for me and it was nose back to the grindstone straight away.  The following week Leyla was due to fly Baku- London- Korea but the small matter of an erupting volcano in Iceland put paid to that.  Re-routing via Istanbul eventually saw her safely back in Geoje a further week later after a few more delayed and cancelled flights along the way.  With jetlag now dealt with, we are just about back into the swing of things over here.

Spring has been hesitant on Geoje Island this year.  Cloud, rain, mist and fog appeared just as frequently as sun if not more so during April and temperatures remained cool.  Warmth and sunshine seem to be returning with the onset of May and with them a general feeling of good cheer.  Trees are in leaf, flowers are blooming even the dark humour in the office is a shade lighter than pitch black on occasion.  Next stop: the beach?