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