Friday, June 20, 2008


There's an island near where we used to live called Eulsukdo, and aside from a somewhat odd line in statues it basically serves as a park for local people. There are a couple of football pitches, bicycles for hire, a speed skating track and a drive-in movie theatre, which shows films in the evening.

We don't really have drive-in cinemas in England (I gather there's one in the entire country), so I was sufficiently curious about the experience that when I finally had the chance to go with friends I couldn't turn it down, even though I was dubious about being able to see, let alone enjoy, a movie from the back seat of a car.

Watching the screen may not be at the forefront of other visitors' minds however. Life for dating young Koreans can be tough. Living at home with parents right up to the point of getting married (and sometimes beyond) is common, and in a city of 3.6 million people squashed together in the narrow gaps between mountains privacy, like clean air, can be a commodity in short supply. So there are a lot of love hotels for locals to stay in and DVD bangs for customers who are not that interested in seeing films. Even though by comparison a drive-in movie theatre seems like a less desirable location to get to know someone more intimately, apparently it can still serve this purpose. I suppose it's cheaper and less potentially scandalous than a love hotel, and unlike the hotels and DVD bangs there's much less chance of being filmed by the owners.

The outdoor cinema on Eulsukdo usually shows Korean films, so once we decided to go before we left Korea we were lucky that an American movie I could understand was scheduled a couple of days before our departure. Once parked, we tuned our radio to the special frequency for the audio, and with no adverts or any of the advertising spam and cattle herding that normally accompanies a trip to regular cinema, we watched the recently released Iron Man in our own private vehicular world.

Despite my doubts, as an experience it seems drive-in movies are surprisingly watchable, even if - and you couldn't make this up - the movie theatre at Eulsukdo is right underneath the flightpath to the nearby Gimhae Airport, and our viewing was accompanied by the screaming engines of planes desperately trying to maintain a straight approach against some evidently vicious crosswinds. Every few minutes.


Michael said...

Mike, I've followed your blog with interest, and do look in occasionally hoping for a new post. It's been a while now... have you made your final post?

Mike said...

Hello Michael,

Thank you for reading. I didn't intend to stop writing but I've been quite ill in the last few months so I've been rather distracted.

Now that I'm recovering I was actually planning to start writing again in the next few days so hopefully there may be something new on this blog before too long.


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