Live notes from Korea

Some small stuff here that just caught my mind:

The Hotel

All the hotel has lots of doors that you maybe not allowed to enter. Well, this is normal. So they give you this RFID (probably) card that will let you go where you want to – your room, your floor, the exercise and laundry room. Also, to save power there is a device right next to the room door that will shut down all the power in the room. You are supposed tout your room key – the card – in it to enable the power. For some reason I thought that the power card reader was also RFID enabled and it was reading the card contents. It turned out that any card can be put there to enable the power. The solution was a lot more simple than I thought.

In Korea, like in Japan, the toilets are state of the art. They have lots of buttons and LEDs. When you sit down the toilet starts making lots of noises – something is moving down there, turn On or OFF. At some point this becomes actually scary – who knows what they going to do to my down part. This reminds me about the thing said by one researcher working on automated computerized homes: How advanced your bad has to become before you will be afraid to go to sleep at night. Well, we are close.
So, another thing happens every time I come back to my room. Since the power was OFF, when I come in everything turns ON, including the fancy toilet. Seriously, it boots like a computer – starts making sounds, some beeps, lights are flashing. Weird. I wonder if they are running Linux on it. I wonder if it is possible to run Linux on it. That will be even funnier than Linux in a toaster.

Seoul

Well, Sunday, March 1st I was off duty. So I went to see the South Korean capital – Seoul. 

I tried to find some reasonable walking tour around the city. There are actually tours offered by the official Seoul Tourism organization. However, they filled up quite quickly. The same organization also offers bus tours around the city. For the lack of better alternative I took this tour. It was actually a very useful tour. The idea was great – you buy one ticket for a bus that goes around the city, the bus has little headphones for each sit with a player explaining, briefly, about particular places that the bus visits, then you can get off the bus anywhere you like, et back on later and continue, or you can just go around in circles.  That is actually exactly what I wanted to do – just go around one circle, listen to the description, then get off somewhere. The lady in the bus, maybe she can be called stewardess, kept coming to me and asking or suggesting to get off somewhere. Perhaps she never seen any tourist that just wanted to ride the bus.

However, it was all kind of spoiled by the fact that half of the places that this damn bus visits were shoppoing malls. They were talking about this big shopping center, that huge shoppoing center, this insane shopping center working 24 hours. I mean, comon – Seoul has probably more history than all cities in California combined. Let’s talk about that, not the shopping. I can do the same money wasting anywhere in the world. Unless, of course, shopping is what Korean people do.

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