Before I begin, let me give you an update on my travels. I am currently in Donghae, Republic of Korea (ROK). As seems the norm when I come to Korea with the Naval wing of the Imperial Armed Forces, it is wet and cold here. In the last two and a half years, I have been to S. Korea for a total of two months and I have seen the sun maybe four times. Even in August when we have to be here (Busan) rather than enjoying the sun n fun of Zushi Beach, Japan, the weather is humid and hot but the peninsula is so overcast that you rarely see the sun.
I’m trying to give the ROK a chance though. I even planned on visiting Seoul tomorrow until one of my evil chain of commanders nixed that idea because I did not ask days in advance. Alas, I still smile and go about my business. Now on to the business of entertaining you with a new post.
My dear, I apologize to you. I am sorry for all the times I’ve referred to you as, “the weirdest,” “land of the weird,” and “only in Japan.” How was I to know that there was a country competing against you? Although I have expressed to you how weird I think you are, of course I love you. Your food, your public transportation systems, your beer, your women who wear short skirts and thigh high boots in Winter and your wonderful cities.
Now that I know you are not the weirdest place in the world, I embrace you much tighter. For today, I discovered the new land of the weirdness.
Someone Erected A Park of Erections
Photographs by my co-worker Mel Orr
They say that men have been erecting symbols of erections for centuries. Whether it’s a obelisk in Rome or the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., we men seem infatuated with designing things that look eerily similar to the penis. If they are intended to do that or not, at least they are subtle. Sometimes, a person just decides to be bold enough to throw subtlety out the window and hit you smack in the face with what they want to express.
Welcome to the Penis Park in Samcheok, ROK.
You’re probably thinking the same I did when I saw the photos. Unfortunately… or fortunately, I was not able to go here. A group of Sailors from my ship went to the park today as part of a Korean cultural tour. I saw the tour information and I can tell you that it made no mention of going to see a park full of dicks. Since we work on a ship full of assholes though, I guess it’s fitting that on our day off, we are taken to a park filled with dicks.
The full story behind the park can be read here. The short version for you lazy folks who don’t want to click a link is this:
Boy meets girl in small village. Boy and girl are going to marry. Boy will give girl her first penis. Girl drowns before wedding. Girl never sees penis. Village get no more fish from water where girl drowned. Local fisherman gets drunk, pees in water. Ghost of virgin gets excited when she sees her first penis. Fish come back. Village People happy to expose penis. Not those Village People, the regular village people. Instead of always exposing their selves to the water, village people build phallic symbols to please the virgin spirit. Village people never stop building. Lots of fish. Village full of penis and smell of fish.
After reading the history behind the Penis Park (locally known as Haesingdang Park), I got a better understanding of what I was seeing in the images. It actually doesn’t sound weird once you know the story. So, I suppose that Japan can have her title back. Especially when she has festivals dedicated to fertility like this one. Love you Japan!
If you are in South Korea and feel like being surrounded by cock, here is information of the park.
Entry Fee – this was small, around 2,000 won. There is a ticket desk at the entrance, which also displays a return bus schedule in it’s window. It’s worth having a look to see what your options are for buses back to Samcheok. The stop is right by the road, you’ll see it when you come in.
Opening Hours – Mar-Oct, Tues-Sun, 9 am-6 pm; Nov-Feb, Tues-Sun, 9 am-5 pm
Address – 167-8 Seongnam-dong.
Phone – 033-570-3568 (for the Korean-speaking Fishery Village Tradition Exhibition Centre)
Getting There – A frequent 50 minute bus will easily take you to the park from the Samcheok Express Bus Terminal. Ask for Haesingdang Park at the ticket window, and they will know what you’re talking about! Come out of the door that they will point you to, and turn right. You’ll see a little bus stop. Just wait there until the bus is scheduled to come. When we went, the bus didn’t actually come over to the bus stop – it just stopped in the middle of the concourse, and everyone walked over to board it. You may need to just check with the driver that you have the right bus, before getting on, especially if you can’t read Hangeul. Let the driver know that you are getting off at the park, and he’ll be sure to make a commotion about your stop when he comes to it at the side of the highway. (In terms of landmarks, the stop is just past the small park dedicated to local Olympian Hwang Young-Cho, who won the marathon event in both the 1992 Summer Olympics and 1994 Asian Games.)
What are some weird things you’ve seen during your travels?