wonhyo bridge

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | |

On one of the first weekends I was here (back at the beginning of July) I went over to Yeouido, the island on the Han River in the heart of Seoul. It's often compared to Manhattan, as, in addition to its likeness in geographic form, it is also the nation's epicenter in matters political (home to the National Assembly and the HQs of the major TV networks); financial (the Korean stock exchange and the LG headquarters); and even, arguably, religious, somewhat--to a limited but increasing extent, as it is home to the Yoido [sic; alternate Romanization] Full Gospel Church, the largest Christian congregation in the world at 0.83 million. It's also got one of the few bona fide skyscrapers in Seoul, the 63 Building (notable for, among other things, being the keystone of the cover art for SimCity 3000 Unlimited).

But Yeouido's biggest significance to me as I walked through Hangang Park along the river, past the National Assembly, the LG HQ, and the 63 Building, was that I came across this bridge--one of the dozen or so bridges that cross the Han within Seoul--and it started to look familiar... I whipped out my iPod, opened up the Maps app, and confirmed that, yes--this was Wonyho Bridge, the site of the monster's lair and climactic confrontation in one of my all-time favorite movies, Boon Jong-ho's 2006 The Host. A critical darling and Cannes sensation as well as Korea's all-time box office champ, I even had it on my iPod at that moment--I had planned months in advance to watch it on the flight over from Kuala Lumpur to psych myself up for arriving in Seoul (as if I needed it).

wonhyo bridge 2

wonhyo bridge

I looked out and imagined Hyun-seo and Se-ju shivering next to a pile of bones and a dead cell phone somewhere in the depths of all that steel and concrete...

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4 comments:

smochs said...

the yoido full gospel church is intense. i went there with a friend last spring, just to see what it was like. wah. cool experience. and unlike church at home, the majority of the hundreds (thousands?) of people sitting in the service could sing really, really well. just about blew my ears out. ~lol~

Alshain said...

Woah, that's awesome! I really want to go to a service there now lol!

Arron said...

Hi mark!
It's arron!

I like this picture:)

Alshain said...

Haha, thanks Aaron! "괴물" 아주 조아해요, it's one of my favorite movies of all time!