Things, to do

IMG_0113 Men at work

10-a-penny, good to go

IMG_20171105_204709 (On yer bike)

 

B-grade actor, made by Corgi toys

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I didn’t know that Corgi toys  made cars in this size. At least it was to scale, and you could probably fit four people inside, five in an emergency. I thought this was a one-off. But getting off the train later in Shenyang, they had two of them parked in the foyer sidebyside. They, the cars, do make for compactness an form but what about function? Unlike police cars in the West, where police cars were often bought and built for the chase. But these, I’m not sure what their intended purpose is. Aside from issuing parking tickets,  it doesn’t really lend to any authority. Like any B-grade actor or actress, they do the job, but where’s the (stage) presence?

A mis-shapened stain, it’s just plain paralytic

Not exactly miles of piss-stained corridors but more of a door with a suspicious looking stain. My question is, how did the guy get enough pressure to reach that high? Or did he use a step-ladder instead?

Sinchon is one of the ubiquitous bar districts in Seoul, not unsurprisingly close to the main universities. Observing some of the students in what must be their first time experiencing alcohol of any sort, was sort of fun. Sitting on the steps downstairs of a bar, were two students, one cradling his mate’s head on his knees. Coming back down the stairs again, not two minutes later, we had seen that the inebriated student had been sick. On his mate’s knee, calf and possibly shoe, but mainly on the pavement. Ick. His mate had bought a bottle of water for this instance and was giving his friend the water. Good to see the buddy system in action.

Another scene where two other students were sat outside a 7-11 superette. The taller one had had his fill and was feeling the effects of his bravado. His mate had decided to leave him then, and he being without physical or moral support decided to lie down on the elevated step that lead up to the superette. The girls are even worse, having even less tolerance to alcohol than the boys. Fortunately I’ve never had one of the guys get so drunk as to say that I was handsome. I was standing outside waiting for a friend at the time. Geez. I just stepped aside, and the pair of girls walked upstairs to the bar.

Koreans look ridiculous when they’re drunk, when they should know better. Maybe I’m thinking this because even though New Zealanders get to drink at a younger age, at home, under controlled conditions. The legal drinking age in NZ is more or less the same, at 18 years of age. In my time at Massey university, the Square in Palmerston North there were literally a dozen bars all within walking distance of each other. In Sinchon, they were within stones throw away or less. Literally 2-3 blocks of restaurants and bars. Not once did I see a policeman, police car or paddy wagon in the area. In comparison in New Zealand you’d see regular patrols, just to keep the drunks off the street.

Fuzz(y) impressions, brushes with the law

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The fuzz, Mr Plod or just the police. Impressions are lent by what’s around you, especially the first time. My impression of the police stems from my time in New Zealand. Yes, I am a Kiwi and proud of it.

Big cars, a clean and pressed uniform replete with cap made them look official and impressive. That aside, most of them look like rugby players. I heard that most of them bulk up at the gym.

But this entry is really directed at their vehicular mode of transport. Their wheels are, the biggest object that lends the impression.

NZ police have always tended to drive big cars. Back in the 70’s it was the Holden HQ. Come to think of it, the NZP has had a long line of Holdens. Going from the Holden Commodore, Commodore, and.. Commodore.  It’s quite a lineage.

The next photo is the Vatican Police. Given the size of Vatican square, it’s a small car. The photo speaks for itself. I did actually have a brush with real police (actually an undercover detective) who seemed to appear from no-where. I just happened to be asked for directions by a Greek national (also on holiday).  I think the Crumpler photo bag gave the impression that I had drugs inside of my bag. They went as quickly as they came.

The picture of the Chinese police, was taken in Shenyang. About six of them were mounted on bicycle. That in itself is okay. I’ve seen Mr Plod on a mountain bike. But these bikes had a red light mounted on the back. What would have been more comical is a light mounted on the helmet ala The Goodies or even Kenny Everett. Though these police officers are meant in no way to appear ‘daggy’.

The ‘Shenyang flying squad’ actually compares well to their Korean counter parts. The motorbikes were a par for the course, also had the red lights mounted on the back. Come to think of it, where else could you cheaply mounted on the bike? Jon and Ponch from the 70’s TV show, CHiPs can feel safe and secure that their image and their Kawasaki motorbikes have not been tainted. I have had encounters with the Korean police. Twice. Once for jaywalking; I got a very stern non-verbal sermons. He used his fore finger as he pointed to me, then to the road. He didn’t smile once. A true professional. The next encounter was much more friendly, in getting lost on the first day in the void, I came upon the local police station. Staggering up, I asked for directions. I was ushered into a police car, driven by a youngish policeman. Sat in the front seat, it was an uneventfull entrance as I pulled up to the school. Their cars, are of course, Korean made, the policemen, from the best Police academies.

One feature of Asian government agencies is the need for cute mascots. The first one is Korean, named ‘Podori’. I don’t know what it translates into English, but the idea was to soften the image of the police force. The Chinese mascot shares the big eyed features of the Korean one except it’s female. Frankly I’ve never seen an Immigration officer smile and salute, let alone have big bug eyes.