REMEMBERING NAMSAN TOWER
By Cadet Kristin McDaniel
As a child growing up in Seoul, Korea, I visited Namsan Tower several times. The scenery is wonderful. There are a vast amount of trees that surround the area, and it gives you a picturesque view of downtown Seoul, with its numerous buildings and a mountainous backdrop. Prior to our visit, we saw some pictures of Korea, taken right after the Korean War, over 60 years ago. To look now, you see such a huge transformation of the Seoul skyline, with the tall buildings and plenty of roadways filled with cars, bikes and trucks After living in the United States for several years, and now returning to Korea, hiking to Namsan Tower showed me that much has changed here in the short period since I left.
In the past, many of the eateries and stands were more Korean traditional, and now, as I walk up to the tower, they are filled with a more global design. Now you will find hamburgers and Coldstone Ice Cream shops instead of the standard Korean food like– their pancakes and their Popsicle ice cream. I found an underground stationary store there, which is something I wish they had when I was growing up. As I went further up towards the tower, there is an area now filled with love locks. This has come along since I left. While love locks date back to Europe during World War I in Paris and Eastern Europe (in an area now known as Serbia), they have become popular around the world since early 2000s. Love locks have reached Namsan Tower, as this has always been a sight for Korean wedding photos, and now they can leave their mark there.