Saturday, May 19, 2012

In the Fountain; PD poor form

I went out biking today on a perfect May morning.  I biked up Georgia until I was convinced there was nothing else to see, then back down until I got to the National Sculpture Gallery and sat out basking in the sun and reading Game of Thrones second book, A Clash of Kings.  It is interesting, the book and the tv show have some real differences that almost make it feel like different stories.  For one, in the book some of the characters are younger so their traits come across a little differently.  In the book, characters like Robb Stark or Jon Snow are teenagers, while in the show they are cast as adults.  It give the character a slightly different feel, and makes their attitudes and perspectives a little different than the adult characters that exist in the show.

I sat like Buddha, basking in the sun. Later, I took to the shade and focused on the feel of the cold marble.  I lay the soft underside of my arm on the cold marble, and focused on the cool skin-to-marble touch.

And the water of the fountain shimmered.  I moseyed back to sun and fountain.  The tip of the Washington monument peered over top.  The fountain drowned out all other noise.  My feet touched the cold black granite as the bottom and toes lapped wet and watery.

I biked my way around and stumbles upon a big festival on Pennsylvania Ave for National Asian Heritage Month.  I was starving at this point, so I parked my bike and feasted on filipino banana eggrolls, Indian pani poori- little wafer shells filled with potato, sauces and a sweet, vinegary juice, and Malaysian veggie curry puffs.  Washed it down with some Thai ice tea.  There were also stands of Laos and Korean foods, with barbecuing steaks and chickens that smelled delicious.

A little further beyond, there were tents of crafts and demonstrations.  There were a few Taiwan tents, with various crafts and things.  The Korea tents were quite good.  There was Korean gastrodiplomacy on display as a Korean chef gave demonstrations on how to make kimchee.  She slathered the red paste on folded layers of cabbage.  I was drooling to get a sample.  There were also bits of shelled Korean popcorn.  Korea was out in full force, and had a nice bit of cultural and culinary diplomacy.

However, innocuously sitting on some tables were stickers that said "I [heart] Dokdo//Dokdo in Korea," as well as a cute smiley brochures featuring anime-ish characters and cartoony rocks in a pamphlet with cursory info on Dokdo Islands.  Minor issue here, the Dokdo Islands are subject to a major dispute between Korea and Japan.  The Liancourt Rocks' ownership remains an issue of dispute between the two countries, and Koreans often get riled up over the issue.  Yet I am guessing most people would have no idea about the issue.  I found this to be propaganda, and  to be totally in poor form.  Most people don't know about the issue, so to tastelessly try to highlight Korea's claim in the midst of otherwise innocuous cultural diplomacy is inappropriate.  

No comments: