Body Worlds; Body Boring

Yesterday I went to see the current exhibition of Body Worlds being shown in Seoul, at the War Memorial Museum.  I had read a few reviews about the exhibition, all of which were great things, so my expectations were high.  Well, I should’ve kept them low.

After paying $15 to enter, I started my next hour of boredom.  The exhibit took you through the stages of life, starting with the fetus and continuing to it’s morbid opposite.  As I walked through, looking at the various fetuses, cuts of the brain and bones, I kept thinking, “I hope the interesting part is coming next.”  It never came.

I felt like I was walking through a pop-up science book from the 7th grade biology room.  Yea, there were “bodies” and things to look at but I felt the same excitement as I would if I google-imaged “human muscles.”  I was expecting to learn something new.  Something new and exciting.  Your body has more than 600 muscles.  Wow.  I’ll be sure to include that in my next science report.  This is your hand in the form of just blood vessels.  Wow.  If I ever had to imagine that, that’s exactly what I’d expect it to look like.

I was expecting to see something shocking.  I wanted to see how the activities in which we do or don’t do throughout our lives directly effect the insides of our body.  In some way, I expected it to be an exhibit that would “scare” us into a healthy living style.  I saw some grey plastic lungs.  That’s it.  Don’t smoke.  We learned that in D.A.R.E in the 4th grade.

After finishing the exhibition, we sat outside the War Memorial and discussed how underwhelmed we were.  The highlight of the day was, by far, the non-bone chilling temperature.  And a snack of chocolate milk, string cheese and crackers.

Maybe I’m just not big on academia, and I completely missed all of the relevant and interesting information.  Maybe I was more concerned with what I would be eating for dinner.  (Most likely)  Maybe I didn’t read enough about what I saw, as most things were posted in Korean, but the majority was translated in English.  Maybe if I had read more, I would’ve learned something more?  Maybe.  But I’m banking on no.  As a person that doesn’t  have much attention span for reading, especially about technical things, I think one can learn more through seeing rather than reading.  Seeing is far more interesting.  And everything we saw you can see by either A) visiting the exhibition’s website or B) visiting trusty Google.

After Body Boring, while making our way back to the bus station, we passed through Namdaemun Market and stopped for a few bites to eat, which salvaged my mood.

A variety of street eats.  Seafood, kimchi jeon, pajeon, mushrooms, chicken skewers etc.

Above is vegetable hoddeok (호떡).  It’s like a filled and fried Korean pancake.  The usual hoddeok is filled with brown sugar, honey, nuts and cinnamon.  But we opted for the atypical variety.  It was just okay to me.  I definitely like the sweet sugary version better.

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