Fun At Lotte Mall in Seoul, S. Korea

I have learned that when it is hot outside, Koreans head for the mall.  Air conditioning is very expensive in Korea because electricity is so expensive, and no one wants to pay for it.  The only kind of air conditioners they have run on electricity.  If your electric bill goes over a certain amount, the electric company will double your bill, so many Koreans are reluctant to use their air conditioners even if they have one.  I have learned that when it is hot outside many of them head for the mall to enjoy the air conditioning there.  Today, they were having lots of fun at the mall.

Enjoying a dinosaur

There seemed to be dinosaurs everywhere.

The first fun thing were encountered was dinosaurs walking around the mall.  The kids were really enjoying them!  They seemed to be all over the place. There were several of them.

We ran into some giraffes.

After we saw the big group of dinosaurs, we ran into some giraffes. They were just statues. They weren’t running all over the place like the dinosaurs.  However, I was trying to figure the dinosaurs out and was wondering if there would be more animals.

I found a poster.

I finally found a poster that explained the dinosaurs.  The sign says there is a special Jurassic display that opened up a few days ago.   I am not sure where it is, but it is at the mall somewhere, and this gave us the explanation of why the dinosaurs were there. They were a kind of advertisement for the Jurassic display.

After that, we ran into a balloons machine where the kids were getting helium balloons. the machine made a really high pitched crazy sound when it blew a balloon up. There is fun to be had at this mall.

virtual reality

Next we ran into some kids enjoying virtual reality.  Have you seen Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, or Star Trek Voyager?  Star Trek has a hollow deck.  The characters on the show are supposed to be able to program the hollow deck, and they get a virtual reality they can walk around in and interact with just as if it is real.  They may be just in a room on a space ship, but they think they are in the woods or in an office of a private eye or some other situation they dream up. That is only on TV, but we have something very similar to the hollow deck now a days. I have tried these glasses, and they give you the feeling you are somewhere you aren’t.  The glasses these kids are wearing in this picture are virtual reality glasses.  Since they have decorated around the kids with outer space pictures, perhaps these kids are in a virtual reality of being pilots on a space ship or somewhere else.

Lots of rides

In front of American grocery stores, we have had plastic horses the kids can ride for years. They are coin operated. The kids gets on the horse, you put a coin in it, and the horse goes up and down like it is running or walking, and the kids can pretend they are riding a horse until the money runs out.  At the mall today, they had a merry go round or a carousel like you can find at a fair where kids can ride horses and cars.  The parents can put coins in them and let the kids pretend.

I caught Pikachu having lunch.

If you don’t know who Pikachu is, he is a Japanese Pokemon anime character.  My kids used to have Pikachu toys to play with when they were small.  This lucky little boy had a Pikachu costume.  He was having lunch at Lotteria, the Korean McDonald’s, and I got a picture of him coming out too. My son in law didn’t see him, and I made a comment that I saw Pikachu, and my son in law was so thrilled he went looking for him.  All of the young American, Japanese, and Korean adults grew up with Pokemon and Pikachu.

Tarot Card Readings

Adults have found diversions at the mall in the hot weather too.  These people think they are getting their future told by Tarot Cards.  I hope they are doing it just for fun and don’t think looking at cards can actually tell the future.

I have blogged about the mall before in the hot summer weather in Korea.  These diversions are mild compared to other things I have seen them doing when it was hot out in the past.  Sometimes they set up trampolines at the mall.  Sometimes they set up ponds and little motor boats.  In the hot weather, there are times the mall is so packed you can hardly walk through the people.  In ancient times in Korea, the shopping ares in a town were always a big center of activity. When I went to the cultural village over at Suwon, they recreated the old center of town and had a tight rope walker and trick horse riders to watch in the middle of town.  Koreans don’t like to stay at home. They are very community oriented people, and the mall lets them continue their idea that they must be out and around other people, helps them get their entertainment, and keeps them cool in hot weather.


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