I live very close to Mapo Bridge. I walk across to Yeouido about three or four times a week, to take in the breeze and get what a charitable person might call “exercise.” It used to be a very quiet stroll, save for the odd cyclist overtaking me every now and then. But recently, the bridge has become a tourist attraction of sorts.
When Chun Yoon-mi was in middle school, she was “absolutely sure” she wanted to kill herself. She narrowed it down to two choices: she would either jump off the building she shared with her grandparents, or overdose on pills. Bullies at her school had urged her to commit suicide, telling her she was the reason her parents divorced. The date was set.
If you’ve been to a fish market in Korea, you may have been confronted with flashbacks from your last screening of “Alien.” Fish, rays and other sea life beckon to the passing throngs, strung up and crucified on wooden frames. Hung like victims of a vicious inquisition, the impaled subjects add a chill to the air.