Monday, March 21, 2011

I can't believe it's not Buddha

At lunchtime on Friday, I made the five-minute walk from our school to the AT Center, which is an eight-story building that hosts exhibitions (such as the funky art show I posted about a couple of weeks ago). The occasion this time was the clearance sale they hold there a few times a year, with a gigantic room chock-full of vendors of every kind of clothing and sports gear.

When I got there, the huge exhibition space was hosting a "Buddhist Festival", not the clearance sale. I was terribly confused; I don't understand Korean, but the posters around the neighborhood had said "AT Center" and "3/18" and had pictures of parkas and shoes and such, and I was pretty sure I understood that.

It turns out that the clearance was in an equally huge space on the second floor-- I spent a half-hour there and bought some gloves(!)-- but meanwhile, I had to see what the Buddhist Festival was.

Turns out, my friends, that our enlightened Eastern brethren (and sistern) can search for a buck just as tackily as we can in the endarkened West. There were some lovely items, such as simple, elegant clothing, crystal lotus flowers, and stylish candles; there were also plastic Buddha key chains and letter openers...
,,,and a big ol' baby-Buddha-riding-an-elephant... uh... thing...

...and a blaring teenaged rock band that I suppose was singing about Nirvana but sounded more like Kurt Cobain with his toe caught in a blender.

It was kinda disillusioning. Next thing you know, somebody will tell me that some televangelists are in it for the money.

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