Monday, July 2, 2012

June in Review / Gangneung with Sunny and his family, Pt. 1

A journey into the past world of records and audio equipment.

June got capped off with an excellent weekend on the east coast city of Gangneung. My colleague Sunny the math teacher invited me to spend the weekend there with him and his family. Like many of the Korean teachers here, Sunny stays in Wasu while his family lives in another town. He sees them on weekends. I felt honored that he'd take this time to have me come and visit. We had a great time.

The rainy season's begun here, so it rained all the way from Wasu to the outskirts of Gangneung. It wasn't raining in the city at least. This occasion marked the third time I've been on the east coast of the country. The first trip happened when a co-teacher and I drove to Yangyang for a teachers conference and the second time was a teachers overnight trip to Sokcho before Christmas.

Sunny and I left Wasu in the morning and arrived in the mid-afternoon. We stopped for a delicious lunch of galbi tang in Chuncheon on the way. We met his lovely wife and cute daughter at their apartment and took off for the nearby Charmsori Gramophone Museum and Edison Science Museum. He said he'd been here once as a high school student and had enjoyed it. Indeed! I was geeking out left and right as we went from room to room here. Over 100 years of audio equipment stands inside those museum's walls and it was a real treat to see the hi-fis of yore. Our guide played us tin foil recordings, music boxes, and in one excellent instance, a 78 of Glen Miller's Orchestra doing "In The Mood." This place had everything from wax cylinders to DVD players. They had plenty of reel-to-reel tape decks and those kitschy 8-track pod players from the '70s as well. The 8-tracks were especially fun to see in person. I've still yet to hear an 8-track in all its glory live though. No matter--the 78s and the music boxes were more than enough to fuel my inner music and history geek. 

In front of the Charmsori Gramophone Museum. It is attached to the Edison Science Museum. Fellow audiophiles will love this place. It has rooms full of gramophones, record players, music boxes, and audio equipment. Fantastic collection! 
Among the many gramophones there.

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