Sunday, June 5, 2011
Boys' Day Out
Headed back the National Museum of Korea today with Ian and young Conor, but this time, we skipped the Princely Treasures exhibit for the Children's Museum - naturally.
Being the curious sort, I've always wanted to check-out the children's museum portion of the complex. I've been to the grown-up side a number of times, and I'm always curious as to what's available for the wee tots - perhaps wishful thinking about my nephews making it out to Korea one of these days.
The museum is organized well - only 100 people are allowed into the area at a time (90 minute duration followed by 30 minutes for cleaning and reorganizing after each group leaves) and each group books a free ticket, gets in line and enters en masse to check it out. With any more than 100 people in there, things would get to be less-then-pleasant, I'm pretty sure.
Inside the children's museum, there are a few hands-on exhibits for kids to check out that are pretty cool - how to put-together Korean roof tiles, making ink rubbings of ancient Korean art, and reconstructing broken Korean pottery replicas. Ok, that doesn't sound earth-shatteringly cool, but the museum does a good job of keeping the fun educational.
By far, Conor's favourite bit was the puzzle area - large magnet pieces that fit onto a outline in a stand-up case thingy. There were lots of puzzles around, and my favourite was a ceremonial horse that you had to decorate with magnet garb and baubles just like the illustration next to it.
Good to hang-out with the boys today, and I have to thank Conor as when else would I have the opportunity to book myself a time for a Children's Museum entry without looking like a complete tool? In truth, I'm often just a childish adult who needs a child to accompany him to fun places.
Best part of the museum is the fact that it's free. Here, Koreans, are your tax dollars at work.
Worst part of the museum: parents who say nothing when their 8 or 9 year old Korean prince of a child Bogarts the magnet puzzle - staring Conor down and roughly grabbing puzzle pieces out of the hands of a 3 year old who has actually made great strides in learning how to share. I wonder what goes through the minds of some parents who watch their child bully a toddler for the sake of completing an effing tiger puzzle.
Sometimes I'm glad I'm not a parent, because I'm pretty sure I'd lack the patience required to spend time in public with other parents who feel that their precious turd of a child is owed the world.
Kudos though to young Yoon-ho, another much happier and caring young lad of about 8 or 9 who was intent on helping Conor through the whole museum - showing him where the best puzzles were, helping him check out the castle, and passing the veggies at the "Ancient Kitchen VS Modern Kitchen" exhibit. What a sweet kid. He seemed so glad to be of help, and so reluctant to say goodbye.
Thanks, Yoon-ho, for restoring my faith in only-children of the Korean male variety.