Friday, January 14, 2011

Trot Thursdays: the first of many?

It's not unusual for bloggers living in Korea to have the occasional post with a music video from YouTube, but I would like to buck that trend by posting a video no self-respecting resident of Korea would ever admit to watching. Well, unless they're a taxi driver over the age of 50 with a 30-cent paper cup of instant coffee in their drinkholder:

There are lot of ways to describe this style of jarringly kitschy music, which I love for its unique position in between the eternally ancient Korea of classical music and the garishly modern, blaring neon lights of K-pop. One of my favourite bloggers, noting its use as propaganda directed at North Koreans, describes it as "[t]he South Korean version of country music known", which "does not usually evoke the word “sophistication"".

Trot first started to grow on me along with the old-style restaurants at the bottom of mountains in northern Seoul, often less than a half hour from central Seoul but rendered imposingly remote by the mountains. Hiking, especially in the winter, opened up a whole new side of Korea, far from frustrating schools, immigration offices and $6 lattes. It was quiet, amusing, unpretentious and uninterested in impressing me, which is precisely why it impressed me.

People who know me well know that I have no taste. I'll eat just about anything, sleep just about anywhere, drink just about any sort of coffee and travel under just about any conditions (so long as its on land). That also probably helps to explain my fondness for trot, instant coffee, middle-aged taxi drivers and french fries.


MKL said...

Sounds very good to me. It's like a mix of 80s Cantopop and enka ;)

Jennifer said...

Oh, how I laughed when I read that last paragraph. :) Thanks for making my morning a little brighter, Adeel.