Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Bleeding Tower of Bucheon

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Sphinx, The Confederate War Memorial in Macon, Georgia: These and other monuments have all suffered the ravages of time. Our fair city of Bucheon is not without its great monuments fallen into disrepair. Consider the sad case of Vincent Tower, a venerable old Bucheon institution that has fallen on hard times.

This ancient landmark has long been a cultural touchstone for the people of Bucheon. As the poem goes "Vincent Tower, like the people of Bucheon, stand buffeted, but not bowed by the winds of change". Time and oxidation are threatening to make a liar of that unknown poet of a bygone day.

Home to a number of lawyers and plastic surgeons, "I work in Vincent Tower" has long been synonymous with "I am a successful opportunist with no scruples".

But this mighty building has fallen on hard times. Perhaps it was the yellow dust, perhaps the pollution from Incheon, or just maybe it was incredibly short-sighted planning, but Vincent Tower is literally rusting away. It weeps tears of blood for all those Koreans who, like itself, had their youth and beauty stolen from them in the headlong drive for development. Those russet tears now stain the entire vicinity of the building.

It is hard for us to imagine the thought process that led people to build a tower out of rustable material, but then again it's always been hard to put oneself in the shoes of the ancients. I mean, who can imagine what was running through the heads of those mighty village chiefs when they decided to put up Vincent Tower, lo these four years ago.

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