Lotte is a large corporation in Korea that has its own McDonald's-esque fast food burger chain and also makes the popular snack Pepero, more commonly known as Pocky in North America. And it also has its own theme park.
Anthony and a couple Korean friends of ours, Catherine and Carolyn, went to Lotte World last week. This was the most elaborate of previous Colin-being-a-wingman-for-Anthony adventures as Anthony did his best to charm Catherine, who speaks very little English. Interestingly, Carolyn lived in Surrey for a while, of all places, so as she and I discuss the pros and cons of living in Surrey, Anthony is given a golden opportunity to work his magic.
Lotte World is basically a smaller, indoor version of Disneyland. There is also a substantial outdoor section, but the day that we went it was freezing cold and standing in lineups out there was pretty unpleasant. The theme seemed to be let's-shamelessly-rip-off-Disneyland. Pharoah's Fury was a direct copy of the Indiana Jones ride, Comet Express was a rehash of Space Mountain, and The Adventures of Sindbad was alarmingly similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. The logo was identical to Disney, and when I saw the giant white castle that adorned the outdoor section I could tell that they were making no effort at all to hide their copyright sins.
This last photo is of Anthony tentatively entering a photo booth called "Sweet Holic", although I prefer to think of it as "The Chamber of Horrors" . Stepping into this room was like entering the mind of an eleven-year-old hyperactive Asian girl on drugs. Everything inside was pink or shiny. The video would scream instructions at you in Korean and allow a time limit for you to select one of dozens of awful backgrounds to embellish your photos. Then, you would go outside to another computer screen and adorn your creations with a number of twinkly images super-imposed onto the pictures to make them even more revolting. Anthony and I were stunned during the entire experience, especially when we noticed how immersed in the decorating phase the girls were. Unfortunately, there was no time limit to the finishing-touches stage. The grand result: miniature photo stickers that I keep for the comic value, but still cause me deep shame every time I see them.