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A Ghost Town and its Gangnam Style Connection

On a trip to Incheon, we visited Songdo, a city built from scratch on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land. Although it cost more then $40 billion to make, there was virtually no one in it, except for the employees who worked to maintain the buildings. Eerily, the cafes had no person in it, but the computers were booted up and coffee prices were advertised. The convenience stores sold a lot of canned goods, such as Spam.

A deserted subway

A deserted subway

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Among all other things, Spam! While they sell these in other convenience stores, it struck me differently because of the emptiness. No clerk inside, either.

No one. Nothing,

No one. Nothing,

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There were two guys in the reception desk behind us.

A cafe seemed to be available for service, with no one behind the counter.

A cafe seemed to be available for service, with no one behind the counter.

There was no one inside!

There was no one inside!

Two of the computers are booted up. Very creepy.

Two of the computers are booted up. Very creepy.

What startled me out of the creepiness was the knowledge that some scenes from the viral Gangnam Style video were filmed in the Central Park building.

Songdo's Central Park building, with a protest sign outside

Songdo’s Central Park building, with a protest sign outside

It’s scary to imagine that the inhabitants of this city were kidnapped by aliens, and the workers here are just maintaining things for when they come back. Just kidding. It’s such a stark contrast to busy, busy Seoul.

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