Caveat: Hanneapolis

I had an insight the other day.

I have compared life in rural Jeollanam Province to Kentucky.  Or some other rural and reputedly under-developed part of the US, since, in fact, Kentucky doesn't really meet the archetype, anymore, as well as Mississippi, or, more suprisingly, Nebraska (which I read somewhere now is the part of the US with the highest incidence of rural poverty). 

But I took advantage of the Kentucky archetype, which has become a part of the American dialect in that it's possible to use the suffix -tucky to indicate a place wracked by the social problems of rural poverty.  Many people refer to parts of Southern California's "Inland Empire" as Fontucky, for example – a portmanteau of the city name of Fontana with that suffix, -tucky.  And I once heard my own birth county referred to as Humtucky (combining Humboldt and -tucky) – as well as the quite common phrase Kentucky-by-the-Sea.

So I coined the term Hantucky to refer to Yeonggwang County, combining the prefix "Han-" which simply means "Korean," in Korean, with that -tucky suffix.  I was pleased.  I like coining terms.

The other day, I was walking along the broad, clean, tree-lined boulevard in Ilsan.  I passed an automated bicycle-rental post, where a woman was using her credit card to check out a bike.  Two very polite bicycle-mounted policemen rang their bells and rode past.  A man with long hair in a pony-tail and a rainbow-colored umbrella walked past, talking into his iPhone.  And there was the Russian immigrant woman I overheard speaking Korean with her blue-eyed daughter, that I saw last week.  And the two Turkish or Middle Eastern dudes in suits rushing toward the subway. There're organic-only food stores, and posters in front of schools talking about environmental issues.  I even saw a Volvo.

Prosperous.  Liberal.  High-density yet leafy-green and littered with parks.  Even slightly multi-ethnic (well, that's a stretch, but all things being relative, in Korea).

So I had a sudden insight.  If Yeonggwang County is Hantucky, then Ilsan might just well be Hanneapolis (<- Minneapolis).

Plus, it has a lake, and it's kind of flat.

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