South Korea will now cater to tourists who think everything in the country is straight out of Psy’s viral video “Gangnam Style,” a parody of the city’s affluent neighborhood that now boasts more than 1.7 billion views on YouTube.
(Q&A: Psy Talks Newfound Fame)
AFP reports that the new force of “tourist police” in Seoul, the country’s capital, will be made up of 100 men and women in dark blue uniforms designed by the pop star’s stylist. They’re also fluent in languages like English, Mandarin, and Japanese.
“Those who think they were overcharged by taxi drivers or street food vendors can come and talk to us. We will help settle the problem,” one of the new recruits Park Jae-Hyoung told AFP. That being said, if one of these tourist police officers sidles up to you in a sauna or screams at your bum while you’re doing yoga outdoors — actual scenes from “Gangnam Style” — you’ll need to call real authorities.
The hope is that these unarmed officers will become tourist attractions themselves, as the Korea Tourism Organization credits the viral video for making the capital, and particularly Gangnam, the affluent neighborhood it satirizes, a destination, especially for a growing number of Americans. “From now on, you guys will be very busy having pictures taken with tourists,” its CEO Charm Lee said at a launch event Wednesday in the city.
As Psy’s “Gangnam Style” played in the background, the officers broke out into Psy’s signature move in the video, where he pretends to ride an invisible horse — though no word on whether they will patrol the streets on invisible horses.