Explored on June 22, 2015
I fought the scorching heat and sticky humidity of a typical South Korean summer day and walked down the endless brick road. It wasn’t yellow and it didn’t lead to Oz, but it followed the walls of Deoksu Palace. The Palace wall to my right was the perfect background for a new Facebook profile picture or a clever Instagram post. The lighting was on point; my outfit was cute; I was ready to pose. It seemed quite odd that I was the only one taking photos of this beautiful street, shaded by the plethora of trees planted around it (the sun still managed to get through, however, and make me wipe the sweat droplets that formed on my hairline every few minutes). Where were the couples in their matching outfits, selfie sticks, and cringe-worthy 애교s/aegyos (acts of people trying to be cute)? Perhaps it was because it was a Monday, but the only people I saw walking this road were workers with their company name tag around their necks. Or maybe it was because of the infamous legend of the Road of Deoksu Palace.
It is said that if a couple in love walks the road together, they will soon break-up. I thought it was hilarious and outrageous when I heard it but after hearing the origins of this rumor, I saw where it came from – it was still funny and extraordinary though. This legend came about because of two past stories. One is that in the past, jealous palace servants who were not chosen to be the King’s mistress would spread rumors so that the chosen servant would soon be kicked out. The second, and perhaps more realistic, is that there used to be a family court near the Deoksu Palace. Therefore the story suggested that if a couple walks the road together, they are walking towards the family court and eventually, their “divorce”. Although there isn’t any legitimate evidence to support this legend, it would be quite a story to tell if a couple coincidently happened to break up after walking down the road of Deoksu Palace. Please report any ex-couples who broke up post-stroll down this notorious, yet enchanting street!