September 11, 2012
Believe It Or Not, I’m Cheesy
I’m a cheesy guy.
There, I’ve said it. Really, I am though. When it comes to somewhere that’s tacky, schmaltzy and contains a whole heap of teeth-grinding cheesiness, then I’m there with bells on. Or, wearing some kind of animal print at least.
On the penultimate day of my recent visit to Jeju, and after nearly having a defecation disaster in the lava tubes there, the weather still wasn’t co-operating. After arriving at the Glass Museum, it turned out that the majority of the exhibits were outside, so hopping back in the car, I piped up with something I’d wanted to see ever since passing by it on the first day.
The Believe It Or Not Museum.
|Believe It Or Not!|
Called 믿거나말거나 in Korean (literally, Believe It Or Not), the museum apparently has several locations around the world, as I discovered whilst taking a pee in the bathroom – they had posters on the wall of the various other museums, including ones in New York, London and Panama City, to name but a few.
Who says you don’t learn anything from urinals?
|Question that last rhetorical statement and this dinosaur will box your ears off.|
Now, to say that the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums are tacky with a capital T would be the understatement of the century. To give a bit of background, Robert Ripley was born in California and was a man of many talents who travelled to 201 countries between his birth in 1890 and sudden death in 1949. Today, the museums are his legacy that continue to promote and share his fascination with the weird and the wonderful from around the world.
Upon entering the museum in Jeju, we were greeted with a computer being held up by balloons on the ceiling, and a motorised band consisting of a multi-limbed man, the world’s tallest man, and a Burmese woman with a very long neck performing Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’.
That set the tone for the day.
|They’re all sitting there eating their hearts out waitin’, waitin’ for some lover to call.|
Parts of the museum honestly felt a bit outdated, like a Victorian freak show – a kind of “look at these strange things people in Africa do!” “that woman has a beard!” – but those weren’t the parts that caught my attention.
There were interactive exhibits involving electric chairs and sofas where you had to do some serious butt manoeuvring to get a native American and a moose to shock you. It didn’t work for everyone, so I’m guessing my buttocks must have some good moves.
|A giant moose made from nails! I love stuff like this.|
There was a dance screen where I spent way too much time, penis sheaths, a torture chamber, a section dedicated to robots from movies, and a video booth at the end where you could watch your reactions to getting scared silly by the interactive exhibits! Gil Dong found my reaction on video particularly amusing and took joy in replaying it over and over….and over.
|Gil Dong, his sister and I busting some moves!|
The Believe It Or Not Museum had us all smiling despite prior reservations that it would be childish or stupid. It was childish AND stupid, but that’s just part of the fun. So if you wind up in a city with one of these museums, take off your hipster hat for a few hours, unleash your inner five year-old, and try not to hurt your head too much thinking about the monstrous curve in the penis sheaths.
|I sincerely hope that this wasn’t modelled on an actual schlong.|
|Always a must when in a make believe torture chamber.|
|Some bling from Blighty!|
|Close up – rolling in two penny coins like a G.|
|How’s the weather up there? Chortle chortle.|
|So what are these animals? They’re clearly rabid whatever they are.|
So there you have it, folks! Now, I want to hear from you. Have you ever been to, or heard of, the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums? What do you do on vacation to unleash your inner child? That’s the first time anyone’s ever told that tall joke in the caption, right? Let us know in the comments below, or shout out on Facebook or Twitter.