A few weekends ago I was lucky to have two good things happen: one, it was a long weekend and I had Monday off
(for Buddha’s birthday, happy birthday buddy!) and two, I had my first visitor from home. The weekend started on Thursday for me, as a few friends and I spent the night until the wee hours of the morning talking and drinking. I feel like I’m more inclined to sit and chat and drink when the weather is so nice out. The summer evenings are in full effect in Korea, and I was feeling mighty social. The night was good, I didn’t feel too bad at work on Friday despite going to bed at 5am, and I was going to have a friend come visit. I was excited for work to be over on Friday. Fridays in Hwamyeong are usually spent at the CU. This Friday was no different. It was a fun night, just me and my friend sitting for a few hours chatting. A lot of my friends had left for the weekend because they wanted to take advantage of the extra days off and go to places like Namhae and Bijindo, I was happy to stay in Busan because I had my visitor coming. Though it was less of a crowd than usual, we still had a good night.
Saturday I woke up feeling not too hot, but that was of my own doing. I was excited because my friend Alex was coming from home. Alex and I went to the same highschool, we didn’t talk much then but after school we both got summer jobs in the mall and bonded over Arbys and BBM. We’ve kept our friendship up since then, especially when she went to Korea to teach for a year in Incheon. I visited her when I was doing summer school in Seoul (in 2013), and now she was on a trip back to go to Korea and Japan. I was more than excited to show her around Busan because she hadn’t made her way down here in all her time in Korea. I had spent a bit of time making a little itinerary for us, and thankfully we got to do most of the things she wanted! On Saturday we dropped everything off in Hwamyeong, a little bit of a journey from Busan station, and then we headed into Seomyeon for dinner. One of myfavourite foods in Korea now is jimdak. It’s a spicychicken dish with noodles and sweet potatoes. It can be a little much but I really enjoy it. We wandered around Seomyeon a bit after dinner, and then decided to head up to a temple.
Samgwangsa temple has the biggest and best lantern display in Busan (maybe all of Korea!) for Buddha’s birthday. I was debating between going to the water temple or this one, and I’m glad we went to this one. The sun had just began to set, and the traffic was thick going to the temple. I guess everyone wanted to see the beautifully lit temple. It was a bit of a hike up to the temple but it was so worth it. The lanterns were plentiful and it was one of the most beautiful temples I have ever seen. The structure was beautiful. Alex and I hiked all the way up to the second buildings, and walked along the lit paths. It was really a sight to behold. If you’re in Korea, specifically Busan, next year around Buddha’s birthday PLEASE go to this temple. It is really one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my time here.
After we explored the temple, we headed back in Seomyeon to meet up with Oliver. Thankfully I had some friends stay in town so Alex could meet some of them! We made our way to B-Turn, a self-serve bar in Seomyeon. (Apparently now one of our new places to hang out.). We had some horrible nachos, I had delicious cider (Nordic berries and Strawberry lime) and they had some beers. Lynette and Moa joined us as well! We spent a few hours there playing drinking games. After we finished up there, we met up with Alice and we did an hour of noraebang. Oliver, Alice, Alex, and I were feeling particularly singy so we ventured around Seomyeon looking for more places to carry on our noraebanging. We stayed out quite late, sang a lot of songs, and had delicious breakfast sandwiches from Angel-in-us (ham and cheese ciabatta for life!).
The next day, Alex and I had a super late start, but thankfully we did everything we wanted! We made it to Gamcheon culture village, she found and bought honey butter chips, explored Nampo-dong, and even made it to Gwangalli beach! We had a great day just exploring Busan, eating snacks and finishing the night on the beach was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, weather wise. We did have a disappointing bingsu from Cafe Bene, but I wanted to try it and I was glad we did. It just tasted like pure sugar!
Alex left early Monday morning, the KTX train was a bit busy but she made it back to Incheon in the afternoon. I spent a good part of Sunday at home reading a book: We were liars (IT WAS SO GOOD!) and I went to the park to watch the sunset. I’m really enjoying my time here, and I love being in this little area of Busan. It isn’t busy like the rest of the city, and it has everything I need. It kind of sucked going back to work after the long weekend, but time keeps on flying. I’m already over halfway done my contract, and I can’t believe it.
June is looking like it’s going to be another fun, exciting month. The weather is heating up and it’s perfect beach weather now! I have a few birthdays that I’m getting to celebrate this month. Hopefully it’s going to be another wonderful month. As well, I should be having another guest come soon. I’m very excited for that, but as always, I’ll keep you updated.