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Studio Ghibli Art event at the Busan Museum of Art

wpid-img_20151008_154950.jpgThis post has a plain title just so it is easily found via google. There’s little to no information on this event happening in Busan right now, so I’m hoping that someone else can see this and check it out!

I’ve been pretty lucky since coming to Korea because I’ve got to seen not one, but two, different Studio Ghibli art events. These events are basically non-existent outside of Asia so I feel pretty #blessed. Studio Ghibli is an amazing animation studio based in Japan. They release stunning 2D animation movies every few years and I’ve fallen in love with them more than once. One of their most famous directors is Hayao Miyazaki. He has won countless awards for his animations and whenever they’re released there is always some Oscar buzz surrounding them. I have seen several of the movies Studio Ghibli has released, but there are many I still need to see!

This post will discuss the art event currently going on at the Busan Museum of Art (until November 29th!!) with a small comparison to the Studio Ghibli art event that happened in Seoul earlier this year. wpid-img_20151008_155119.jpg

The Busan Museum of Art is a beautiful building located very close to the stop on the green line in Busan. The stop is just called “Busan Museum of Art” so it’s really easy to get to. The museum is about 5 minutes from the station and also super close to BEXCO and Centum City department store. The Studio Ghibili Art event was $12 for admission, and it was happily advertised on the light posts, a huge banner outside the museum, and all over the ticket office. The only reason I found out about it was because I had seen a quick ad in the subway station one day before work. I hadn’t seen any other posters until I got to the museum. I had a friend google in hangul so I could find out more information. I made my way down there one Thursday afternoon, an unusual day off for me. The museum is located really close to Haeundae beach, so really far away from my area of town, haha. I made my way to the museum after hopping off the subway and found the ticket office. Totoro brightly greeted me and I handed my money over. The admission was $12, or 12,000w. I made my way to the second floor, barely looking at the small guide I was handed.

wpid-img_20151008_155259.jpgThe exhibit was at the top of the stairs, and I could see the gift shop. Before going in the gift shop, I decided to look at the guide. There were 9 or so sections of the exhibit, ranging from different movies, an outline of the history, the directors, the museum in Japan, and other things. And of course, it ended in the gift shop.The guide was pretty helpful and it also showed me that cellphones and pictures were not allowed. This was pretty different compared to the event in Seoul, where pictures were basically encouraged.

wpid-img_20151008_155437.jpgThe art event consisted of many things. Lots of original sketches and plans, water-colour sketches, physical examples of some of the doors and windows they used in the movies, and my favourite: the full-scale models. They had artwork and displays from basically every Studio Ghibli movie. If you’re a fan of the movies, or just animation art in general, you’d enjoy it. I loved the model of the Teahouse from Spirited Away, it lit up and made sounds… it was stunning. I stared at it for a good 15 minutes, inspected every part of it… I was fascinated. As well, the model of the mine shaft from Castle in the Sky had many little peeky holes and openings that were really cool to see. Also the house from Ponyo was really cool. They even had little pieces of furniture in it. So sweet…

The guides in the exhibit were really helpful to me, they asked if I wanted an English language guide recording, or they’d point out something I might have missed. I was really happy about that. There were many staff working, perhaps to make sure people weren’t taking pictures or what have you. Of course the entire exhibit was in Korean (the writeups and explanations) but I had no issues going without the audio guide.

wpid-img_20151008_195949.jpgThe atmosphere of the exhibit was really chilled out. I was able to go right up to the sketches and look at all the details, there weren’t too many people there. It was nice and quiet and I think it was the best time for me to go to really enjoy it. I took my time and it took me over an hour to explore the whole thing. I think it was completely worth the money. if you’re expecting to be able to take pictures with the character or see big sized models, you’ll be disappointed. The exhibit at Yongsan in Seoul was amazing and I really enjoyed it, but I think I enjoyed the exhibit in Busan more. By watching any Ghibli movie people can see how much detail goes into the animations. The exhibit was great because it was so amazing to see all the little details up close. As a long time Ghibli fan, I really pleased.

One part I rushed through was the section on the Ghibli museum. I’m still a little bitter that I didn’t get to go when I was in Tokyo… It was sold out.. wahhh… I’ll have to go back in the future of course. It looks amazing and I really want to go back one day! The final portion of the exhibit was a little interactive. You could make a little house and stamp it with wpid-img_20151008_171627.jpgdifferent things. I made a few little houses and made my way into the gift shop.

The prices were a little crazy but I did buy a few things for myself and a few people at home. If you’re in Busan right now, or anywhere in Korea and are a Studio Ghibli fan, you should make your way down to Busan. The Studio Ghibli art event will be on until the end of November (the 29th) this year. It makes for a great activity alone or in a group. The Busan Museum of Art is closed every Monday but open daily from 10am – 8pm.

wpid-img_20151008_171654.jpgThe museum also has a super cool sculpture garden and many other cool exhibitions going on right now!

Here’s some more info if you need it!
Ghibli in Busan

Until next time!
B.

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One Year!

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Probably one of my all time favourite photos I’ve taken in Korea.

It’s officially been one year since I arrived in Korea, one year since I made my first post detailing my lovely adventure to Korea… And in a few short days (count ’em: 9!) I’ll be making the journey back, and I’m sure that’ll be a story in itself… I just hope it goes quickly.

My time in Korea has literally FLOWN by. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year in my life go by so quickly and I’m so excited for what’s next… and to be honest I really have no idea what is. When I look back on my posts I think about how long ago everything was, but also how I can remember the details of it all. I’m thankful for my brain sometimes because I can remember the specifics of a lot of things. Sometimes it works against me of course, but when I have those vivid memories that people often forget I feel really lucky.

I really do treasure the times I’ve had here, and the people I’ve met. I have to say this was one of the best years of my life, and it was, truly! There were some dark times, some wonderful times, and plenty of in-between times. I’ve got to know a lot about a country I grew to love (and also to resent at times, to be honest) and to meet some new and wonderful people who I hope will be a part of my life for years to come.

This is just a quick post to say thank you all for sticking by me, reading my thoughts, and sharing your stories with me. I appreciate any comments I get, online or other forms (like real life, wow!). And I love sharing my stories with you. And honestly, I see blogging as something fun for me. I tell people who trash talk blogging that I do it for myself, and it’s true. I honestly write these posts as a journal that I share with whomever wants to read it. When you start blogging looking for views, or sponsorship, or trying to be an expert on something you have no idea about.. that’s what I think gives blogging and bloggers a bad name… but if that’s what makes you happy, let that flag fly.

And as long as it makes me happy, I’m going to let this blogging flag fly as high as it can…

Okay that got incredibly cheesy incredibly quick so I’m going to cut myself off. I’m off to celebrate Alice’s birthday with fireworks, lots of laughs, and hopefully some pumpkin pajeon. I hope you enjoy this impromptu anniversary weekend (yes there will be another post tomorrow!).

Until next time,
B.

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It’s the Final Countdown!

*Cue everyone humming the intro to Final countdown*. So I’m coming up on my last few days in Busan. A few months ago I made a list of everything I wanted to do in Busan (and Korea) before I left. I actually had two lists, in two different wpid-img_20150829_161919.jpgbooks, and I decided to streamline them. I made the list in June and I’m going to update you on my progress so far.

  • Get galbi, at least once. ✓ – “Galbi” is ribs in Korean, and it’s a delicious dish. There’s an inexpensive restaurant right next to my apartment and I have had it a few times since writing that down.
  • Go to 15 new places in Hwamyeong. ✓. – I have been to more than 15 new places in Hwamyeong, some highlights including The Agit (which I hadn’t been to before writing that!), a cute little cafe next to Ediya, Hwamyeong’s answer to Subway, Latte King, and a beef barbecue place that was far too expensive.
  • Try 10 new places Anywhere ✓✓ – This one was far easier than I imagined. I’ve tried many new restaurants and bakeries and other awesome places, I highlighted some in this post. 🙂 My favourite new BBQ place is Nice Two Meat You, a chain in Seomyeon. When Andrew was here we went twice, it was delicious. Best samgyeupsal I’ve ever had.
  • Spend a day camping at a park. X – This didn’t happen, I spent an afternoon reading at the park, and I walked through the Eco Park at sunset, but I never grabbed my friends and took part in what seems like a Korean tradition of camping in the park.
  • Spend a day at the beach. ✓ – I did this a few times, one was amazing because the ocean was chilly and the weather was so staggeringly hot. It ended with delicious tacos from West Coast tacos, which was awesome.
  • Watch the sunrise from a mountain. NOT YET – Maybe I’ll do this in October, but it will require getting up super early or staying up super late. This might go with the next one…
  • Climb the Hwamyeong mountain again. – This was an amazing mountain view when I went before, it was kind of rough and tumble but I feel like I could do it if I really wanted to. It’s a medium effort mountain but probably hard for me.
  • Find Dr.Fish! – I have found one, I just have to go to it!!! * We have plans to go tomorrow, so I have my ten little piggies crossed*
  • Go on a Swan Boat. X – I tried to go on one when I was in Seoul in 2013 but the water was too choppy… Water sports season is over now so I guess I won’t do that here 😦
  • Try Grapefruit, Peach, and Rose soju. ✓✓✓ – I’ve had all of them and all the other kinds they came out with this year… Peach is the best!
  • Go back to Gyeongju for a day. – I’m in the midst of planning this right now. So excited! It’s gonna happen!
    I don’t think it’s gonna happen anymore. I only want to go back to see Anapji at night and I think there are better ways to spend my time.
  • Volunteer at BAPS. – Might happen on October 18th, hopefully! This is Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary and they do volunteer dog walking every Sunday (usually). I’ve been so busy that I haven’t made the time to do it, but I want to at least once…I hope.
  • Take the ferry to Fukuoka. X – I don’t think this one is happening. I’m going to Japan soon but I think it’ll be my last time for a while. Planes are just far more convenient. Ahh.
  • Ride a boat to Dokdo. X – This one probably isn’t happening either. Dokdo is pretty infamous here in Korea and it would have been fun to go but I don’t see it happening.
  • Go to Geoje and Bijindo. X – Probably not going to happen either. These places are more summer destinations, and most of the time a beach is just a beach. Ahaha.
  • Go to the Water Temple. ✓ – This one was amazing! I went with Hannah when she was here and it was breathtaking. I loved it.
  • Go to Dragonhill Spa. X – I don’t think I’ll be heading back to Seoul before I go home so I doubt I’ll make it there! Spaland is okay to me though 🙂
  • Go to Spaland one more time before I leave. – This one will happen, I’m positive of it.
  • Go to Busan Citizen’s Park. ✓ – Went here with Alice in the summer and it was a beautiful place. The pandas were really cute too.
  • Go to a Kpop concert~! ✓✓ – I went to the We Love Gangwondo Kpop concert this past weekend and it was amazing! Post to come. 🙂
  • Get a tattoo. X – Not happening, I can’t commit to an idea for sure, but I’m still floating around ideas in my head :).And the others I posted about before!!
  • Go to the Ghibli art museum. – Planned to go tomorrow, hope it happens!
  • Go to the Fireworks festival! – This will happen, no matter what.
  • Go to Gumbo House, Dakgalbi, SOL, and Papa’s Tacos one more time. – Hopefully this happens but I won’t be heartbroken if they all don’t happen.wpid-img_20150719_144902.jpg

So there’s my bucket list for the last few weeks in Busan. Hopefully they’ll all happen, but I’ll update it when I get home. It’s so weird to me to think
that I’ll be home so soon, I’m excited and ready to go home. I am about to start a super long weekend, I’m off from Thursday – Sunday and I have some exciting plans…

I had a great time in Korea, but I’m ready for Christmas at home! Christmas in Korea wasn’t the best, so I’m excited for sausage stuffing and family.

Until next time,
B.

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Hwamyeong Hotspot #4: The AGIT

wpid-img_20150626_171501.jpgThe AGIT is one of my newest discoveries but it’s easily becoming one of my favourite places in Hwamyeong. My friend Alice had recommended me to go here many times but it wasn’t until Gillian invited me for lunch that I actually went. I regretted not listening to Alice sooner! The AGIT is a huge cafe located in the basement of a building. The entire cafe is filled with different types of seating arrangements, including sitting on a cosy floor spot, or comfy couches, a Christmas tree, a nail salon, and even a doggy playroom. They have a mascot, Pepsi, who is a large sheepdog.wpid-img_20150626_171416.jpg

The menu seems small but they always have a variety of different things available. I’ve had a few things and I’m trying something new each time I go back. The AGIT charges the usual $4-$7 for a drink and $7-$10 for food, but it’s worth it. Everything I’ve tried from there was been delicious.

I’d recommend the strawberry latte, blueberry smoothie, and the BLT.The bread is amazing and I never want it to end when I’m eating it. They also have a delicious huge burger that is super satisfying. I’d recommend anyone in the Buk-gu area to check out wpid-img_20150627_130729.jpgThe AGIT. They’ve been open since 2013 and they’re super friendly. Every time I’ve went with my friends they’ve gone out of their way to be extra kind and even given us great serbisu (free stuff).

I’ll be going back to The AGIT any time I want a chill reading area, or a good meal.

How to get there: From Hwamyeong station, take exit 1. Walk to the corner of Lotte Mart, across from the Samsung Store and To the Different. Walk directly up the street until you get to Lotteria. Cross the street towards the GS25, then walk up that street towards the CGV. You’ll see a pet store with a bunch of smiling animals outside of it. Go in that building, pass the cute animals on display and go down to B1. If you take the elevator, you’ll end up right into the thick of The AGIT.

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Birthday cake, Basements, and Boats.

wpid-img_20150612_222307.jpgA few weeks ago, it was my friend Gillian’s birthday. This was her second birthday abroad, and I think every expat can agree that birthdays away from home can be a little tough. It’s easy enough at home when you can get together with friends and family, but when you’re away from home it’s pretty stressful. I thought my birthday here was going to be sad and lonely, but thankfully I had a great group of people to celebrate with and they made it really special. Gillian is one of the nicest people I know and she’s just a bundle of positive energy. I don’t think I was alone in hoping that she had a good birthday and I’m fairly certain she did. Okay enough of stroking her ego, let’s get to the details.

On Gillian’s birthday weekend, we started Friday night with a delicious cream cake from Paris Baguette, it was my first time buying a cake from a bakery in Korea so I was very excited. The candles unfortunately sprayed wax all over the cake but we still enjoyed it. It really felt like a kid’s birthday party at first because we had pizza and cake, the best birthday foods. We spent the night hanging out, drinking at the CU, and singing of course. I left the CU later into the night, and then ordered McDelivery breakfast so I’d have a sausage McMuffin to wake up to. If you’re counting, I was out past 3:50am when McDelivery breakfast starts… On Saturday I had planned to wake up early and surprise Gillian with birthday pancakes but I ended up going to Daiso and hanging out with Megan. wpid-img_20150613_191459.jpg It had been a little while since we had hung out and I was super happy to spend some one on one time with her. We met up with Gillian and Kate around four, a half hour after Gillian woke up (someone was sleepy!!) for Pizza School. It was delicious and gave us all the energy we’d need to Saturday night’s festivities.
We all got together at Gillian’s place around 8 for drinking and singing to some old tunes. We all cabbed to an area I had yet to go to, P.N.U or Pusan National University. The cab was a quick half hour journey, and we ended up in the center of P.N.U. We headed to Papa’s Tacos, a new tex-mex place. The food was good, cheap, and reminded me of home. I had the frito pie, some nachos, and a beef fajita for under $10. The service wpid-img_20150613_212000.jpgwas quick too. I’ve already been back since that first night and I would probably go again when I’m craving some tacos. It’s no Taco Bell but it’s a suitable replacement. We enjoyed our food, and then headed off to a popular expat bar, The Basement. The Basement had live music, cheap drinks, and my favourite, Connect Four. Megan, Alice, and I had a little tournament going on before a guy named Don came and beat all of us… Haha. There were quite a few funny moments from that night that are better left off the internet, but it was such a fun time. I also ended up stealing a hat from a Korean guy who wanted a picture with my friends and I. If you ever see this man whose hat I stole, I apologize. I am the King now. Sorry.

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We left PNU around 3am, and then made our way back to the CU. Some of the Korean guys I’ve befriended were hanging out there and we all had a couple more drinks and just hung out. I was in bed at a late time again but we all had plans together on Sunday so I knew sleeping in was not an option.

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Boats and Hoes

We all met up at the crack of 12:30, I had surprised Gillian with funfetti pancakes that morning because I got my lazy butt out of bed, and we made our way to Dongbaek.Olivia, a treasure of a human being in Hwamyeong, organized a boat trip for a bunch of Hwamyeong people. We sailed around Gwangan and Haeundae, almost reaching Nampo.
It was overcast out but being on the sea was wonderful. It was a beautiful day. I did end up getting a little queasy a few hours in, but we were out there for a long time (3pm – 7pm) . I enjoyed swpid-img_20150614_191907.jpgailing quite a bit, and the crew was very friendly.

After sailing, we all parted ways but Megan, Oliver, Milli and I made our way to Sushi Berry. It’s very close to Dongbaek station. I happily ate a big bowl of udon, and a delicious St Louis Roll. Sushi Berry is perfect American style sushi. The wpid-img_20150614_201621.jpgonly place I’ve been to in Korea that I really loved the sushi. Sushi Berry is easily one of my favourite places to eat now in Busan but it’s quite far… But I’d make the journey if I wanted Sushi and I know a few of my friends would join because we’re all pretty big fans of it now.

The next weekend was another birthday, Oliver’s! We celebrated it quietly but he got his birthday toast… I know a bunch of people went out Saturday night and made his birthday a fun weekend too. I had plans with Alice and Milli, and it was a successful wpid-img_20150621_000326.jpgshopping day in Nampo. I felt kind of sick so I headed home before 9pm, and I was asleep pretty early too. The following Sunday was a complete wash. I was feeling super crummy, but I met up with Gillian at a wonderful cafe in Hwmayeong, which I’ll be writing about in a future Hotspot post!

Look forward to it, and I hope you enjoyed this recap post!

June is done, July is coming. We’re heading into the real summer, the rainy season too. I can’t say I’m too excited for the weather but I’m excited for my trip to Tokyo at the end of July, and my guests that will be coming in August.

Until next time!
B.

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I’ve been to the dentist several times so I know the drill…. Going to the Dentist in Korea.

wpid-img_20150527_120252.jpgApple Tree Dental Hospital (사과나무병원), Hwamyeong is one of the few dentists listed on the Medical Office list for Foreigners in Busan. I had a few friends go there before, saying it wasn’t bad, so I decided to take a chance. It had been a year since my last scaling (cleaning), so I made an appointment for that by heading to the office during a break at work. All further appointments were made while I was already in office, for future reference. The girls there are a bit shy around me; nervous about their lack of English and my lack of Korean, but they’ve been nothing but helpful.
wpid-img_20150527_114723.jpgMy first appointment was May 27th, I made my way there right on time, waited about 5 minutes while they found an English-speaking worker, and I was in. They took me to get an x-ray first; one of my least favourite tasks at the dentist… but this time it was pain-free! Dentists in Canada use super uncomfortable cardboard and metal frame-type things to takewpid-img_20150527_114731.jpg x-rays, but here they have a huge machine that goes around your head (I think, my eyes were closed). You bite on a little section and the machine captures a full spread of all your teeth. After the x-ray, which took all of 3 painless minutes, I was back in the dentist chair. I was told that I’d just be getting a cleaning and then it started. Another girl came in, and put a green cloth over my face. This was kind of nice because I hate having the dentist light in my eye, but it was also a little weird because I kept feeling it on the edge of my mouth.

The cleaning was painless (I feel like I keep saying that!) and took maybe 15-20 wpid-img_20150527_114800.jpgminutes. After rinsing, I had a dentist come in and talk to me about my teeth. Of course I knew there were a few issues; she struggled a little bit but I was able to understand everything that was going on. After we planned out what was going to be done (one root canal, three crowns total.) I had to decide whether I wanted gold, silver, or porcelain crowns. It was at this point where my helper was having some issues explaining something to me in English so she did something I didn’t expect…She called her husband, who explained what she wanted to say to me in English (basically it was that porcelain may break, gold won’t break wpid-img_20150527_115647.jpgbut it’s more of an eyesore…). He had an accent so I asked her where her husband was from: he was Korean but he studied English in the UK so he had accented English. I love when I hear different ESL accents! It’s so cool. Either way he was so helpful and she was really wonderful and accommodating. I really appreciated her help.

After our next appointment was set and I was waiting for the elevator my great helper rushed over to me with a gift. It was a small plastic box with floss, toothpaste, and a toothbrush! I have it in my desk at work and it’s super helpful. The service at Apple Tree Dental Hospital is impeccable. The girls were all helpful even when they were shy.

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My little gift

My next appointment was a week later and I was scheduled to get a endodontic root canal on a wisdom tooth… It was really not great. It was one of the first times I’ve ever had to raise my hand when I felt pain (just like at home!). Even after more freezing I still felt a lot of the drilling… I was more than relieved when it was over and my helper girl from the last time had her husband, once again, explain something. He just told me that I couldn’t eat for 3 hours, should take pain killers for any pain, and I should try to lean more on the right side of my mouth than my left. The dentist in Korea is really similar to the dentist at home. Same Novocaine, same amount of waiting… I also had to get a temporary filling as my appointment went over time and I had another appointment set for a week later. That second appointment was rough as it was pretty painful, took an hour and a bit, and then I was at work before I could get something to eat.

I healed fine and I was ready for my next appointment.which I was apparently very excited for. I almost went a whole day early… The following Thursday (today), I made my way to the dentist. This time, thanks to MERS, I had my temperature checked. After my temperature was checked and I was fine, I sat down and waited. It wasn’t even five minutes before I was sitting in the dentist chair. Now today was a bit different because the girl who usually helped me wasn’t in. I was okay, thankfully. The girl who brought me to the dentist chair asked if I was having any pain (in Korean) and I was able to respond (small proud moment). She said a few more things to me in Korean that I didn’t understand completely but it turned out fine. My dentist came over, the green sheet was placed on my face and we were good to go.

I was a little terrified because I had not gotten any Novocaine at all, but to my surprise there was no pain at all. The session today was just the filling. And after my emergency filling was removed, I had a new filling put in. There was no pain, but maybe a bit of pressure, that’s all. My filling only took 20 minutes, and I was out. Made another appointment for the following week and I assume that is when I’ll be getting my crown put in.

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Fancy waiting area with free drinks

I am happy to go back to the dentist for a few reasons: When my helper is there, she explains everything and she’s super nice. When she isn’t there, they’re really patient with me. As well, going to the dentist is incredibly affordable. The first appointment I had, the cleaning, was only 19,600w (about $25 CAD) which included my x-ray. The next appointment: emergency filling, endodontic treatment and another x-ray 15,600w. And today’s appointment a proper filling was only 17,000w. I expect my next appointment to be significantly more than all those others combined but that’s because I’ll be getting a crown. Either way I’ll update this post when I have that appointment.

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More of the fancy waiting area

All in all, going to the dentist in Korea is very similar to going to the dentist at home. Especially in a city with a big population of foreigners. If you’re really nervous, bring a Korean speaking friend with you, or find a dentist that specializes in helping Foreigners. Apple Tree Dental Hospital is supposed to be that way and they do always have at least one person that speaks English there, and my dentist did speak quite a bit of English. The staff there are very friendly, and the hospital itself is very clean and modern. The chairs are a bit in an open area so you won’t really be in a private room but that didn’t really bother me. Once the green sheet goes over your face, you don’t even realize where you are… Though I wish I was one of those people who could fall asleep in the dentist chair….

Apple Tree Dental Hospital (사과나무병원) is located on the 5th floor of the building KEB is in, it’s super close to the subway in Hwamyeong, just go up the stairs near Lotte Mart. There are locations all over Korea but this is the closest one to me!

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5F, All by itself

Anyway, my next post will be about my boating birthday weekend for my good friend Gillian. It was a wonderful adventure and I can’t wait to write about it.

Until next time,
B.

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Playing tour guide.

wpid-img_20150523_022957.jpgA 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.

wpid-img_20150523_202836.jpgSaturday 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.wpid-img_20150523_203011.jpg

Samgwangsa temple has the biggest and best lantern display in Busan (maybe all of Korea!) for Buddha’s birthday. I was debating wpid-img_20150523_203319.jpgbetween 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 wpid-img_20150523_204555.jpgbirthday 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 wpid-img_20150524_000311.jpgSeomyeon. (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 wpid-img_20150524_041427.jpgnoraebanging. 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 wpid-img_20150524_190359.jpgjust 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.wpid-img_20150525_191523.jpg

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.

Until next time!
-B
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