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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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Shoot ’em up – Gangwondo for the weekend

wpid-20151003_211254.jpgI always keep my eye on the events posted by the travel groups in  Korea. They’re really helpful sometimes and give people the opportunity to do things a little bit easier. I’ve went on two trips with WINK tours (which I don’t recommend because the owner is a dick but the trips I went on were fun) and now two trips with Enjoy Korea. I had saw the event posted called “K-pop, Caves, Coasters, and Shooting” and it seemed like a random mix of things. I like k-pop, I like roller coasters, I’d never shot a gun and I don’t really like caves but whatever, why not? I had put going to a k-pop concert on my Korea bucket list and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. My friend Alice and I booked the trip and made our wpid-img_20151003_143527.jpgway out to Gangwondo with our trip leader Rachel and the rest of the Busan group early Saturday morning.

The trip from Busan to Gangwondo was pretty long, about 5 hours in the bus. We were lucky and had little to no traffic but Alice had some pretty wicked bus sickness so she was very happy when we were finally up at the resort. We stayed at the every popular High 1 ski resort. This place will be the home for the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 (in fact this was the reason for the concert). I should have prepared for the cold weather! It was fine in Busan but Gangwondo is way up at the top of Korea. It was pretty chilly up there, especially at night during the concert. Before the concert we were allowed to go on the Alpine roller coaster. This is a single track roller coaster cart that you control the speed of. Well, they say wpid-img_20151003_150555.jpgyou control the speed of it but you basically have to go fast the whole time as to not hold up the ride. It was so much fun. The ski lift ride up to the top of the Athena run was picturesque. The area is surrounded by mountains and it was stunning. I found myself marveling in the beauty of it, Korea really is a beautiful country but that idea can get kind of lost when you live in a big city area. The trees had started to change so you could see some nice fall colours. The ride was awesome and a lot of fun. When we finally made it to the coaster we had to wait a bit to ride but it was so worth it. I screamed my whole way down (because what’s the point of a roller coaster if not to scream?) and genuinely enjoyed myself. Alice and I grabbed some cheese bokki and then made our way to our hotel room.

wpid-img_20151003_145340.jpgThe room situations on the tour trips can be a bit upsetting at times. You all pay the same amount and some people get the better end of the bargain. In this case, Alice and I did. We were the first to our hotel room that we’d share with 6 other people and we claimed the only actual bed in the room. Pension style rooms usually have one or two beds and then a heated floor sleeping area with mats and pillows. We had 7 girls in the room and 1 guy who was dating one of the girls. Alice and I took the bed, exclaiming how happy we were about having a bed instead of sleeping on the floor, the couple took the couches (pushinwpid-img_20151003_182730.jpgg them together to make a makeshift bed), and the remaining girls (who were very lovely and friendly) all had to sleep on the floor mats. It kind of sucked but all in all our room was really nice. We had a full kitchen and a dining set area, and a TV. The sleeping area Alice and I had also had an ensuite bathroom. It was comfortable enough for us, but I felt bad for the girls who had to sleep on the floor. After we all got settled in, ate some food, and got ready, we were off to the concert! The concert was held in the parking area of the resort so the ride was super short, but it was freezing out. I put on the thickest shirt but even that wasn’t enough. I hugged myself for the majority of the concert and also danced around a lot.
Now K-Pop concerts are weird. That’s my impression of them at least. We all had assigned seats and we were in chairwpid-img_20151003_191942.jpgs and we weren’t allowed to get up and dance around like I would at any other concert. I still danced in my seat, stood up to get a few pictures, but the environment wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. I would have been happy to dance the night away and it would have kept me a lot warmer too. The lineup for the concert was pretty awesome and I felt pretty lucky that I got to see some big K-pop artists. I was most happy about EXID (who performed first!), Shinee (which made Hannah very jealous), VIXX (my friend Vava loves them!), BTS, GOT7, and CLC. They had a lot of other performers too and even a local band play (they wpid-20151003_192648.jpgwere also good!). It was a good night overall and we ended it with some delicious pork bbq in the small town of Gohan. We were overcharged for our taxi as we headed back to the resort (he doubled the fare because he didn’t want to go up the mountain) and then we all fell into bed.

Sunday morning was a semi-early start, Alice and I stayed in bed until 10 and then rushed to get out of the room and meet everyone at the bus at 10:30. We made our way to our first stop: clay pigeon shooting. At least, that’s how they advertised it. We really shot some bright orange discs. This was my first time shooting a gun and it was a HUGE shotgun. My arms hurt from the kickback for days afterwards BUT I did hit the target twice. It was really fun, kind of expensive if you wanted more rounds ($10 for 5 more) but it was a fun experience! Everyone was really safe and the guys that worked there were patient and helpful with us. I had a pretty good experience, my guy wasn’t very vocalwpid-img_20151004_132545.jpg but I did get the target twice so I think that I was pretty successful.

Our next stop was the nearby Gosu Caves. We grabbed some lunch (donkatsu and pajeon) and then headed into the cave. I had a horrible time, I felt super anxious, there was a TON of climbing stairs and crawling through narrow spaces, I was having a hard
time. One of my new trip buddies, Nadine, and I left the group early and headed back to poke around the shops in the area. I thought the cave was interesting but there was too much climbing and it made me feel too nervous being inside of it. I’m not usually claustrophobic but it sure felt like it then.

After our cave trip we made our way back to the bus and back to Busan. Again the trip was about 5 hours, but we were back around 7pm. I fell asleep a few times on the bus, thankfully, so it went pretty quick.

All in all, I had a fun time on the trip with Enjoy Korea. There were some pretty annoying girls who thought they were entitled to perks not all of us were, but they were besides the point. It was a fun, random weekend and I’m glad I got to do a bunch of stuff I hadn’t before. Enjoy Korea is a good tour group and they try to keep to their schedules and entertain people in ways Wink didn’t. We watched a bunch of 30 Rock episodes and Drunk History on the bus trip so it made the time go by pretty fast. If I was staying in Korea I’d probably go on more trips with Enjoy Korea. And honestly if I do come back to Korea, I’ll probably look for a job in Gangwon-do. The area is beautiful and I had previously went up there for the ice fishing festival. It was just a nice wpid-img_20151004_104605.jpgbeautiful countryside place…

I’ve got a few more posts coming up soon, including my reflections and some other stuff! Look forward to it! 🙂

Until next time,
B.

Ps. Ailee is amazingly talented and rocked her whole set from a chair with her broken leg…Shinee were cute and gave us a great finale.

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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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One Month Left.

wpid-img_20150923_142530.jpgI apologize for my absence, and I’m thankful for my new followers! Hello! 🙂
As of today, I have one month left at work. One month and a few days left in Busan. I’m still unclear on my leaving date as I’m trying to work out the logistics of everything. It’s so crazy to me that I’ve already been here for almost a year. The time has flown by so quickly.

I feel like the first 9 months were on fast-forward. Weekends were filled with new people, new places, new foods, it was amazing. The last two months have been equally as good but more refined. I’ve got into patterns of heading to Seomyeon most weekends to shop, making my way to Gwangan every month for the foreigner market, spending most Sundays in bed relaxing. Or throwing myself into whatever plans people had going on. It’s been wonderful and insane. That’s the best way I can think of it.

Part of me had to withdraw from seeing people after August. It had been a super social month for me, and though it waswpid-img_20150912_143518.jpg wonderful I was pretty drained. I do feel like I spent September wisely though. I finally made my way to Maitre Artisian, a beautiful French Bakery in Namcheon, I found Honey butter chips in a store for the first time since my birthday (I think the craze has died down!), went back to SOL pizza for a delightful dinner, had Gumbo House again (I need to go once more before I leave, I think!), and I even went to a zumba class! September has been pretty successful.

My last weekend in September was spent in Busan, on my Chuseok staycation. I got some errands done, had a housewarming night in, and contracted a wicked cold. It came at the best time where I could be lazy all weekend… I also did some shopping and saw a movie. All pretty mundane stuff but it was nice to have a break wpid-img_20150924_211027.jpgfrom work.

I really only have three weekends left in Busan as two are spoken for! I’ll be heading to Gangwon-do to High 1 ski resort for an alpine rollercoaster and a k-pop concert! Then I’ll be going to Osaka and Kyoto the following weekend for a last-minute trip to see the Golden temple (another thing off my bucket list!). I’m hoping to volunteer at BAPS the 18th of October, and then the following weekend, the 24th-25th, there will be the Busan Fireworks festival! The weekend after is Halloween and it might be my last weekend in Busan. I am still uncertain of when I’m going home, but it will be early November.
I don’t know what else I want to do before I go home but here’s a tentative list:

-Dr. Fish! I want to try it out and I found a place, I have to try to go!
-Gumbo House and SOL and Papa’s Tacos one last time.
Delicious dakgalbi one more time…
-Fireworks festival
-Go  to go to the Studio Ghibli architecture event at the Busan Museum of Art
-Go to Gyeonju to see Anapji pond at night. I have already been to Gyeonju but I haven’t seen Anapji at night, it looks beautiful from pictures so I want to go back!

As for this blog, well I have some thoughts and ideas for the future and I hope you’re as excited as I am!

My next couple posts will hopefully be more informative, and I hope you enjoy them!

Until next time,
B!

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August Rush

wpid-img_20150820_162748.jpgContrary to the title, this post is in way affiliated with the 2007 movie. Though not a bad film, I just felt the words reflected
my month. I felt like I blinked and it was gone. August was a hot month! I started it off in Japan with my vacation in Tokyo, and then the month slipped away so quickly. Thankfully I had someone to spend the majority of the month with,
my boyfriend! He came down on the 8th and we were able to spend our anniversary together. It was so wonderful to be able to show him my life and have him meet people he’s heard of several times. I also loved taking him on a food tour of Busan. He got to eat all my favourite things, even the lovely dakgalbi.

My students were fairly obsessed with our relationship and they drew wpid-img_20150818_165521.jpgmany cute pictures on the board, haha.

We spent a few days in Seoul, as he flew in and out of Incheon, and so it was nice taking him around all the areas I went to when I was there for summer school. It was amazing to share that part of my life with him. It was so fun, honestly. He settled in quite quickly and even went off on wpid-img_20150808_221806.jpghis own. I was worried because he had limited Korean (read: none) but I made him get a wifi egg and he was good! We also went to a place called Dart stream, which is the home of the Korean FGC really, and since he loves fighting games, he had a great time there haha. I think he enjoyed his time here, but we’re both ready for me to come home!!

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As he left, my friend from England arrived. I’ve talked about Hannah a few times before, she’s the one who encouraged me to blog and she also blogs so check her out! We had a wonderful two weeks of food, drinks, and catching up. I had wpid-img_20150905_183330.jpgpreviously seen her in April 2014, and now it’ll be my turn to visit her again! I can’t wait to see where we’ll meet up next. We did lots of shopping, and even met up with one of our good friends from summer school! Jihun, or Ji as we called him, is a wonderful guy! He’s super funny, and he is so down to earth. He treated us to pajeon and then some yuk-hoe, or Korean beef tartar. I had raw beef! And it wasn’t too bad, and I didn’t get sick. Ji is also a huge fan of drinking so he made sure to get us nice and drunk the night we were together. He kept complimenting wpid-img_20150905_213358.jpgme on my drinking ability, saying I was truly Korean after my time here. He also tested me and made me order things from the waiters, it was very amusing.

It was nice to catch up with him. A lot of the students I did summer school with have graduated university and started working their “real” jobs, so it’s really hard to meet up but I was thankful to have met up with him! I love all the friends I made in summer school and I hope they’ll always be in my life.

Life has been good here, I’ve made many good friends and eaten wonderful things, and experienced so much in so little time. It’s really hard to believe that I’ve already worked here for 10 months! I am in the home stretch. Work has been going well lately, we’ve switched back to our normal schedule and I’m starting to interview replacements for myself and my coworker. It’s interesting being on the other side of it though!

I’m looking forward to my last eight weeks here, and I’ve got a bit of a bucket list to go through before I go home. That’ll be another post itself though, that’s for sure!

wpid-img_20150912_213800.jpgI’d like to thank all the new people I’ve had follow me since my Tokyo a go go series happened! I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! It might be a direction I’ll be going in the future, but I don’t think I’ll be posting as often as that! Three posts a week was a bit crazy, though very fun!

I hope you enjoyed this short monthly recap, I’ll be talking about my future or what I hope to happen soon and I hope you’ll stick around!

Until next time,
B.

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Smellivision is HERE!

wpid-20150627_163343.jpgHave you ever seen 1600 of something in one spot? I can officially say I have now. I went to an event recently that popped up in Busan finally after making it’s journey across Korea. When I saw the WWF event 1600 Pandas was in Busan, I made sure that I was going to see them. They were only in Busan one weekend: June 26th-28th. My friend wpid-img_20150627_162942.jpgAlice and I made our way to Busan’s Citizen’s Park on a gloomy Saturday afternoon, after an extended lunch at The Agit. The pandas were on display from 12:00-5:00pm. We arrived shortly after 4 and there were still many people around. Busan Citizen’s Park is a huge, beautiful park that took 100 years to come to fruition. It was finally built-in 2012 and it’s just a wonderful place to visit. I’m thankful the pandas were there because now I know how great it is! After Alice and I got many a picture of pandas, wpid-img_20150627_130729.jpgwe grabbed some ice cream and we wandered around the park.

There are all the elements of a regular park: playgrounds for kids, splash pad areas, and then it expands. There are rolling fields for people to hang out and day-camp in, and there is a huge pond with a musical fountain and plenty of koi fish. There is also a sky waterfall that wasn’t working when we were there, but it still looked cool. We also saw a couple who brought their cats witht hem to the park. The cats were all kinds of distressed and it was pretty unsettling but hey, they weren’t my cats… Korea’s pretty careless when it comes to animal welfare. We walked around the park for at least an hour or two and then we wpid-img_20150627_163540.jpgheaded to Pusan National University, or PNU.

We had went previously for Gillian’s birthday, and we were going to PNU for one reason: to go to James Kitchen. THis place has been getting rave reviews on Busan Food, a facebook group for all the good restaurants in Busan, and when we finally got wpid-img_20150627_170519.jpgthere we were pissed because they were sold out for the day! So sad! We will try to go back sometime, but we settled for Papas Tacos, a place we also went on Gillian’s birthday, and we scarfed down a huge order of Frito pie add some steak tacos.

We explored all the areas of PNU, all the small boutiques. I didn’t end up buying too much but I had such a great day just shopping with Alice. PNU is such a chilled out area and it has a lot of great food and stores. As well, it has an all-cross intersection that really reminded me of Yonge and Dundas in Toronto… Made me think of home
wpid-img_20150627_212050.jpg*tear*. I finally got to sample the Croissant Taiyaki, a new popular street food. It was a fish-shaped croissant filled with apples. So good. After our feet were well tired and our stomachs were full, we made the journey back home.

Sunday was promising because I had made plans to go to Centum City! A group of us met in Hwamyeong for noon, because one of the girls lost her phone. Fortunately for us, she lost it near Dongbaek station! Do know where we went for lunch? SUSHI BERRY! Sushi Berry, if you remember was the American style sushi place in Busan. We all had a delicious lunch of tempura and sushi, and left super full and super happy. Olivia got her phone back and we were off to Centum city. After a bit of shopping, a bit wpid-img_20150627_174813.jpgof exploring the Zooraji (9F of Centum, arguably the best part.) we met up with some more ladies and then Olivia, Rox, Leah and I went to see Jurassic World in 4DX! It was my first time seeing a movie in 4D and it was SO COOL. The seat moved, there was air blowing in your face, and at times there were even scents pumped into the theater. The best one was before the movie started there was an ad for grapefruit juice, and you could SMELL the grapefruit. IT WAS SO COOL. I need to reiterate that: SO COOL. Going to see a 4D movie was a bit more expensive (19,000w), but totally worth it. I hope to see another 4D movie wpid-img_20150627_211527.jpgbefore I leave Korea!

After the movie was done, everyone met back up and we took the subway back home. It was a more chilled out weekend when it came to doing things, but some of those can be the most enjoyable weekends.

Here’s some more panda spam. I had a great time that weekend. Ahh. Thankful for many good weekends with good people in Busan.

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Next post will be about new food adventures and the monthly foreigner market!
Until next time,
B.

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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.