Spending one day in Busan was not nearly enough. I was so overwhelmed and excited everywhere we went that I guarantee I looked like this the entire day:
We got off the bus and I was automatically in everyone’s way wherever I stood. People were flying by left and right as I stood there in a group with three other mid-westerners who had no idea where to go, or how to speak Korean. But nonetheless, we were there to adventure and see the big city. Before attempting to navigate our way to another teacher couple (who actually knew the city), we stopped at a breakfast food truck. Fried food on a stick. Not sure what it was, but our guesses were either a fried egg (close to a McDonald’s egg, but a little better) or a weird pancake. The woman working the truck motioned us to dip it in the given sauce. Those were pretty tasty so we tried a few other things there. My random choice ended up being a fried hard boiled egg. It tasted like you could imagine, and wasn’t bad at all.
After breakfast, it took us about about 40 minutes, but we were able to cover a whole 5 blocks, turn around 4 times, stop and look at a map 3 times, and ask someone for help once – and still not understand them. We were #LostInBusan and we somehow made our way to the subway and got off on the right stop. We met up with the other couple and they resumed as our personal tour guide. Whew! We walked into Shinsegae, the biggest department store in the world, and I didn’t know where to start – so naturally, we started in the food court. We ate our chicken on a stick (since apparently everything is served on a stick here – but hey, it makes it easy for on the go!) and then began our mall experience.
They had pretty much every huge brand you could think of, but we spent a decent amount of our time in Electro-mart. It’s like a way cooler version of Best Buy. I even got an eye massage there, ha! They put the isee5k over my eyes (here is the isee4 which is pretty similar) and with the heat, pressure, vibration and relaxing sounds, I almost didn’t want to leave. I could use one of those every day!
Once we were finished with the mall, we made our way downtown near the beach to A Slice of Life (pizza, because I hadn’t had it for about a month and…it’s pizza, duh). The walk there was incredible…minus the awful sewage smell. But between the lights, the city hustle and the mountain and beach view, it was amazing! Pizza in Korea is apparently a luck of the draw. It could come with corn, mayonnaise or who knows what else – and you will never know. But this pizza joint seemed to be where many foreigners flocked too as it seemed like only American and British folk were there. It had a weird western/medieval vibe, but the pizza was delicious so it was great in my book!
The next day was mostly lazy but Luke and I took the bus into Changnyeong (“Chung-young”, about a 10 minute bus ride) to walk around in hopes of familiarizing ourselves with the town. We stumbled upon a street market and it was so much bigger than I anticipated. Everything there was out in the open – outerwear, produce, street food,and even fish. Needless to say, it had a distinct smell to it. But regardless, it was awesome that we found it and got to walk through and see everything up close.
This week I have five elementary students and they are so adorable and sweet! They are lower level so we’ve gone over some basic lessons. My sink or float experiment in Science was a hit! They were so eager to “make a hypothesis” and watch to see if the items would sink or float. When we went to the Hospital room, half the students did an x-ray puzzle while I showed the others how they can hear their heartbeat with a stethoscope. (We tried to say this word so many times, ha!) They thought it was so cool and would continually giggle and listen to each other’s heartbeats. And of course since it’s winter, we built our own Olafs (from “Frozen”) for Art class. I’m having so much fun working with these kids and watching them catch on to things a little at a time, while they also help me with Korean! (“Joo-eye-oh” = Good or Good job!)
My next post will probably be after Christmas, so in the meantime I’ll be getting in the spirit with Christmas movies with the girls and attempting to bake cookies in a toaster oven with limited baking ingredients. (No chocolate chips here!) I leave you with a picture of me and my class this week. Merry early Christmas!