Day Two – Four: Busan (Mis)Adventures
I last left our adventure with our arrival in Busan anticipating the meeting with Danica and Nick. While waiting, we decided to stop and get some food, where James’s few Korean phrases came in useful (and we laughed as we watched the poor Japanese family struggle to get the attention of the staff with their “すみません”’s – we couldn’t help it, they always laugh at our limited Japanese!). We were able to order and feast. Finally Danica and Nick arrived – picture the three of us running towards each other in slow motion with arms outstretched amongst an extremely busy street – because that’s exactly what happened. It was beautiful.
After meeting, we did a bit of shopping and then went back to what’s called a “minbak” to prepare for Danica’s birthday celebrations! Now, a minbak (a word I could not get enough of at the time, because it sounds so hilarious), is basically just a room with one bed, and then a bunch of blankets and cushions for everyone else. So, most of us ended up on the floor in a line like a can of sardines.
Reunited in Korea!
But before we returned for the night, Nick and I had an adventure trying to find our way there. Somehow, throughout the shenanigans of the night, Nick, Danica, and I ended up at a convenience store, probably in search of more food despite the delicious street food we had consumed earlier. Little did we know, however, it was all part of what I can only assume was Danica’s plan to abandon us so she could have first dibs of floor sleeping space. Danica literally fled the scene, taking with her Nick’s cell phone. Nick and I sauntered out of the convenience store, looking for Danica. At first we assumed she had wandered down the street, but after some searching we decided she had left us for dead. So we hailed a cab. One pulled over. We got in. But then we realized we didn’t know where we were, or where we wanted to be. Nick tried mumbling a few Korean phrases, and the taxi driver must have said “get out” because he didn’t move and out we got. So we walked a bit, hailed a few more cabs, got more confused, got out of cabs. Finally, Nick says “Rachel run!” and I didn’t know why or where, but since he was running I decided I’d better follow him lest I be trapped in the streets of Korea by myself in the early morning. Apparently Nick finally figured out where we were and in his state he thought running was the best way to get there, since (as he told me that night) “it’s so far that walking would take too long” – why we didn’t hail another cab is beyond me. Anyway, we arrived back at our minbak (hahaha) and found Danica, with Nick’s phone in hand, and pretending to be surprised that we had gotten lost in the first place… And that was Saturday night’s adventure.Sunday was spent sleeping in, eating a leisurely brunch, and lying on the beach. (It wasn’t bathing suit weather, but it was sunny and warm and it was a nice day to spend by the water.) Eventually we headed out for dinner, where Nick and James decided to have a few more drinks – and eventually head to another bar – but Danica and I were too tired, so went back to the minbak and claimed the bed (which wouldn’t stop Nick from getting into it once they got home anyway – leaving James to exclaim: “I see how it is. The Brit has to sleep on the floor while the Canadians get the bed. Fine.”) … And that about sums up Sunday.
Monday, what we thought would be our last full day in Korea, Nick left early for a class he had to teach later that day while Danica, James and I headed to a nearby temple for something “cultural”… since apparently drinking the local liquor didn’t count as fulfilling a “cultural” experience. It was beautiful, and very different from Japanese temples (I will let the photos speak for themselves).
Temple in Busan
Beautiful Colours at the Temple
People left little offerings underneath a giant rock at the temple
From the temple, Danica caught her bus home, and James and I went to get a room at a hostel to spend “our last night” in Korea. But, not before spending our remaining funds (save subway fare) on clothes and gifts for friends. Little did we know we needed money for a “port fee” (equivalent to 30 Canadian each), money for an extra night in the hostel, and food money, as a storm was a-brewin’ over Japan and we would be forced to spend another 24-hours in SK. More on that later… because again, my workday is over and I need to save something to do that isn’t facebook while I’m stuck sitting at the desk without any classes to teach…
Until next time,