Thursday, May 23, 2013

Busan: Saturday

After our late night Friday, and having gotten so little sleep before, everyone slept in on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I was relegated to the bunk next to the massive east-facing window in our room, so I was awake at 7am... I napped off and on until 9, then just played Candy Crush on my iPad until the rest of the girls woke up a little while later.
We again went out in search of food. Since there were so many tourists/foreigners, most of the places that looked good were packed, and we were so hungry we didn't want to wait anywhere. Meghan spotted a restaurant at the top of one of the buildings along the strip so we went there. It was a buffet, but we didn't care. We were so hungry we just needed food ASAP! The restaurant was called Kona Koma (I think)

We actually got a great window seat that looked out on the ocean. The food ended up being good, but nothing spectacular. It was a Hawaiian restaurant, and they played Hawaiian-style songs that were super annoying! But, soft drinks and dessert was included in the price of the buffet, so I wasn't complaining (too much!)

After eating our fill, we headed out on the beach. Probably not the best timing, since we had just eaten, but the sun was actually out and the temperatures were just right, so we took advantage of it and laid our towels out on the sand.

Meg and I on the beach.
As we lay there, listening to music on my portable speakers I so ingeniously remembered to bring, we did a lot of people watching. Most interestingly, I noticed that 99% of the Koreans on the beach were fully clothed. Even the ones going in the ocean (which was about 10% of people on the beach)! They didn't bother to wear swim suits, just went in with shorts and a tshirt on. I found this so strange! I guess they were more excited about the water than the sun. Which, I shouldn't be surprised about since Koreans are so into white skin...

I also saw many white people (no surprise there). I would say 99% of them were in bikinis! (Duh, we like our suntans/sunburns). There were some girls that had rockin' bods, but it was actually nice to see normal looking people. Girls with normal bodies! A little pudgy here or there. Meghan and I had a nice conversation about real beauty and the pressure on women to fit a certain image (a la Victoria Secret models...). I felt moderately confident lying there in my bikini! (Although I did not strut around in it when we walked down the beach or back to the hostel, rather covered up like a nice girl!)

After about 2 hours, the sun went behind the clouds and we decided to pack it up. There is a small nature park about 1km down the beach that has a famous mermaid statue and a lighthouse. We popped back to our hostel, changed (me into tennis shoes! sandals were killing me after I massacred my toe the night before), and headed back down the beach to see the other part of the park.

It was a long but pleasant trek. The path was somewhat narrow and there were quite a few people congregating and snapping photos along the way. We took pics with the mermaid of course, and watched some idiots climb out onto the rocks for photos with the statue (one slip and I could have witnessed death!). I actually got asked to take a photo with some Korean guy, too.

We then walked up to the lighthouse, which was absolutely picturesque from the beach. However, getting a photo of how beautiful it was turned out to be impossible... At one point the path led us onto a suspended foot bridge. Of course, Meg started to shake it and I screamed at her to stop. For about 10 minutes after I got off the bridge I still felt my feet shaking as I walked!

We finally made it to the top, and it was alright. Good views of the other bay, where the Diamond Bridge is. You can see it behind me faded out in the picture here...

After we had seen our fill, we walked back down the less beautiful way (aka the paved road), and headed for the hostel for a rest. We took a nap then woke back up for some dinner.

We ate ramen at a local kimbap shop, then took the subway to Gwangalli Beach, where the beautiful Diamond Bridge is on display! This is more of a city beach, tucked into Busan itself (Haeundae where we were staying is on the north side of the city). We met with one of Meg's friends who lives in Busan. We got a beer and sat on the beach watching people shoot off fireworks and listened to street performers play their guitars and drums along the boardwalk. It was dark, and the bridge was lit up. The lights changed colors sometimes, and it was really neat to just sit there talking with friends and being in the moment!

After a little while, we decided to head back to our area of town to go out for the night. We met back up with some of the girls we met on Friday and had drinks at Fuzzy Navel. As we were trying to decide where to go for the night, we passed a street cart selling drinks. It was kind of awesome! It would totally never happen in America (Korea does not have open-container laws), so I got a drink (mixed right in front of me, nothing shady going on!) and we walked to a club that one of the girls knew about. Unfortunately, though, it was quite a long walk away, and it had started to rain. I huddled under an umbrella, trying not to be miserable (I hate getting rained on!!)

We finally made our way into the club called Hive. One of the girls talked the door guy into letting us in for 7,000W cover instead of 20,000, AND including a drink! Even though I was slightly annoyed about the long walk in the rain, I figured the price we paid would be the price of a drink anywhere else regardless, and we were already here. So, I paid and we went inside.

It was a typical Korean club. There was electronic music (not my favorite), lots of Korean guys, and Korean girls attempting to be sexy (which amounts to a couple hip swings and a slight shoulder bounce...). Almost immediately, Meghan and I get pulled up into VIP with a reaaaally drunk Korean guy. After refreshing our drinks from his table (thank you very much), we slipped away. Mostly the rest of the night was the same: VIP for 5 minutes, then goodbye. It was actually really fun! I would call it a success, since I did not stumble home and had no hangover the next morning! I think I am quite a responsible drinker, actually... if responsible means paying for exactly zero drinks and having quite a good time, without being sloppy or messy.

And, that about finishes Saturday night in Busan...

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