Monday, February 13, 2012

A Different Sea

Saturday dawned with a beauty that hasn't been seen in awhile here.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky, yet the temperature was above freezing.

This came as a bit of a shock to me since Casey and I had originally been scheduled to do overtime on Saturday afternoon (a recruitment event), but we were told on Thursday that it was canceled due to the bad/cold weather expected on Saturday.

I ended up over in good ol' Busan (부산) with MY.  We got there a little after noon and spent time navigating the Subway system on the way to meet his Hyeong (형).  형 means 'older brother for a boy', but in this case it means an older male friend.  It's a term of endearment and respect.  If my relationship with MY was in Korean I would call him Oppa (오빠).  오빠 means 'older brother for a girl', but is also what girls call older males that they're close to.  Again, it's a term of endearment and respect.  This is because you can technically only be friends with people born in the same Lunar New Year as you.

So, Laura, Margret, Derrick, Nick, Michael, and myself could call each other friends, because we're all from the Year of the Dragon.  Kristen would be different though, she would have to call Michael 오빠 and me Eonni (언니).  Elinore would have to call Michael 오빠 and Kristen and me 언니.

There are special words for younger sister and younger brother, but usually the older person just calls the other person by name.

So, MY and I met his 형 at the Jungang Subway Station.  Then the three of us went to this little Japanese place down a little side street.  The chef there was actually Japanese, but the waiters spoke Korean.  The place was PACKED.  There were people waiting outside before we got there and even more people waiting outside when we left.

The food was delicious:
Savory with a slightly sweetish tang.  The roll is like a potato pancake, sort of...
The food was a type of Sweet Potato Curry.  It was sooooo yummy!

MY and MS (his 형) spent most of this time catching up in Korean.  MS speaks English, but I'm only the second foreigner he's actually met, and in his words: "The first real blonde American."

After we finished eating we moved to a coffee shop.  We spoke mostly in English there, with MS asking me the standard questions I usually get:

Where are you from?
Where do you teach?
Do you like it?
How are you enjoying Korea?
Why did you decide to come to Korea?
How'd you meet MY?

The coffee shop was a little no-name hole-in-the-wall, but the coffee was good and I found this map on the wall highly amusing:
Can you find what's off about it?
After coffee we walked back to MS's office and got his car, then the three of us went to Taejongdae Resort (태종대유원지).  Which is on the Korean Strait, which is sort of part of the Sea of Japan (East Sea).  Which is a bit different from the Gulf of Mexico...

It's on an island in Busan (부산) and is a nice hiking park.  With awesome beaches (rock beaches, not for swimming) and cliffs.  Well, how about I just show you?
Stoney Beach
So pretty...
I could've stood here all day...
We were at the park for about 1.5-2 hours walking this...
This was called Suicide Cliff, bodies are still supposed to be down there...
That's Busan (부 산) in the distance.
Have a meal on the rocks under the lighthouse.
No sand in sight...
The Lighthouse and some random dude.
A mini-Stone Mountain, on the shore.
The stairs MS just ran up.
MY and I went up at a more reasonable pace
It was truly a gorgeous day and a magnificent place to visit.  I'd like to go there again sometime, there were some things we didn't do that I'd like to try next time.

After the park MS drove MY and me over to the Busan Fish Market.  It was about a thirty minute drive and I actually slept sitting up...which I haven't done since I was a child.  Only one cup of coffee for the day, plus all that hiking left me exhausted.

We said goodbye to MS at the Busan Fish Market and MY and I went to a Paris Baguette for a light snack and some warm drinks.  We both needed the coffee that we got there (we'd had smoothies at the previous coffee shop).

After that we went on a walk through the Busan Fish Market.

There were just too many things too see.  I didn't get a lot of pictures.

I have to say though, that the most awesome thing I saw was an octopus slipping out of it's bucket and making it's way across the sidewalk before it got caught.  The octopus's head was about the size of a softball, so not too big, but big enough for me.

Got some awesome shots of the harbor:
The sun finishing setting
Busy, but not too busy...
Then we went inside.  This place is insane.  There's just buckets and tanks of water holding all sorts of types of things from the sea.  Things I recognize and things I don't.

What made it even crazier was the fact that most of the tanks were overflowing into other tanks, which then overflowed into drains on the floor before being cycled back around.  This kept the oxygen level in the tanks high enough without any fancy pumps and things.

It was insane, overwhelming, and totally awesome.

The Tanks
Shelled Thingies..
Massive Shrimp!
More Shelled Creatures!
After touring the Busan Fish Market we caught the subway and then the bus back to Changwon.  Where we ate some yummy Vietnamese noodles.

It was a very good, but exhausting day.  

My calves are still sore from all the stairs...


  1. AWESOME pictures! Also, I'm glad we're lunar siblings. It's an exclusive club.

    1. Oh, yes, very exclusive. You should make Kristen call you 오빠

  2. Also, all of North America has apparently been annexed by the US.

    1. Funny how I haven't read about that in the news...

    2. Bush did it I suppose. I see some other things as well but oh well.