Busan images

Island Hop

 

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It’s nearing 3 a.m. here in Busan, and my bags, books, and beach mat are almost fully packed.  Five months after landing in Korea, and immediately embarking on a full-time, Monday-Friday gig teaching short-vowel sounds to tykes– the week-long summer vacay has arrived.  About a month ago I splurged on The Rough Guide to Korea (I highly recommend) and have enjoyed every second getting lost in its maps, descriptions, and region-by-region highlights.  In the end, deciding how best to spend eight days cruising around the country wasn’t hard–I’m an island girl at heart.

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People I Meet: Dianna from Shreveport

 

 

Days in Korea: 108

Hails from: Shreveport, Louisiana

Outlook on life was drastically altered in 2008 by: a semester in Florence

Moved to Busan with: her boyfriend Bryan

Met him: last June during a waitressing stint in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Has a weakness for: 3 a.m. kebabs

Recently splurged on: a stand-up fan and a French press

Is gonna get dirty at: Mud Fest


Of Shells and Ships

 

About three minutes in to my recent visit to the Jagalchi Fish Market–where Korea’s biggest gathering of seafood vendors hawk the day’s fresh catch–I saw a creature I didn’t know existed. 


Where the Owl Flies

Spring Issue, Busan Haps

 

I’ve always been a bit of a night owl.  In the bedtimes of my elementary school years I could be found tucked beneath a blue-and-white checkered bedspread, head hidden from sight, one hand gripping a mini-flashlight while the other turned the pages of the latest Sweet Valley High.  Some nights my mom would spot the faint glimmer slipping beneath my bedroom door, and call out from the top of the staircase, “Get to sleep!”  I’d click the light off and listen to her footsteps fade. 


All Kinds of Business Goin’ On

 

A lot of business goes down on the street here.  Men with little blue trucks set up shop on the sidewalks, unpacking potted cactus plants or bags of puffed rice or piles of plastic slip-on shoes.  Outside my apartment building most evenings, you can find a woman crouching on a stool in her truck, deep-frying squid balls in the light of two paper lanterns than dangle from the roof like beacons.  I’m not sure what anyone pays to rent the sidewalks, or if permits are even required, but the sellers make street-strolling an adventure for the eyes.

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Little Love

New romance appeared in Cornell class this week, first spotted on Tuesday when Julia slipped her hand into Eric’s during storytime.  Some girls really know how to flirt and make it work.  He better not blow it…she’s a catch.

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People I Meet: Leah from Miami

 

The spring I was 18 I chopped off all my hair, dyed it bright red, and stuffed a green backpack full with clothes, a pair of Birkenstocks, my faded baby blanket, a swiss army knife, and a fat paperback called ”Europe ’97: On the Loose, On the Cheap, Off the Beaten Path.”  Then I flew to London with my cousin Heather.


Down by the Stream

  

Half a block from my apartment in Yeonje-gu, below the railroad tracks and across the street from a lounge called Moon River, a stream called Oncheon-cheon flows east.  It’s lit by street lamps and bordered on each side by a long and blooming row of cherry blossoms.  


Neon Streets and Japanese Eats: Dining in Seomyeon

Late one evening a couple weeks ago I caught the subway to Seomyeon with Jason, Bryan and Dianna–three of the five teachers who make up my awesome American teaching posse.  Jason’s lived here six months; it was Bryan and Dianna’s second night in town. 

In the maze of people-packed, neon-lit streets, we couldn’t find the Turkish restaurant Jason hoped to lead us to, so we slipped into a smoky Japanese joint, befriended four bar stools, and feasted on plates of steaming skewers. 

Other than the beef surprise I picked out of my udon noodles, and an unfortunate head attached to my mackeral pike, the experience left me intrigued: Korea’s culinary offerings provide mystery for both the palette and the eye.

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Taking the Slow Route

Last Wednesday I woke to snow and wind.  Even in winter, Busan rarely sees the white stuff fall–in March it’s unheard of.  Morning  classes were cancelled, so I indulged in a long skype with Melissa and then a slow walk to school, pausing to capture the images I had been rushing past all the other mornings. The camera always makes me stop and see.  Hope you enjoy the visuals as much as I did!

Snow on the train track

 


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