Sunday, June 8, 2008

Get-away weekend

Friday night, Marie and I met at Seoul Station to get on the KTX (fast train) to Busan. After a three hour ear-popping ride we arrived at Busan Station around 12:45 a.m. and thanks to some friendly locals we found the bus stop to Haeundae Beach. The bus ride wasn't too long. It was only about forty minutes. We hurried off of the bus and sank our toes in the cool sand. It felt good to be at a beach again. Then we found a convenient store to buy supplies and went to the kimbap place for some food.

Marie was waiting for me outside of the restaurant, where she started talking to a local Korean. To make a long story short they hung out with us for awhile on the beach. Although the language barrier made it a little difficult to communicate. They knew some English, but not enough to have very interesting conversation.

J (boy in hat): Unbelievable.
N: What?
J: You are from?
N: America.
J: L.A.? I have friend in L.A.
N: Nope, Mississippi.
J: Ah....moment of silence.....WOW.

J: Hi cutie boy..
N: what!?
J: CUTIE GIRl. oh, sorry. so sorry.
J: Do you have man friend? You be my man friend?
N: Excuse me?
J: Do you have man friend?
N: Yes, I have many man friends.Do you have man friends?
J: uh.? huh? oh ha ha. WOW. Sorry?

J: You be my man friend?
N: TO MARIE: I think I'm having an identity crisis.
N: You. Want me. To be friend?
J: Yes.
N: I'm not a man.
J: Oh.....*moment of silence* You want be my man friend......

It was amusing to play with him for a little while. I knew what he was asking and I thought it was just silly.

Around 4 a.m we said goodbye to our Haeundae beach pals and went to a love motel. We paid 40 bucks for the night and got what we paid for. It was very ugly on the inside and the shower didn't have hot water. Sometime between 5 am and 9 am we woke up from some loud banging and yelling. I thought strange people were going to barge into our room and tell us to get out of there...they didn't and I fell back asleep.

After the cold shower, Marie and I went to the local Starbucks for some coffee and breakfast. Saturday was a busy day. We went on a Ferry ride, visited a temple that is on the coast line of Korea, and played at the beach. Later that evening, after listening to a variety of musical acts, Marie introduced me to her French Korean friend Jullien and his girlfriend. They were very nice people.

I even had my first hand-in-arm experience too. As we walked to find the restaurant, Soo Hyun ( I believe that was her name--I'm so bad at remembering Korean names) takes my arm in her hand. In Korea girls (and guys) hold hands or hold arms to show that you're friends or that you are comfortable with one another. It was a little awkward at first...

Towards the end of the night we saw fireworks and drank makju (beer) on the beach. We then played a game of rock, sissors, paper. The winner decided what the loser's "mission" was. It was a good bit of fun.

Marie and I planned to leave Saturday night because she had a prior commitment with a friend back in Seoul on Sunday. Due to lack of information we managed to miss the KTX back to Seoul by about twenty minutes. So we decided to go to jimjilbang (Korean bath house). This was Marie's first experience with jimjilbang and I felt a little awkward just because she is my coworker and I saw her naked.

The jimjilbang was really nice compared to the other one that I have been to. Bally Aqua Spa has seven floors and the women's shower room was a good size. Marie and I played in the PC room for a little while and then decided to go take a short nap before our trip home. Unfortunately, I only managed to get thirty minutes of sleep. I was uncomfortable because it was warm and there were people coming in and out of the room, "papa bear" snoring, and whispers. I didn't sleep on the train either. I was too busy looking at the Korean countryside.

The trip officially ended around 9:30 this morning. I went to sleep, as soon as I got home, and didn't wake up until 4p.m. Then I went on a Costco trip...pickles, yum.

I really enjoyed the beach and the Busan area. The people (especially the girls) in Busan, compared to Seoul, are friendlier and more laid back. The scenery is wonderful. In the taxi ride, on the way to the temple, I didn't feel like I was in Korea at all because I'm so used to seeing tall buildings, business suits, and a plethora of convenient stores in Seoul. There were so many trees, so much nature, and there was a constant breeze that made me feel so good.

Updates on my biological mother: I received the translated version of her letter.

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