4.01.2011

A Day In Busan

Being in Korea is so different from being in many of the other Asian countries. For example, and most importantly, there is toilet paper in the public restrooms. And there ARE public restrooms! Wow! In fact, I know I talk a lot about toilets but Korea has had THE BEST toilets in all of my travels so far. They have things to wash you, front and back, heated toilet seats, rear end dryers AND automatic toilet seat lifters (for both up and down, one seat or two. This would make a great present for many of our male significant others, I think!)

Super Fun Toilet

Also, everything is more expensive. Aside from Singapore, Korea is the most expensive Asian country we have been in so far. However, having said that, things ARE run very efficiently here! The bus is fast and comfortable and there are no goats or chickens on board with me!

The third and most difficult thing is that they really don’t speak English. As always, hand gestures and facial cues really can get  you far, but sometimes you feel like you are missing out or doing things the hard way since you can’t always ask directions.

Yesterday we traveled by aforementioned bus from Seoul to Busan. Busan is in the very south of the country, and Seoul is in the very north. However, South Korea is not so big, and the ride only took about 4 hours. Busan is a very heavily trafficked fishing port, and I have to admit, I heard it was a fishing village and I pictured a tiny town with stone houses, cobblestone streets, little boats and wrinkled old Korean fishermen wearing cute hats. I was wrong. It is a HUGE port, with big harbor full of freighters. Also, apparently many Russian and Filipino sailors, as we found out last night when we took a walk and found both Russian Karaoke Bar and a Filipino Karaoke Bar.

Today we went to the fish market. There were all kinds of fish, octopus, squid, crabs and more! It was packed with stalls full of frozen, dried, fresh and LIVE animals and was a sight to behold. I saw an octopus escape it’s bucket and get away and when I pointed it out to the lady, she just laughed.

Octopus!

Another great highlight of the day was that we found a new shellfish. I don’t know the name but it is the strangest looking thing. It is red with little bumps -- it almost looks like a tuber. I can’t explain it. We were sitting near a vendor, watching him shuck them, and he let us try one, straight from the shell, raw and salty. And it was good! Then he gave us a shot each of Souju (Korean spirit) and even let us take a photo with him. We offered him some money but he just laughed at us and sent us on our way.

strange new shellfish

So, all in all, a great day in Busan! Hopefully tomorrow we will find even more new things to see and meet many different people who we can’t talk to but with who we still can find a common ground!

Have you ever had to use finger pointing and grunting to get what you wanted in a foreign country (or maybe even your own?)

NOTE: Today kicks off the first day of the A - Z Blogfest. You can read more about it in the link, but the basics are that we have to blog every day in April except Sundays, which will make 26 days. This is the same amount as letters in the alphabet and so each blog (in order) will have a letter theme.

Today is Day 1. A is for A Day.

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like the people there are quite friendly and easygoing. The bathrooms sound great, too. Funny what will catch your attention when traveling. Looking forward to traveling vicariously through you in the A to Z Challenge!

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  2. Awesome! I've heard that the people there are really helpful and love the tourists. I love the runaway octupus!

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  3. Oh wow! Love the pic of the Octopus! Eeks!

    Quite the fancy toilets!

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