Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feeling more Singaporean for a day

I must begin by mentioning how friendly and helpful people in Busan are! I'm not saying Seoulites are unfriendly, but they always seem to be rushing somewhere, and don't really stop to help. I'm saying this coz i was lugging my 20kg worth of luggage from my hostel to Gwanghwamun to take the shuttle bus, up and down all the stairs and stuff, and nobody in Seoul bothered to help. =/ But once I reached Busan, I was trying to carry my luggage down the first flight of stairs into the subway (Those who have been to Korea would know that most subways here have stairs instead of escalators. More on that next time), and a kind lady came to help immediately! She just happened to be walking down the stairs too, and hurried over with a "같이 할래" (let's do it together) or something along those lines. She even helped carry it all the way to the gate! Then yesterday I happened to buy quite a bit of fruits back for my homestay family, and there were no seats on the subway. The ahjumma seated in front of me gestured to help carry by putting them on her lap~ :D

Staying here alone has been pretty awesome so far, being able to do whatever I want, whenever I like. My usual itinerary for a day consists of visiting some touristy place in the morning, finding a new cafe in the afternoon and just sit down and read my korean stuff with my trusty iriver (: then i'll come back home for dinner and teach the kids some english (:

Last 2 days have been interesting though, coz I met 2 different groups of Singaporeans! I was browsing through the Korean books section in YP bookstore (I keep doing this when I pass by ANY bookstore! =/) when this group of 3 ladies came by, trying to ask the assistant for some help. (and we all know how distinctive Singaporean english is HAHA) so I approached them and chatted with them for a while, asking about their trip and advising on where they should go, coz they were heading to Jeju and Seoul after Busan (: Then I met my friend at the subway station today! It was really random, as I was heading to Haeundae Beach for the day and I saw someone waving as I was walking down the stairs to the platform. I then realized that someone was actually waving at me and I actually know him! Turns out he just arrived in Busan that morning with his friend, and were heading to their hotel in Haeundae too. hahaha, so we went for 부대찌개 lunch together ^^

I'm glad to have this time to travel around, coz I know I probably won't have such a chance ever again. Or at least until I retire haha.

Laying on the sand, watching the clouds go by.
@ Gwangalli Beach

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Busan, home for the next month

Many things have happened within the past month:
1) finished exams! (waiting for results now >.<)
2) flew to Korea that same day
3) traveled in Seoul, Busan and Jeju
4) moved into my homestay place in Busan

I'm currently in my Busan homestay, just moved in yesterday so spent the day settling down and stuff. My homestay mum's really nice! Plus she cooks (: maybe I can learn some dishes from her, so I can cook them myself when I go back to Singapore haha (:

She's got 3 daughters, 8, 6 and 3-years old. Pretty terrifying lot, they're SUPER energetic! And itchy fingers. The eldest one opened up my polaroid camera, so don't think that stack of films can be used anymore =( I'll just keep my cameras away from her sight. sobs. Hai kids will be kids. But otherwise, it's been pretty nice here! It's been rainy the past few days, so haven't had a chance to go out to explore yet. Managed to get more Korean books here so I still have stuff to do (: Tomorrow's forecast looks good! Maybe I'll take a trip to Haeundae Beach (:

I know I was supposed to update on the Intermediate Korean grammar book but my exams kept me busy, so I haven't actually had time to look through it. Photocopied it though, so I have the hard copy at home. Will update as soon as I check it out, but it'll probably only be in around 2 months time =/

Last Sunday was Parent's Day in Korea. Took the day to check out the Hangang bridges while I was in Seoul, since I didn't have chance previously. Saw many families gathered at Hangang parks having picnics under trees, and playing with water fountains (: Somehow, I don't remember doing that when I was young. But it felt really good to see them enjoying (: Walked for an entire day and managed to conquer half the bridges, tiring but definitely worth it! (: Here are some of them (:

YangHwa Bridge (양화대교)

Seogang Bridge (서강대교)

Cheonho Bridge (천호대교)

Mapo Bridge (마포대교)

Olympic Bridge (올림픽대교)

Cheonho and Olympic Bridges at night (:

Banpo Bridge (반포대교)

Banpo Bridge (반포대교)