Friday, 30 September 2011
We headed out early to meet two of Colette’s friend’s, Flora and Shan, who Colette teaches extra English to. She meets them at their Hagwin (a Hagwin is an academy, like the place my sister teaches at) and gives them extra lessons. Today was chilled since one of the other girls couldn’t make it, so we headed out for some coffee with them. It was great chatting to some locals who knew English quite well.
I then went with Colette to school again and we watched the rugby game with the teachers during supper time. The other teachers thought Colette was hysterical shouting at our players on screen. It’s very hard to explain how the game works to the locals, they don’t fully understand the game, even though they have their own rugby team.
Saturday, 1 October 2011
We got up early and headed to Korea’s other major city, Busan. Colette wanted to take me shopping and sight-seeing, and unlike Seoul which is 3 hours away, Busan in only 45 minutes away. We were also clever this time, and got a day pass for the subways, which saved us a lot of money
First stop was Nampo-dong market, a huge street flea-market, famous in Busan. We got a bit lost trying to find it and looking very ‘touristy’ with our lost expressions and massive map. Turns out we were right by it and just missed a few turns. When we finally got ‘inside’, it was chaos. It’s not like our little ‘China Mart’ or Bruma; this is a real street market and anything goes. Half the time we were jumping out the way because cars and scooters drive down the narrow aisles.
The shops are incredible though. They sell EVERYTHING and you can even fix your hair in the clothes shops (?). When you get peckish, you stop at the street-food carts and eat fish, unidentified-fried-food and other bizarre concuctions – I was very lucky having Colette with me, knowing what to eat and what not to eat. It was really divine and the ladies who cook are really kind.
After 4 hours of walking and shopping, we decided to head to the Busan beach. We took the subway, walked a little and finally got to their beautiful beach which overlooks a magnificent bridge. We took photo’s, petted a very cute fluffy dog and had some coffee.
By now my feet were killing me. My usual working 16 hours on a computer and not walking much was starting to catch up with me.
My sister still wanted to show me their huge mall, Shinsegae, which is apparently the biggest mall in the world. So we had some more coffee, took the subway and headed to this extravagant mall. Shinsegae is very ‘western’ and overly priced. It’s all the big, popular American stores, like Guess, Chanel and that kind of thing. There is a lot more English than normal, over 6 floors of shops and shoes that start at R2000. Not our thing at all, but still quite something to see.
After some truly horrible KFC that tasted like oil, we decided it was time to head home. We still wanted to visit a ‘Foreigner Bar’ back in Masan and we were already completely exhausted (we honestly just did too much for one day!). We only got to this bar, O’Brien’s, at about 10:30pm, and I met most of the foreigners living and teaching in Masan. We only stayed an hour and a half before resigning and heading home.
We slept like the dead.
Sunday, 2 October 2011
We woke up at 12 noon… All our plans for the Sunday went down the drain. We were still so tired from Busan and I had hurt my leg from all the walking (how sad!). So we just chilled, watched a Korean sitcom (The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince) and just took the day to rest. It was awesome.
Monday, 3 October 2011 (Public Holiday)
Another chilled day. We slept in (we really tried to get up early, but we love the snooze button a little too much) and headed out for coffee at about noon. We had dinner plans with Colette’s friend Sunil, so we just spent the afternoon at the most beautiful coffee shop I’ve ever seen, while Colette studied a bit and I caught up on emails, to kill time.
This coffee shop was truly amazing… A couple and their son opened this little cafe, and covered it in books, photographs, antiques, figurines and couches. The wife is an artist and a photographer, so her drawings and photo’s line the shop walls and counters. It was exquisite and I can only begin to capture the atmosphere in my own photo’s of it (you’ll have to check out Facebook until I get everything in here).
A few hours in, a foreigner friend of Colette’s, Chantelle, joined us for coffee and cake. We all talked our faces off and didn’t get much studying or work done. But it was ok, it was a public holiday afterall.
At 5, we finally headed off to Sunil, another Foreigner who teaches English at a public school, for much younger children. Sunil loves to cook, and cooks well. We had crab chowder and Korean dumplings as starters, and then enjoyed some lovely vegetarian spring-rolls. We chatted for hours, then watched a movie while Sunil baked a chocolate cake that smelt like heaven. We ate and chatted and ate some more until we rolled out there at about 11pm.
Definitely one of the most exciting long weekends I’ve ever had.