This past weekend I headed off for Busun for what was supposed to be a fun exploration of Korea's second largest city and one of the probably two most famous holiday destinations in Korea (the other being Jeju Island). I've never been to Busan before, which is strange considering how long I've lived in Korea. Okay, this is not technically true. Upon my first year in Korea I did come to Busan for a wedding. I took the bus, went to the wedding, and got on the bus again and went back to Seoul without having seen any of the sights. So the prospect of coming to Busan for real this time had me a little excited.
However, the reason for this visit was not merely to have a short holiday in Busan, but to visit a Korean friend of mine whom have begged me on numerous occassions to come visit his "home town". My friend, who now goes by the name of Charles is an engineer and currently lives in the Philipines where he is branch manager for a Korean engineering firm. He came to Korea for a week and came to Busan for the weekend and told me to meet him here.
Which I did . . . Or so I thought. The moment I arrived in Busan he wisked me off with in a car to Pohang to go visit his uncle, aunt, and cousins in this much smaller coastal town. I've actually been to Pohang before and can't say that I had a particular interest in going there now.
Eventually on Sunday afternoon we returned to Busan from where my friend departed back to the Philipines. I'm disappointed that I didn't have more time to enjoy in Busan, but also couldn't get myself to pressure my friend to leave his family whom he hadn't seen in a long time. As an expat I know all to well the importance of spending time with loved ones when your visiting your own country.
In any case, I eventually arrived in Busan Sunday afternoon and quickly headed off to the beach, where I just collapsed on the sand and watched the slushing waves and the people enjoying the sand and sea. How soothing the sound of the sea is! As it got dark I went to see a movie, found some dinner and hunted for a motel to stay.
This morning I slept late, went for a stroll in the city and find myself now in a restaurant for a late brunch. Afterwards I'll probably go by the beach again to soak up the atmosphere before heading back to Seoul this afternoon. Tonight I'm teaching a Taekwon-Do class, so I need to get back.
Since I haven't had time to see much of Busan, which reminds me a little of Durban, I definitely plan to come back sometime. I was also supposed to meet with a South African friend, but that unfortunately didn't pan out either, so another visit down South is definitely necessary.