9/16/2008

A Bus to Busan

That's Busan with a long U by the way. Anyway, I'm back from my mini-beach vacation with the girls! Busan is way down at the southern tip of Korea, normally about 4 hours by train I think. We had a really fun time just hanging out and being 8 black girls in homogeneous Korea. Talk about staring! Oh but where to begin with this laugh-packed journey?

Well, for one, this trip almost didn't happen. The night before we were to leave, I realized that folks had bought bus tickets and NOT train tickets. I didn't mind so much because I like buses but what I don't like is sitting in traffic for hours on end. Since last weekend was Chuseok, aka Korean Thanksgiving, I was imagining miles upon miles of cars, exhaust-filled lungs, and flared tempers. We'd gotten wind of a picture from someone's Chuseok trip last year and it wasn't looking so good for us. Some estimates had us on the road for 14 hours....17 hours...and my favorite jaw-dropper, 24 hours!!! I almost just said F*ck it. But we didn't...after just 6 hours, we arrived at Haeundae Beach...and the recklessness began!




Call it irresponsible, but yes, 8 people showed up in a new city with no hotel reservation, during arguably one of the busiest times of year. Not entirely smart but it worked out for us. We scored awesome rooms at The Westin Chosun...on the beach! . Aeja and her big mouth actually got us a great discount too...("Ummm, excuse me Mr. Front-Desk-Guy, how come no one carried our bags for us? I mean, this is The Westin. Even at regular hotels, they always carry your bags...) And 20 minutes later, they had knocked our price down!



After checking in and getting freshened up, we headed to dinner. Some of us wanted meat (ME!!) and others didn't so we split up. The restaurant we ended up at was practically abandoned. I was waiting for some desert tumbleweed to come rolling through there. But it was perfect because we could be as loud as we wanted to be. We ordered about 3-little-pigs worth of pork. I drank an entire bottle of wine almost by myself because it tasted like grape juice. Everyone else had soju and beers and truly, we bonded. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip, just kickin' back, eating, and drinking. A gal could get used to that..



Later that night, some of us (ME!!) really wanted to go out and check out Busan's nightlife. But first, we had drinks downstairs in the hotel. BIG MISTAKE! For one, the bartender couldn't make a mojito or a Long Island had you held a semi-automatic weapon to his head. Since I'm a connoisseur of both beverages, I know good and damn well what they should be. And let's just say both drinks (at $12 each) left me feeling entirely unsatisfied. In fact, that was the first mojito EVER that I didn't finish. The horror! We still took silly pictures though...



Busan nightlife is pretty lacking, too. Maybe the city was just dead, which is understandable, but I'm just so biased towards Seoul that I couldn't help but wonder what the hell anyone does here besides go to the beach. Our first stop was a "club" at the bottom of The Grand Hotel. Ironically, it was called Boracay. As we walked down to the center of the Earth getting to this place, we couldn't help but notice the complete absence of any thumping beats. No people going inside. Only an uneasy group of would-be bouncers and servers hoping to usher us in and make us spend too much money. Once we reached the front of the club, our mouths all did a simultaneous gape. The place was pretty empty but more disturbing was the slow, elevator music coming from the DJ booth. What in the hell....???? We nearly turned right around, but I was meeting a friend there. We gave it about 5 minutes and a shot of tequila and they were bumping some hip-hop. Crisis averted but very scary at first.





So, never ones to stay still, we headed to the other side of the beach. I think this one was called Gwang-alli Beach. We were looking for another club which turned out to be right near our hotel actually. But we hung around Gwang-alli Beach for a bit. It was just one row of bars and stuff, no clubs at all. We went to a pizza joint and just sat and talked really. I watched a mangy dog piss on the sidewalk and then the restaurant owners came and shooed him away. Then he did it again. We also saw a cute puppy being paraded around by two men. Total chick magnet...the puppy I mean. The guys weren't much to look at. Around 3am, we crawled into taxis and went back to the hotel.

The second day, we woke up about noon. I don't usually sleep til noon but I did one of those things where I woke up every hour for like 5 hours but went back to sleep cuz no one else was up yet. So finally, we kinda split up again because some of us wanted Friday's and others wanted Chinese food. I have a new appreciation for Friday's and their amazing Junebugs and Mac N Cheese Balls....and burgers....and Parmesan-Crusted Quesadillas. I will never disparage them! So yes, 5 of us got lit up at Friday's on a Sunday at noon and had a damn good time doing it. They let us sit outside so we had the nice beachview. We almost had a food fight, too. Or maybe just a ketchup fight. Hanging out with my girlfriends, you would think we're a bunch of guys with all the trash-talking we do. And that's just how I like it! :)

**Lu making a very difficult decision - taste or effect??**




As for me, the rest of the day was spent in bed. I was so sapped for energy. I can't even explain it. Therefore, I missed out on the afternoon's activities, but I heard about it so I will still post pics. The others went to hang on the beach and did some double-dutching. Good thing I wasn't there because I was told early on (by some especially cruel older girls) that I sucked at it. But my friends had a great time....and a new Korean fanbase!!







For dinner, we all went out together (for once!!) to a wonderful Thai restaurant. It was also very empty which worked out great! Come to think of it, maybe everyone just left when we showed up! Hahaha...I ate some pineapple/shrimp rice and yes, it tastes as good as it sounds. I also ordered some pad thai, which I didn't care for. It smelled like feet to me. For dessert, I ate some coconut milk concoction. I question the validity of this Thai restaurant though because there was NO sticky rice in sight! What kinda mess is that??? I still tore it up though. By the end of dinner, we were reminiscing about the 80s and singing just about every R&B song you could imagine. Ahhhhh, so wonderful. Only about 2 people could actually sing (Crystal and Jameelah) but we all pretended for the helluva it. Outside, it was pretty dead but we took that moment to goof off a little.






The bus ride back was equally smooth and "quick", only about 6 hours. SUCH an amazing time! Even though Busan isn't like Seoul, I think that's the point. It really felt like a getaway and I appreciated that. My only regret about this trip is that I hadn't met some of these lovely ladies sooner. :)

I was planning to make a quick trip to Tokyo at the end of the month. A friend of mine will be in town and she invited me to a concert but damn those skyrocketing ticket/gas prices!! In 24 hours, the ticket went up $100 and that's just outta my reach. Maybe it's for the best as I couldn't really afford Tokyo again, but I just wanted to see my friend and hang out. Guess I will be spending my last 2 weeks here packing and partying....and maybe having a date. I've been chatting with the random guy from Gangnam, the one whose face I can't remember. He's very nice so we'll see how that goes! Damn, I hope he's not ugly yall....but I can't for the life of me remember!! Sh*t.

Everything's all settled for Boracay, too!! I've been talking to Tony a lot and he bumped into Noeme, the little girl. She's really excited that I'm coming back....and of course, Ritchie. Ummmmm.... **swoon**

Ok, bed time for me!!

Until then,

J

6 comments:

Christina said...

Remember what we talked about when you go to Boracay....REMEMBER!!!!

Fly Brother said...

Y'all did pass around a hat or a change cup or something amongst the Koreans for that double-dutch show, right?

thesynchronizer said...

I've been reading this for 10 minutes and already it's my favorite blog.

Andy said...

Busan is an awesome city, and Gwangalli is a nice place too. Looks like you had a great time ;)

Ryan said...

hey girl,

you don't know me, but i just ran across your blog by doing a random search, but i saw the pics that you posted of you and your friends jump-roping in haeundae. funny thing was, i was walking by with my two korean gal-friends and and sat for a while and watched y'all. even funnier was they couldn't understand your english, but me coming from the south, i felt like i was right at home in the ATL.

man, isn't this a small world?

Joia said...

Hey Ryan!! Wow, that is so random! The world is even smaller in Korea, ain't it?? Do you live in Busan? Did you give my girls some money for the entertainment?? Lol...too bad I was knocked out in the hotel but that's dope...glad you found us! :)