blogging because.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

busan vices

Here are some 'not so obvious' remedies to homesickness, culture shock and all the surprises that come with living abroad. In addition to a wonderful network of friends and family, these things have aided in my survival this year. 


FOOD:

Costco
Suyeong Station (line 2 #208), any exit will do. From here, flag a taxi, shouldn't set you back more than 3,000w.  I encourage you to add an 'e' to the word "CostEco", this will ensure you are deposited at the right place. When in doubt, wave your membership card. Just as an aside, each member (35,000w to join) is allowed to shop with a guest/time on their card. Costco is the foreigner food mecca. Cheese, wine and pesto, OH MY! It is difficult to escape under 200,000w, they only take cash so arrive prepared. The best part of any Costco excursion is the personal pan pizza and soft serve ice cream waiting for you on the other side.  

Pasta Vanita and Burger Pasta, KSU
Kyungsung University Station (line 2 #212), exit 5. Located on the second floor just outside the station, PV has been a staple in my carb hungry diet. A full course meal will set you back no more than 20,000w (+booze). I suggest the caprese salad and the cream of mushroom linguine combo. For the other winos out there, PV has a stocked wine (beer and spirits too) list, glasses starting at 6,000w and bottles starting at 30,000w. 

Take exist 5 and walk towards the Puckyung University Campus, turn right at the Dunkin' Donuts. Burger Pasta will be on your left, half a block in from the main road. BP is the place where everyone knows my name (Cheers! ahaha). They cover all the western favourites, from greasy spoon hangover specials to hearty salads. Their chicken burger is often too hard to pass up but can be substituted with the potato wedges. Try their lemonade too! 

Namaste, Haeundae
Haeundae Station (line 2 #203), exit 3, about half a block beyond The Wolfhound PubNamaste is a quaint Indian restaurant tucked away from the bustle of Busan night life. Before my first Namaste experience, I was not an Indian food lover, but I have since been converted. The energy in the room echos the colourful menu, the tandori chicken and butter nan particularly delectable. Although the dishes are expensive, I promise 
that you will not be disappointed! 

SHOPPING:

When in Korea, shop like the Koreans do! Nampodong (#111), PNU (#128), KSU (#212) and Seomyeon (#219) are the areas that have the best market style shopping. Stores and stalls here will see massive inventory turnover, so don't wait if you spot a must have piece. Your shopping experience will vary depending when you visit, typically independent vendors setup their stalls only on the weekends. Get ready for for sensory overload!

For cosmetic purposes Shinsegae and the Lotte department stores (line 2 #206) are the only way to go. No one should risk going native when it comes to skin care! After a little beauty pick me up, the Kyobo bookstore, located inside Shinsegae, offers a plethora of English books, keep your brain cells engaged.

ENDORPHIN'S:

KAFA Fitness, KSU
Joining a gym was one of the best things I could have done for myself this year. Finding motivation to honour this commitment is always a challenge, but, true to form, it has been the most effective antidote to relieve stress. There are loads of gyms around the city, however they are not usually street level, so keep that in mind when you are searching your area!

Beomeosa Temple & Hiking, Beomeosa
Beomeosa Station (line 1 #133), follow the crowds to exit. There are dozens of trails around Busan, but none really compare to the variety and beauty of those found decorating the hills of Geumjeong Mountain. 

Savory says
@Namaste
Enjoy our dynamic Busan!





Monday, June 20, 2011

its always in the details

Writing has been my therapy for years. A means of self discovery with the hope of finding myself somewhere in the black and white letters that dance across the page. Although this journey has seen many faces, it is unsure of its audience. What I've realized along the way is that's okay. For this reason, it came as a great surprise when my close friend JB shared one of my recent blog entries on her Facebook page.

I am private about my writing and I understand that maintaining a blog effectively contradicts this statement. Nevertheless, this attitude is rooted in the admiration I have for my peers and how eloquent their writing styles are in comparison to mine. I read about a dozen blogs, some are sharp, quick witted accounts on Waygook life, others are informed political proses and another chunk are trashy tabloids. I guess its fair to say that regardless of their content, they have an impact on me and thus are bookmarked online as weekly must reads.

To learn that JB reads my work like I read so many others is wildly flattering. The fact that she then re posted this particular entry for a greater audience, implies that in her opinion my words are worth hearing. At the end of the day, its always nice to receive a little personal validation. Thank-you for being there to listen even when I didn't ask you to be and thank-you for reminding me that life is not about comparisons but instead finding comfort in your own skin.

So let it be said JB, possessing the ability to celebrate my passion only intensifies the light you have been in my life this year.

Listen. Acknowledge. Support. Repeat. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

my kids are cuter than yours

Remember when I moved to Busan, South Korea to teach kids English for a year?
Snoopy 
go grade 3 gaga 
Snow, Ball and Me
Polo, just wait Ralph on line one
Oh yeah, it was amazing.

"see you next time"
video

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"you make it sound like destiny"

As I sit here, clicking away at my school computer, I do some fast math. Only 54 more days until I am back in the motherland you say!? Madness!

I've spoken about relationships a lot this year. Some have grown stronger, some disintegrated and some surprised me. Perhaps the ones that have surprised me the most are the ones that I have forged here. I'm sure I am not first to compare these friendships to family, but they are. I knew early on that these bonds were going to be unique, but moving through the final weeks of our contract, each get together is more meaningful than the last. I attribute this to the unanimous realization of the fact that we are approaching the end of something great, something that cannot be duplicated.

There are no words that fully drive my point home. August 13, 2011 will be the epitome of bittersweet. To those that met me, got me, backed me and loved me - don't go.

"Smile at the chance to see you again..."
Foster the People - Miss You
Gwangali Beach Sunset

Thursday, June 9, 2011

just a silly diddy

Sand between my toes
Best feeling ever
A smile stretched beneath my nose
Dreaming of my next endeavor.
Sunshine so bright
Cass in tow
Lid on tight
Beach it, lets go.