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.
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!
Haeundae Station (line 2 #203), exit 3, about half a block beyond The Wolfhound Pub. Namaste 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!
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.
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.
Enjoy our dynamic Busan!