So I got to go to Busan this weekend with my neighbor Ana, she was going to the BIFF (Busan International Film Festival), and invited me to tag along. We had to get up super early on Saturday because Ana’s first movie would start at 10am. We made our way to the Pohang Bus Terminal. I did not know how cheap (and easy) it is to go from city to city in a bus, from Pohang to Busan we only had to pay 7,300 W. The bus ride was about 1hr30 mins long. It was early in the morning, but we were chatting the whole way. When we were about to arrive, this Korean broad told us to keep the volume down. I laughed because I obviously know I have a super sonic voice, I’m a Baltazar hehe. But anyways, I don’t think this broad realized we were about to arrive when she said that.
We got to Busan and got on the metro to get to our destination: Centum City. Being on a metro brought back so many memories from the metro in Paris *sniff sniff*.
Ana went to her first movie and since it was too late for me to buy tickets, I just went for a walk. I went to get coffee and to just look around. Since it was early, a lot of places were closed so I only walked around and went into a supermarket called Home Plus. I wanted to see what kind of “international” stuff they would have, and let me tell you, I was very impressed. I feel now like I brought stuff from home that I could have bought here.
At 11:15am I went back to meet Ana. We went downstairs to see if I could get tickets to any of the films that Ana had already booked. The line to buy tickets was looooooong. We were there for about an hour. Everything was selling out, so by the time we got to the front of the line I was only able to get tickets for her 9pm movie.
We then went next door for wait for it…Shinsegae Department Store. It’s the biggest department store in the world! But I have to say I was not impressed. Yes, it is HUGE, but everything was so high end that for someone like me (who is not interested in brand names), it’s only good for window-shopping. There are other things like a movie theater, ice rink, and a descent food court so I guess I would only go for those.
We went to get lunch at the food court, 4th floor, well they actually call it food park. Something interesting about this food court is that you have to order at a separate kiosk, not at the place from where you want to buy. The ladies at the kiosk take your order and they give you a buzzard which goes off when your food is ready.
I thought it was a neat idea because you don’t have stand around waiting for your order to be called. Well we ordered a margarita pizza; it was ok. They gave us a side of pickles and the always-present radish…radish and pizza? Weird.
As Ana went to her 2pm movie, I got to walk around the department store. The 4th floor was where women’s apparel was and I went on a hunt for a jacket for Ana and me. Everywhere I looked, nothing would go under 100W, lame! When I found a Papaya store, I got excited because I though that I would find something cheap since Papaya is usually cheap with ok quality. But nooooooo, again nothing under 100W. I did find one jacket on sale there, but the quality was really bad. I walked around for about 1hr. I got to see all the floors and I also went to the rooftop where there is a nice view of the city. I was getting a little hungry so I decided to get ice cream from Baskins Robins hehehe. I enjoyed a chocolate cone, of course, while watching little kids fall in the ice rink.
from the roof top
When Ana came out of the movies, we went to a store where we had seen a jacket for 50W and was actually descent quality. After trying them on, we both decided to purchase them, matching ones hehehe. So I guess that was my first clothing purchase here in Korea =D.
We left Shinsegae and walked to the Busan Cinema Center. There was not much going, we got some freebie magazines and left. We then walked to Haeundae Beach. It was a long walk, but we had plenty of time to kill. We first walked through Dongbaek Park. We saw the Nurimau APEC House and bought some ice keki (ice cream) to enjoy the view of the ocean and the view of Diamond Bridge.
Diamond Bridge and the APEC House
When we finally arrived at Haeundae Beach, we noticed that there was a little fest thing going on (for BIFF of course). We headed towards it, and what did we get first? Free beer! It was a small cup and kind of light, but free nonetheless.
We then heard Christmas music, and I was like “ok?”, but we noticed that it was coming from a slide that had snow! So we got our snow tubes and joined the fun! We then came to a little stage where something was about to happen. In our catalog for BIFF it said that Isabelle Huppert was going to take part in a “hand-printing ceremony,” her name did not click but we stuck around to see her. When she came out, I was like “wait a minute, I know her!” and then she started speaking and I heard her French accent. I instantly remembered her and the first film I watched with her in it, Entre Nous.
We left to find the movie theater where our movie was going to show. We came across the Heaundae Sea Food market and decided to take a closer look. Lots of live fish everywhere of course, but what caught my eye was something really gross. Ana pointed it out to me, and the first thing I said was “that looks like a penis!” and she said, “yeah, they are actually called dog penises” buuahahaha. Well, their real name is gaeul, it’s a sea worm. I could not look at them for long; the way they moved in the water was disgusting!...so google them because again, I do not want a picture of those things here.
As we walked some more, we came across a Mexican bar! What?! I know! There were actually 2, I only remember the name of 1, Tacos al Poblana. I guess I will making weekly trips to Busan once I start missing Mexican food. Or maybe I can ask for a huge tub of refried beans to-go and bring them back home haha.
The busy (and well lit) streets of Busan
We made our way towards the theater, but we decided to get dinner first. We went to a nice little restaurant. I think it had a fusion of Japanese and Korean. I got a fish plate that came with rice, cabbage salad, and miso soup, and I also ordered a California roll topped with fried tuna, oh Calis how I had missed you!
So the movie we watched is called P-047. I don’t know if I fell asleep because I was a bit tired or because the movie was just weird. I was a bit intrigued at the beginning, but then it got weirder and weirder, I could not even tell what was the point of the movie, so much for my first time at the movies in Korea haha. But I enjoyed the experience.
After the movie, we met up with Ana’s friend Joyana. They took me for a tour of the cheesy love motels hahaha, really, that is what they are called. They pointed out one with a cute castle theme to it and another with an “Arabian nights” theme lol. We then grabbed some drinks at 711 and headed to the beach for some drinking; yes, you can drink in public! Other friends of Ana later joined us and we spent a couple hours chatting, drinking, and checking out Korean boys hehehe.
At around 2am, we went hunting for a nightclub. We first went to one and there was nobody there, well definitely less than 10 haha. We ordered drinks just to stay in mode. I ordered a Tequila Sunrise, but that was definitely not a tequila sunrise. I did not taste the tequila at all, not because it was watered down but because it had some other liquor. And the juice? I think it was only orange juice and some other sweetener. We left, got a taxi, and headed to another part of town. We went a club that had the word “foxy” in it; I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Ana and Joyana had been there before and said it was good. So we paid our cover and went in. Now, I have to make a list of what to expect at a club in Korea:
Clubbing in Korea 101, What you can expect:
- 1. You might need to do some club hopping to find where all the people are.
- 2. No dress code apparently ‘cuz I got in with jeans, a sweater, and chucks lol...nobody looked "dressy"
- 3. It can be a bit expensive, but hey, you get a free drink.
- 4. Korean boys cannot handle a Latina dancing, and apparently it’s worse if a strong Latina woman leads haha.
- 5. If hip-hop starts playing, expect Korean girls to movie like a noodle
- 6. ….and Korean boys to be stiff like a stick moving from side to side.
- 7. You might see West side hand signs thrown around because they think it’s hot…not really boys!
- 8. Songs are not played for longer than 15 secs, or at least that was the case for this particular club.
We danced out booties til morning! We left at around 5:30am. We got on the metro and were still pretty pumped so we were chatting. But an older guy next to me told us to be quiet because a lot of people, including him, were trying to rest. Then this other older guy sitting across from us kept staring with his one good eye. Seriously, he did not take his eye off of us, WTF? I know we look different, but why the constant stare??
Anyways, we got to the bus terminal, hopped in a bus back to Pohang, and we were home by 8am.