I always get excited when there's a reason to celebrate. To me, a special occasion is a festival, a new pair of shoes, real cheese at the grocery store, good wine on sale, quality mushrooms, and good people. Save a new pair of shoes, I've been celebrating a lot lately. Some fantastic people have had good news, great opportunities, gigs, and my personal favourite: birthdays.
On the weekend David and I decided to walk one of the seagull trails in Busan. We headed to Busan on Friday night and stayed near Songdo beach. The next day we woke up early and started our 25km hike. Most of the trail was flat and it was located along the coast so it was pretty and relaxing. We started the hike near Songdo beach and ended it six hours later in Taejongdae. In Taejongdae there was a tourist park and here we took a Danubi shuttle train (costing 1,500 won) to sight see the local sights.
Busan is South Korea's second largest city and despite it being only 450 km from Seoul, it couldn't be more different than the nation's capital.
My mom and I decided to take a trip down south back in May during Buddha's Birthday, a national holiday here in Korea. We hopped the incredibly comfortable and efficient KTX bullet train at Seoul Station and were in Busan in about three hours. We were glad we had booked our tickets a month in advance, which is necessary to do when traveling during a holiday weekend, because there were a lot of people that were forced to stand in the aisles for the entirety of the trip.
Do you remember that one scene in Oldboy? The scene which, after you watched it, you never forgot and needed therapy to recover from? You know, that scene, the one where Oh Dae-Su eats a living octopus? Well, our recent lunch at the Millak Raw Fish Market brought me as close to the experience of being Oldboy as I ever need to get.
On entering the world’s largest sashimi hall, I was strangely giddy, but also dreadfully nervous. Jürgen and I have eaten sushi, but never full plates of sashimi, which is just sliced-up raw fish. But we had a trump card up our sleeves: a booster shot of bravery. Our friend Young-mi was visiting from Germany. It was something I’d carefully orchestrated. Young-mi runs Kimchi Princess, the most popular Korean restaurant in Berlin, and with her at our side, we could eat anything! (Not only would she reassure us with her knowledge, but shame us with her mockery. Like all good friends, Young-mi has no problem letting us know when we’re being pussies).