Today was the twentieth day of August, 2013. On this day, myself and Herself went to Dublin. Here are some of the things we saw.
Words will follow shortly.
I love the older Korean homes. When so much of Busan's population live in apartments, it's always a nice sight to see a bunch of older homes that have yet to be torn down and replaced by some big apartment complex. There's also something so very Korean about the hodgepodge of houses and the tangle of wires that makes Korea's neighborhoods so fun to explore.
This past Sunday I took a walk exploring the southern tip of my peninsular neighborhood. And it wasn't until I got home and looked at the pictures I took that I realized that a lot of them were examples of what I think of when I think of Korea, or how I see Korea.
Over at the east coast there's a great selection of places to visit. Among these is Naksan Temple. It's set on the edge of the ocean near to Yangyang. There's fantastic architecture combined great views out to sea. Walking around the temple with the fresh sea breeze feels great. It's the kind of tranquility that you just don't find in Seoul.
One of our first stops was Lotte World, the world's largest indoor amusement park. There's also an outdoor portion of the park that has a castle that looks eerily similar to the Disney castle. I was reminded of the McDonald's clone restaurant, McArnold's from the "Coming to America" movie.
Ah, Seoul and its 23 million people. Gotta love it. The family hopped in the car and took a road trip to this massively crowded city during Spring Break. It was unusually cold for this time of year but it was still a great time.
That's quite the unwieldy load in that truck. You should've seen it move around when it was rolling down the street. It's an episode of Emergency 9-11 waiting to happen.
So here are a couple of random shots of things you don't see everyday. None of this stuff is shocking by any means - just a little...off.
Koreans are typically very conscious about staying out of the sun. Pampering their skin and avoiding those UV rays are two of the reasons why they look so young. Koreans aren't prone to flashing a lot of skin either, sun or no sun. That's what makes Thong Man so special. His savage tan makes George Hamilton look like Dracula. And his "look at me" attitude is something to behold. For example, to maximize the amount of people that lay eyes on his bronzed posterior, he'll hop on a waverunner and go zipping up and down the beachfront, standing up of course so the masses can gaze upon his cheeky glory. Amazing. Don't believe me? Check it out:
Thong Man is famous here in Busan. He's been on local television shows and is a fixture at Haeundae Beach. Google "Thong Man Busan" if you're bored. Warning, you might burn your retinas. In Busan, he's more recognizable than the Mayor, Bruce Lee or Robert Downey Jr., well, from the backside anyway.
Slurping down a bowl of spicy ramen noodles, one kid in a zombie-like trance while watching "Up," the other kid playing to his hearts' delight in a padded room (hope that's not a prequel for things to come), all while supporting the local team and hanging with good friends. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
BTW - cheerleaders - one of the greatest inventions of all time. Enjoy the video.
Here's a 3 minute video from a family outing to see the local professional basketball team here in Busan - the Sonic Boom. With a spirited crowd, a great kids play area, very affordable tickets and food, and of course cheerleaders, it made for a great outing. I only wish we would've gone to more games.
You'll never know what you'll see in Seoul. Yeah, there's the temples, parks, museums, DMZ and other famous sights. I'm talking about the really cool stuff. Like this:
The place is named after King Taejong who used to frequent the island. He ruled during the Silla kingdom. I'm guessing he would've been a fan of Green Arrow and Robin Hood since he spent time practicing archery while on the island.
There's an amusement park nearby where you can amuse yourself. The "John Wayne" restaurant is nearby too. It's a really good Korean barbecue restaurant that we take our Navy Reserves to sometimes. They'll even drive a bus out and pick up your group. The view from the restaurant is really nice during the day. At night, you're just staring at a bunch of lights.
Taejongdae is another beautiful sight in Busan. It's on the southernmost tip of Yeongdo, or Yeong Island. Some westerners say "Yeongdo Island." This is incorrect because "do" means "island." You don't want to say "Yeong Island Island." That would just be goofy goofy.
One thing I am still not cool with in Korea is carrying Carol's purse. Although I've seen a lot of Korean men doing this for their wives and girlfriends, I'm still not ready to make that leap. I get the occasional "look" from Carol because of this shortcoming.