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Back to Busan

Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.: Back to Busan

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to Busan

I haven't been to Busan since we finished our orientation week in February. Carolyn has been back once or twice to visit Brittany, our friend from orientation, but otherwise we've not managed to get south on a weekend. We ended that streak of bad luck this weekend! Brittany invited us down to go to a baseball game (a wild experience that one must add to the list while living in Korea), and to a drink mixing contest at a GS 25 convenience store near Pukyong National University. More on that later.

Fountain Park at Busan Station

Carolyn at the jjajamyang restaurant


Saturday morning we slept until about 9:30am and headed to Daegu Station to catch the Mugungwha train to Busan. This is the slowest, cheapest train, but it only takes about an hour and a half to get to Busan, for 7,000W. That's cheaper than a bus ride to Mt. Palgongsan, well, nearly cheaper. The ride was easy and smooth, and we arrived at Busan Station right at lunch time. Brittany took us out for jjajamyang (noodles with black bean sauce) and steamed mandu (pork dumplings). The dumplings were good, but the homemade noodles were my favorite part. After the large large meal we headed to a street vendor for what amounted to  a freshly fried patty of funnel cake batter (well, not really but it's the best explanation I can come up with) filled with sugar, sunflower seeds, and nuts. It was the best thing I've eaten in at least a week.
Lotte Giants at the bat

Doosan Bears Fans

Cool street view from the stadium

After lunch it was time to head to the stadium to see the Lotte Giants battle the Doosan Bears. Baseball teams in Korea are owned by the big, big companies, and the crowds don't cheer for the "Giants" or the "Bears" but rather for Lotte, Doosan, Samsung, Kia, or whatever company owns the team. It's something that wouldn't fly with the public at home, but when the same few companies make EVERY product you use, including the home you live in, it might be a bit different, no? The crowd was a spectacle worth the low price of admission. Every cheer was coordinated and in perfect synchronization. The intensity, ferocity, and synchronicity of the cheers was something I haven't witnessed before. The teams didn't seemed very well matched, as Lotte was up 8-2 by the end of the fifth inning when we left to attend to the important business of a GS 25 drink making contest.

GS 25 is a convenience store that sells pretty much what any convenience store you're accustomed to would sell: drinks like coke, beer, hard liquor, soju, wine, seju, plum wine, champagne, milkis, coffee, and capri suns; and snack foods like fried chicken, roasted squid, and those lovely Crunky candy bars. Since I knew this was going to be a contest I decided to keep it simple and make a variation on a Cuba Libre, simply using whatever limeade was available instead of lime juice and subbing soju for the rum. It was a hit, and we unofficially won the contest. Sadly the rest of the evening is somewhat of a blur of dancing, darts, beer, and making fun of interesting fashion choices.

We headed back to Daegu today after a relaxed day of sleeping, eating, and generally being lazy (that's what I did, you can check out Carolyn's blog for the details on her day when she posts them) and now we're laying in bed. Carolyn's asleep and I'm blogging. It's a tough life we live here, but someone's got to do it.

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