Sunday, May 18, 2008

chinatown festival in busan

this weekend a friend and i went to busan, a port city about an hour and a half east of where we live. when i was researching the possibility of moving to korea, i ran across comparisons such as, "busan is the san francisco of korea!" so i have been eagerly awaiting a trip to this city that might have a little flavor of the bay area.
we waited to buy our train tickets until the morning of our journey and only standing room was available. i took the news with a bit of discontented muttering, but kate knew of a secret spot at the back of each train car where we could squeeze in and sit on a ledge near the floor! so, we bolted onto the train as soon as it rolled in and secured our special seats!! it wasn't too bad after all!

a view from the outside of busan train station. immediately i could tell the air was different than inland....more ions! sea breezes....mixed with a fair amount of smog of course, but ocean air nonetheless. the hilly terrain with multi-colored homes/buildings felt slightly reminiscent of the bay area....but most of all the coastal air was what graced me with a feeling of home.
we stumbled upon chinatown right outside of the train station and it happened to be a big festival weekend. so, we spent most of the day wandering the streets of, eating, watching performances, basking in the change of scenery.

the gate to chinatown behind us

the sweetest little one...we almost went for a chair massage, but there was a bit too much pounding so we decided to opt out of a possible bruising.this hoop game looked extremely fun, and this kid was rockin'!
a protest about the importation of u.s. beef (mad cow)
some funky signs:

only in korea....bikram!this chicken has a bandaid on his bottom!kenny! at the noraebang (karaoke singing room)!

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