A week or so ago a friend teased Samantha about eating delicious pierogies in this area of Busan, so we went off in search of the restaurant that would give us 감자 만두 (kamja mandoo, or potato dumplings). Samantha was on a serious mission, here. We had some trouble locating it off of the directions from the Daegu friend who was trying to help us, so we asked some friendly Russian gentlemen if they spoke English or Korean so we could find pierogies (if only Shelly or Jane or even Se Jin whose Russian is about like my Korean had been there...). One of them spoke English ok, but he couldn't understand our butchered pronunciation of pierogies until I said it 5 or 6 different ways and hit on one that he understood. Then he sent us off in some direction...
After our adventures downtown, we hopped the subway out to Haeundae beach. I enjoyed the practice reading/listening to travel related Korean that I just studied last week on the long subway ride. However, I did not enjoy the creepy man obsessed with my hair I was terrified might follow us all day so I told him I didn't know where we were going. But we made it down to the beach with little incident and the need for only one cup of hot cocoa at Dunkin Donuts after the journey.
The weather was actually quite lovely (albeit a little cold) for a beach day--in the middle of December.
Anyhow, our real mission was the Busan Aquarium, which is an almost entirely underground facility. It was quite impressive, and this is from a girl growing up spoiled by the incredible wonders of the Baltimore Aquarium. I did appreciate the ability to take pictures inside, even if the lighting made conditions less than favorable. However, it was still very Korean fashion--meaning that most of the displays were more cutesy and cheesy than natural. Oh well.
There was also a tank of (I kid you not) Jackass Penguins and a shark so malformed Samantha and I nicknamed him Gimpy you can see in my full album, as advertised on yesterday's blog.
Finally, we emerged from the underwater paradise and the sun was setting, but since Rebecca had gone off to find her friend and take her through the aquarium I was bound and determined to find the mermaid of Busan I remembered from reading Jane's adventure in Busan. We did find her and travelled on the sketchy rock stairs to take pictures.
Being near water is very relaxing. I think I need to live near a beach someday. I miss sailing.
Later, we rejoined Rebecca and her friend Shelia and ate dinner at an overpriced Turkish restaurant before hopping a train home. It was a fantastic day and has me thinking a lot about what I want to do if I stay in Korea for a second year. I really like my life here, but I need to evaluate what I would want out of a second year if I did it. I will probably get all reflective about this later this week/month/whatever. For now, I must prepare for teaching and stop listening to Timbaland.