Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I really enjoyed Busan last week while I was there for 2 nights. It was a port city, which meant it had a beach and beach culture, but it wasn:t as busy (hectic) as Seoul is for me because I don:t have any relatives there, but there:s still enough going on that finding something to do is very easy. There:s a nice subway system there. Not as comprehensive as the one in Seoul, but close.

There are really good sushi places, and other seafood restaurants.

On the first evening I got there, I felt like finding people to talk to, so I walked into a bar nearby that I had passed earlier called Hollywood Star. If you know me, I don:t normally like to seek out foreigner traps for entertainment or for dining, but in Korea if you want to get a drink alone, a western place is the only type that is comfortable, because they usually have a big bar where you can sit down and order a beer, just like in the states. The other drink houses are all based around groups of 2 or more. That:s the Korean way. If you drink alone as a Korean there might just be something wrong with you.

Hollywood Star reminded me a bit of Hard Rock Cafe, with picture frames and posters hanging everywhere of all kinds of American culture memorabilia. In the middle of the rectangular bar there was even a raised up motorcycle that was safely chained to the ceiling and to the walls. The owner spoke a little bit of English but since this was still Korea, I still talked to the staff in Korean, since my Korean is better than their English. I found out from talking to them, that the bar was owned by the same owner as a chain called "Thursday Party" and there were 6 of them in the Busan area. There were 2 right on the beach nearby, so I left that bar and headed to Thursday Party.

When I got to Thursday Party, I loved it big time because there were lots of Korean people and English speakers. It was really awesome to be able to understand everyone, and it was very amusing to watch people who can:t communicate very clearly because of language barriers try to interact and socialize with eachother.

Several times I was tempted to jump into the middle of a conversation and translate between 2 people who were not getting eachother, but I held myself back, just enjoying it. Not in a sadistic kind of way, more like watching a game of sport. I smiled to myself, and thought how wonderful it would be to be a professional linguist and know like 8 major languages. You would be a powerhouse.

I was sitting at the bar, a caucasian guy came up next to me to order a drink, I asked him how things are going. He asked me if I was Korean American, I said yes. I told him I was traveling. He invited me over to his group of friends which turned out to be another white guy and like 4 korean girls, which were their girlfriends and their friends.

I would talk in English if I wanted everyone to understand. If the Korean girls asked me a question in Korean, I would respond in Korean though. I wanted to take pictures but my camera had run out of battery, so unfortunately, no momentos of that night in my dica (this is what Seonwoo called her digital camera. It:s a korean shortname)

I hung out with them until about 1am when they asked me if I wanted to go dancing, so I went with them to some other part of Busan nearby. Instead of going in though, we ended up hanging out and drinking in front of the Family Mart until about 5am when they took me back to my motel. It looked really ghetto but since I:d never done it before it was fun and funny. I don:t think I:d feel comfortable doing it again.


Blogger Ben said...

Jim you should change your blog name to "Jimmy Eats World". Think that is much more catchier and it happens to be a good band. Sorry that I missed your call last week again, I was in SF the entire week. So when will you have access to your Blackberry again? I thought you could buy SIM card in Asia.

September 25, 2008 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Jimmy eats world is a good band but it:s a little too cliche. I also feel weird naming my blog after a band. haha

My bb doesn:t work in Korea and Japan because of it:s frequency abilities. I could buy a sim card but the phone doesn:t do 3g so it wouldn:t work anyway. It will work again when I get to China.

September 25, 2008 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

How about Jimmy does the world? Like Debbie does Dallas...haha. I bet you are excited to see China. Will you be in HK at all?

September 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Morgan said...

Drinking in front of the family mart is a common thing for young ppl to do in Japan and probably Korea too...cos it's super cheap and you can just hang out and meet ppl...

September 27, 2008 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Ben, I really think I will like China better than Japan so far. HK is where I:m flying into first. I:m going to head over to Macao real fast to do the 233m bungee jump as well before I move on to Shanghai. I heard there:s some kind of laser show you can see over HK from Macao as well. Do you know about that?

September 29, 2008 at 3:35 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Morgan, I really had fun with it. It did feel ghetto but nobody seemed to care. They:ve probably done it lots of times. There were actually tables out in front set up for people to do exactly that sort of thing, so I think you:re definitely right.

September 29, 2008 at 3:36 AM  

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