I know it’s been rather a blue two weeks here in Busan, and you have taken the brunt of it readers, but I have finally blown the homesickness away. Quite literally.
On Saturday evening, after a decidedly unusual meal of chicken soup, which arrived complete with chicken carcass in the bowl, to avoid confusion about the contents, I’m sure (but more on that another time), we headed to the Busan Fireworks Festival on Gwangalli beach. Naturally, with the firework display beginning at 9 we rocked up around 7. This was arguably our second mistake of the day, after the chicken soup.
You see, by the time we arrived 80,000 other inhabitants of Busan, some having camped out all day, had also decided to turn out for the show. So, there we were amidst hundreds of others with similar intentions, debating whether to hike to higher ground to gain a better vantage or to face the reality that we should settle for a beach-side spot and learn our lesson for next year. Ultimately we opted for the latter.
Although our spot was less than ideal, the experience was definitely one of the best so far on my sojourn here in Korea. As you can see from the picture, we were right of center for the show, which gave us some giggles during the “Couples” theme segment when the heart-shaped fireworks looks more phallic than perhaps was intended.
I must admit though, that the atmosphere of the crowd was somewhat subdued, especially given that the population of Busan and it’s brother were there. One girl was even so good as to bring her cat to the festivities. How…kind…of her? Far be it from me to deprive a cat of enjoying nearly an hour of load explosions and flashing lights!
The fireworks, as I mentioned earlier, had a number of themed segments, such as Love, Friends, and Couples (obviously, as ‘In a relationship’ is the default setting here). Each segment had its own musical accompaniment fitting to the theme. The music echoed around the whole area as the beach is located in a natural amphitheater (or at least semi-natural). However, it was not only the music which boomed through the air, but also the fireworks. I’m not sure I can adequately explain just how loud the explosions were short of asking you to imagine an invasion of the neo-Luftwaffe. Perhaps that’s just my own naivety in believing the fireworks we see at Halloween could be in any way comparable to professional pyrotechnics.
The show was truly awesome, in every sense of the word and not just the diluted version often used in describing someone’s lunch on Instagram. Seeing the colors light the sky and hearing the boom as each one burst, left me buzzing with excitement, and as the explosions reverberated in my chest, I felt the homesickness of the last few weeks ease. I think the festival was exactly what I needed as it reminded me of one of the reasons I came to Korea: to experience new things and see new sights, and let me tell you this was a new one on me (as was the mass exodus after the show)! Overall, it’s a show not to be missed and next year I shall definitely be front and center, even if it means a day sitting on the beach eating fried chicken!