An Island Adventure!

We needn't have brought a camp stove, we could have cooked on my feet!!

We needn’t have brought a camp stove, we could have cooked on my feet!!

For Jesus’ birthday we all get gifts and eat altogether too much food. Similarly, last weekend for Buddha’s birthday J and I did a considerable amount of eating. We also got the gifts of wonderful memories, new experiences, and horrific sunburn.

We began our adventure like all the greats: at mental o’clock on Saturday morning. It seems that this crazy hour is the time for all of the activity as we buzzed about throwing our supplies into the bags and then banging out the door, laden with everything one might want on a camping trip. Bar my sleeping bag which remained on top of my wardrobe. An unfortunate oversight on my part, but I’ll blame the early hour for this one.

So we bungled ourselves onto the subway (line 1 to Hadan), and grabbed a bus to the famous Geoje Island. In typical fashion, both Jamie and myself had looked at different sets of directions as to how to find the right place to catch our last bus to the beach. This resulted in a panicked leap from the bus in Okpo and an over-long sojourn at a forlorn bus stop waiting for a bus that would never come. Needless to say we looked like something Keats could dream up, alone and palely loitering.

Eventually, having given up all hope, we descended the hill into the town proper and searched the internet for the correct set of directions. It’s a shame there isn’t some kind of internet connection available on you mobile phone when WiFi is not available, that would be very handy. So, we finally managed to find our bus stop (after climbing a hill that felt like some kind of paved Everest if I’m honest, but that may have been the tiredness) and make it to Gojura Beach.

Emmet on the Beach

Worth it!

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The Hips, Hops, and Haps of Hong Kong

The Quiet on This Eastern Front

Well well well, it seems I’ve finally gotten back to this blog after two months of seemingly having forgotten its existence. However, I promise I have a good reason, in fact I have many good reasons. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Firstly, I’ve begun applying for university courses… well preparing my applications for university courses as I won’t be starting until at least September 2016. This process has involved quite a lot of back and forth with good universities, great web resources, and even better friends.

Now, I know that this excuse isn’t great because I was basically already at my computer and a blog post is barely three clicks away, but on top of all of this, I was also packing up to leave the “Love House“. The stress of packing was much greater than I anticipated as it’s hard to pack what you might use into boxes to be undisturbed for a month or more. Added to this the fact that I had to come to terms with leaving my school, which felt more like home than work, was difficult. Even if I had made the decision months beforehand.

Finally, J and I went to Hong Kong as a birthday celebration, as you may have seen on my Instagram in the sidebar. I truly promise to steal Jamie’s pictures and post them here for your enjoyment once he has finished uploading them, I know you are dying to see what typical tourists do in HK. I’ll just say that it involved a whole lot of Disneyland, Dim Sum, and dothering about worrying which subway to catch!

PS Yes, the cover image isn’t of great quality and no it’s not just a bad filter, the pollution is just that bad in the city at 4PM!

The Weekend on Wednesday

Halfway there folks, it’s finally Wednesday! Although, that said, it’s also already Wednesday and it’s taken me until now to get myself in gear to post the pictures from last weekend’s adventure.

Having had a lazy Saturday going to the “pictures”, as they say in dear old Ireland, to see Gone Girl, we decided to use Sunday to visit the Children’s park for the first time, as we mistook the Citizen’s park for it last time (here’s the scoop on that).

Front Gate

“Reports show Rubik’s Cubes, Hello Kitty, Pooh Bear and Disney are among the best-selling toys. Which should we use in the statue ma’am?” “Yes!”

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Scene Unseen: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Thailand!

First off, apologies for the somewhat prolonged silence on my blog, I’ve been having too much fun (and not enough sleep) to keep up lately, but I promise I will try harder in future. I know how much the world needs one more travel blog!

What I have been doing with my time is exploring more of Korea than I thought existed, and so I’ll enlighten you by sharing my experience of the Korea we don’t usually get to see.

Come on get to the point Emmet, I ain’t got all day! Ok, ok, reader here it is: Bijindo Island Korea:

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Seoul Day 1: Stress and the City

It may have taken me just over four months, but I’ve finally done it, I have visited Seoul for longer than the minimum amount of time required to get from one airport to the other. I’m going to file this success away with other small triumphs, like never having worn odd socks while living here (that however is another story). Visiting Seoul has been one of those things that just kept getting put on the back-burner, sometimes it was too expensive, other times it was just inconvenient, but this time I was hell-bent on getting there and so J had no choice but to accompany or be left behind like a Busan bumpkin.

Busan to Seoul bus tickets

Thanks to my co-workers getting bus tickets to Seoul was less of a hassle

It was thus that we rose bright and early on Saturday morning and leapt onto the bus bound for the capital of the Neon Republic. I may have been ever so slightly naive about just how long 4 and a half hours on a bus could be and so I did burn off most of my excitement in the first two hours and ended up mired in enthusiastic, yet sleepy limbo for the remainder of the journey. Luckily for me though, the rest stop about an hour before our destination put the spring back in my step and I was once again ready for our trip to the big smoke.

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Culture Shot: Mind-Boggling Menus

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I am still in the process of learning to read and speak Korean, albeit a process more akin to glacial migration than serious language acquisition, but I’m a busy man. I mean those jelly beans don’t eat themselves! I digress, however, and return to today’s theme: reading menus.

Usually, when I am in a restaurant I can pick out what is tasty based on the picture which is conveniently located next to each menu item. What happens when those pictures aren’t there and the menu is not provided with convenient English subtitles? Well, let me tell you now.

What does this even MEAN???? I think it says “Go to McDonald’s”

Guesswork. Lots and lots of guesswork
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Urban Exploring: Gayaland Adventure.

First and foremost, apologies for the long delay in getting this post out there. I’ve had a busy week and a half what with catching up on my sleep and Gaelic tournaments, but more on that later!

I’ve mentioned before how, as a waygook (foreigner), you get some leeway with rules, regulations and the bounds of society in general. In order to take advantage of this a group of us decided to explore an abandoned amusement park in the neighboring city of Gimhae.

Getting a taxi to drop us at the entrance prooved easier than we expected as we had anticipated having to make up some nonsense place we were actually visiting that was definitely not an abandoned amusement park.

However, never baffled by the strange requests of a waygook, the driver obliged and left us right at the gate. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Gayaland.

Pretty sure it was us and the Griswolds at the gates for this one.

As you can see there’s still quite a lot of the park standing, if looking a touch run down. What better enticement to trespass and explore (finally I understand the line in the ‘Our Father’, I, at last, have trespasses to be forgiven). As we looked at the entrance we began to wonder if there was a back way we had to sneak in, as going through the gates seemed too bold, even for seasoned explorers such as ourselves.

After a quick reconnaissance mission to scope out entry-ways we notices two things: 1. It’s main entrance or no entrance and 2. There were workmen on the site next-door. It was only then that I thought about any repercussions being found in Gayaland might have seeing as I am a guest in this wonderful country. What if the workmen called the police? And hell we don’t have two trailer park girls to go round the outside to find us another way in.

However, given the lack of interest the workmen showed in the group of 8 foreigners hanging out by the turnstiles, we decided to brave the passage beyond the gates. Did anyone hear them calling us back? No? We’re in!

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