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.
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.
Luckily my random photo-snapping resulted in some nice shots!
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!