Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ups and Downs

Last weekend was full of 'em. On balance, I'd say the ups have it, but that doesn't make those downs much easier to take when they come around.

It started so well - I left work on Friday totally exhausted, and went to grab a bite at the new kimbap place around the corner. Dinner was quick and delicious, and after dithering about whether to walk home or take the subway, I found a 50,000won note on the ground. Score. I decided karma really wanted me to walk home, and to buy some Cass Red on the way.

But then on Saturday, karma apparently had quite different plans for Lacey and I. Plans that involved trekking all over the place, but failing to complete any errands. The bank was shut (Turns out it is NEVER open outside my working hours. That's smart.), the outdoors shop IN NAMPO-DONG was in the process of moving to a new location, and the hairdresser was already booked up for the afternoon. Just one of those mornings you try to chalk up as 'character-building' while internally wishing your character would just bugger off already.

Thank goodness we managed to get to Dalmaji to see 'As You Like It' in the sunshine. For free! With snacks! And wine! After the play finished, we strolled down the hill to Haeundae beach. What with it being the first weekend that the beach was officially open, and two festivals being held there, there were just a few people dotted about. You know Koreans - they hardly ever congregate in overwhelmingly large numbers. We caught a little bit of the Busan International Dance Festival, which was totally mesmerizing, and decided to come back the next night to see more. Saturday ended happily with a lot of dancing and beer pong in an over-crowded bar on the 14th floor above Haeundae.

In case you thought Saturday morning's trials had earned us some good karma, you would be wrong. Very wrong. After a slow start, we set out to find a 'Korean Natural Food Restaurant'. Having been unable to find opening hours online, the restaurant was of course closed for the afternoon. Undaunted, we booked a table for the evening, and headed to the beach to kill some time in the sun. By the time our reservation time rolled around, we were seated in a cute little room at the restaurant and very hungry for some delicious vegetarian food. Only to find out that you have to book A DAY IN ADVANCE for the vegetarian option. Are you kidding?

Fortune smiled briefly upon us in the form of a vegan buffet restaurant within walking distance. Vegan restaurants always make me feel like I'm in candyland - I can eat everything! Nothing will make me sick! Ever! After the feast, we headed to a bar for a martini and a couple of games of darts. Thinking we still had a couple of hours to go before the dance festival, we took our time getting to Haeundae.

We arrived to find a much larger crowd than Saturday night, and a man spinning on his head on stage. Impressive. The group left the stage, we sat down, and the announcers started wrapping up the evening's events. What. Disappointment was severe. I mean really severe. I mean I didn't even want a beer to ease the pain severe. Bad times.

Thank goodness it was a holiday weekend, and we had Monday to do something fun. I'd read about a small stone temple in Busan, and read that it really isn't very far away, or hard to get to (Lonely Planet advice notwithstanding). Mercifully, our information was good, and the temple was exactly where it should have been, and exactly as impressive as described. And we had makkeolli. I didn't quite believe that our luck had returned, but when we headed to PNU to get some food, we discovered that Maya had re-opened! WOOOOOOOO!

Could this awesome day get any better? Oh yes, yes it could. Because then we walked off all that delicious Indian food on the way to the German brew-pub in Oncheonjang, where we drank delicious beers. That must be enough 'up' for one day right? Oh no, because then we went to spa land to take a delicious bath and enjoy a delicious sit down. I definitely understand the 'sitting around' part of the spa experience better now that I have a smaller apartment: it's for when you don't want to go home, but you do want to be AT home.

After all that, Korea and I are getting along ok again, but I sure wish she'd tone down the drama sometimes.

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