Busan Pictures

Sorry they’re a little disorganized…

I’m really kind of behind here, so I thought I’d just get as many up as possible.  I’m gonna be putting up a bunch of pictures from the last few weeks and then have a couple of wordy posts.  Just letting y’all know. 😉

Childhood memories….
Subway Art
Jagalchi Fish Market
Saw no less than three Indian places within 15 meters of each other
Got to see Haeundae Beach while they still have the sand festival!!! Sand castles. Elevated.
On the Pier at another beach.
This beach has a section where there are famous people from around the globe noted in paint on some rocks near the water. Creative concept.

Reflection

I’m halfway through my time here.

Hallelujah.

I feel very guilty to say this, but I have to be honest–Korea isn’t somewhere I really want to live for the rest of my life.

Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophesy. I didn’t say this to anyone, but I was really scared of falling in love with another place I knew I would leave without a return date.

I shouldn’t have worried.  

Starting off, the thing I was looking forward to the most was speaking Korean, and my Korean skills now are worse than they were in the USA.  That’s kind of bad.  Furthermore, Korean culture continues to baffle me, and I can’t say that I’ve grown to appreciate its nuances quite yet. I’ve outgrown my K-pop phase, and now I find the new stuff somewhat annoying. I was also looking forward to commuting on the legendary subway, but it turns out that 9 lines with an average of more than 3 exits per station and multiple transfer points is just too intense.  

The food hasn’t stolen my heart–Korean food comes in three flavors: bland, too salty, and too spicy.  And there’s no range and depth to the spice, either–it’s all the same kind of chili sauce. I consider myself a non-picky eater, but there aren’t a lot of dishes that I’m really going to miss.

I’m also quite pressured these days with filling out ridiculous stacks of bureaucratic paperwork, sending emails back and forth with the home uni for coordinating my last year.  I’m really not sure what’s going on at this point, I’m SUPER TERRIFIED  that something’s going to go wrong, that I’ll miss a step and have to go back to California to finish after I worked WAY TOO HARD to make this happen. Yeah, I’m really lucky to have this opportunity, but it did come with a price tag.  Just saying.   Having this almost constantly on my mind, as well as the whole postgrad planning is incredibly burdensome.

Korea has been frustrating, disappointing, and stressful.  

Still, I know I’m going to miss Korea.  Not due to Korea itself, but because I made friends. I don’t know what’s worse, to be lonely or to have to part ways and know you might not ever meet again. I feel more included here than I ever have anywhere else, I already miss trabajar en conjunto and gotong royong.  

Going to the lantern festival! L-R, Rebecca, Manon, Alberto, Laura, Sandra, me
Rebecca and me
My new roommate, Giona.
Girl Trip to Gyeongju! L-R Wony, me, Brenda
Indonesian bros L-R Darien, Alven, Erickson, Rafi, Fred, Greg, Hansen, Dean

I changed rooms, and I really like my new roommate. She’s super funny and dramatic and I can say exactly what I’m thinking with her.  We talk a lot, and laugh hard and often.  I will miss her a lot.  I really like my computer science professor, too.  He does not endlessly repeat himself. He responds to my emails almost always within 24 hours.  I’ll miss him. I will miss my church here, too.

“Parting with friends is sadness.  A place is only a place.”–Frank Herbert

So, I’ll savor my last couple of months here with these people.  

And very much hope I will meet them again somewhere else!

Muui Island 3

I just realized I never told you about the rest of the pictures from Muui Island. Again, half the fun, or maybe 2/3 of the fun, or even 3/4 of the fun is getting there.  I left the hotel and the airport shuttle dropped me off close to where I could supposedly walk to the island.  Well, I mean, I did, over the road-bridge with a really tight shoulder. I didn’t get hit by any cars or fall into the water, which was nice.  Then I was kind of confused as to how I was getting to the actual island because I hiked up this hill which seemed to be closed to the public, but I saw a car coming out from there, so I went there, but it lead to a construction site.  Eventually, I followed the massive wave of tourists to the ferry boat, I trust you can know which pictures those were, and went to the real island.  From there I walked a very long way to get to the beach, and I saw a lot of the island.  There’s a beach and a hiking trail, and it’s quite nice.  But I took the bus back because I was walking for a really long time.

Once I was on the beach the scenery was good. The water was really shallow for a long time.  It’s kind of hard to describe the ripples in the sand, but you had to go out a little bit before you could really wave jump or anything.  Anyway, I didn’t go in so deep, I only brought one change of clothes.

Then after I saw enough of the beach, I left.

Even though I am glad that no one came with me because the logistics weren’t so smooth, when I actually got to the destination, it really wasn’t that fun on my own. I mean, the coolest thing I saw there was the rocks on the beach. My friends asked me “What is there to see?” I said “Rocks”, and they said, “That’s it?” and I said “Ya”.  Well, I don’t think I did a very good job promoting that destination. 😉

La Vita e Bella

Just finished watching this movie, directed by Roberto Benigni.

(just finished last week-ish….it’s been a busy month) :0

The main storytelling character died.

He actually died.

You know, in a movie, sometimes there’s that scene where the main character should have died, and in the end, he comes out because he got away.

Well.

So there was this one scene where the dad/storyteller/protagonist tries to go save his wife from being gassed in a concentration camp, and he gets caught by a guard, who’s about to shoot him on the spot, then another guard comes and tells him to go somewhere else, and you think he’s getting away, but then, the guards switch places and the main character is led away behind a building, machine guns fire, and only the guard comes back.

So I was waiting and waiting until the end of the movie for the protagonist to re-appear out of nowhere.

And I’m still waiting.

It was really a great movie. Poignant, and not cliche, touching, and not sappy.  Gentle, but not too slow.

This movie was recommended to me by my one of my friends, who is also a serious movie buff. (I think it’s a trend. Movie buffs have easy-going personalities, and are good conversationalists.  Hence, I prefer to spend free time with these people.  Therefore, two things. I am also easy-going (maybe sometimes) and a good conversationalist (thank you, it’s an art).  Secondly, I would say I am a movie buff too, but we all know that that isn’t true.  I can’t even say I’m a book buff, because I have niche preferences in what I read.

Anyway, the answer to the question, “did you watch___” is inevitably no.

So I’m collecting another list of movies that I need to see before next year.  This list includes Inglorious Bastards, the Batman series directed by Christopher Nolan, La La Land, Moonlight, and The Tiger and the Snow.

Now, I have a few questions.  If you watched a movie every day, wouldn’t you get confused eventually, with certain scenes and certain characters that are playing similar roles? I mean, I even sometimes get confused between characters in novels.

I also don’t know how your eyes can hold up to watching a movie every day.

Furthermore, I’m not gonna lie, I prefer active interaction with real people—like, if I have free time, I would rather play sports outside with other people, or go hiking. or play a board game or card game, or cook something. Watching movie on computer by myself is great once in awhile, but not three times a week.