Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Busan South Korea: Depending Upon the Kindness of Strangers

Here's how to break up the monotony of staying in hotels, and ease the challenges of navigating a strange new city, while having more in-depth conversations with the locals: take a note from Blanche DuBois and depend upon the kindness of strangers, visiting people in their homes! We decided that we would try to stay with some families while in Busan South Korea, since there were a large number of Servas members willing to host families. We also had no idea of how we wanted to spend our time in Busan since we didn't know what the sights were, so it seemed to be not only a good time, but a good city, to ask the locals show us the sights. We stayed with three different families and had three very unique experiences of Busan Korea.

Highlights of Busan:
* Kim Joong-Young and his family taking us to a restaurant featuring samgyeopsal ( a bacon-type pork grilled at the table with garlic, mushrooms and sprouts and eaten inside large lettuce leaves)

* Climbing 250 steps to the Busan Tower where we got a 360 degree view of the city and harbor at night
* Seeing foot-long prawns, fresh caught eels and Korean delicacies sold by vendors on the streets
* Making kim bap (Korean sushi) with Kim Kyoung-Ja
* Walking along Haeundae beach collecting beach glass and beautiful shells
* Dylan and Cherry Kim playing piano and making friends.

* Enjoying an outdoor picnic with Roh D-Young and his wife Mira and son Jake and getting to cook samgyeopsal while sitting on a huge rock

* Dyeing a Travel Rat flag and seeing rice growing up close at a cultural museum
* Making homemade kimchi!

We had a fun time in Busan, participating in the lives of residents of three different areas of the city. We're so glad that we had the opportunity to meet everyone and are indebted to them for their hospitality and generosity.

Although we had heard that there was a hurricane in the USA, we only realized the full impact of the damage that Hurricane Katrina wrought while watching CNN Asia in Busan. All of our hosts were concerned that we had family or friends in the area, and wanted to know if they were okay. Although the US seems so far away in distance and time, we share their worry about the conditions in the New Orleans area and hope that more relief resources are mobilized for a speedy recovery and a long-term fix for the poverty and threat of flood in the southeast.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 05, 2005 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, Loey and Dylan,
It is excellent to read your trip adventures. and you said it all when you said it is the people whom you meet make the whole world of difference when you visit other places and cultures. You are so right. When I came to US first time some years ago, it is the people who made a HUGE difference. It was not the Manhattan I remember but it is the people who took me to Manhattan who made a difference in what I saw.

We will be heading to India in Nov and we will keep you in our thoughts. Well, you all have a wonderful time.

Richa and Manoj.

September 06, 2005 11:27 AM  

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