Fireworks and mayhem!

Saturday was the grand finale of the Busan International Fireworks Festival.  I adore fireworks so a few friends and I headed to Busan to watch.

It wasn’t a very nice day but it cleared up long enough for us to put our toes in the sea.  Imagine going in the sea when it’s almost November??  I wouldn’t have wanted to go swimming but it was lovely for beach combing.  I can never seem to leave a beach without my pockets full of shells, stones and bits of pretty coloured glass. 🙂

We had a quick Korean-style snack of chocolate toast before wandering along the beach…

… and then it was time for lunch! 😀  Just call me Carrie the travelling stomach!

Lunch was a highly recommended Mexican restaurant called Hello Kimchi.  The name didn’t make sense to us either.  The food was marvellous though, as were the powerful margaritas!

My Mexican-Korean enchilada with SPICY rice and dressing-less salad.

We had planned to go to the spa while waiting for the fireworks but somehow between snacks, lunch and the beach, we ran out of time. 😀

We boarded the subway and headed towards the beach where the fireworks festival was being held.  We weren’t entirely sure which stop to get off at but hoped there would be signs.  We needn’t have worried.  There were so many people, the military had been called in to help the police with crowd control.

We had to line up to get off the subway, then line up to go up the stairs, then line up to go out through the turnstiles, then line up to go up the stairs to get out of the subway station.  Craziness!

By the time we got out of the subway station, not only had the fireworks started but it had begun to rain.  There are times when being a giant in a land of short people has its advantages.  For example, even though the subway was jam-packed, I had about half a foot of breathing space all to myself.

Rainy days however, are not good days to be tall.  Everyone carries their umbrellas at the level of my eyeballs.  There were so many people however, I didn’t need to see.  I simply closed my eyes and let the crowd pull me along.  I suspect I could have lifted my feet off the ground and been carried to the festival by the press of the crowd.  As it is, I have a huge gash in my right hand from an over-eager umbrella wielder.

I was impressed that the fireworks progressed in spite of the rain.  They were sent up from barges in the bay and from the large suspension bridge that spans the bay.  They were not the best fireworks I have ever seen but they were pretty good.  And the way the bridge was incorporated into the show was neat.

Some smart vendor made a killing selling plastic rain coats!

So many people!!!  I usually forget that Korea is a wee little country with a population of around 50 million but I think half the country showed up for the fireworks!

After the show was over, we hung around for a little bit, hoping the crowds would clear somewhat before we attempted to take the subway.  I stopped to take a picture of the bridge (looking so pretty in purple lights!) when I noticed an interesting cultural difference.  See the garbage?  Why did no one take it home with them?

There was garbage everywhere.  Picnic mats, Styrofoam coolers, pop bottles etc.  If you you brought it with you, why wouldn’t you take it back home once you were done? Why would people leave it all on the beach?  And who was going to pick it up?

My friends and I eventually made it back to the train station in time for a quick dinner before our train left.  We had lovely hot fish soup and Korean-style omelets.  Everything was going along swimmingly until Norah found an eyeball in the soup.

Further investigations revealed a complete jawbone, teeth and all.  Fabulous soup though, in spite of the biology lesson!

The omelet was spectacular.

The train ride home was another reminder of just how many people there are in Korea.  It was standing room only and people were packed in like sardines.  Thankfully we bought our return tickets ahead of time so we had seats.

With our seats however came another cultural lesson.  Apparently I had paid for the use of the seat but not the arm rest.  An amorous young couple sat on my arm rest and sucked lemon Halls and each other the entire way home.  Good thing I like the smell of lemons!  I considered protesting but when I looked around the train, almost everyone’s arm rests had been claimed by other people.  I guess that’s how you ride the train Korean-style! 😀

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About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
This entry was posted in Busan, Education, fireworks, Korea, Travel, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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