Saturday, February 15, 2014

Jagalchi Market in Busan

Week one of soccer is in the books. Nine weeks left...not that I'm counting, or anything! It actually went better than I expected. I managed to get to the mall (with my wallet this time) to pick up some pants one day. Eric took the kids to Costco one night (with the school, so we didn't have to deal with it over the weekend). I even came home to a clean house and flowers for Valentine's day on Friday night. I'm keeping up with school work (barely), and we're somewhat healthy.

Cade had a big week this week. He got to celebrate his birthday at school, which consisted of us paying $100 (with about 2 days warning) and him coming home with loads of presents. Apparently, we have to pay for the pizza, chicken, and cake that school provides. With five kids celebrating their birthdays this month, they must have ordered a whole lot of pizza!

There is a significant lack of communication with his preschool, and I can only assume that it's typical of Korean schools. This month, they increased tuition by 20% (we got a 3 weeks notice this time), and they only communicate days off a month at a time. We literally do not have a school year calendar. I knew there was a good chance they may have a few days off this month because it is the change in school year for the Korean school system. I asked his teacher (we communicate through a written journal) about the days in January, so that I could plan, and she said she didn't know! How can you not know what days you have off the next month?! Thankfully, I received the calendar at the beginning of the month and the days off are at the end, but every month I'm worried that he'll have days off in the first week of the month, and I'll have no notice!

It was also a big week for him because we picked up his Kindergarten application for next year. It won't be long before he's going in for the interview, catching up on immunizations, and going to open house. It's hard to believe that we'll all be on the same campus next year!

These pictures are from the Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan. After our three hour bullet train ride, we'd arrived in yet another Korean city. Busan's population is 3.5 million, so this isn't like visiting a small coastal town. We'd arrived smack dab in the middle of the city (by the time we switched from the KoRail system to the subway system, anyway).

We did very little in the way of planning before we took this trip. We booked train tickets and then a hotel in an area that I thought was central(ish) to what we might want to see. In the train station we were able to pick up a map in English and I got the directions to our hotel on the train ride. Eric likes to find his home base wherever we go, so after picking up a bagel to split four ways in the train station, we headed toward the hotel.

We were able to find the hotel without much trouble, and we were even able to check in an hour early, which was nice. We'd only brought small backpacks, but Kennedy had one, too, and we didn't really need to carry our clothes all over the city. As it turned out, there was a reason we were able to check in early. The Phoenix Hotel is not one that I would recommend.

It was fine. It served the purpose. Had beds and bathrooms, a table and chairs. Glasses were provided, though they weren't clean. No one showered, even though we stayed two nights, because as Kennedy described it, the bathroom "was disappointing in every way." Yes, that's verbatim. I wrote it down because I laughed so hard when she said. It kind of became our mantra for the trip; that and "Well-made for our work and life balance with Indian." We have no idea what that means, but one of the stores here advertises it, and it was hilarious to us.

Phoenix Hotel is conveniently located near BIFF Square (Busan International Film Festival) and Jagalchi Market. So, after dropping our things and taking our hotel keys, which by the way are still actual keys and attached to ridiculously large keychains so that you don't lose them, we headed out to try to find some lunch.

We found every kind of seafood known to man, prepared in many different Korean forms (or still alive, in most cases). Travis enjoyed showing the ajummas pictures of him with King crab that he caught himself that were much larger than the ones they have in these cases. They tried really hard to get us to eat in their little "restaurants". You basically pick out your live seafood and then come back in twenty minutes after they've cleaned and prepared it and have your lunch.

Eric and the kids weren't having it, though. We ended up eating the worst fast food I've ever had at a Lotteria (Korea's version of McDonald's) while Trav had street food. Then, we were off on our next adventure.

This only brings us to lunch, folks, which means I'm going to be killing my average for getting through his trip. But, this post is already picture heavy, and I'm blogging when I should be scrubbing my bathroom floors and walls, grading and entering papers, responding to student emails that I've avoiding, and a million other things. I'm too tired for all that, though. Maybe I'll just go to bed.

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