Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mum on Tour

I hadn't seen my mum for 9 days straight since I left home when I was 18 to go to university, so wanted to make the most of the time we had together in Busan. As soon as my mum had her flights booked I started to make lots of plans and lists. Lists of things she had to see, places that she had to visit and all the food she had to try. I wanted her to see all the best bits of Busan and skip over the rubbishy bits that you experience when you're on your own in a new place and trying to figure things out for the first time. 

It's also really easy to forget how daunting the different alphabet and how alien everyday things can be when you first get here and I was worried that she wouldn't be able to get around as easily when I had to be at work.

But everyday when I met her and Julie after work they'd have a tale of an adventure they'd had that day, of a Korean that had made them laugh or pointed them in the right direction, which made them feel like things weren't so scary after all and helped them to have the amazing trip that they did.

They managed to explore Nampo and its markets, the tower, the cat cafe, Jagalchi fish market, Haeundae beach, Songdo beach, Seokbolsa temple, Yonggungsa water temple and Jeju Island. We also tried BBQ, hotteok, pajeon, mackerel, mandu, bibimbap and the amazing cakes that the Pink Elephant Cafe has to offer...

A lot of the time we get stared at in the street, or people looking us up and down in the subway, old ladies pushing in front of us in queues and taxi drivers turning their lights off at the sight of a foreigner, but with my mum being here it's also proved to me how friendly and helpful they can be too. My co teachers were lovely and bought my mum gifts, the kids were so curious about them, the principal was desperate to take them out for meals and I managed to have the best conversation with an ajumma on a bus in Jeju as she was so interested in who we were. It reminded me that despite the handful of people that aren't happy to see us over in Korea, the majority are so welcoming that it's part of what makes this little country such a good place to live.

Trying BBQ for the first time.

In the park below Busan tower.
Street art in KSU
The ugliest cat in the cafe, despite the collar.
Julie, Mum and I at the cafe.
Trying Makeolli for the first time.
Cheese Kimchi-jeon deliciousness.
On the path to Seokbolsa temple. 

On the floor, I couldn't resist taking a picture. 












Bird cafe in the botanical gardens


Carvings in the cactai in Jeju.
Stone Grandfather. 
Amazing Bonsai tree in the botanical garden.