Saturday, October 14, 2006

Busan 2006-10-14

I traveled down on to Busan on the KTX. My ticket is not supposed to include the KTX, so I presume that the other, slower, trains at the time, were suddenly full. :-) The train takes about 3 hours and reached a top speed of 297 km/h. I went onto sports mode to take the photos out of the window. This mode also takes photos in continuous mode, which is good as it is impossible to tell if there will be a pole for the overhead wires in the photo. When taking two photos there is a good chance that one will not have a pole.

In Busan, I was a little worried. I knew there was going to be the international film festival, and had met a few americans who were on the train before mine, at Seoul station, who were going to the festival. I was worried because I had not booked ahead. It turned out not to be a problem. At Busan I walked straight out of the station, into the place I planned on staying and got a room right away. It is a simple and acceptable hotel room.

I then wandered china town, or shanghai street, as they called it. It was a little disappointing. They said to come back in the evening. But I made Saturday my rest day, watched a chinese movie on TV with Korean subtitles. It was an imperial era movie about some people with supernatural powers. It was quite good, though somewhat silly and humorous.

I was still exhausted from yesterday's mountain climbing experience and spent the rest of the evening in my hotel room. Outside, in the train station, they had a stage set up and for the evening I listened to a very good DJ and live band play what I will call Korean Rock Pop on the grounds that I have no idea what to call it. I do not think it was K-pop. (kind of like j-pop but with a k).

Busan is a surprise. English is actually much more common here and in many ways it is much more an international city. When the signs are not in Korean and English they are often in Japanese. There are less chinese signs here, though I did come across a sign not 100 meters from where I was staying that was only in Russian. There is a little Russian around. The city has a hard edge to it that was not evident in Seoul.

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