Sunday, April 26, 2009

The peculiarity of this trip in tailoring itself to my eccentrities amazes me. On my second day in Busan, I ran a 1:35 half marathon that injured both my back and my pride, wrote sad poetry in my head at spectacular Gwanganli Beach, admired the massive Gwanganli Bridge and impressed an old woman with my Korean. I even won a travel gym (jump rope, resistance band, wrist weights?) and a tea towel for finishing in the top 30 at the race. Then I got back to my hostel and met an Iraqi-born Swede. Like Simon, I didn't think much of Busan when I first got here, but it redeemed itself well with its natural beauty, seaside charm and easygoing disposition. It makes a very nice counterpart to the megalopolis of Seoul. I was certainly wrong to think that every other city in Korea was simply a smaller, duller version of Seoul.

Suspension bridges, making friends with old people in foreign languages, running and tapping into the international fraternity of brown guys. Tune in next week for another set of anecdotes from Tokyo. In the meantime, come over to my apartment for tea and ask about my new tea towel.

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