On the morning, at the beginning, of my very first class here in Korea I asked my students..you spell the name of this city Busan or Pusan? "Sometimes its Busan, sometimes its Pusan." "Well, couldn't someone just decide?
" "Well, yes, that would make sense..one has made such a decision."I find myself in a place which is wholly interesting, and downright confusing.
BPusan is a coastal city on the southern coast of South Korea.
Its the second largest city in the country with, um, about 3 or 4 million depending on who you talk to.
I choose to come here because, well, I had already lived in a massive asian city, and I wanted something a bit more down to earth.
The photos of the beaches and cool looking mountains were appealing.
I expected something like the asian version of Vancouver.
This was kind of a strange expectation, as this place isnt really comparable to anything.
Ive been happy enough here, my new job is going well, the other teachers at the school are pleasant enough (although all american), my new apartment is huge by asian standards and only a 5 minute walk away from the school.
However, my initial dissapointment in this place on the whole lies in my constant comparasons between here and Japan.
Japan had a weird kind of magic, it was something in the place, the people, the history..girls... Hard working people, busses which are not on time, dirty streets, fruit vendors from the countryside selling on the sidewalk, ugly ugly buildings everywhere...
I dont know, but whenever I went out of my house in Japan I felt like I was part of some huge futuristic utopia. As far as I can tell, Korea is smack dab in the middle of Japan and China, and its culture seems smack dab in the middle of these two giants as well.