Going to the Beach

27 Aug

This past weekend we went to the beach!  I think monsoon season has left the peninsula and that means only one thing, no more rain on weekends.  Every time we wanted to go to Busan this summer it has rained.  So when te weekend promised good weather we didn’t really have a choice.  We got lucky as a friend of a friend offered up her apartment to us in Busan.  So early saturday morning we took the oh so great KTX to Busan.  In no time we were at the beach and having a beer at a nice little beach bar called BLowfish at Song Jeong Beach.  We were not in the mood for the chaos of Haeundae Beach and decided on this smaller beach.  I just want to add that I still love Busan!  Most definitely my favorite Korean city!  Anyhow, after lunch we headed for the sand and got a ‘parasol’ and a beach mat.  And that is were I spent my saturday.  Just chilling on the beach.  I was tempted to go swim because it was very very hot in the sun but there was something holding me back.  I know it’s retarded but I  am a little grossed out by Korean waters.  I mean the people spit everywhere on land so heaven knows what they do in the water.  So I ended up taking an extremely cold shower in a container next to the beach for 1000 won at the end of the day.    Even though I didn’t swim I had an awesome time and would go there every weekend if i could.  there’s just something about the sea that does it for me.  And I miss the sea.  I’ve gotten used to living so close to the beach that it’s frustrating to so far away now!

My day at the beach wasn’t completely useless, I made quite a few observations.  As in my previous Busan post I made a few observations of Korean culture.  My day at the beach I learned some new and interesting things about Korean BEACH culture.

Koreans hate the sun.  In fact I think they fear it.  In their culture, as opposed to our own, it’s not sexy to be tanned.  The whiter and lighter the better.  Where we have tan cans they have bleach can’s!  So obviously everybody is under a beach umbrella.  In their quest to stay white they go to the beach fully clothed.  It was like going to the beach in Dubai, Saudi Arabia.  No bikinis!  Also something that I have gathered from my time here in kimchiland is that showing cleavage is a big no-no!  It was very entertaining to see hoards of people in the water fully clothed.

Koreans live in apartments.  Korea was once known as the land of the morning calm but is now known as the land of the high rise building.  Due to their apartment living not many people have access to swimming pools.  Thus many Koreans can’t swim.  So at all the beaches you will find yellow inflatable tubes.  And everybody has one.  Luckily the Korean ocean is very calm which allows for floating around in a tube.

There are also very strict limits in the water.  You are only allowed to go so deep.  If you cross the line the life guard on his jet ski will blow his whistle in your face.  It’s as if the lochness monster has moved to the sea of Japan (the East sea) and lurks behind the ‘safe zone’

Another thing that I found very strange was these loud speakers at the beach with a lady announcing something every now and again.  now this was really annoying since she woke me every time!  I have no idea what she is saying but it must be important since she is doing 4 times every hour!

But the strangest thing of all was when the clock hit 6.30pm the lifeguards went totally crazy and all the Koreans rushed out of the water.  I thought the Lochness monster crossed over into the ‘safe zone’.  But no it didn’t.  No more swimming after 7.  Can you believe it?  I have never witnessed anything like that before.

Then when the sunset everybody got fireworks from the family mart.  And they were shooting them all over the place.  No rules , nothing.  It was a bit strange.  I’ve always been afraid of fireworks and I blame/thank my parents for that.  They instilled images of people whose hands got blown of or even died because of fireworks at a very young age.  So I’m not fond of handling them.  I love looking at fireworks from a distance but I don’t like playing with them!  But here there are absolutely no concern whatsoever for the dangers of fireworks.  Kids handle them.  People fire them in crowds.  It was mayhem.  When one my friends decided to shoot fireworks on the beach I positioned myself at a safe distance!  Absolutely crazy.

Even though Korean beach culture in a millions miles away from our beach culture I had a wonderful day filled with laughs and fun.  I just want to go back there!

Cheers from Kimchiland

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One Response to “Going to the Beach”

  1. Neels de Wit August 28, 2010 at 01:03 #

    Oh my goodness!!!!!

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