Bukgu and Beyond

Katie in italics
David in normal

Ok so we’re going to start with descriptions of our new apartments and the area we’ll be living in for the next year.  We are both in an area of Pbusan* called Buk-gu, which is a fair distance from the coast and its beaches but it is very built up and we’re both near a subway – the underground train network, not the popular sandwich shop that has the most restaurants in the World!

*I will refer to Busan / Pusan as Pbusan from now on because the spelling officially changed a few years ago from Pusan to Busan. However we think when the locals say the name it sounds more like a P than a B – but it definitely lies somewhere between the two hence Pbusan.

Moving on from those semantics and into my new apartment / closet, you really start to get a taste of what Korea is about. The flat is very modern with a musical washing machine that plays a congratulatory tune when it is finished, and a front door with no key and instead requires you to type a code into an electronic keypad. Very unnecessary and the door doesn’t open if the batteries die in the keypad / the circuit malfunctions – fire hazard anyone?? The best thing about the apartment is that when I’m really missing the taste of something Western and when I decide to come out of the closet / apartment, I only have to walk for 2 minute and there is a 24 hour McDonald’s – the fast food outlet that has the second most restaurants in the World, not the underground train network!

My apartment is significantly bigger than Dave’s, but at the same time, quite a lot older. This means that, while I have much more space to hang clothes up to dry, I am yet to figure out how exactly my ancient washing machine works. It also means that, although I have 2 gas burners to cook on (rather than Dave’s 1 electric), and a dining table with chairs for us to eat at, the place is so drafty and cold at the moment that Dave refuses to spend more than an hour there and thus we are yet to eat a meal at mine. My shower is also pants with the weakest stream imaginable so I’ve taken to washing my hair at Dave’s. All in all, it could be a lot worse but for now it looks like Dave’s is the place to spend the winter months but come summer, when his tin can flat becomes unbearably hot, mine will be the perfect summer get-away. It’s also just a 10 minute walk from a really busy shopping area with a very cool traditional market and lots of places to eat and drink. So location wise I’m very happy and my school has been kind enough to buy me bedding, kitchenware, a kettle and toaster. I donated the toaster to Dave, since he can’t live without toast and eggs in the morning and his flat only had a toaster oven, which takes ages. This also means that his flat looks a tad more manly – I’ve included a picture of the aforementioned toaster oven and I think you’ll understand this last comment when you see it. And it goes very well in my flat, with my hot pink, bear covered, velour bedding... 
View from my front door

Kitchen Area

Bedroom Area - Note the hot pink bedding

Dave's toaster oven goes better with my bedding than with his floral wallpaper
 If you know me well, you will know that I hate not knowing where I’m going and that I hate paying for mistakes... Well, in Korea, both situations are in abundance. My first mistake came on my first day. I was getting the subway to my school (Mora Middle school) and I decided to get off at Mora subway station (I had been told the station to get off at but the paper I wrote it on had been “Borrowed” by Ian Holm). I got out and I knew it was a 10 minute walk from the station so used my woman’s intuition, picked a direction and happened to pass a Domino’s Pizza on the way (no lie). This is when I realised I had made a mistake because I would’ve noticed a Domino’s Pizza on my practice run since I’m drawn to it like a paedo is to priesthood. So I admitted defeat and ended up getting a taxi to the school (£3), which is a challenge in itself when you can only say 5 words in Korean but he was very helpful and drove me fairly directly (how the HELL would I know!?) to school. The next mistake came that night due to not knowing when the last train was – I was stranded at a station, 2 stops from mine – what would I do? Well instead of paying a couple of quid for a taxi, I drunkenly walked home... and I made it... and I didn’t get take away food. My drunken navigation skills are fly and my drunken money restraint is tight!

The third mistake was the biggest. It involved several moments of stupidity and I guess, unlike Tarantino, I’ll start at the beginning by saying I was coming home from work and was waiting for the bus. I noticed another teacher from my school and thought I could practice my Korean – now up to over 10 words! I said hello and then said in Korean which bus I was getting – the 169. Impressed? You should be! I then saw a bus coming and he said, “169 dash 1”. The bus was 169-1 not 169. I smiled and said, in Korean, “169 tashe 1”. I had learnt that dash was tashe and had remembered it cos it’s simples.

I proceeded to get on the bus thoroughly pleased with myself that I had explained the bus number in Korean. It dawned on me when I was going high up a mountain I had never seen before that perhaps the 169-1 bus was different to the 169 bus. 2 stops after the dawning, I got off. The teacher at my school had been trying to warn me in the little English he spoke but the stupid foreigner did not heed his warning. I am not looking forward to waiting for the bus with him and his judgemental eyes next time. So the bus stop in the opposite direction was opposite the stop I got off at and I didn’t  wanna look like an absolute penis to the people staring at the white man so thought I would walk to the next bus stop. I realised that perhaps they might recognise me anyway, what with me being one of the 7 white people they had ever seen in the flesh, so I hailed a taxi. This £2 fair took me to the nearest subway (which I said in Korean – still impressed?) and I navigated my way home from there. I walked through my door and craved for a lie down (I had taught 4 lessons that day and written 2 lesson plans and had spent enough time on facebook that I felt like Mark Zuckerburg’s bitch). But first I had to take off my dapper suit and while picking it up, knocked and smashed one of my three glasses into pieces. That’s another 50p down the drain...but who’s counting? (£5.50). I cleared up the glass and decided it would be okay to throw the tiny pieces down the toilet, spilling only a small bit on my tiny shower room floor :s. A smashed glass in a tiny apartment is like a fart in a lift – you can’t get away from it... and it may sting. Coincidentally as my room is so small; you can’t get away from a fart either (as Katie knows well). In fact when I have an erection, I can’t turn around... so either I have a small flat or I have a large c...apacity to lie.

So now I’m waiting to cut my foot on the floor so I can spend another £1 on plasters and continue to pay for my mistakes. But hey ho, the good news is that instead of being angered by all these mistakes, which are NOT MY FAULT by the way, I have actually laughed it all off.

So now I’ve become one of those laughing morons happy to bundle their way through life spending money, like it’s going out of fashion cos of their own stupidity, but with a big toothy grin and an empty wallet. Oh well, at least I’m not one of those morons dragging out their boring stories into lines and lines of waffle to be read by no-one....

I haven’t gotten lost once yet.

Busan Dongbu and Central Nopo-Dong Bus Terminal Schedule

There are 2 stations at Nopo-Dong: Dongbu and Central.
Both stations are located at Busan Nopo-dong Bus Terminal, which is at Nopo-dong Subway Station at the northern end of Line 1 (Orange Line)
NOTE: Most metropolitan cities have more than one express bus terminal - Bukbu (North), Nambu (South), Dongbu (East), and Seobu (West)


Official Links
Dongbu (Korean)
http://dbterminal.co.kr/sub_main.php?m_idx=about

Central (Korean)
http://www.bxt.co.kr/sc.html

English Schedule Search
http://visitkorea.or.kr/ena/TR/TR_EN_5_1_3_1_2.jsp

English Schedule for Both Stations - Major Routes Only
(Alphabetical Order - Please confirm with Official Korean Website as departure times / prices are likely to change due to Dynamic Korea)
Special fares are marked with ( )

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► ANDONG Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W13,700
07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:10 12:20 13:20 14:20 15:40 16:50 18:00 19:30
Duration: 3 hours

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► DAEGU East Express Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the entrance to Gayasan National Park (via Haeinsa).
Fare: W8,400 / (W5,800)
(06:25) 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:40 10:20 ◄ Every 30-40 minutes ► 17:40 18:20 (19:00) 19:40 (20:20) 21:00 (21:30) 22:30
Duration: 1½ hours – 1 hour 50 minutes

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► DAEJEON East Express Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the entrance to Songnisan National Park.
Fare: W20,000 / (W13,600)
07:30 09:00 12:00 14:00 (15:30) 17:30 19:00
Duration: 3 hours

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► EONYANG Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point for the entrance to Gajisan Provincial Park (via Seongnamsa).
Fare: W3,200
06:30 ◄ 20 buses per day ► 21:00
Duration: 40 minutes

Alternate Route: City Bus 12 runs to Eonyang Bus Station from Beomosa Subway Station, Yangsan City Hall, or Dongnae Lotte Department Store (W2,300 – 90 min)

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► GWANGJU East Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W21,200 / (W14,400)
06:20 (06:50) 07:20 08:00 08:40 09:20 10:00 10:40 ◄ Every 30-40 minutes ► 17:20 18:00 18:40 19:20 20:00 21:00 22:30 00:00
Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► GYEONGJU Express Bus Terminal

Fare: W4,500
08:30 09:00 09:30 ◄ Every 30-40 minutes ►
17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:20 20:00 22:30 23:30
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► HADONG Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the southern entrance of Jirisan National Park (via Ssangyesa and Daeseong-ni).
Fare: W11,200
11:20
Duration: 3 hours

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► INCHEON Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W30,800 / (W20,700)
06:25 07:20 (08:35) 09:40 10:50 12:10 13:30 14:40 15:50 17:00 18:00 23:20
Duration: 6 hours

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► JUWANGSAN NAT’L PARK Bus Terminal
Fare: W17,800
07:40 11:30 13:20 15:00 18:00

Duration: 3 hours
BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► SAMCHEOK Bus Terminal
Fare: W28,200 
09:18 (12:12) (15:02) 16:08
Duration: 4 hours or (4.5 hours)

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► SEOUL Central Bus Terminal
Fare: W29,400 / (W19,800)
06:00 06:30 (07:00) 07:30 ◄ Every 20-30 minutes ► 20:30 (21:00) 21:30 22:00
22:30 23:00 23:30 00:00 00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00
Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours

BUSAN Nopo-dong Terminal ► TAEBAEK Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W27,500
07:25 11:35 15:30 18:35
Duration: 6 ½ - 7 hours

Gwangju Bus Terminal Schedule

NOTE: Most metropolitan cities have more than one express bus terminal - Bukbu (North), Nambu (South), Dongbu (East), and Seobu (West)

Official Links
Gwangju (Korean)
http://www.kobus.co.kr/web/eng/02_service/service01.jsp

English Schedule Search

English Schedule - Major Routes Only
(Alphabetical Order - Please confirm with Official Korean Website as departure times / prices are likely to change due to Dynamic Korea)


GWANGJU Bus Terminal ► BAEKYANGSA (Temple)
This is the southern entrance to Naejangsan National Park.
06:30 ◄ Every 13 minutes ► 19:50
Duration: 1 hour

GWANGJU Bus Terminal ► BUSAN Seobu Sasang Bus Terminal
06:30 ◄ Every hour ► 22:00
Duration: 3 hours 10 minutes

GWANGJU Bus Terminal ► JEONG-EUP Bus Terminal
06:30 ◄ Every 30 minutes ► 21:30
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

GWANGJU Bus Terminal ► NAEJANGSA (Temple)
This is the northern entrance to Naejangsan National Park.
08:10 ◄ Every 5 minutes ► 13:40
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Jinju Bus Terminal Schedule

NOTE: Most metropolitan cities have more than one express bus terminal - Bukbu (North), Nambu (South), Dongbu (East), and Seobu (West)

Official Links
Jinju (Korean)
http://www.jinjuterminal.kr/board/bbs/board.php?bo_table=info&wr_id=5

English Schedule Search
http://visitkorea.or.kr/ena/TR/TR_EN_5_1_3_1_2.jsp

English Schedule for Both Stations - Major Routes Only
(Alphabetical Order - Please confirm with Official Korean Website as departure times / prices are likely to change due to Dynamic Korea)


JINJU Bus Terminal ► BUSAN Seobu Terminal
Fare: W6,900
05:50 – every 10-20 minutes - 21:10

JINJU Bus Terminal ► CHANGWON Bus Terminal
06:35 07:00 07:20 08:30 09:00 09:40 10:30 11:00 12:10 13:00 13:50 14:30 15:20 15:50 16:20 17:00 17:40 18:20 19:00 19:40

JINJU Bus Terminal ► CHANGWON Bus Terminal (via Masan)
22:30 23:30 24:10 01:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► CHEONGGYE-RI / UN-RI
Fare: W3,400
08:20 14:15 16:50 19:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► CHEONGHAKDONG Village
This is one of the southern entrances to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W7,100
07:10 15:50

JINJU Bus Terminal ► CHEONGJU Bus Terminal
8:00 10:10 12:10 14:10 16:10 18:10

JINJU Bus Terminal ► DAEGU Bus Terminal
07:00 07:50 08:40 09:20 09:45 10:30 11:10 11:50 12:30 13:50 14:30 15:10 15:40 16:20 17:10 17:40 18:20 18:50 19:45

JINJU Bus Terminal ► DAEJEON Bus Terminal
06:10 07:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► DAEWONSA (Temple)
This is the eastern entrance to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W4,300
06:30 07:30 08:30 09:30 10:30 11:35 12:30 13:30 14:30 15:35 16:30 17:30 18:30 19:30 20:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GEOCHANG Bus Terminal
06:50 - every 30 minutes - 19:47

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GEORIM / NAEDAE-RI
This is one of the southeastern entrances to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W5,000 (Naedae-ri) / W5,800 (Georim)
06:20 09:20 12:00 17:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GIMCHEON Bus Terminal
06:13 06:50 07:35 09:54 10:51 11:25 13:10 14:04 15:40 18:34

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GIMHAE Bus Terminal
07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:00 19:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GUMI Bus Terminal
09:10 12:10 15:19 18:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GWANGJU Bus Terminal
08:40 09:55 12:50 18:15 18:35

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GWANGYANG Bus Terminal
07:55 08:55 10:25 11:40 14:50 16:10 18:35

JINJU Bus Terminal ► GYEONGJU / POHANG
08:00 10:00 11:20 12:00 14:00 15:20 16:00 18:30 19:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► HADONG Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the south entrance to Jirisan National Park (via Ssanggyesa).
Fare: W4,300
06:35 - every 30 minutes - 21:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► HAEINSA (Temple)
This is the entrance to Gayasan National Park.
09:30 13:10 17:40

JINJU Bus Terminal ► HAMYANG Bus Terminal
Fare: W5,500
06:00 - ever 5-10 minutes - 21:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► HAPCHEON Bus Terminal
This is a transfer point to reach the entrance to Gayasan National Park (via Haeinsa).
07:00 08:20 11:10 12:10 14:10 15:10 16:10 18:40 20:10

JINJU Bus Terminal ► HWA-EOMSA(Temple)
This is the western entrance to Jirisan National Park.
09:50 17:10

JINJU Bus Terminal ► HONGGYE
Fare: W4,300
06:40 08:40 10:30 12:30 14:30 16:30 18:30 19:30 20:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► INCHEON Bus Terminal
16:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► JANGGYE Bus Terminal
08:55 15:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► JEONJU Bus Terminal
06:52 - every 30-40 minutes - 18:28 19:37

JINJU Bus Terminal ► JINAN Bus Terminal
10:58 17:25

JINJU Bus Terminal ► JUNGSAN-NI Tourist Village
This is one of the southeastern entrances to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W4,700
06:20 07:05 08:05 09:20 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:10

JINJU Bus Terminal ► NAMHAE Bus Terminal
06:40 - every 20 minutes - 20:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► SAMCHEONPO
06:00 - every 10 minutes - 22:30 23:00 23:30 24:00

JINJU Bus Terminal ► SANGJUMIJO
07:45 09:45 12:40 13:10 14:25 15:30 16:20

JINJU Bus Terminal ► SEOSANG Bus Terminal
07:07 07:28 11:39

JINJU Bus Terminal ► SSANGGYESA (Temple)
This is one of the southern entrances to Jirisan National Park.
06:35 06:57 08:35 09:25 11:05 12:20 13:25 15:29 16:05 17:30

JINJU Bus Terminal ► SUNCHEON Bus Terminal 
07:00 07:55 09:00 10:10 11:25 11:55 12:30 13:20 14:25 14:55 16:10 17:50 18:20 19:50

JINJU Bus Terminal ► YEOSU Bus Terminal
12:30 14:50 18:20

Busan Sasang Seobu Bus Terminal Schedule


Busan Seobu Bus Terminal is located above Sasang Subway Station on Line 2 (Green Line)

NOTE: Most metropolitan cities have more than one express bus terminal - Bukbu (North), Nambu (South), Dongbu (East), and Seobu (West)


Official Links
Sasang Seobu (Korean)
http://www.busantr.com/ (then click λ…Έμ„ μ£Όν—ˆ)

English Schedule Search

English Schedule - Major Routes Only
(Alphabetical Order - Please confirm with Official Korean Website as departure times / prices are likely to change due to Dynamic Korea)

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► CHANGWON Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W3,300
06:00 ◄ Every 10-20 minutes ► 21:30
Duration: 50 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► DAEGU East Express Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the entrance to Gayasan National Park (via Haeinsa).
Fare: W8,500
07:00 08:30 10:00 11:30 13:00 14:30 16:00 18:10
Duration: 90 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► DAEWONSA Temple
This is the eastern entrance to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W11,100
06:40 09:40 10:25 13:20 17:50
Duration: 3 hours (Buses stop briefly in Jinju)

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► GEOCHANG Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W12,200
07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► GIMHAE Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W1,800
08:00 08:40 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:20 12:00 12:40 13:20 14:00 14:40 15:20 16:00 16:40 17:20 18:00 18:40 19:20 20:00 21:00 22:05
Duration: 25 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► GURYE / HWAEOMSA Temple
This is the western entrance to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W12,200
07:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 14:00 15:00 17:00 18:00
Duration: 3 hours / 3 hours 20 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► GWANGJU East Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W15,800
06:10 06:40 07:20 08:00 08:40 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:20 12:00 12:50 13:30 14:20 15:00 15:40 16:20 17:00 18:30 19:30 20:30 21:30
Duration: 3 ½ hours

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► GWANGYANG Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W10,000
07:20 09:10 09:50 11:00 11:20 12:40 13:30 14:45 16:20 17:05 18:00 19:10 20:00 20:40 21:40
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► HADONG Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the southern entrance to Jirisan National Park (via Ssangyesa or Daeseong-ni).
Fare: W9,900
07:00 ◄ Every hour ► 19:00
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► HAMAN Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W4,300
07:30 09:00 10:30 12:00 13:30 15:00 17:00 18:30 20:00
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► HAMYANG Express Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the northeastern entrances of Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W12,400
07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► HAPCHEON Bus Terminal
Fare: W9,500
07:00 07:50 08:30 09:10 ◄ Every 40 - 50 min ► 17:20 18:00 18:40
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JANGYU Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W1,600
06:10 06:30 06:50 07:10 07:25 ◄ Every 10-15 minutes ► 20:00 20:15 20:30 20:45 21:00 21:15 21:40 22:05
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JEONG-EUP Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the entrance to Naejangsan National Park.
Fare: W18,200
09:10 11:00
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JEONJU Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W22,100
07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 14:30 16:00 17:30 19:00 22:30
Duration: 5 hours 20 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JINDO Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W15,800
14:50
Duration: 6 ½ hours

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JINHAE Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W4,200
06:00 ◄ Every 15-20 minutes ► 22:00
Duration: 1 hour

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JINJU Express Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the southeastern entrances to Jirisan National Park (via Georim and Jungsan-ni).
Fare: W6,900
05:40 ◄ Every 10-15 minutes ► 20:20 21:05 21:30
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► JUNGSAN-NI Bus Terminal
This is one of the southeastern entrances to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W11,600
08:15 11:16 12:15 16:00
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► MASAN Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W3,300
05:40 ◄ Every 8 minutes ► 22:30
Duration: 45 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► MIRYANG Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W5,800
07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► MOKPO Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W24,200
06:30 08:00 09:10 10:40 12:00 13:55 15:40
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► NAMHAE Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W10,400
06:00 ◄ Every 40 minutes ► 18:30 19:20
Duration: 2 ½ hours

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► NAMWON Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the northwestern entrances to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W16,700
08:10 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► NAMYANG Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W9,500
12:00 18:30
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► NOKDONG Bus Terminal
Fare: W18,700
08:50 09:50 10:50 12:40 13:30 15:40
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► SANCHEONG Express Bus Terminal
This is the transfer point to reach the southeastern entrances of Jirisan National Park (via Georim and Jungsan-ni).
Fare: W10,200
05:40 06:20 06:40 07:00 07:35 ◄ Every 15-20 minutes ► 17:28 18:25 19:10 19:41
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► SSANGYESA Temple
This is the southern entrance to Jirisan National Park.
Fare: W11,400
13:00 16:00
Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► TONGYEONG Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W9,800
05:40 ◄ Every 10-20 minutes ► 20:10
Duration:

BUSAN Seobu Sasang Terminal ► WANDO Express Bus Terminal
Fare: W26,700
07:10 08:10 11:10 13:00 16:20
Duration: 6 hours 40 minutes

Borientation continued....

The next week was devoted to “orientation” – basically involving lectures from 9 til 5:30, followed by dinner in the canteen (or elsewhere when we felt the need for food that was warmer than room temperature!) and then Korean lessons from 7 til 8. The lectures consisted of advice about lesson planning, classroom management etc, Korean cultural information and a history lesson. Some of it was useful but it was a bit annoying because with lessons all day and a midnight curfew we were left with little time to explore or just hang out. Still, we made some friends and a lot of them are now living close to where we are placed so orientation was good for some networking, if nothing else.

Possibly the best day of the week was the day we went on a field trip. After a weekend of lectures, Monday saw us piling into coaches and preparing for the cultural experience of a lifetime. There were 3 activities on the agenda: Jump, lunch and POSCO.

So Jump! It’s a comedy martial arts performance – wow! It’s like EPIK knew me… It was amazing, funny, impressive and brought out the ninja in me! They have toured the UK before and I recommend going if they are ever around again.

Next is POSCO. POSCO is the third largest steel manufacturer in the World and we were driven for 80 minutes to get to the manufacturing site. Everyone but me and a guy called Joe seemed to think it was a waste of time and were not interested in the slightest (I found it interesting but was overcome with vertigo walking around the factory so couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to!). But we got to see molten steel and saw them press some red hot steel to make it flatter and longer. I found it amazing, interesting, impressive and it brought out the engineer in me. Wow, after these trips, I had become the... ninja engineer! Imagine me sneaking around in the dead quiet of night just outside your house. You awake and BAM, I’ve sneakily built a bridge connecting you directly to Westfields. No more annoying tube journeys, no more sitting in traffic jams – you have a direct pathway from your house to the biggest indoor shopping mall in Europe. Thanks ninja engineer. You’re welcome imaginary scenario person.

I’d just like to add that as it is, Dave and I have a direct subway link to the biggest indoor shopping mall IN THE WORLD! So suck on that Westfields!

So, I think it’s time for a little toilet humour cos the toilets in Korea are as confusing as watching Inception, in Korean, while on LSD. So in Korea, you’ll never guess what, but they have DIGITISED the loo! Beware Britain, it starts with the televisions, soon the pesky ConDem alliance will get the bogs. Is it me or does ConDem alliance sound like something George Lucas could turn into a trilogy? Do not join the red side Luke, new labour will turn you into a liberal, good for nothing, homosexual! So here’s a photo of the digibog on my digiblog!

Digibog – gotta catch the crap! Starring Pooechu, Mewturd and Squirtle…Shartizard, Jigglyguff…this is too much fun! Post your own in the comments and the best entry gets an authentic David Sobell faeces in the post!
There are several electronic buttons on your average toilet and your guess is as good as mine for what they do. One seems to squirt some water up your arse, another seems to clean the toilet, and who knows about the rest. Apparently, if you have the runs and your crap leaves your bum at over 88 mph, your poo will be transported to the future. This leaves me to wonder about a future society where they manage to harness the power of poos to create a green (or should it be brown??) energy source.

So my friend Petros pressed one of the buttons and got a soaking. Tom pressed a button, got a surprise bum wash then felt too uncomfortable so stood up and got it all over his trousers. Basically, these digibogs are like minor sex offenders – they don’t do enough that you feel like you should tell someone but it is enough to make you feel uncomfortable and leave you feeling full of shame.

A note for you girlies…perhaps the best feature of the digibog is the heated seats. Dave has obviously not gone as far as to sit on any of these gadgets yet, or he would have discovered the joy of cheek-to-heat comfort…obviously this is inconsequential if you hover, which you had best be good at if you come to Korea as you may be faced with the digibog’s arse nemesis…the squat-john! Better start strengthening those quads now because you never know when you might be faced with nothing more than a hole and a prayer!

So anyway, after the field trip of wonder it was back to the grindstone for the final few days until Thursday evening, when it all came to an end. And boy did it end with a bang! First we got the results of our medical tests – all clear! I obviously never actually thought that I had HIV but it’s still nice to see it in writing, confirmed, definitely no secret AIDS, all is fine. Then there was the closing ceremony (speeches and a cheesy photo montage including a couple of me and Dave fresh off the boat looking ROUGH!) and then a buffet dinner which was definitely better than the food we’d been given all week.

Ok so then we headed out…the night started in a bar that was doing BOGOF cocktails…which Dave was buying 4 at a time! (6 actually!) Then we and the other EPIKers from this bar headed to our new favourite spot, Thursday Party. We’d all been going during the week as it was a western style bar with decent music (most of the time), table football, beer pong, cheap beer and two very sexy barmen. (2 smoking waitresses as well and they had several screens dedicated to ESPN star sports, which just plays footy or footy highlights all night!) It’s not a huge place, but it managed to accommodate a large percentage of the 400 EPIKers that night, including some of the EPIK staff (one of whom is a lovely girl called May, who was one of our class’s mentors and all the guys viewed as the ultimate KILF). 12am came and went and we figured, if James Kim, the man in charge of the orientation, was still out on the lash, then we should be too. Finally at around 2am those of us who were left finally staggered back to the campus. The next day was a challenge.

My two favourite people - myself and May. Katie is there too :p
As I awoke I was greeted by my first real Korean hangover…and I had to pack…and I missed breakfast…and had to sit through a really long meeting about nothing in particular…and then meet my co-teacher…and then be driven 45 minutes to my new flat, the whole time feeling like I was going to vomit because the car was so stuffy and she didn’t seem to want to open the windows! Anyway, I was taken to lunch, which was DELICIOUS! My first Korean BBQ and I was hooked! Then taken to school, met principle and vice principle blah blah blah…then my co-teacher took me to Dave’s flat and said goodbye until the following Wednesday when school reopened.

So that was orientation and my first day out in Korea for real…Dave had a similar experience except without the BBQ and so was much grumpier than me by the evening! I blame my hangover on the very attractive barmen who were encouraging me to practice my Korean and complimenting me on my brilliant pronunciation of “One beer please *swoon*”…anyway, tune in next time for the thrilling details of our apartments!

Don’t forget to leave your Pookemon in the comments – best one wins a turd signed with my authentic smell!!