One weekend we decided to take the train to a small place called Cheong-du, which is famous for one thing, bullfighting. Hosting the biggest bullfighting stadium in the World (the World being Korea of course), it was a fine setting to lock horns with each other (figuratively of course) and place bets on which bull would win the fight. The fight consisting of two bulls locking horns (literally of course) while trying to shove each other into submission. The bull wouldn’t tap out or anything but would do a shameful trot away with his back to the winning bull that normally chased after the other one triumphant. The highlight of the fighting was when one bull sent his owner flying and the man got trampled on a little bit. Fortunately he was okay except he got his trousers pulled down and a little ripped.
To make the contest a bit more interesting, we decided to place bets. We played against Brittany who in another life had been a bull because she guessed ten in a row correctly. I then used all my cunning to
guess predict seven winning bulls in a row. Unfortunately like the bull owner I was left with my trousers around my ankles screaming in agony because I couldn’t mount a comeback.
After the bulls, we moved from Cheong-du to Daegu, which is Korea’s 4th largest city. We went out clubbing and generally had an drunkentertaining evening.
We then explored Daegu a little more and we came to the conclusion that all Korean cities look and feel very similar. Except Pbusan has a beach so is therefore > Daegu.
Back to Busan and Shinsegae (진세계) aka Centum City (센탐시티) is billed as “The World’s Largest Department Store” and for once, I think the Koreans might actually be accurate. Clearly we were sceptical after The Great Fountain Debacle of 2011, and sadly we were somewhat disappointed by the experience but for me this boiled down to the definition of “department store” – I had been under the impression that this was the same as a shopping mall, but in fact it is more along the lines of Harrods and Selfridges. You know, one big building with lots of boutiques with expensive labels and cosmetics. So everything was way out of our price range (I did buy a very cheap skirt in the UNIQLO sale but that was it) and not really that interesting. For the most part.
|What is this? A Department Store for ants. Needs to be at least 3 times as big!|
On the top floor is the electronics department, and this was really quite incredible. Korean’s have gadgets and technology for just about everything – the latest being a kind of wardrobe to hang your suits in, that then steams them, shakes the creases out and makes everything smell nice. Who has room for that?! ( We didn't take a photo so you'll have to wait to see what one looks like!) There were also all manner of air conditioners and fancy vacuum cleaners and of course, the latest in TV/internet/mobile phone/wifi/stereo/arse-wiping/webcam/3D/HD/PVA developments.
Dave went wild up there but my pleasure came from the basement…the food court! It was huge and although there weren’t as many free samples as I would have liked (I’ve been spoiled by Emart) it was pretty interesting and we got a few tasty treats. This was definitely the highlight of the store for me, and well worth checking out.
There is one part of the store that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy, and that is Spa Land. David has been and will reveal all in a later post, I’m sure.
I was lucky enough to go on an all expenses paid day trip to Goryeong courtesy of the office of education. With a 6am Saturday wakeup call, the day started red eyed and grumpy. But the free pastries on the coach to Goryeong festival were
welcomed grabbed with both arms.
As it was strawberry season, they had organised a stop at a strawberry crop for some picking.
While strategically placing strawberries in my box to fit in as many as possible, it brought out the engineer in me, especially the bored engineer who would play Tetris rather than work. I felt a little sick after eating a sizable chunk of the Korean’s strawberry crop and this is when we went to the festival.
Goryeong is home to an ancient city, which the Korean Indiana Jones and Korean Howard Carter have been excavating to reveal relics from the 3000 year old culture of Korea. We went round a museum and I learnt a bit about the history and development of their civilisation. There aren’t many photos because the place was crawling with kids but here’s one of a sword they found that’s over 1500 years old.
|Almost as old as Vicky (she turns 30 this month :o)|
I then saw the World’s largest fountain.
Or not! I just liked this fountain more than the last because it actually turned on while I was there.
I then got my photo taken with the guys in charge of first aid and fire safety.
And finally I (accidently) offended and cursed my bloodline for a thousand years by standing on the grave of an Ancient Korean king. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
|Sorry Future Offspring|