Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Random Thoughts on Busan...

Saturday, August 30, 2008




Pics of Busan and one of the Korean War Memorials

First off, I should preface my comments by reminding folks that we're in Busan and not Seoul. After all, Busan only has 3.7 million people as opposed to 23 million in the greater Seoul metropolitan area. My comparison between the first and second largest cities in Korea goes something like this - things are just a little bit better in Busan. It doesn't get as hot as Seoul in the summer, it doesn't get as cold in the winter, the traffic isn't as bad and the people are friendlier. I'm sure the 23 million have something to do with those last two items. Busan's population is comparable to that of Los Angeles (3.8 million in 2005) and even bigger than Chicago (2.8 million in 2005). So when I tell people that I'm in Korea, and they ask me if I know Bob, my answer is probably no.

Facts that might interest only me:
- Busan boasts the 5th largest port in the world.
- Busan boasts one of the top 50 skylines in the world.
- I am using the word "boasts" too much in this post.
- The second tallest building in the world is now under construction in Busan. Well, once it's completed it'll be the second tallest. Right now, it's maybe the 74,254,856, 904th tallest building in the world.
- Busan is trying to host the 2020 Olympics.
- Busan and Pusan - same thing. Interchangeable although Busan is the more modern name.

I've gotta throw in a little history. During the Korean War, the North Korean Communists pushed almost all the way to the beach, but they never took Busan. The Busan Perimeter held up. Daegu and Busan were the only cities in mainland Korea to not be taken by North Korea during the war. I still get chills when I cross the Nakdong River on the way to the airport, thinking how the fighting reached this far south. Then I try to snap out of it so I won't miss my exit.

Now, I don't want to scare anyone, especially family, about all this war talk. I mean war, what is it good for? Absolu...never mind. It is extremely safe here. After our two burglaries in Miami, Carol and I joke that we have to move near a de-militarized zone (DMZ) to get some true safety. Kids are in the streets by themselves. People leave their purses wide open in restaurants and walk away to the bathroom. This has to be the safest place I've ever lived in.

The people are extremely nice, but very reserved. I don't think we've had a subway ride yet where a total stranger hasn't given the boys a little snack. The other day, a nice older woman gave CJ and Jake some dried fish. Two weeks ago, it was a big old apple. Yesterday, a nice woman gave them a small bottle of juice. They just fawn over the boys. Gotta sign off now. Flying off to DC today. Carol and I are really enjoying catching up with folks through the blog and reading everyone's comments. As soon as she gets a break from the boys, Carol will be posting here too. You might even see a little something from CJ. Bye for now. C2

5 comments:

moaquino

Dear Cruzers;
It has been an educational, yet interesting reading your blog...not mentioning some laughs out loud as imagining talking to you. We're happy that you're having fun in this tour, specially the boys.
Meanwhile, you're missing all the hurricane season fun!!!! We are just going through Gustav, which although it will not pass directly by South Florida, the external radius will, so we're expecting rain & more rain. Also, Hannah is on her way (unfortunately it's not Hannah Montana), but still don't know if will pass by us or not. Plus, other 2 storms out from Africa with probabilities of turning into hurricanes. See all what you're missing????!!!!!!
Love & kisses to all of you...from us!
Lluberes' family

Dana

Wow! Those are some great pictures! So glad to hear you are all finally finding big city life to be fairly safe! :) Too bad you had to go half way around the world to live it! We went to Jax over Labor Day weekend for house hunting. It's still fantastic. Hug the boys for me and tell them they looked super handsome in their native attire!! :) Love you guys!!!

Philip Price

I've never gotten in to blogs before but this one is awesome!

Mama Marie

Hello From Mom,
I'm pleased that you are experiencing no crime! I'm enjoying the blog. Hugs and kisses to little darlin' and pretty boy. I Love You!
Mama Marie

Angela

Hey you guys, just wanted to say, "Hi". I'm enjoying all of the pictures. I attended a meeting at the Board today and learned all about webinars, wikis, and blogs. I'm going to set up a blog for the new teachers I am mentoring. Kind of shocking, isn't it? Next thing you know I'll have a digital camera! When we went over the blog info. today, I didn't feel so lost because I had experience!!!!!(from your blog that is) Take care and I'll talk to you soon.
See ya!!!!!!!
Love, Angela

 
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