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Busan Day 4: IRL Valorant & Spa Land

There were two highlights today as it was technically our last day in Busan before we flew back to Singapore tomorrow. I've been looking forward to the gun firing. Unfortunately, Instagram still refuses to participate in allowing my pictures. I'm praying I'll be able to show everyone pictures, even if just a little.

I fired a pistol today. In Valorant, that would be the classic. It's a 9mm glock, and trust me, the recoil is still very fierce. My hands were literally too small to hold the gun comfortably. If anything, the instructor said a BB gun, which was 0.38mm, would have been my perfect grip. In any case, I learned many things today while firing 20 rounds. My score? 17 bullets made contact with the target, 11 of them within the inner ring.

The shooting itself went by very quickly. However, my hands were shaking from both nerves and the weight of an actual gun. Please note that the gun was secured to a rope for safety of beginners. However, I had to take several breaks in between because the gun actually hurt me.

No, nothing that serious. However, for someone with weak wrists (newly dislocated) and small hands, without any prior gun-firing experience, it was bound to happen. I'd like to say that the first firing was me not being prepared for anything. The spark of fire when the bullet was shot startled me so badly. The sound was loud, even with the earmuffs to prevent you from going deaf. I wasn't in a good position either and the recoil force sent me stumbling backwards. I immediately released hold of the gun after that and retreated a few steps because smoke got into my eyes.

Here, I learned just how much force a gun packs despite its size. The weight is also justified because of how durable it has to be in order to propel a bullet at the speed it does. Think of it as a firework but non-sparkly. Aiming with a pistol without a scope was also tough, mostly because I didn't know which eye was my dominant eye. Also, my arms were so sore from holding it up, and I'm not that tall, so the angle was tricky. Using my right hand to shoot meant that the slight shift in angle while pulling the trigger caused the bullet to flick to the right, as seen from my scoreboard. I am pretty accurate after experimenting with the first magazine.

The best way to grip a gun is without any space because the recoil caused the gun to smash my fingers against each other after firing. My dislocated wrist, which was almost recovered, worsened almost immediately after the fifth bullet. I wanted to quit, but I had already paid money, so I had to learn fast. Another thing to note is how you need to position your feet in a diagonal fashion, with one forward and one behind, to prevent the recoil from making you fall backwards. My shoulders were unconsciously tensed, and I figured after one bad shot that locking my joints became a horrible mistake. My joints dislocate easily, and that was a close call.

For someone who had never fired a gun before, I thought this was an eye-opening experience. What you see in movies and games is prettier than the real version. For the first time up close, in the palm of my hand, I realised just how difficult it was to master a gun. Firing this machine is easy. However, ensuring that it was under control was difficult. The bullets flew everywhere but on the paper target at first, and in that moment, I wondered what would happen if it went too far astray. To make matters worse, during the second magazine, a stray shell smacked me in the forehead after I fired it. I don't know if it is customary for people to watch the bullet and fire sparks as they pull the trigger. However, I started closing my eyes after the seventh or eighth bullet as if unwilling to see the consequences. Psychologically, this impacted me more than physically. The moment I squeezed the trigger, I contemplated the weight of life. Just as easily as a trigger could be pulled, life could be mistakenly lost.

Suddenly, I'm so thankful for Singapore and Japan's strict gun laws.

Walking out of the range shakily with my results, my brother congratulated me for actually shooting something because a pistol was harder than a rifle in terms of accuracy as it didn't have a scope. I did pretty well, so we took a picture and sent it to my dad, who asked if I wanted to join the SWAT team. Thanks, but not thanks. I'd rather get a PhD.

On the way to Spa Land, an elderly Korean man with bloodshot eyes started pointing and yelling at my brother in Korean, cussing him out. We had no idea what that was all about, but even the Koreans stared at him and avoided gazes. I think he was mentally unsound, but I can't be sure. Korea's elderly population (at least in Busan) is concerning. Just this morning I recieved a phone alert asking us to help search for a 71-year-old woman who was missing. With the declining birth in South Korea, I hate to imagine what the country would look like a few years down the road, especially with inflation affecting everyone globally in this generation like never before.

Spa Land was wonderful. However, it would be better if I had friends to accompany me there. My brother didn't go in, claiming it was too crowded for him. I think he's just uncomfortable getting naked in front of strangers to use the bath. In any case, it was his loss. I loved the jacuzzi, and the hot water helped to reduce the pain in my wrist after firing the Glock.

I didn't use the sauna-themed rooms as much because they were mostly places for people to gather and chat. The massage chair wasn't as highly advanced as the one in Japan either. I didn't have much interest in the other facilities that required social interaction for it to be fun.

Of all the places I thought I would get to eat the famous black bean noodles, it was in Spa Land when I found it. The food was great. It made up for the lack of company, and soon after, I was getting dressed to leave even though I could stay for six hours. I only spent three hours inside, but it was enough. I was feeling relaxed enough and sleepy.

To not waste the rest of the day cooped up in the hotel room, my brother played the local guide and brought me to a beach in the dead of winter that he had explored earlier while I was soaking in hot tubs with other people's grannies. It was a lovely beach with riptides, and it made sense that nobody was swimming. However, the one thing that interested me was the development of mass residential and corporate buildings. Haeundae is presently reforming itself, and it would be interesting to see the results in five to ten years from now to see if the investment would pay off.

Similar to Japan, we had to walk a lot and climb a multitude of stairs and slopes. Eventually, we got to this park that used to be the first train connecting Busan along the sea. It is now a popular tourist attraction, but neither my brother nor I were interested in riding it with the sun stabbing our eyes.

Instead, he was more curious about what powered this train. When it was first created, it ran on steam engines. The rails were different from the mini cabin trains riding above the original sea train. Later, we learned that it was operating on an internal battery which made more sense.

Feeling tired and cold, I told my brother to decide on dinner. As you might have guessed from the picture, it's probably him being lazy again. His default is McDonald's if you let him decide, but I just went along with it. I got myself a beef bulgogi burger with egg and coleslaw instead of fries. The coleslaw salad had vinegar dressing in it, which was refreshing.

Ignoring how I spilt the drink that refused to melt in the cold on my jeans, we returned to the hotel to get some rest and packing done. I don't really know what we will do tomorrow as we have a lot of time, even after checking out at noon. The flight is in the evening and will possibly touch down in Singapore at midnight.

Will be too tired to blog tomorrow. I'll just update it over the weekend while I settle the miscellaneous work, school and writing matters.

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