It's the day we say Sayonara to Japan and Anyeong to Korea. It was colder than usual in Tokyo. We checked out early to avoid the APA checkout lift congestion.
Saying goodbye to Japan was bittersweet. It will be a few more years before I can return. However, it made many great memories, even if it did mean I ended up fighting with my brother at the airport because he was being a pushover and blaming me for helping him speak Japanese when Matsuya made a mistake with his order.
The train to Narita airport was long and cold. There wasn't any heater beneath the seats this time, and that made a lot of difference. The train was full of people with luggage. There was barely space to stand with all those suitcases.
The flight was fast, but I saw ice crystals forming between the window glass. My brother and I both knew it was definitely below zero where we were landing. True enough, the temperature tonight is -4 degrees Celsius.
We landed at Busan airport, and the first thing we did was hunt for a place to get a transport card. Thankfully, Korea still sells them, unlike Japan. We bought two from the convenience store and topped up 20,000 krw each. Hopefully, this will be enough for the next four days. We will return on Friday, but we have no itinerary for Busan. I snagged a tourist pamphlet, so we'd plan around that.
The trains in Busan were similar to Japan. However, it was not manually driven. There was no driver, and the trains were shorter in length. We boarded the trains and became lost underground at Sasang, trying to find an exit to change to a different train to Seomyeon. We eventually arrived, but the sun had already set for the day. I found a random shooting range on the way to the hotel, and it might become one of the things I would do.
For the same price as a business hotel per night with APA in Japan, Yuna BUsiness Hotel gave a different sort of luxury. The space that we had was insane. I don't know if this is a Korean thing, but there were two doors. The main door is separated from the room door. The bathroom was almost as big as the bedroom. Most importantly, the mattress was firm. APA's bed was soft and comfortable, but it gave me backache after the fourth night. However, the heating and lack of English instructions in Yuna paled in comparison to the hospitality of APA.
I knew that food and shopping would be on the itinerary for Busan. After talking with Anzu and Sumi on the Korean Learning Stream, I had a few food items in mind that I wanted to try. Almost immediately, I ticked off three of these items. The small shop with three grannies managing smelled great, so I walked right up and fearlessly ordered the fishcake set, spicy rice cake sauce set and one roll of gimbap. I didn't get the plate of sundae because we didn't know how much food that would end up becoming, and I'm not a fan of animal intestines or blood. My brother would most likely be the one finishing that. So, to save him the torture, I stopped here.
The food was delicious, but nobody told me Koreans loved their food with SPICE! That ended up becoming a mistake. Thankfully, the spice did not burn forever. It was by no means mild, but it was tasty. There was also no MSG, something I'm very happy about.
If there is one thing that is different about Korea and Japan, it is how many of their convenience stores offer sitting places for customers to order and eat there. It's kind of similar to a fast food restaurant which we liked. Hence, my brother and I didn't buy bread from it. We're going to the store for breakfast tomorrow instead.
As for the activities... I'll figure it out after I have enough sleep.
P.S. My blog is very broken at the moment. I can only fix it after I return to Singapore, so there will be a rather long hiatus until I have rewritten the entire e-course and fixed most of the posts!