Long Weekend in Busan: Crashing and More

Crashing was one the themes during the long weekend we just spent in Busan.

Waking up every morning to the sound of waves crashing on Gwanganli beach.

Watching motorbikes crash drunkenly into the large stones on the boardwalk, strategically positioned to prohibit such reckless activities from taking place.

Having to take a taxi the rest of the way to Haedong Yonggungsa after the 181 bus crashed into a car, leaving the passengers stranded and waiting for another standing room only vehicle.

After the long days and the wild nights spent exploring new areas of Busan with some really great people, crashing really hard in the motel overlooking the beach as we fell asleep every evening/morning. That group of US Navy pilots we befriended were frivolous with the free flowing rounds of Jaeger Bombs. That will bring you up for a while. Guess what follows? Crash.

Beyond the crashing, there were a handful of transcendent moments.

Instead of hiking to the top of Yonggungsa like we did last time, my girl and I chose to hang out on the rocks, close to the waves. The sound of the water was therapeutic.

Late one night, we stumbled upon a group releasing the burning Chinese lanterns into the ocean air, something I’ve always wanted to do. Noticing how enamored we were, they nicely offered us one of our very own. There is something spiritual to watching them float up and off, until they disappear in the night sky. Ponder it to yourself, and let it drift away on the back of your wish.

Unlike trips of the past, we didn’t leave Busan until late in the afternoon. This provided the opportunity to sit and soak in Gwanganli Beach for a few hours, one last time. As we relaxed on the steps, in front of us was a group of older Korean men catching small fish in the rolling surf. At a quick glance you would only notice a rotating group of two four older guys, sipping makoli and soju, interacting very little with each other. Pretty quickly however, we both felt strongly that something was special about this group.

You can’t really put your finger on it, it’s just a feeling you get. I felt it for a good five minutes before my girl mentioned something to me about the aura they gave off. I’ve never been tuned into energy and all that, and I didn’t see any aura, but I can’t deny the feeling that something out of the ordinary was going on.

At that moment, one of them started acting strange. As he approached the steps where we sat, he would hold his first two fingers up to his ear, as if he was the secret service receiving a message. But before he would touch his head, he would jerk his hand away, in a repeating ticking motion. He would only do this near the steps where we were sitting, not out on the beach next to his comrades. Then, he got right next to the steps to our left, holding out his hand as if to test the heat of a campfire, and again jerking his hand away in a quick motion. Was the campfire too hot? Was the snake going to bite you? No, there was none of that. Just a crazy old dude, and I was digging it.

It was a strange, supernatural feeling, so I went with it. I closed my eyes, listened to the waves and payed attention only to my breathing. After a while, clarity struck. There was absolutely nothing. Then slowly, visions started to appear. They gradually grew in intensity, bigger and bigger until BANG. I got the message loud and clear.

I hope I can find another mystical place like that in the future. It was something else.

Life has been pretty hectic lately. Lots of changes taking place in my world. Letting go of the old. Accepting the present. Planning the future.

My girlfriend and I were looking to this Busan vacation for many things. A break from the ppali ppali hustle bustle life in Seoul. The perspective gained by removing yourself from every day routines. The mental healing that comes from relaxing on the rocks and breathing deeply as the sun slightly burns your skin. The clarity needed to push forward, striving to be the best me that I can be.

I may not have received all the signs I was looking for, but I feel strongly it was a good start in the right direction. Some questions were answered, others were created. For example, should we move to Busan in June when my contract is up? I’m kind of feeling it.


~ by ripcitytoseoul on October 4, 2011.

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