Well, no more or less "real" than the Korea we saw on the train trip yesterday. Anyway, we had another meeting today; The Koreans, like most Asians, it seems, never stop working. Even though we were meeting with one of the sub-contractors on Tuesday, they wanted to have a pre-meeting with us for part of today.
Four hours later, we seemed to have ripped through the entire agenda for both days, without actually answering any questions. Mostly, because we didn't have the answers; we'd have to write back to the office and hope to get a response in time. Our hosts, who were three young-ish engineers from this company agreed to take us to lunch at Haeundae Beach
*, which is a popular tourist area. We didn't go to the actual beach, because it was in the upper 50s and very cloudy, instead we drove to an area in the hills overlooking the bay. It reminded me of Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, if that provides any context. On a clear day, they told us, you could see all the way to Japan.
We ate another traditional Korean lunch, this one featuring a small hibachi built into the table, where they kept putting more meat. The table was absolutely filled with small dishes of appetizers. Afterwards, since my co-worker mentioned wanting to buy something for his wife, they decided to take us back downtown to Lotte's large department store, which is like a Macy's in New York City, but more crowded. We didn't really like the place, but just a block away, in the back alleys, was an inner-city market like something out of Blade Runner
. That, so far, was the coolest thing I saw so far, just because it felt so authentic. We also visited a health club owned by a former co-worker of our hosts who had left their company only recently.
Since this entry is getting long and I still have to post pictures, I'll just say that no matter where you live, there is no way the traffic is worse there than it is here. That drive from downtown to the beach easily took an hour and a half, and was probably 20 miles or so. This department store parking lot was absolutely full, and they were practically stacking cars to get them in the garage.
Anyway, the pictures. To get to this part of Busan, you have to cross this huge bridge. These tall buildings we saw yesterday are everywhere
, but are not corporate housing, they're only constructed by the various companies. I didn't get a chance to ask about the ferris wheel.( Read more... )
Just a small part of the Blade Runner market:( Read more... )
A slice of Western influence, in the same area. I've also seen Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds (of course), but not nearly as many as in the U.S. I have seen at least three Outbacks, however.( Read more... )
*- the location is probably wrong, but Google Maps doesn't seem to have that in the database. =(