Monday, December 12, 2005

Hammy's 2005 Trip To Korea And Japan - Nov 22nd

I have found that Koreans in Busan sound more like Japanese than Koreans in Geoje. Eun-jeong and Miky agree with me, quite to my surprise. The consonants are a much harder sound.

This morning, following breakfast, Yu-Jin and I caught the subway to Beomeosa, walked up to the bus station and caught a number 90 bus to the temple. Lots of photos then we decided to have a look at 원효암 - Wonhyoam. At the temple itself an old lady offered us some rice cake but I thought that it had nuts and said no thanks. An old gentleman, 60-65, said that it didn't have nuts and was I from America? Aaaagh. Another lady offered us some rice cake later.

Turtles with inscriptions at the entrance.

Entrance gate to Beomeosa.

Detail of eaves on the entrance gate.

Seven tiered pagoda. Koreans, Buddhists especially, are big on these things.

Big turtle and me. Who has the biggest smile?

Eaves detail. I love this sort of architecture.

Another gate with statues to stop the entry of evil spirits.

Statue guarding the temple from evil spirits - holding a sword.

Statue guarding the temple from evil spirits - holding a dragon.

Statue guarding the temple from evil spirits - holding a ukelele - now I am shaking in my boots.

Monks. Lots of monks. Hairdressers have plenty of work up this way.

Stone lantern probably from the 9th Century. It is reputed to be as old as the temple, i.e. from 678, but it is a Shilla design so was most likely built at the same time as the stone pagoda.

Stone pagoda from the 9th Century.

Dinner time bell and drum. Underneath they have conveniently placed a souvenir shop.

Building which housed Buddha statues and lots of buddhist happily praying away.

People balance rocks for good luck, I believe. If you look closely you can see a tolharubang (grandfather stone - looks like it belongs on Easter Island) that somebody must have brought all the way from Cheju Island.

Rooftop pic. Notice most of the trees have lost their leaves already. Might give you some idea how cold it is.

Large, inscribed boulder. If you thought my Korean was poor then spare a thought for my Chinese character recognition level - it's pitiful. So, I don't know what this says.

Lovely old steps and walls surrounded by bamboo. Quite picturesque.

We decided to climb the mountain to visit Wonhyoam. Other people were coming down from the walk and it did have a signpost so it seemed like a good idea. Yu-Jin and I reached about halfway up Wonhyoam when we stopped for a breather, biscuit and a drink, and I asked one guy, in Korean, how far to go. He said another 500 metres. Yu-Jin wanted to continue but I didn't as he was sick and Miky would kill me if I wore him out, but he was insistent on continuing. There were some nice views of Busan to be had.

Eerie roots and boulders lined our way to Wonhyoam.

This picture is especially for Megha as I know how much she enjoys wicked tree roots.

Here's an old man with his perfectly-sized walking stick.

Korean- old style path. Not very refined in their techniques of roadbuilding at that stage.

Busan, at least the northernmost part, below. The city is surrounded by mountains and we are a long way from the city centre.

Asian-style toilet. No sitting on other people's germs. Wind can whistle through under the door however.

Western-style toilet.

Dad and boy pictured in a little garden walk at the base of Beomeosa Temple.

When we got back to the bus stop at the base of the temple we sat next to an old gentleman and he wanted to give Yu-Jin some (persimmon). Yu-Jin asked him "이고모이어?" (what is it?).

We bought some odeng and (mul, water) for lunch. Rang Miky and she wanted us to meet her and her friend Mi-ja in Lotte Department Store. Yu-Jin wanted some junk food so we went to Lotteria and I had a Hot Squid Burger Set. The waitress warned me that it was hot. What is the difference between a combo and a set anyway? Both are on the menu.

Girls in the department store went crazy over Yu-Jin and he doesn't like too much attention like that. We took the elevator down to B1F and got split up as there wasn't enough room in the elevator. Yu-Jin and I waited for 50 minutes for Miky to show up but she didn't. We were just about to go home when an announcement came over the PA - "Could I have your attention please? Could Mr Marke Ham from Australia please come to the information desk?" I didn't quite catch where to go and I didn't know where the information desk was anyway. I asked at the pram hire the the girl and guy didn't speak any English. The girl at the Lotte Card Center didn't speak English either. She made several phone calls but the guy she got couldn't understand a word of what I said. I was able to understand him ok though. Several phone calls later and I was then able to speak with someone who's English was very good and she told me what to do. Still didn't know where the info desk was and the new girl at the pram hire didn't speak English. She at least phoned someone and Miky came soon after. Must learn a bit more Korean.

Lots more shopping on the way home at the "동가방 " - Moneybag. Nice 돌솠비빔밥 - stone pot mixed rice. Hot and lovely. My kind of food.

Back at Eun-jeong's place they prepared pigs' trotters and that started jokes about three-legged pigs and chickens.

Jon and I mucked around putting my photos on CD - something that Jon has never done before. It happened to be all the more difficult as it was on a Korean computer and I had to use my memory a lot as to which buttons to press and what procedure to follow. Succeeded on the second attempt.

Still can't believe that Yu-Jin and I climbed that mountain today.


Hammysmum said...

What was wrong with Yu-Jin, did he have a cold?

Hammy said...

Bit of hayfever/asthma most likely.

NewYorkMoments said...

Hey Hammy....nice pics & welcome back.

You know, it's not the worst thing in the world to be mistaken for a yank...

Hammy said...

Thanks for the nice welcome back to everybody.

I guess that I get peeved as the non-English speaking countrypeople of the world only think that Westerners come from America. I have been mistaken for being French in Korea before - thought that I was being very polite at the time so I took that as a negative.

megha said...

thanks for the evil roots, woo!

great pics. i esp. love the one of monks, the roofs, and the steps.

Hammy said...

My pleasure Megha.