New Years Eve at one of our co-worker's sister's restaurant. It was called Aligote, located on Haeundae Beach. They served steak (yes, real, Australian beef!) vegetables, and different types of wines. Koreans like their wine extremely sweet, so almost all of the wines here taste like dessert wines. We did have a dry, red wine for this meal though....all the way from California!
Celebrating an American New Years with a midnight kiss! In Korea, the new year is not celebrated at midnight; the singal for a new year is when the sun rises. Everyone gathers at the beach or in view of the horizon and stays up all night until the first sight of sun peaks over the horizon. People then celebrate by cheering or praying. We instituted a new tradition for them of kissing at midnight :)
Loren was VERY excited about his real, beef steak. It was delicious!
So for New Years Eve we decided to enter our first talent show. We thought, we are already in Korea, so why not? After much debate and consideration of ideas we came to the conclusion that 'Pillow People' would be our best shot at winning over our Korean audience and co-workers. We constructed these magnificent costumes out of our very own pillow cases. Loren, being the awesome artist he is, drew all of the facial expressions and details. We had a choreographed dance to the popular Korean song 'Superman'. You should definitely YouTube this song....very funny! Everyone loved it and we even ended up winning a gift card!
The other talent show competitors and our prizes.
The Monday after New Years we had a feast at our school. We had no idea all this food would be here this day, we just walked in and there were tables of food!
Spending a morning at Beomeosa temple. Founded in 678 AD, it is the one of the largest and most beautiful temples in Busan.
Statues at the temple.
In the background, notice the huge bell and large log used to sound it.
Monks worshipping Buddha. They were very friendly and some even spoke English.
Busan Tower stands 120 meters high on top of a 69 meter hill top. Here we could see an incredible view of the city and enjoyed watching old men in the park and birds swooping down for food from the vendors.
Old men near the Busan Tower playing a traditional Korean game called Paduk.
We accidentally ended up at the Busan City Museum. We say accidentally, because our intention was to visit the Busan Modern History Museum. As you may know, we do not speak Korean, and most Korean taxi drivers DO NOT speak or understand English. Therefore, we encountered a bit of miscommunication and ended up across the city and at a different museum. We made the most of our dilemma and got to know the Busan history. They had a few cool exhibits. Alaina is standing on one of the exhibits here.
Loren is the best husband in the world. Don't even try to fight me on this one. Here he sits, in Busan, on a subway, with our newest addition to our home. An eight foot tall plant. We found it on a website for local foreigners, and a couple was trying to sell it. We needed some greenery in our apartment so we picked the plant up. The tree's location was about 10 subway stops and two transfers away from where we live! Loren carried it the whole way through all the stairs and stares! Needless to say, our tree now resides in our home where we are enjoying it daily. Funny journey though...
Hite is the Korean beer. Yes, they have beer in vending machines here. Good idea, bad idea??
Costco on a Sunday afternoon. Never again.
This past weekend we spent Saturday with the Schauers and explored Geumjeong Fortress. We took a cable car 540 meters up the mountain for another great view of the city.
We also checked out another museum with the Schauers, the Busan Metropolitan Art Museum. There were all kinds of different pieces here and some really interesting stuff.
A sculpture made out of junk. The horse and carriage is made up of all old electronics.
A huge mural at the art museum!
One famous Korean artist, Kim, was well-known for his paintings of water drops on canvases and other mediums.
A funny statue in PIFF (Pusan International Film Festival) Square. There is a large outdoor market here where we like to shop.
A truck filled with apples! These are the amazing sights we see everyday on our walk to school and around town.
As you can see, 2010 has been filled with lots of exploration, fun and friendships. We hope that you, too, have had a blessed beginning to the year. We love you all and you are in our prayers!