Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beaches and Bands

Last weekend we decided to stray from our near weekly trip to Gwangali Beach and headed to Hauendae instead.  The most popular and well known beach in Korea, it draws tourists from all over the country on hot and sticky summer days like the one we experienced on Saturday. 

Ryan and I, along with a co-worker, had anticipated that such a popular destination would be crowded.  However we underestimated the absolute mass of teens, families, couples and friends that swarmed the light sand and frolicked on inner-tubes in the warm water.  

Umbrellas lined the beach in all directions, side by side in rows as far as the eye could see.    

Finding few unused umbrellas in sight, we set up camp in front of the umbrellas that lined the water.  An attempt at applying sunscreen was futile, as it was so hot and humid our sweat wouldn’t allow the lotion to adhere to our skin.  Ryan set his watch near the sand, where the temperature gauge read a scorching 142 degrees.   

I don’t think I’ve ever been so hot.  I wish I were kidding when I say that the front of my legs were beading with sweat.

We spent almost the entire time in the ocean, returning to bottled water in our bags that tasted like it had recently been removed from a stovetop teakettle.

Our neighbors, shaded under an umbrella, offered us some fresh cut watermelon.  We gladly accepted.

We also accepted a challenge at the Jose Cuervo "mobile ice bar", throwing darts at a moving target in an attempt to win small prizes.  We walked away with mini Listerine bottles and sample size tequilas. 

Inspired by the Jose, we gave in to our craving for Mexican food and enjoyed burritos and cocktails across the street at western bar Fuzzy Navel.

After showering off the sand and sweat, it was off to the Busan International Rock Festival.  The free event is held annually at Dadaepo, a beach at the opposite end of town.   

Featured in the show's line-up was Firehouse, who clearly didn’t get the memo that the early 90’s are over.  We were entertained by the over-the-hill "hair band", whose show featured firetrucks spraying water over the crowd and intermittent bursts of fire above the stage.  The lead singer's attempts to pump up the crowd (in English rather than Korean) were often met with bewildered silence.
Ryan and his air guitar
After the concert we headed to a friend’s apartment rooftop for a party.  At this point the heat had died down to a "cool" temperature in the low nineties.  We sipped White Russians and commented on what a perfect (although hot) summer Saturday it had been.

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