Living the expat life isn’t that boring that I thought it would be 🙂 As a restaurant owner for the past 8 years, my business use to require most of my time, there are no Saturdays or Sundays for me, there are no days off in the holidays, those are the days, weeks when your business is growing, there are no lunch with friends because that’s in your working time and there are no nights out, because next day you have to work and you can’t afford to be tired.
So now I can enjoy this free time even more. I can concentrate on my personal life, my own growth and the happiness of my family. Believe me I missed so much this ME time in the last few years.
If you are new around, here are few things I discovered in Busan that helped in our daily life so far:
- We came to Korea with our dog, a beagle, so first thing was to find a good english speaking veterinary doctor, near our apartment. We found Dr. Kim in Marine City Animal Hospital. Any concerns, vaccines, pet hotel, grooming, pet food, advice you need you can get from Dr.Kim.
- It is easy to commute everywhere with the subway and busses (if you don’t get motion sickness like me) The station names are mentioned in english and the ticketing machines have english option. After living 15 years in Japan for me it was easy to see signs, station names and announcements made in Japanese, feels like home for me.
- You have Wi-Fi everywhere. It took me 3 months to buy a phone because I didn’t actually need one. You get internet connection at the coffee shops, mall’s, pharmacies, supermarkets, even in the subways stations….BTW make sure you buy an unlocked phone if you are coming from Japan, Softbank phones can’t be unlocked anywhere in the world. They tricked me.
- The taxi drivers must come from a different world in here. Several times I saw passing cars on a red light and the speed and efficiency to get between cars while it’s traffic it’s just incredible….have you ever felt that the seatbelt is not enough protection for you in the back seat of a taxi? Well that’s how I felt few times riding around the town. Beside that, the taxi drivers will do their best to take you to your destination, even if they need to call a phone number to confirm the address they will do it from their own phones. Sweet, isn’t it?
- You can design your own furniture at same price or even cheaper then the market. We were fortunate to get an apartment in Marine City, Haeundae, which is in a 10 minutes walking distance from Orange Plaza, the furniture mall. We first went there with a translator from the relocation company, bought some of our furniture and then asked if they can make book shelfs, table and chairs, tv stand etc. with our measurements, colors and shapes because our apartment its a little in angle and the rooms has an unusual shape. We show them pictures with what we wanted and give them the dimensions and in two weeks the furniture was in our home. So if you want some good long-lasting furniture, search for Sismo Collection in Orange Plaza, furniture mall.
- Found a nice Romanian Community in Goeje Island. Sometimes its just so good to talk into your mother language (mail me if you are Romanian and you need details about the community)
- I loved korean food before, but now I love it even more. The variety of soups they have, the grilled meats at the korean BBQ’s , the spices and all the different fermented pickles are just perfect for my taste so be brave, don’t be afraid to challenge street foods (as long as you can guess what is made of) try as much yummy dishes as you can. Also if you like weird foods, here is the place you want to be.
- Winter gets cold specially around Marine City. The wind its strong and I mean it when I say STRONG!!
- Pollution gets serious sometimes. If you are having asthma, don’t forget your inhalers or see doctor as soon as you get in the town.
We are in Busan for three months already and I’m enjoying it so far. I feel that we are blessed to have such an oportunity to live here and experience the expat life, grow as human being in this gorgeous mountain-ocean city. I can’t wait for spring and warm(er) weather, walks, jogs on the ocean side, sun tuning and swims, I even saw surfers at the Songjeong Beach area and just simply living in South Korea, makes my chances pretty high to check off few things from my Bucketlist.
What I miss the most from Japan after living there 15 years? Definitely my friends.
But specially I miss my best friend.