Tag Archives: cherry blossom

Korea in Spring is Beautiful Even When I Am Not

18 Apr

Spring has arrived in South Korea and it’s beautiful. Arriving in February, everything in Korea seemed kind of grey. There were no leaves on the trees, and no colour on the mountains. At the time, the drizzle reminded me of home (that’s the British for you) but I’m a summer baby and I was looking forward to the changing of the seasons.

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Well, it hadn’t occurred to me that spring in Korea would be so beautiful! Thanks to the Japanese, who planted lots of cherry trees during their years of rule (er, thanks colonial oppressors!), spring in Busan means lots of cherry blossom. My neighbourhood was transformed! My school yard was no longer a cheerless, sandy, gateway to hell (I love my school really)! To really soak up the cherry blossom beauty, I headed to the nearby town of Jinhae for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Image

As you can see, it was busy, but beautiful.

Many Koreans seem to be expert posers. There was a lot of “Korean Vogue-ing” going on, which I attempted to join in on. Please excuse my face – I was also suffered from a bad head cold, hence the pallor.

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For some reason, Koreans seem to enjoy approaching and taking photos of me. I’m always happy to answer university students’ surveys, pose for photos with Korean couples, perform the running man on demand (the question is usually “can you shuffle?” – they love LMFAO here) and wave at small children. On the whole, I’ve found Koreans to be welcoming, friendly, and polite, so I try to return the favour!

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Street food at the festival was pretty special. I ate some spit-roasted pork, and a street waffle (so delicious, and made fresh!). I didn’t try some of the more… interesting-looking offerings though!

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These guys look like whole fried ducklings on a skewer?

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Apparently these guys are squid with the tentacles kind of tucked up.

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This is a vat of silkworm (I think) larvae being cooked up. People get these in a little cup and eat them like a tasty snack. The smell to me seems pretty vile so I haven’t been tempted to try them yet. They seem pretty popular though!

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God knows what this is, but I thought the fin poking out the top looked pretty cool!

I sadly didn’t get any photos of my neighbourhood in all it’s blossomy glory, because the cherry blossoms don’t last long here. One rainy day was enough to get rid of most of the blossoms near my school. I think the temporary nature of the blossoms makes them even more beautiful – they seem so delicate. It’s hard not to go all navel-gazing Lost In Translation-stylee when you’re walking under them. In a word: beautiful.

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