THE FIVE MOST UNDERRATED DISTRICTS IN BUSAN

SEOMYEON IS the new Nampo, Kyungsung is the new PNU, Haeundae is where white people live, yadda yadda. If Busan is starting to feel a bit stale (i.e., you’re sick of hearing “Want to go to Seomyeon?” / “Sure, meet at The Spot?” or “Fuck it, let’s just go to Thursday Party”), you should know that there is, in fact, a world beyond Blue Monkey and the Wolfhound. It is with this in mind that I have scoured the city, literally walking from Seomyeon to Sasang (it took two and a half hours, but—but—journalism!), riding across the “Who Actually Uses This Thing?” Blue Line to deliver what I consider, in no meaningful order, the five most underrated districts in Busan.

“The market maze is divided into specific retail areas: the Jewelry Wholesale Market, for example, or the Beomil Tool Market, which is really just three blocks of men hoarding mountains of seemingly obsolete power tools who will furiously overcharge you for a screwdriver if presented with the opportunity.”

Put up a few days ago on Busan Awesome as part of my post-vacation efforts to get out of my house. This is coupled with the above post, “Notes on My First 10k”.

A JAZZ TEMPLE

IT IS INEVITABLE that expat Westerners will miss expat Western luxuries: good beer, a cheap pepperoni slice, fish fillets that don’t surprise your gums by stabbing them repeatedly while you chew. In my case, jazz was that tall order, that distinctly smoky, late-night, sombre music that permeates small coffee shops and my bedroom on less fortunate Saturday nights. And goddamn if I don’t miss the stuff live.

 On Tuesdays, the house band plays—Page One, a small, saxophone-led quintet with no weak links. The band at this point is entirely Korean (they have endured a revolving door of mixed race bandmates in the past), and the ease with which they bounce off each other, lending solos and nodding along is really comforting.

My [short] full review is now online at Busan Awesome. The latest in a series of practical goings-on reviews in the city. 

SHIT AIN’T RIGHT: A POLEMIC IN DEFENSE OF SQUATTY-POTTIES

IN MY SCHOOL, the nearest boys’ bathroom offers two styles of toilet: one is a Western, “regular” style; the other, squat-style, common in Korea and across Asia. These two roads diverged in a white porcelain mark, for me anyway, a significant leap in cultural immersion, and for weeks I wilfully ignored the issue altogether.

I can’t remember the exact moment I lost my squatting-virginity—it was probably in a Seomyeon subway washroom, against my better judgment—but I can remember my apprehension. And I remember that the moment I gave the squat a shot, I was hurled into a frighteningly stark realization that enveloped me all at once in terror and intrigue.

I fucking love squatty-potties.

 

As the above image shows, “chokes the rectum” is a wholly disgusting phrase.

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while. My latest for Busan Awesome, which is increasingly becoming a spot where I can write simply whatever the fuck I want. But, hey, the piece was fun, right?