I've been checking and re-checking just to be sure, and it's official: This city was made for me.
It's a marvelously elastic place -- room for the boisterous, athletic types who must hike up the mountains by day and bathe themselves in the neon glow of bars by night and there is also space also for sedentary bookworms who like nothing more than to sit at the beach(es!) reading with shoes and socks off and toes stuck down in the cool sand. There's also cutely-themed coffee shops with quiet corners and chairs with comfortable cushions to squish down into.
Deliberate calculation is not something I excel at, but before this somewhat reluctant (I can't believe my ambivalence now) move to Busan, I decided to place myself near the center of the city since I had to find my own apartment anyway. Worked like a charm. I'm exactly 30 minutes from my workplace by subway. I'm not that great at math, but I managed to work out in a flash that going there and back home again = one hour of reading time. A few extra moments can be squeezed in if I start while waiting for the train to arrive, and use the time on the shuttle bus that goes to the university.
Going the opposite way, I'm approximately 30 minutes from the aforementioned beaches. At the closest beach, Gwangalli, there's a sweet little New-Zealand themed bar called Beached, and this bar is the home of the Busan Book Swap, which has been going strong for about two years.
In a perfect world, there would be a book swap every single weekend, right? But this is Busan, my almost-perfect world, and what better consolation than the English used bookstore/cafe/bar, Fully Booked, which is about 20 minutes away by subway? They have a fresh and quirky selection of used books, and it's also a popular hangout for people to meet and play board games. Book browsing and game playing can make a person hungry, which the owners of Fully Booked fully understand, so they also offer delicious paninis. Since the weather was still a bit chilly when I arrived, I was most appreciative of their mulled wine, but now that it's warming up, I'm getting even fonder of their sangria.
|That's my sangria. Delicious. It had raspberries in it. And I found The Dud Avocado, which I've wanted to read for years. Successful visit!|
Gotta say, I'm a pretty happy bookworm.