문화 교환 (Culture Exchange)

As I dove into another week of work, I soon discovered that I would have to find my own opportunities to work to make the most out of this experience. At first, I was confused as to why everyone in the office around me always seemed busy, however if I asked to help out with anything, I would always be given the response, “I’ll let you know later.” The day would sometimes end with a trivial task or I would not be assigned any tasks at all. Halfway through the week, I heard my team manager talking about visiting various locations outside the office as work and I volunteered to join and help out to gain some experience. I was finally given the okay and accompanied my team manager on this trip. We visited various event halls and theaters around Centum City. The first place we looked at was the Shinsegae Culture Hall. Here, I took notes and pictures while the team leader told us where the posters and promotional items would be placed. We next went to the Media Center, another venue for the festival, followed by the Busan Design Center. Finally, we stopped by the Busan International Film Festival Building, one of the most interesting structures in Busan which also houses its own cinema center where the public are welcome to watch movies. At this time, another festival was taking place called BIKY, or the Busan International Kids and Youth Movie Festival, where famous youth movies are displayed and events are hosted for kids. Seeing how this festival was being promoted and the abundance of posters all over Busan (e.g. in the subway stations), I got a better understanding of how the Comedy Festival is going to be promoted. After visiting these locations, the head team manager, 박 팀장님 (Mrs. Park), led us over to a cafe where we discussed the notes we took and also had time to casually talk and ask questions. I found it interesting sharing my experience as a foreigner and my perspective of the culture while being able to ask questions of my own on how foreigners are viewed by native Koreans and how our culture is perceived.

Over the weekend, my friend from Seoul came over to Busan to see me and sightsee the area with two other friends she brought along. We first ate lunch at a family owned restaurant that specializes in 칼국수, or knife-cut noodle soup. This dish comes in different varieties and is very famous in Korea for its noodles that are hand cut.

kalguksu

After enjoying this delicious meal, we headed down to Busan’s famous 구남로, or Gunam-ro, the road that leads straight from the subway station to the main entrance of Haeundae Beach. This street has many restaurants and cafes, along with carnival-esque foods such as ice cream and cotton candy. We first stopped by an ice cream shop that specializes in honeycomb ice cream, and then went to a cafe where we had a nice conversation over some coffee. The time spent at the cafe was very memorable for me as it served as both a time to make new friends, as well as one when I could participate in more culture and language exchange!

honey ice cream