This 4th of July was the first in my life that I did not celebrate in the States. It all started with Josh and I running back to our apartments after work (we got out a little early at 5:45), throwing on our backpacks and taking the scooter as quick as we could to Changnyeong so we could catch the 6:10 bus. We made it just on time and after getting to Busan we then took an hour subway ride, hopped in a taxi and dropped off our stuff at our friend’s apartment in Haeundae.
FIRST STOP OF THE NIGHT: FUZZY NAVEL
So after arriving in Haeundae we stopped at Fuzzy Navel to get some drinks and Mexican food. The nachos here are really good, they come with a whole bunch of cabbage on top which I actually like since it makes me feel like I’m being healthy. It’s really fascinating that in Korea although there is no tipping culture we still seem to be getting amazing service everywhere. It’s not just because we’re foreigners either, the service here just tends to be amazing. The waiters leave you alone and you press a button on the table when you are ready to order or need something and they come right away and are generally super friendly. At the Fuzzy Navel there are always between 8-20 people working and most of the time there are at least 2 bartenders just dancing in the bar area, its just a really fun atmosphere.
NEXT UP: TAO
After we ate and pre-gamed at Fuzzy Navel we stopped and I bought a cocktail on the street that came in a Ziploc drink pouch. It was really cool, like an alcoholic Capri Sun and cost less than $4. Once we arrived at Tao (nightclub in Haeundae) we were surprised to see that the club was EMPTY. There were maybe 15 people in the club (including the DJs and bartenders). So we danced on stage for no one and somewhere along the way the club became full of people (but if I’m being honest it was a pretty cool experience having a whole club to myself to dance around and be stupid in).
FINALLY: CELEBRATING THE 4TH
And to end our night we bought some roman candles off of a street vendor and shot them off on the beach. It was my first experience setting off fireworks and I was super scared but it was worth it- such a surreal experience to be setting off fireworks into the ocean! Apparently it is illegal to set off fireworks in public but they were selling them EVERYWHERE in Haeundae (because so many military had the weekend off and were vacationing in Haeundae) and they know Americans love their fireworks, especially on the 4th. There were loudspeakers saying not to light fireworks off (only in English, not Korean) and according to some friends we met up with later at one point in the night there were police officers running around the beach taking the fireworks and shoving them into the sand (this isn’t really that safe because the fireworks are still going off…just in the sand…near your feet). But by the time we were setting off our fireworks it was after 4 am and no one stopped us.
Overall it was one of the best 4th of July’s I have ever celebrated…and I didn’t even have a hot dog :).
Josh’s collages of the night…