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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Busan Museum and the largest Department Store in the World (Day 249)

As well as being interviewed this morning, we visited Busan Museum and the largest Department Store in the World. Who'd have known that was here!

We have a request for you: Do you know any other Middle-aged Travellers? And if yes, please can you pass them our way. We would like to interview them. We are researching for our book about what to do before travelling and this is specifically for travellers in their 40s – 60s. So how did this request come about?

This morning I had a zoom call from Mark Jamieson, a New Zealand guy who connected with me on LinkedIn. He is writing a book about Insights and looking for people to Interview – and I was very happy to oblige. And what a wonderful conversation we had. Exploring what insights are and how they arise, discussing how we can get so busy in our heads trying to solve issues, yet when we put our issues to one side and have space, how effortless the solution can pop up, with new fresh thinking. We could have talked for ages! What a shame that we didn’t meet Mark when we were over there. At least, with technology today, we can still connect face to face.

This interview did get our ideas flowing, hence our question to you. It would be great to Interview with other people who have travelled for some time or are travelling.

After our usual chillax, we ventured out and returned to Sushi Berry where we had that delicious lunch yesterday. Today we only had the Shrimp Tempura Rolls and sat at the bar, chatting with the chef as well as coming up with questions to ask our Interviewees.

Next stop was Busan Museum. An Exhibition about Africa had sparked our interest. The museum had been designed to give the visitor a natural flow through the various times of Korea, specifically Busan, starting with Prehistoric rocks, the Paleolithic Culture and first human presence here about 700,000 years ago. We saw amazing relics of comb-patterned pottery from the Neolithic Age. We imagined back in that time someone playing and forming a shape with clay and water and accidentally dropped it into the fire, and realising that it had turned hard. So many mistakes have turned into new creations – post-it notes, pacemakers and penicillin to name just a few.

Onto the Byeonhan period with the introduction of iron. This had a big impact on the life of the local people as they accumulated much wealth and a better standard of living…but sadly this caused invasions and war – power at its worst. I must admit that by this time, my brain felt as if it was getting a bit full up, a bit like yesterday’s stomach. I wandered around just taking in small bits of information and noticing items such as a crown from these ancient times.

The museum was free to enter and really, we should have left then. But we continued to walk around. I reached the halfway stage and sat waiting for Tim. There was a small children’s art exhibition of paintings based on the kids’ visit to the museum which was lovely. I’m not too sure why one had Aladdin and the Genie in it though!

The next part of the Museum was from the period of the Japanese invasion, the first one in 1592 right up to the Korean War in the 1950s, and a lovely display of black and white photos of the period afterwards mainly of ordinary local people. We could see the poverty that people lived in then; it seems very different now.

Time for a drink. I have discovered Citron tea here, which tastes just like marmalade mixed with water. It’s delicious and a reminder of our favourite Heston’s Marmalade on Toast Ice Cream (a definite for when we zoom back to the UK for 5 weeks soon).

At last, we reached the African Exhibition. It was ok, lots of wooden artefacts and weapons, perhaps giving us a taster for our three months there at the end of this year.

Where to go next? Did you know that the world’s largest department store is in Busan? Centum, which is Shinsegae’s flagship store, outshines Macy's flagship Herald Square in New York City in size by more than 1 million square feet with its 14 floors high plus 2 basement floors. Let’s go there, especially as it is only two train stops from our apartment. We entered to see all the top clothing brands, Chanel, House of Versace, Prada etc. I tried on a few sunglasses, way past my budget, fun to do though. It was great to amble around.

Back in our lovely little apartment, we have 6 days to decide where to visit in South Korea. We planned to go to northeast Gangwon region. Hang on a minute – the accommodation price is really high! £100 for that? Surely not. The prices seem to be more than double of Busan and Seoul. After spending far too much time searching, I listened to my own advice and put the issue to one side. We’re sure that we will a solution soon. I wonder what other middle-aged travellers would do.

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