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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

The beach towels are the size of a flannel in Haeundae Beach (Day 250)

We discovered today that on on Haeundae Beach, the beach towels are the size of a flannel!

We are just two blocks away from the beach. As it’s our last full day here in Busan, it’s about time that we went down and chillaxed there. Suntan lotion spread all over, swimsuits on, sarong wrapped around and off we go. Parasols line the beach like a parade of soldiers in their regimental colours. It appears that the “done” thing is to hire one, and in this scorching heat, that seems quite a good idea. Heat waves seem to be all around the world at the moment from what we read, In Japan, they have been getting temperatures as high as 41 degrees so we think ourselves lucky at a mere 34 degrees!

The guy at the stall informs us that it is 8,000 won for each chair and parasol and 2,000 won for each towel. We like to keep costs down, so decide that two beach towels and one parasol would be enough. Tim pays the 12,0000 won over and he instructs us where to collect the towels and to use the blue parasols.

We walk over to another stall “Towel?” said the man there. It’s as if the first guy had radio’s over that we were coming. Tim handed over the ticket and he gave us two towels that were not much bigger than a flannel! Well, that would do for a bottom…just. “Beach towel?” Tim asked. Eventually, the guy understood what we meant and asked for an additional 10,000 won per towel. No way Jose. We’ll go with the flannels…whilst laughing our heads off. We had realised our mistake and did think this was quite amusing. Never assume – you know what that one means!

We found an available parasol and I was just about to take my sarong off for Tim to lie on when another guy came up to us with a large thin foam mat. It turns out that it comes with the parasol price. So we now have two extra flannels in our luggage bags! (I wonder how much they weigh)

No deserted beach here. The majority of the parasols are being used by families with lots a paraphernalia, huge rubber rings, bags and towels….rather bigger than ours. Tim made himself comfortable whilst I went and had a paddle. The water was a bit colder than I was expecting, no warm tropical bath here.

The next few hours were spent with Tim sunbathing and a quick dip in the sea, and me doing some painting and reading. I’ve been wanting to do a bit of painting, having been inspired by our friend Alix, who we stayed with when in Sydney. The travel paints and brushwork a treat. Mind you I do get the colours mixed up a bit and wonder if there is any way I can avoid this. I have noticed that professional artists have tons of brushes and can understand why now. They can keep the colours separate and not end up with a brown sludge.

My work of art of the beach scenery goes ok until I add the orange blobs representing the buoys. They seem far too big. I try to correct this and end up having a sea that looks as if it’s reflecting a gorgeous sunset but without the red sky….ah, writing this now, all I needed to do to correct this is to imagine a golden sunset and add that in – Doh! Watercolour seems harder to correct than oils. You can’t just scrap the paint off or plonk a different colour over the mistake. I have a lot to learn.

It was time we got back. We needed to be ready for our evening out with Im Soon, our wonderful Airbnb host. She is taking us out for a meal. If you have never stayed in an Airbnb, please do not think this is normal behaviour. We get ourselves ready and meet her in the basement carpark. What a delight she is. She gives us 3 choices as to where to eat. We choose the one with fresh clams and off we go. The restaurant’s a/c was not working, however, it seemed fairly cool in there so we sit ourselves down. Within a few minutes, the table is covered in plates of side dishes and I mean covered! Slices of thick omelette, stuffed cucumber peppers, glass noodles, dried anchovies and small clams in a spicy sauce to name just a few. Here in Korea, there is a culture of “Bali Bali” which means hurry, hurry and everything does happen quickly. After a while, a large bowl of thick seafood stew arrives and we each are given a bowl of rice and a bowl with some fried seaweed in the bottom. Im Soon shows us that we can make a bibimbap with these, so we pile rice and stew in with the seaweed, give it a good mix together – delicious.

Our conversation flowed with lots of laughter. Im Soon is such a sweetie and says that any time we need help to ring her. Tim is so cheeky and says that he will phone her at 1am in the morning when he cannot open a bottle. She threw her head back laughing away. I think she finds Tim highly amusing.

I had mentioned earlier to Im Soon that we hadn’t eaten Bingsu which she had recommended, so after our meal, we hopped back in the car and she drove us to a cafe that makes the best traditional Bingsu. This is a bowl of ice made from milk with red bean sauce on the top. It was a lot nicer than I expected, the red beans had a pleasant flavour, just slightly sweet and the iced milk wasn’t as rich as normal ice cream, a bit like a snowball. Our conversation carried on flowing with Im Soon still giggling about Tim phoning her up at 1am. Of course, the ideas that Tim was going to ask for help for were getting even more ridiculous with the three of us hooting with laughter.

Big hugs of farewell. We are so lucky and blessed to meet such wonderful people who become friends and we do hope that our paths meet again in the future with Im Soon. One very special lady.

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