Personal Update: What’s going on in Busan?

by Sharon -- July 12, 2010

As I write this update, Jason and I have been cooped up in our ridiculously small quaint and charming studio apartment in Busan, South Korea due to pouring rainfall all day.  We were lucky enough to find this apartment from a Korean man who speaks excellent English and rents out only to Foreigners.  At a whopping $208 rent per month, we are back to living under our daily budget that was grossly exceeded while traveling to Japan (although the trip was well worth it).

Here are some quick updates as to what we have been doing since settling down again for the past month here in Busan:

  • After a couple of weeks of searching for a dance studio, I finally found a dance academy that offered Jazz, Hip Hop and K-Pop dance classes.  To be honest, I could easily teach the class that I’m taking, but I couldn’t care less because it’s fun and it’s hopefully going to fit me into an undersized bridesmaid dress in November.
  • Jason also successfully found a Taekwondo studio.  He doesn’t quite like it as much as his last studio in Seoul, but it’s about a 3 minute walk from our apartment and he is now a Green Belt!
  • Jason and I are now volunteering two days a week at a community center.   I wish I could tell you that we actually do something, but we really don’t.  So far we have just been sitting around, doing our Korean homework or reading for 2 hours until the kids come.  Then we just try speaking to them in English for an hour until they go to dinner.  Last week we made Tteokbokki, though, which was really fun.  I ended up getting some good tips!  Hopefully we’ll start doing more than sitting around soon.
  • Jason and I have finally been able to surf again!  Yes, it was only the second time on this trip, and my second time ever, but it was a success.  We both stood up on the board a few times and met a few people in the water.  I don’t think I’ll be entering any competitions soon, but we’re planning on surfing much more once we reach Indonesia.
  • After weeks of searching for a Korean class, I finally found the perfect venue.  Two classes a week for 2 hours per class with a teacher who speaks fluent English.  SCORE!  Unfortunately, my early hopes of becoming somewhat conversationally fluent in Korean on this trip have been kicked to the curb, but I hope to continue learning the language while we’re back at home.  (Mom…)

So there is our somewhat boring update.  Once we settle down somewhere, the exciting factor in our lives plummets, but it is not unwelcomed.  I love having a home, albeit a tiny excuse for an apartment, and I love becoming familiar with the areas around our home.

Pretty soon, we’ll be heading out of Korea and into new territory down towards Indonesia.  For now, we are just enjoying homemade food, our own space, and most importantly the Mega Mart directly across the street from our apartment which has unfortunately become my favorite place.  Oh how I will miss my Mega Mart.

*In case you missed it, check out our featured article on The Professional Hobo: A Week in the Life of Jason and Sharon: Life After Cubes!

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13 Responses to “Personal Update: What’s going on in Busan?”

  1. november? I think Oct is sooner than November :) btdubs… then again.. thats assuming your dress comes in on time. Which there is a possibilty it wont and we will be spending your first weekend in the states shoping for a thrid BM dress for you :)

    thats nice of you guys to be volunteering your time to talk to kids!!! and Congrats to Jason on his Green belt!

  2. Actually the dress that I meant was Erik and Ivy’s dress because I had to get 2 sizes smaller than what I was going to get! I’m not too worried about your dress- maybe a little but not as much as this one!

    That would be really funny if I had to get a separate dress because the original one never came! How do you know it might not come in on time?

  3. Hi there,

    My son and I are visiting Busan for the month and are looking for Taekwando and dance classes…could you please share where they have them?

    Thank you and appreciate the post!

  4. Hi Shirley,

    Thanks for the comment and good luck with the move to Busan! They’ll have Takewando and dance classes all over the place to be honest. The best way to find them in my opinion is to take a walk around your neighborhood (assuming you can read Korean). Taekwando is 태권도 and dance could be called a few different ways.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi Shirley,

    For the dance classes, look for either “댄스” or “무용”, the first one just being the English transliteration in Korean which sounds like “den-suh”. Jazz classes are “재즈” and ballet is “발레”.

    Write back if you need any more help! It’s true, the only way to find them is to either have a Korean look one up at (the Korean equivalent of Google) or walk around and look up to the 2,3 or 4th floors of the buildings. These places are usually on the 2nd or 3rd floor.

  6. Thank you!

  7. Good afternoon!

    You mentioned that you found a Korean class for 2 classes a week for 2 hours. I’m also looking to take a class while I am there and would appreciate if you tell me more about the place you found. What do you focus on, grammar? Conversation? Is it a private class or with a group? If you don’t mind me asking, what is the fee? Finally, would you know if there are classes during summer?

    Thanking you in advance,

  8. Hi Effi — Thanks for the comment. And yes, we were able to find a couple of classes in Busan. One was a group class and I believe it was 10,000 for each 60-minute class. The second was a private class. I think she charged 20,000 per class and it was 90 or 120 minutes (can’t remember). Our classes focused on conversation. And yes, I think there should be summer classes. Check on — I believe that’s where we found our classes.

    Good luck!

  9. Good afternoon!
    You mentioned that you have found an apartment from a Korean man, I would appreciate if you could tell me about how to contact him. Thank you so much for your help.

  10. Hi Diego — Thanks for the comment. I’m sorry, we don’t have his email address. Try, that’s where we found the apartment. Good luck!


  11. Hello !

    Excellent posts ! Very informative and interesting. I am travelling to busan next week. I will be staying there for 6 months. Can you please give me the contact of the lady who can help me find an apartment? Also can you suggest any good hostel in busan where I can stay immediately after I arrive?


  12. Hi Varun,

    Unfortunately since it’s been so long since we were in Busan, we don’t have the contact info for the lady who tried to help us find an apartment, but she owned and operated the hostel called Blue Backpacker’s Hostel that you can find on is also a great website to find apartments and sublets. That’s where we ended up finding ours!

    Enjoy Busan!


  13. Thanks a lot Sharon ! That was helpful. I will stay in the hostel for a few days till I find a apartment.

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