5/17/19- The Final Day (feat. Haeundae)

Today was the perfect relaxing day to wrap up the past two weeks of Korean adventure. This was our free day in Busan, when we had the option to do whatever we wanted from whenever we woke up until 5pm. Because of who I am as a person, I woke up from a great deep sleep around 11:30. I threw on some swim trunks, grabbed a hotel towel, lathered on some sunscreen, and met up with Zach and Brad to catch a cab to Haeundae Beach. When we got out of the cab around noon, we realized we were pretty hungry. We walked up and down the bustling main street, determined not to give in and go to a familiar American restaurant. In the end, we sat down at a table outside of a bustling Korean soup place, where we got a hearty lunch of fall-off-the-bone spare rib soup with dumplings. It was fantastic, and fairly cheap for the serving size and location of the restaurant. The only downside of the establishment was that the owner accidentally spilled hot broth on Zach while trying to demonstrate
how to get the meat off of the bones. However, he was fine, and we laughed it off as she apologized profusely. As we were eating, locals would come up to us occasionally and make small talk in broken English or take a selfie with us. We even got blessed by a Korean pastor. After lunch, we walked to the beach, where we quickly found a large group of our fellow Plus3 students who we proceeded to hang out with. We chilled on the beach for a few hours (the water was far too cold to go in) before it was time to call it a day. Something interesting that shows off Korean culture’s trustworthiness did happen to us during this time. A woman came up to us and gave us her purse and change of clothes, along with a note to give to her husband in case he showed up while she was eating lunch. She trusted us completely despite not knowing us at all or asking any further questions. After about a half-hour, she came back and collected her stuff from us. When we got back to the hotel, I showered quickly and went to the lobby to do a practice run of our final presentation. We then met up with Dr. Yun and the rest of the group for the 5-minute walk to the restaurant. We were in the back room of a massive buffet with a beautiful harborside view. Our presentation went off without a hitch (it was for a trash-can locating app that fulfills a need you won’t really understand until you visit this country), and all of the other groups had interesting ideas as well. After that, Dr. Yun gave a brief speech thanking us for our hard work and cooperation, and we presented him and Dr. Clark with a cake and card we all chipped in for. Finally, it was time to eat. We attacked the buffet, which featured shrimp, sushi, steak, pasta, chicken, and much more, all with a Korean flair. It was delicious to say the least. When we were done eating, our Asia Institute reps said a few words thanking us for spending the last two weeks with them, and reminded us to fill out the survey Dr. Clark designed to improve the program for future cohorts. To cap off this lovely dinner, Dr. Yun gave us all small souvenirs and handwritten cards in bags with our names on them in Korean, which he made us decipher for ourselves. Then, it was time to walk back to the hotel and pack for the big day of travel awaiting us.  A fitting conclusion to a life-changing program!

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