I took Line 2 to Gwangan Station and walked from Exit 5 to Gwangalli Beach. This was my first time revisiting this beach since I’ve returned to Korea.
I added to the nostalgic feeling by eating at the same restaurant I ate at the last time I was here: Fuzzy Navel. I ordered the same thing too: two soft-shell tacos. Honestly, they were not as good as I remember. But not bad considering it’s a Mexican dish made by Koreans.
After taking a long walk along the beach, I took the subway back to the Busan Train Station. I remembered seeing several foreign restaurants when I arrived in the morning that seemed like good places to go for dinner. So I crossed the street and entered China Town.
I discovered that Busan has a large Russian expat community. At least half the signs in China Town are written in Russian. Every Russian restaurant had a woman standing outside cat-calling for male customers. They’d act sweet, but quickly turn sour upon being ignored or rejected.
All that desperation and begging made me feel like I was back in Southeast Asia. Like my experience in Vietnam and Cambodia, I got grabbed. Two middle-aged Russian women walked passed me, and as they did, the brunette took my hand and wouldn’t let go. I happen to know a little Russian–just enough to introduce myself. I thought that upon hearing their native language, they’d be less likely to try to take advantage of me. I was wrong.
They brought me into a bar run by an older Korean woman. They forced me into a booth and tried to convince me, in their broken English, to buy drinks for them. I said I only wanted dinner. They said one drink would only be 10,000 Won. I said that was too expensive for me, and they laughed.
They asked if I was interested in trying Russian food. I said I was. They asked if I like chicken. I said yes. The Korean woman then got on the phone and apparently ordered my dinner. I didn’t know this at the time. I had no idea where my food would be coming from or how much it would cost. I was hungry and extremely frustrated at the predicament I had gotten myself into.
My Russian meal was delivered, which cost me 12,000 Won. I assumed it was Korean because it was just a plate of dumplings. I also assumed that this was my whole dinner, and not just Part One.
They were the best dumplings I’ve ever had. That’s how I knew they weren’t Korean. I had no idea that was considered a traditional Russian meal. I wasn’t even halfway through the meal when I felt full. Then the chicken arrived.
They failed to inform me that the chicken cost 17,000 Won before ordering it for me. I said I was upset that it was so expensive. Of course, she just said no, it’s not expensive. At this point I was furious that two women were able to take control so easily. What sent me over the edge was when the blonde woman told me to share the chicken with her. “But I paid for it,” I said. She laughed and insinuated that I was not a gentleman if I didn’t share my food with her. I don’t appreciate being used to get free food, so I boxed up my expensive meal, and stormed out of there.
When I got home that night, I ate my dinner, and it was some of the best chicken I’ve ever had in my life.