Saturday, October 16, 2010

Busan International Film Festival

I went to Busan last weekend for the Pusan International Film Festival.  PIFF is one of the best/largest film festivals in Asia, if not THE best.  There were 306 films and 182,046 tickets sold.  I saw three really great films:  Children of the Green Dragon from Hungary, Portraits in a Sea of Lives from Colombia, and Floating Lives from Vietnam...Floating Lives being my favorite.  We tried to see a Korean movie on Sunday but couldn't make it back in time from the fish market.  There were a lot of opportunities to meet with directors, actors, etc...  The list of movies was overwhelming to go through and I didn't get a chance to check out which films were going to have the director and/or actors there.  If I make it to this film festival in the future, I will know more of what to expect.

I've been asked whats the difference between Busan/Pusan.  The b/p sound is blended together to form one sound in Korean...so sometimes you see it written in Roman letters as a P or a B.

One of the theaters was in "The World's Largest Department Store."  I guess I can cross that one of the list of things to see...(haha).
There were a lot of people doing photo shoots...but I didn't know any of them...
We stayed right by the beach.  It was beautiful.
The beach at night.
No matter where you are in Korea...the English doesn't make sense.
And, no matter where you are in Korea...there will be many interesting things.
ahhh!!!  I wanted to take these cute little guys home with me!!  There is no room for big dogs in Korea, so you will only find these tiny little ones.  They are so adorable.  If I wasn't gone so often on the weekend, I would have taken one of these guys home with me:)
On Sunday we went to the famous Jalgachi Fish Market.  I went a little crazy on the photos.  I hope some of them aren't too distrubing.  I had never felt so bad for fish before in my life.

Koreans loved dried fish and seafood...not my favorite.  You will find squid, fish, etc hanging to dry all of the place.
I love shrimp...however, Korea doesn't cut off the head and peel it nicely like they do at home.  So...I haven't really eaten shrimp since I've been here.  The cook at my school thinks this is hilarious.
This tank was stuffed with crabs...there is even one guy waving to us for help:(

There are so many things that I wouldn't even know how to eat.

These things gross me out whenever I see them:(
I felt so bad for these fish.  They only had a few inches to swim in:(
This guy wanted me to take a pic of him.

These clams were so fun.  I'd never seen them alive before.  They kept opening and closing and squirting water up 8 inches or so.
Everything was constantly draining on the floor which made for a pretty slippery surface.  I'm so lucky I didn't fall.  However, I wore long jeans where the bottoms got soaked in fish water...smelled delicious!




 This lady was hammering away at these shells(??).  I don't really know what they were and how you would eat them or if you don't eat them, what sort of value they hold?????
 Does anyone know what these are?




 bleh!  The ladies were skinning the eels...at least that is what I think they are.





 Why not dry your clothing along with the fish and squid?
 Bringing fresh seafood to the market.
 You can find dried squid just about anywhere in Korea...the convenience store, baseball games, on the street corner...
 Dried anchovies.  Another favorite.  We have these at lunch...a lot!  They are usually fried with sugar.  The first time I ate them, I thought it was some sort of fried, crunchy plant until I looked down at my plate and saw little anchovy eyes looking at me.
In case you haven't ate clams, this is what is inside. I think they are delicious. But this was a first, I'd never seen them dried before.
Lunch time!  We went upstairs to enjoy some very fresh fish.  Here are our sidedishes.  Crab legs (my favorite), shell things??, sweet potatoes, fish, kimchi, seaweed, peapods, and some salad.
 I had never eaten these before...I don't know what they were.  They were pretty good though.
 Fish
 crab legs
 Seafood in Korea can be difficult to eat at times because they don't really serve it, "ready-to-eat."  There is a bit of work involved.  There are no tools given with the crab legs.  Here, Rozalia is trying to get some meat out with her chopsticks...haha.  This is when the Koreans look at us funny and laugh.
 Korean Seafood Pancake...love these!  I have to figure out how to make them!
 Shrimp.
 And now for the main course...sashimi...raw fish on a bed of noodles.  I love the fake bonsei tree for ambience.
 I like this photo because it looks like the man in the poster is joining us.
 Dip the sashimi in the sauce and eat...delish!
 We also had barbequed fish.  Again, it never comes "ready-to-eat" but I've learned to de-bone my fish with chopsticks quite well by now.
 You use a toothpick to pick out the "meat" in the shell...
 Korean food often ends with some soup.  Here we have a delicious fish soup.
 I saw this building on the way back to the hotel.  I guess they can get away with it because no one really knows what it means.
Well, that about wraps up my time in Busan.  Busan is the second largest city in Korea and is located in the southeast.  It is a huge port city.  I really like Busan because it is a big city that has everything you need, beautiful beaches, and it isn't as fast-paced as Seoul.  The people seemed a bit more friendly and not so high-strung.  I hope to make it back to Busan.

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