I’m writing you in the business center at the lovely 5-star Paradise Hotel in Haeundae, Korea. I’m about 14 kilometers from Pusan. I was happy to find out the hotel that has free Internet access so I can post at least a short blog entry today. The hotel is very nice. It sits on the waterfront overlooking Korea’s most popular beach. During the summer, up to 90,000 visitors a day flock to Haeundae to enjoy the beach. It isn’t quite Waikiki, Hawaii, but Haeundae is definitel a nice resort town. I’m glad that it’s fall now, because I can enjoy the town and the beach in relative peace and quiet. In mid-November, this place will change dramatically as Haeundae hosts the upcoming APEC Summit. In fact, today the power went off several times at the hotel as engineers ran test power outages in advance of the APEC Summit.
I came down here for work. I will help Americans for a couple of days before returning to Seoul. My family is coming along for the ride. I could not have asked for a better job assignment. I wanted to come down to help out with APEC Summit preparations, but it was not meant to be. I’m more than happy to settle for this assignment, because I hear that those who will be involved with APEC will be scrounging around for places to sleep. My room is comfortable with a gorgeous view of the beach and the East Sea (a.k.a. Sea of Japan). Sometimes this job is so tough. Someone has to do it! 🙂
My wife and son arrive soon. They are taking the KTX train to Pusan like I did yesterday. My son is absolutely fascinated by trains, and his appetite for all things "Thomas" (Thomas the Tank Engine) is insatiable. Riding the KTX train will be a joy for him, at least for part of the trip. I hope he gets a window seat so he can see the Korean countryside. One of his favorite "Thomas the Tank Engine" characters is Spencer, the sleek, modern silver train owned by the Duke and Duchess. We told my son before the trip that he will ride on Spencer to see daddy, and he grew very excited. The trip is short–about 2.5 hours–so it should keep him preoccupied for awhile. I hope his mom was able to manage him without consternation!
I will try to write again tomorrow about Pusan. From what I have seen, it’s a beautiful city hugging the coastline and cradling the mountains inside the city limits. It’s one of the world’s largest seaports, and it has a great seaport atmosphere. If you visit Korea and have time, take a journey out of Seoul on the KTX and visit Pusan.