Ultimate Frisbee Busan

22 May

The last time Baden and I boarded a train to Busan we had high hopes of being slotted into a frisbee team. This time, we knew for sure we’d get to play: All 8 games.

With the arrival of summer, train tickets fill up quickly and by the time we booked our train, the only available seats were on a train to Gumi and then a transfer to Busan. When we arrived in Gumi at 8.30pm, we grabbed a quick dinner at the station (I had a cheesy beef hot dog and Baden had a fishy noodle vegetable soup) and then proceeded to our new train where we had to ask two elderly women to get off our seats and stand the rest of the way. Usually, young people give up their seats for older people on the bus or subway but on the intercity-train, where the standing seats are considerably cheaper than the seating tickets, it is common for old people to be left to stand for hours. Our train was due to arrive in Busan just after 11pm giving us about 30 minutes to catch the last subway station to the beach. We once read that trains in Korea have only a 2% chance of being late. This was the 2% and as our train came to a stop at 11.20, we dashed out running for the subway. We caught the last train on the brown line and squeezed in with hundreds of other people. Crossing onto the green line proved more tricky. Koreans have been particularly mean to tourists by having Yongsan on one end of the line and Jongsan on the other. How inconsiderate considering that these words are pronounced almost identically (perhaps Koreans will disagree)! This meant that, in our rush to slide through the closing doors of the final train, we boarded the train to Yongsan instead of Jongsan. Plus we were squashed in the middle of a very full train of people. At the next stop, we tumbled out of the train into a deserted station with only a lone woman quietly mopping the floors. 

Fortunately, there was a timetable posted to the wall which said that this station’s final train was leaving in 3 minutes. We just had to get to the other side of the station. And so again we ran: through the ticket boxes, down the stairs and across the platform to arrive as the train arrived. We boarded and sat out the 45 minute journey to Jongsan.

Our play of action from this point was to find the nearest hotel. Sadly though, Jongsan station is no where near any hotels and after wandering aimlessly for 30 minutes looking for the motel sign in Korean, we caught a taxi to Jongsan beach. There we spent a further 30 minutes searching for a hotel. At first we tried ‘theme motel’ (possibly where you can chose a theme for your hotel room) but it was expensive, then we tried a hotel with a sleeping receptionist. At this point Baden decided that the keys left on the counter were obviously available for people to ‘look’ at the room. So he quietly took a room key, we went up the lift and opened the room – only to discover that that room was taken and there were people inside, clothes scattered all over the floor. At this point, we ran to the lift, descended as quickly as possible, left the key and made a run for the door. This left us with Aqua House – a quiet, clean and pretty motel and we finally got to sleep just after 2am.

The next day, we arrived at the beach at 9am to meet our team, warm up and begin the games. We won the first three games and lost the third. That evening, we went home for a shower with all intentions of catching the subway for the tournament party, but the shower inspired a nap, which lasted longer than expected and eventually we decided to have dinner in our neighbourhood and sleep early. A famous Korean restaurant style is ‘braai’ (that’s what we call it) where you have a fire or grill on your table and raw meat arrives for you to cook it yourself. The usual price is about 10 000w per person but this place charged us 10 000 for 2 people. It’s really amazing!

The next morning we won our first game and got to the semi finals by which time our team members were dropping like flies. The next two games we lost only slightly. By the end of the fourth game on Sunday, Baden had tweeked his knee and my feet were swollen from running barefoot for 2 days. The water was icy cold but offered some relief to our tired muscles. Baden caught a few magnificient final points in the end zone and I was happy with some good Ds and catches in the end zone. But perhaps most proudly – we played til the end, despite being tired and sore.

Our final  game ended at 5.15 and we said very quick goodbyes before running off, sweaty and dirty, to find a taxi. We shared the taxi with Gordon, who was heading to Seoul, and felt anxious as the taxi driver told us that the traffic was heavy today and the drive might take 70minutes – we did not have 70 minutes! But thanks to a quiet prayer, we made it in time and limped onto the train to rightfully take our seats.

This weekend we played 8 competitive 1 hour games, arrived home after a 5hour train ride at 11.30pm and staggered home – sore but happy.

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2 Responses to “Ultimate Frisbee Busan”

  1. Trish Middlebrook May 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    fantastic description of weekend, Trini. Could feel your stress of catching trains and having sore muscles!!!

  2. Baden Dowie May 24, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    Great weekend Love 🙂 see you on the next Adventure!

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