We took the high speed train to get here. I personally thought the kids would have loved it a LOT more than they did. Public transportation here in Korea is silent. Our 3 young kids are so not quiet and it is more than stressful trying to keep them quiet, respectful and not too messy.
We then carted our stuff and kids through the train station, outside and into the metro. Up and down elevators and in and out of train stations. (We have already decided that we need to downsize even more).
Our apartment is actually very very near to the train station which is a really nice plus, but we are at the very far end of Busan and it takes quite some time to ride the subway to any other part where we want to go.
We wandered around our area these last few days and found some indoor kid cafe’s (indoor play grounds) They are between $5 and $9 a kid depending on how long you want to play and the parent’s admission is just buying a drink.
We also found the local market here which is not as impressive as the one in our old dong (neighborhood). But, we are hoping to find more. The grocery store is literally next door, but it is not that great of a store. 1 bunch of grapes was $5 and 7 tomatoes was $10! So, our goal today is to go in search of an EMART. Although we love Korean food, we need our fruits and veggies. We are also finding we are drinking close to no water which is something we need to work on.
Our bedroom set up is two queen mattresses in the same room. It is working well, they are pretty soft though and I am having a hard time adjusting to them.
Two days ago we found a gym to sign up at for the next month…but the elevator was insane. Adam and Jake ended up getting separated from us and we spent a good twenty minutes going up and down getting out on floors and trying to find each other, all the while have the elevator fill and empty of other people. It was quite the site.
Coffee… coffee shops are EVERYWHERE!! But, buying grounds to make at home is near impossible. Starbucks sells small bags for $16 but we fly through them in about 3 days. Today we may head to Costco…(we need peanut butter too) but it is Saturday and rainy and I imagine it will be insanely busy!
We did take the metro to our old dong the other night and showed the kids our old apartment building.. Seomyeon is looking revived and amazing. So much young energy versus the “older” vibe we get in our new dong. Our favorite restaurant was sold in 2012, most likely soon after we left and a new fancy bbq chicken restaurant was there. There was a lot the same, but so much different…cleaner… livelier.
We also got to see a fire truck and ambulances here!
Eating has gone ok. The kids are basically gulping down yogurt and dumplings. These seem to be their favorite foods so far here. We are trying new foods as often as we can, but I do need to cook more.
We have also run into a cash problem. We came with Korean won but only have about $20 left. Most places do take our cards without a problem, but in Korea, you need cash. You need it for the markets and little things. But, for some reason I can not get any of the atms to work at any of the banks with any of our cards. So, today I do need to make some phone calls to our bank and most likely sit inside of one of the banks here and speak to a teller.
We also forgot what life was like without a dryer. I do laundry every day and we hang dry our clothes. But, there is definitely a reason why not many people wear cotton, all of our shirts have stretched out with loose collars. It reminds me of that silly 1st date commercial with the V neck becoming a U neck.
Today starts our Adams work schedule adjustment.
6:30 am I go to the gym
7am the kids wake up and have breakfast
8:30-9:30 school and quiet time
9:30-1:30 is adventure time, we will leave the apartment within this time and explore somewhere near or a little farther.
2:00 Adam will head to bed and the kids will have 1 hour of quiet time.
3:00 Ill take them to the indoor play place or an outdoor park depending on the weather.
5:30 prep dinner
7pm the kids will go lay down with Adam for bed
7:30 Adam will head to the gym
9:30 pm Adam will begin his work day
We shall see how this goes, but this is the plan. I won’t lie, this last week has not been easy. Adjusting kids to living in a LARGE city, that is very different from what they know. The language and behaviors are different. A lot of the older generation has been trying to speak to them and they get super close, touch their faces, want to hold their hand. And of course their English is very broken and doesn’t make much sense. Two nights ago we encountered a gentleman who had a little too much soju and made Gavin really uncomfortable. We got off the subway and got back on the next train because he was just a little too in your face.
Our kids are fun and loud and don’t sit that well. They are over and under tired. They want to dance and run and play. They argue. They want to run on the sidewalks that are so busy with people and so close to the streets with cars. They fight over who presses the elevator buttons.
Our patience is so thin at the moment. We have questioned some of our choices, the location of our apartment, such a drastic lifestyle change as our first country stop etc…. It is also super hard because our life here in Korea was so different the last two times. We were able to sit and enjoy a meal, we were able to move around pretty easy.
We have spent a lot of time talking about how we need to adjust our exceptions and daily routine now that the kids are with us. Of course it can be done, we just have to figure out what will work best. We have written on a world schooling page and received tons of good advice, so we are going to school ourselves on worldschooling our kids.
I just wanted everyone to know there are challenges as with anything. Pictures and videos show all the great times, the fun, the exciting and of course many are posed with “cheese” But there is a reality to taking your kids across the world and everyone adjusting, so I did think that it was only fair to share some of the more challenging aspects we have faced.
Have you traveled with your kids? What helped them adjust?