I've met quite a few people since I came to Korea but one of my best friends is Jeon Se-yeong, a young lady I met during my first few weeks here. I was drinking in a late-night club with my buddy Keith and I started drunk-talking to a girl at the bar about relationships. It eventually came up that we have the same birthday. Ever since then we've been hanging out a bit, usually we just go out for dinner or movies, she's a great dinner companion and we've had a lot of fun exploring weird corners of Busan.
A couple of weeks ago we were walking around her hometown, Yangsan, a small city just north of Busan. It came up that she had never learned to ride a bicycle. I thought it was a little odd but then I guess lots of people might never learn some things we take for granted, like riding a bike or swimming. She said she'd like to be able to go to work without walking or taking the bus, so I suggested she try a bike.
We were out in the east side of Busan, an area called Sasang, last weekend. Sasang is a bit of an industrial area and there are lots of non-Korean Asians living there. Korea imports a lot of labour for what they call "3D"b jobs. Dirty, dangerous and (I can't remember the third D). I wanted to check out the Asian market, a loose collection of shops and restaurants selling Indian, Pakistani and other SE Asian food and goods.
We ended up in a big department store and they had a cute bike on sale, so we went back on Sunday and picked it up. I helped her get it onto the subway, which extends into Yangsan (as an elevated train, though, it's a nice ride and has some nice scenery). She figured it out pretty quickly on the way to the subway station and then she rode it most of the way to her house. I thought maybe since as adults have a more developed sense of balance we could dispense with training wheels and that turned out to be true. She sent me a text message last night that she had skinned her arm a little bit, but nothing serious. As a weird addendum, I had actually dreamed the night before that she had fallen and skinned her arm, and that I gave her a toolkit with bandaids in it. Just weird.