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Texas Street in... Busan, South Korea!?

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For your viewing pleasure, I took this snap a couple of weeks ago -- this is Texas Street in Busan (formerly Pusan for you M*A*S*H fans), South Korea.

It got its name in the 50's when many sailors (possibly with home base at Corpus Christi) were stationed nearby and they'd go to this area to meet women, marry them, and bring them back to America.

Today the Americans are gone, replaced by Russian sailors. In fact, although the area is still known as Chinatown, there are hardly any Chinese shops left. Everything caters to the Russians. It's more like Little Moscow than South Korea.

The Russian sailors I ran into were friendly and lonely. Mostly they were happy to see another white face, but somehow they could always tell I wasn't one of them and greeted me with a heavily accented "Hullo" instead of "Здравствуйте." Probably the camera and the blonde on my arm was a giveaway that I wasn't there to haul containers back to Vladivostok.

Another pic from the same neighborhood:


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My you do get about.

A couple of days ago I thought I was going to be in your town next month, but it turns out I'll be a temporary EuroHAIFer elsewhere.

The funny part is that no matter where I go, there's always something either "Texas" or "Chicago."

Like the Texas Embassy restaurant in London, or the Chicago used clothing store in Tokyo. And if there was no American southwest, then U2 would only have half the number of songs it does and without the Bonneville Salt Flats, nowhere to film their videos!

I don't think there's anywhere on the planet where one can truly escape American sphere of influence.

And the more I travel, the more grateful I am for Starbucks, McDonald's, FedEx, and Citibank.

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This is from a street directory nearby at Post Office Junction.


It took me a while to figure out what this map was saying. My wife thought I was dumb for not understanding "The Present Situation" means "You Are Here."

I've never met anyone who "gets" Asian logic the way she does. Drop her in the Tokyo subway system and she's like a fish in water.

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