Wednesday, January 12, 2011

People I Met In (South) Korea

I noticed that my verdict towards places I went was greatly affected by people I met. When there are sense of belonging and being warmly welcomed, nothing can discourage me from revisiting. Not even the language barrier.

Two different person can have real opposite opinion on a same place. What makes the different? It's definitely came from the people they met and how they react to them. Me for an instance like to socialize with local and try to be part of their community to know extended knowledge about a country than any guide book offered. Take some time to know the place than 'been there, seen that'. Ah, the reason why I like independent travel. The time is at my hand, not the tour agent ;) Always start with a smile and a simple "hi", you'll do fine.

When I visited Korea for 10 days, it was an experience of a lifetime. The places I went undoubtedly amazing but the short conversation I had with strangers somehow was the the most memorable one. People below, they offered a simple help, they changed my perception on some things, made me think over some issues throughly, made me appreciate things I take for granted before, gave words of encouragement and I even get inspiration from them. Amazing people are everywhere!

Met Yani at KLIA who was on the same flight to Korea for her conference. It's good to know that our government do send their people abroad frequently for such event.

If u have been reading my previous entry, u must recognize this guy, David. A Canadian citizen who is originally from Trinidad & Tobago. A language teacher and also a great companion. Will be meeting him and his wife in Brunei this year, insyaAllah.

Don't u agree that Korean kid is so adorable? This was during our way to Nami Island.

We got stopped by these school girls on our way to Gapyeong train station. And we were mistaken with Indonesian. That sign, is an 'A' sign. I just don't get it why. Been told to do so.

Our un-official translators in Jeju Island. Both were students at Virginia Tech, USA and a beautiful lady with cap behind us is their mother. I swear she has the most beautiful skin ever!

Our tour member in Jeju Trolley, a very friendly Korean uncle trying to converse with us in Korean language. Nice try uncle, that phrase book has put into great use :) 

Oh, another uncle. In Seogwipo. We do looked like tourist right? He offered his help to take our photo and shared a little bit about himself. Kind old man.

At Soingook Theme Park with Korean kids. They have great parents.

Another school girls. Again got mistaken with Indonesian. It must be the hijab we were wearing. Even in their school uniform, they were fashionable. Just look at them, all wearing glasses.

Sayra liked his sincerity. A Korean boy who helped us taking photo.

This is Hisham, Morrocan guy working in US Embassy and married a Japanese girl. Been taking his leave for a year to travel alone. How complicated can that be? This picture was taken when we bid him goodbye as he had to go back to US for some urgent work matters. We were surprised when he asked whether we are Malaysian. It was a correct guess for the 1st time after receiving so many Indonesia answers from others. How did he knows? He has a brother who is doing Quranic frames business in Shah Alam. What a coincident!

Sabiqa, a Thailand girl who knows how to speak Malay and been following her dad for berdakwah in Korea. We met her in mosque compound and it was very kind of her to invite us to her house.

It was not difficult for us to know that this girl is from Malaysia by looking at her look right? She was on student exchange program for few months and showed us the best place to shop :') 

And it was not difficult either to know that girl is from Indonesia. A nursing student, also on exchange program. How I envied them!

While finding our way out from the mosque, found this Bosnian woman with her kids. She was accompanying her husband who was working for that mosque.

This is Salam Restaurant chef. He was the one who prepared us the great food. Managed to call him for a photo session :')

Oh well, this is Jun. He was Beewon counter guy during night time. He also had another job at club nearby and is a great artist. He even gave each of us his art piece. Sis Ernie got the most beautiful piece! It was from him I know that there is a 'Korean age' term. It's something similar like chinese calendar vs gregorian calendar.

I just don't know why uncles like us LOL! These are Japanese uncles we met at DMZ. They enjoyed talking in Japanese with Sis Ernie.

I can't really remember where this guy from. One of the country in Middle East for sure. He was alone in DMZ and later joined us halfway through the course.

These guys were our tour members and students from USA. They travelled to Korea for their semester break. I wish I have a chance to travel since such young age.

Ladies and gentlemen, please don't mess with this guy. He's an army in charge at the first train station towards North Korea. The only army in not-typical uniform u can take picture with. U can put on any expression but he will maintain his heartless face look. 

How strange it is to be talking about nasi lemak, roti canai and teh tarik in Korea? Well not really when these 2 beautiful girls are also from Malaysia. They missed Malaysian food so much and had us to share their craving stories. Both were studying Korean language in Korea. How lucky!

Well, he may looks like an African selling watches and belts from shop to shop. But he is the guy we know on a Hangang river cruise and on vacation with some of his other friends who has a beautiful baby girl.

For some reason, it is stated in our Malaysian passport that the only country we are prohibited to enter is Israel. Well, need not to travel to Israel to meet one, I already met one in Korea. She was on holiday with her sister for a month. Seemed nice to me. Kindness and evil is in the heart, not in the race nor nationality. Enough said.

So, what about u? How u do like strangers?


Jaja® said...

i so love this entry!!! :)
i on the other hand only take pic of myself or the scenery only.

p/s: ko pi tgk ayun ke td?

Lily Riani said...

ramai nye, cam rombongan UCB

fatt said...

nice entry byya :)
banyak betul gmbr especially the uncles...kdg2 uncles & aunties ni mmg suka melayan sembang..dorg really nice. i setuju ttg org yg kita jumpa masa travel kat sstu negara tu mainkan peranan penting sama ada dia akan buat kita suka negara tu atau kita akan ckp pd org lain spya takyah pegi tmpt tu sbb tak best. i rasa sbb tu i fell in luv with nz & oz :)

Biqque said...

nice one!

i always mistaken as other citizen, indo la, japanese la, philipine la, india la, not even once they guessed me as m'sian...

i am more comfortable to tag with foreigners as they are way more friendly compared to m'sian whom i met out there...dunno why m'sian so belagak with me...hahahaha!

aku said...

to sayra!!!!slim gler...hihi sowee xde kena mengena ngan post....

My name starts with M said...


Traveller's Anatomy said...

Diri sendiri n scenery adelah wajib. Tambah lg dua, food ngan org yg ko jumpe :)

Do u mean UCB = United Colours of Benetton? hehe

Traveller's Anatomy said...

thanks :)
yeah, i pon rase u suke OZ & NZ lebih drp sbb tmpt tu cantik. When connected only u feel the place more than just tourist attraction.

msian is not very well known except for people from SEA :(

Traveller's Anatomy said...

slim kan? hehe...tula org suruh dia keep the shape mcm dulu tapi slalu gak org ajak dia mkn best2, mengganggu proses diet dia..

thanks :')

Chibi Maruko said...

ohhh me banyak cita camni, ini berlaku bila travel dengan travel partner yang kurang sifat malu hehehhe maksudnya peramah alam.... selalu aje ada jumpa orang berbual.. its good experience...

Traveller's Anatomy said...

yeah, couldn't agree more on u. travel partner mmg memainkan peranan penting bila travel. lucky u have husband with similar interest :)

alid abdul said...

meet people while travel is really great, they don't judge by our nationality or what, they just enjoy and friendly. ^^

I met a lot korean everyday in here in Indonesia

Traveller's Anatomy said...

Hey Alid,
Thanks for reading. I hope to meet u in Indonesia or Malaysia :)

maso.tee said...

Hi, i'm planning my trip to korea next year, i wondering if Korean custom is fussy? how your experience with their custom especially foods?

by.ya @ Traveller's Anatomy said...

Hi Maso,
In my experience, they are not as fussy as Australia's custom. Just a normal custom check.

Rayyan Haries Aaron Davis said...

I have had great memories with strangers. there was this one time in kelantan, i was backpacking alone. Went to the thai border the whole day and arrived back to the KB town quite late. Saw there's a bee line at this nasi place and queued with the local. So, i started a conversation with this chinese lady who turned out to speak fluent kelantanese slang! Amazed! She thought that I'm a foreigner coz I was actually carrying my big haversack! She actually help me to order the food( I bet she thought I can't speak malay! lol..hahaha) and actually paid for the food! a total stranger that i met in just a few minute paid for my dinner. She even gave me her card and said if i'm in any trouble, just call her. It was the best day of my trip in kelantan. :')

arghh...i wanna go backpack again!