Sunday, March 30, 2008

TRAVEL | Memories in Korea

September 07, 2007. 

Just arrived here in Korea at exactly 5:15am. The experience was really terrible in the flight. I thought everything is going to turn out fine.


Let me enumerate.

1. My parents should have listened to me.

My luggage suddenly collapsed when it was being carried by my brother. I was so annoyed that I just wanted to buy a new one. My parents however thought otherwise. They opted to fix the the broken part. But when we got to the airport, poof and the luggage finally gave up. I ended up carrying a broken luggage all the way to Korea.

Lesson learned: Go with your gut feeling and never look back.

2. Stranger insists to carry something for her.

This was my first out of the country trip so I'm totally clueless. Especially when I entered the airport. I had no idea what to do. Good thing there was this lady who helped me. But I would have been fine really just by myself. However, this lady tried to ask me to carry some stuff for her. 

I was so nervous because it might be something illegal and in my mind I was thinking that if something happens here in the airport, I'm a dead meat. So I kept insinuating that I don't like to carry her things but she was so persistent. I finally gave in and just prayed that Isabel come and save me from this woman. Now when Isabel finally came, I took my chance to refuse the request. You see, Isabel asked me to carry some things for her (books for Ryan Cassidy) and so I said yes. That was it. The woman was history.

Lesson learned: Refuse politely and explain why you don't want to do something.

3. Nobody warned me about the air pressure.

On the plane, my dear Lord! When I got my seat number and learned that I was sitting beside the window, I was only too glad. But to my dismay, I forgot that it was night and the only things I would see are tiny dots of lights if I am lucky. When the plane started flying, I felt something in my ears. It's like my ears were being stuffed and I couldn't hear well anymore. I couldn't even hear the flight attendants.

In my seat, "17A" I was alone. It was a three-seater. Though it was for three people, it was so cramped that I was so glad. I was alone.

It was funny that when the guy flight attendant came, he asked in an exaggerating manner -"beef or fish?" I smiled. Told him I prefer beef. It came with a noodle. It wasn't really a lot but I was full. I even fell asleep after eating. When I woke up, the air in my ears was worse. It felt like my eardrum is going to explode. It was painful. I just kept my faith. Kept telling myself that we're almost there. That the air in my ears is going to disappear in no time. Just then, the airplane started descending as the pilot announced our arrival at Incheon International Airport.

There you have it. My wonderful memories of the trip.

Arrival, 5:15am

Walking down the airport. I still can't believe that I finally got here in Korea. It was like a dream come true. I didn't have any idea what is to happen but I feel elated just the same.

All I ever wanted to do iis finish my college degree and work. Where? What? I don't exactly know, but there comes a time when you need to set aside plans and look at something else.

The airport is big. I'm proud to say that Ninoy Aquino International Airport is not far behind this grandeur.

When we passed at the immigration, it was so disorienting for the inspectors couldn't speak english at all. That time, I would say that they were merely grunting (which was actually Korean words I would disover later on).

At the lobby of the airport, we waited for our contact person to pick us up. We waited for two hours. Her name is HU EUN JI, junior English Literature student. She was nice. She bought us coffee. I drank Vanilla Latte which I regretted later because my stomach revolted while on our way to Chuncheon.

The Travel

The travel to Chuncheon was pretty fine. The three of us sat at the back row so we may see the view as we traveled but because I was so tired, I just slept most of the time.

The travel was almost two and a half hours. After we arriving at the bus terminal, a driver picked us up and drove us to Halylym International Dormitory (HID).

In the city

The people here in HID are warm. They are friendly but of course I still feel that it'll take time before I can fully understand them and make friends.

There are times when I wish I never applied for this program because after all what will I get?

On the go

We should have rested when we arrived but instead, we met some people over at the foreign students' office, got our class schedule from SUN HEE then had lunch.

Just then, another problem sank in, How am I going to eat? With food spicy as this, i don't think I'll ever survive. I bled later that day when I had my bowel movement.

Korean food just won't work. I have to find an alternative. There is a Chinese restaurant here. That's what I'm going to find today.

People, people, people

Oh, I just met some people here already. I better write them down;
Hu Eun Ji, Boreom Park, Uram Park, Kino (Hyo Yang), Warren (Jin Yung), Joel, Song Won, Michelle, Ryan Cassidy, Ariuka

Later this evening, my buddy and Isa's invited us to dinner. We ate Dakalbi. It's a mix of vegetables and chicken. Then we drank. Isa, Boreom and I had Tequila Margarita, while Uram had Rhum. At 10pm we had to dash because we were supposed to meet Lydia, HID's supervisor.

After the meeting, I took a hot shower. It was not just hot but burning. I didn't know how to use the shower yet so when I turned it on, hot water came out. Naive as I am, I turned it off every so often. Later I found out that in oredr to change the temperature, just switch the handle to the left or right. So I was able to take a relaxing shower before going to bed.

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