Thursday, November 10, 2011

TRAVEL | Leaving the Night Before (In Korea 2008)

It’s Eid Holidays here in Saudi Arabia and I was stuck in my room for one week doing nothing except sleeping, eating, and watching movies. What a way to gain weight. Anyway, I was reminiscing the last days I had back in Korea 2008. I watched the video made by my Korean friend, Kino. The video was made 3 years ago but it seems so fresh in my mind. I still find myself laughing when I watch this video.

Amidst all these is the fact that most of the clips included in the video was taken the night before I left for the Philippines.

The Night Before Departure

I remember it vividly. After the farewell party, I was a bit tipsy because of “soju” but I had to force myself packing all my stuff. The new luggage I bought with Bob (U-Ju) was wide open on the floor. It was already filled though it was just my clothes.

What about the other stuff – the books, shoes, etc.? It was a difficult decision but I had to throw some of my things (this is where I learned not to bring much when leaving the Philippines because most likely I’ll be coming back with more stuff). I ended up forgetting my certificates I earned for the whole nine months in Korea.

I said goodbye to all my friends in that floor-  Daniel, the guy who loves black coffee, gave me some snacks I can take to the Philippines. Some other people expressed how sorry they are that we couldn’t spend some time to go out.

Lesson learned: If you want to go out with somebody, don’t wait until they go back to their country.

So going back to my packing. There it was, still wide open on the floor. But just like any other story, I was able to close the bag. Only, it looked like it’s going to explode.

Time check, 3am. I was about to leave at 4am because my flight is at 8am. My phone started ringing and I checked. It was Isabel.

“Where you now? Gwajangnim is already waiting.” Said she.

Gwajangnim is one of the kindest director in the campus and he offered to bring us to the bus terminal. Me and a Hong Kong friend, Dily.

At 3:30, haven’t really taken a shower yet, I went out. Dong-O carried my luggage but unfortunately, to my dismay the luggage broke on his way down the stairs. So I arrived in Korea with a broken luggage, and came back to the Philippines with yet a broken one as well.

I went down the stairs and found the people who mattered to me the most, waiting. They didn’t sleep anymore (now as I think about it, I feel my eyes moist because all that time I made it clear to myself that I will not attach to anybody or anything just to make leaving easier). True enough, during those times, I felt nothing but my desire to get to the airport on time and board the plane without much hassle.

They were there standing, I can remember their faces. Theirs were images of genuine sadness for a leaving friend. Isabel was crying like mad and I consoled her saying that it’s okay, we’re gonna meet again. But I guess she was crying not because I’m leaving, but maybe because she’s gonna be left behind. And no one wants to be left behind.

Unfortunately, Hoyang, one of my best friends in the dormitory was not there. I was trying to reach him the whole night but his phone was dead. I don’t know if it was on purpose but I was sad I couldn’t say goodbye to him.

Now these people who remained precious memories in my mind couldn’t escape me anymore. I know that my stay in Korea became one of the best experiences because of them.
Alex, gave me a baseball cap – after insisting that he give me his cap as a memorabilia from him. Up to this day, I still use this cap.

At the Bus Station

Kino, Dong-O, Dily, Gwajangnim and I were all at the bus station waiting for the first bus to arrive. The wind was still chilly. I was wearing the blue and red long shirt I bought in MyeongDong in Seoul.

Dong-O and Kino were trying to fix the luggage but when it didn’t mend, I just threw the piece in the trash.

The bus came and it was finally time to say the last goodbye. Only then that I felt really sad. Only then it sank on me that I’m leaving Chuncheon for good and God knows when I’ll be able to come back again.

I look at the bus window and saw the friends I’m leaving. As they wave their hands, I waved my hands in return and closed my eyes. Another chapter in my life has finally ended. It’s time to open a new one. 

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