Oct 31, 2013

Seoul Adventure pt.2

I am back with the continuation of my first day in Seoul (OMG and it's gonna be a looooong series since I spent 10 days there, but really everyday I found something interesting I just have to share them with you, or at least write the stories here so I won't forget it later ;))

So after being a freak in the hostel (hopefully I scare nobody), I decided to ventured a little trying to find YG building (K-pop fans will know this, basically an agency building, a home to K-pop stars 2NE1 and Bigbang -and PSY too!), but me being myself just had to be lost even though later I figured out that the building is soooo close to my hostel. 

Since YG building is nowhere in sight, I just shrugged it of and go to Myeongdong to shop, and secretly, I wish to miraculously Frank from Thailand because that'd be so cool to find him in the crowded Myeongdong. Honestly, I think I saw him somewhere in the subway station but I wasn't sure if it was him (since he looked like a Korean) meh, I should've just tapped him on the shoulder or something, right? I'm always regretting things I didn't do *sigh*

anyway, I had no exact plan so I just wandered around and went back with some shopping bags in hand (I just can't resist the temptation to shop eeeeeeeehh...) I did a little more browsing about how to go to YG once I was back at the hotel and figured that I made a wrong turn earlier, so I tried once again in the afternoon.

And ta-daaaaaaaaah! I found it! Hahahahahahaha... I didn't meet any of the K-pop stars, though (like, of course... why would they be on the street?) but the building itself oozes a very strong aura (hahahahahaha... this is the fangirl in me talking). The shape of the building is so coooooool~ (and weird, but cool), and of course I just had to pose in front of it to make my friends cry because I'm mean like that~.

One of the best thing about my hostel is that it's so close to the Han River, that much I know, but again, the question of how to get there isn't in my dictionary. So after taking numerous shots in front of YG building I walked a random path and of course, went nowhere *sighs*. Well, I went back to the hotel, asked Patrick, a fellow artist from Germany who's been living for about a week before I came, and he gave me the right direction. Turns out I went to the opposite way before, no wonder it led me nowhere. :|

Anyways, finally! I present you! The Han river! It was so serene around here, I would love to go down to the riverbanks but it looks a little scary so eh, I just sat on the bench and had a nice time thinking about random stuff while enjoying the sunset. It was a really pretty sight, but cold, haha so I decided to go back.

On my way back, I met this old man and a little boy, the old man surprisingly spoke english so well! Turns out he lived in the US for 5 years, eeh~ no wonder! We had a really nice chat, he just came back from the Han river too, drank some wine and read a book (that seriously sounds really nice, right?) while the little boy (he told me he wasn't his grandson but didn't explain further) played around and drank milk. He asked me why I was alone, and asked me if I wasn't afraid since I was a girl and it would be dangerous for such a little girl like me to wander around alone, and I think I gave him a surprise when I told him I was 24.

His name is Mr. Yang, and he lived in a huge apartement building near my hostel. He was so kind to offer me a dinner (I declined, because eh, I didn't know him that much and he was the one who told me it would be dangerous for a girl like me to go out with a stranger) and even gave me his number just in case of emergency, too bad I couldn't contact his number (I'm not sure why, we checked so many times and it didn't work). He even thought of hooking me up with his cousin but then he realized that I was too young (his cousin was 40 something, lol). 

I think I've posted this picture before, that tall building is where Mr. Yang lives.

It was so random, but so fun and meaningful to me. It was my first day there and I felt kind of lonely, and suddenly I made a new friend randomly just by walking to a river. We never met again after that, and I couldn't contact his number even after I came back here in Indonesia, but I really would like to thank him to make me feel welcomed.

the little boy, he was so shy I had a hard time taking pics of him

The journey continued to dinner time, I was having a hard time honestly. I don't eat pork, and I was alone, and I couldn't speak korean while most of the things are either made of pork or served in a huge plate to eat together with friends, and most definitely written in Hangul. While I can actually read hangul (korean alphabet), I still couldn't understand them so it was pretty useless, lol. Anyway, I ended up in a small sushi restaurant.

The owner was so kind, he knew I wasn't korean, and that I was clueless, and I think I looked a little bit too lost, lol. So he took care of me really well, he showed me how to eat my meal properly, gave me bonuses on side dishes and even gave me an extra bowl of soup. I am not really an eater, I can't even eat that much, but the look in his eyes while serving me and trying his best to talk to me and kept me accompanied, I willingly forced myself to finish the meal.

I remember almost choked on my tears feeling the great care from him. It was my first day, I hadn't made any friends yet and I wander alone, I was lonely and he made me feel at home and welcomed and all the warmth took me by surprise I cried. I really did, a little and secretly, though. 

Ah! He also told me I was beautiful, and I remember I was surprised since well, I know I wasn't. I mean, I just came back from a long walk, I was sweaty and my hair was a mess, I didn't wear any make up, I was on my most vulnerable state and he said I was beautiful, I seriously felt like hugging him. I knew he could've just said it because it was one of the things he knows how to say in english, but whatever the reason was, I was so thankful.

A friend posted this on Path and I just couldn't hel to think of how true this is. Life is weird like that, blogging makes it weirder, it allows me to share my deepest secret with strangers I've never met before (and probably will never meet other than virtually), travelling makes it even weirder, I got to be lost with people I have no idea about and have fun with them, what if they were criminals? What if they were a bad man? And when we just got closer, we had to separate going to our own ways, most probably will never meet again but at the same time had created their share of stories in my book.

I remember I've written about how life feels like riding on a train that runs in a constant speed. Doesn't matter how beautiful or scary the scenery outside, it will all pass. And the most I can do is just taking pictures of everything so I won't forget what I've passed through and will be able to learn something from everything. So later on, this little bloglette will be an album filled with pictures and stories, hopefully interesting enough for me to share to my friends and families and kids and grandkids.

Oct 21, 2013

Seoul Adventure pt.1

Before anything, let's cross our fingers that I can finish writing this series, I really want to share everything I encountered during my 10 days stay in the capital of South Korea.

This was not the first time I stepped my feet on the gorgeous tiles of the grand Incheon Airport, so although I was alone, I was not afraid (I was still a little bit confused, tho) things felt familiar and I was kind of smug when I didn't have to go to claim my baggage because really, I didn't have one. 

So people, I really only went there with a single backpack on my back and nothing else. I seriously went all out this time, hahahahaha~ (I think I kinda look like a lost little girl tho).

Talk about being lost, I was indeed lost the first few minutes I stepped out the door with the EXIT sign. It wasn't even outside the airport yet people! Now here's the problem, when I first came to Korea for summer school last year, there was a bus fetching us, but now I had nobody, I gotta take the subway and I had no idea where the heck the Airport subway station was. 

Thankfully, Incheon was a very user-friendly airport with signs everywhere, but even so, Incheon is a big huge airport. I followed the direction but I still couldn't see any sign of subway or something that looks like one. So I looked around, and I found a guy who looked as lost as I was (if not even more so hahaha), so in that first few minutes after I stepped on the land of K-pop, not even stepping out of the airport yet, I have found myself a travel (lost) buddy. I can remember clearly the look on our faces when we stared at each other and figured out how we both were lost and that we might be each other's saviors. We managed to find the subway station, I helped him with the subway tickets, and we traveled together at least during the subway trip.

His name was Frank (if I'm not wrong) from Thailand, a 26 year old guy who ran a family business back at home and just did a random getaway to Korea (he really just decided it 3 days before), he hadn't even booked a place to stay (and I was so tempted to tell him to just stay with me in the hostel I've booked but I thought that would be too scary for him. So it was his first time in Korea, and he had no idea at all how things works in Korea, also, he was quite handsome (I thought he was a korean celeb or something but he looked too lost to be a korean hahhaaha). 

Too bad my phone battery was sooo low I couldn't take picture of us together, it would be nice to do so really, collecting pictures of people I met there (but most of the time my phone bitched out on me and decided to just die). Anyway, I'm glad I helped him out and gave him some pointers on how to survive in Korea (subway maps, T-money cards, etc). But that was it, my short-lived friendship with Frank from Thailand, I was not sure if I should ask for his number (wouldn't that make me look a little bit too creepy? I only knew him for a few minutes anyway), so I didn't (I honestly think I should, though). So yeah, we parted ways and wished each other good lucks.

I continued my journey finding the place to stay during this trip, I've booked it before; Seoul Basecamp Hostel, located very strategically in Hapjeong, only a few seconds away from the subway exit, very convenient!

I love how friendly Jake, the owner, is. I was a little bit too flustered when I came, it was around nine in the morning, I had a hard time finding my money inside my backpack and he was patient enough to wait for me (I even gave him wrong cash few times), kkkk~. As confused as I was that day (I will say it was jetlag) I didn't really catch what Jake said about the bathroom, think I shampooed my hair with body wash and use the shampoo to wash my body, hahahahaha... it's okay, I survived.

I really love that this little hostel has a rooftop, so I can breathe Seoul fresh (?) autumn air every day and see the hustling bustling city moving on the road below before I started my adventure for the day.

this is not the hostel I lived in, it's the scenery I see everyday from the rooftop, hehe~

The thing about this adventure is I fully realized I only have ten days so I had no time to waste. So after I washed up (with body wash and shampoo not doing their proper work) I went upstair to the rooftop and met some other guests who were having their breakfast. AAAANDDD I did another weird thing (really, my brain wasn't working properly) since I still had no idea how things work around the hostel, they kindly showed me around (the kitchen); that there were toasts and jams and everything you need for breakfast. 

I never really use toaster at home, heck, I don't even really eat bread as breakfast, so I was too lazy to use the toaster (no worries, I know how to) and just ate the bread without anything on it (no sugar, no jam), and as if it wasn't a weird enough sight for them, I couldn't find any water dispenser, when I asked them they said they usually bought bottled mineral water at 7-11 down the street, but since I was too lazy and very thirsty, I just drank the tap water, not sure if I could do that hahahahaha... but I'm still alive to this day sooo~ oh well, I hope I didn't freak them out. (turns out we can buy a bottled mineral water in the hostel, in front of the receptionist!)

it was still pretty early so the road was not that crowded yet, but you can see all the buses and taxis

This is my weakness, it took me several times hanging out before I can finally remember your name, but I remember the details. So the new friend I made that morning was a guy from UK who had visited Indonesia before and if I'm not wrong he said something about being a teacher in India. So fun and adventurous! And another guy from the US, who is teaching english in Beijing, who had his flight back to Beijing delayed for 4 hours, who occupied the capsul next to mine. Ah, whatever your names are (I really should contacted Jake only to ask who their names are), thank you for guiding me on my first few days, please don't be creeped out by my weird self! (>3<) this applied to Jake as well, hahaha...

man, isn't this a little bit too long already? And we're not even half way the first day yet! Oh well, I guess this Seoul Adventure Series gonna be a little longer than I thought it would be, not that I mind it. Can't wait to share more!

Oh, a few hours before I took the flight to Jakarta (before then go to Kuala Lumpur and continued the flight to Seoul), I applied for a job in UNIQLO -a pretty huge casual wear designer, manufacturer, and retailer brand from Japan (my friend thought it was a United Nation something, lol), and I was called for an interview (thank goodness!) tomorrow! I'm so excited about it! I really hope I can get this job! I'm already in love with their company rules and everything (and their jeans! But that's another story for another day). So, yeah, wish me the greatest luck! 

Welcoming Life

Hello! Such a nice day to see a picture of me getting lost in the woods to start a blog post, aye?

Here I am, back from the much needed break and get away! So I finally managed to flee to Korea, although did not manage to go to Busan as planned *sobs*. Anyway, I truly believe that this vacation was really needed, I don't think I will survive and have a stable mind like I am now if I didn't go. 

I felt pretty hollow and empty and I wanted to see something new and do things that are not on my routines and I am thankful I did.

The adventure I had for about ten days I spent there was something I wouldn't want to trade with anything, ever. This blog post will be an intro of what I will call Seoul adventure series posts, which will be at least 8 parts (so expect me to blog a lot after this! Yay!)

I made new friends, ate new random foods, went to new places, experienced things I didn't think I would, I am pretty sure I am recharged!

The journey made me realize how lucky I am, how blessed I am to be in a country without anyone and managed to make new friends everyday, even the first few minutes I landed my feet in the land of K-pop I've already made friends thanks to my bad sense of direction, haha~

I was lost countless times, I think I was lost every day, I think being lost is my new hobby. I am the type of person who does plan but does not really plan (do I even make sense?). I love spontaneity, so that was what I did during my stay.  I am one who does not google up what a movie is about and just go to the cinema and watch it. The excitement of not knowing what awaits, having no expectations, is my kind of lifestyle, where I can then surprise myself and be more thankful of what's given to me.

Seoul, I visited beautiful places, traveled with subways countless times, helped by strangers more often than I thought I would ever be, made random friends and had adventures with them even if we just met, bought heaps of make up (and still want to buy more), spent almost all the money I brought there (I only had 8000 won left-about 10 bucks, or less). Well I did have my saving for emergency but decided not to exchange my dollar just to prove I can manage without it.

So, are you in for my adventure? Later alligators, I gotta put on my nail polish and beauty mask sheet first ;).

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