Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Korea - the 1st day - 2nd part

25th October 2006 late afternoon

Ok, i woke up around 3.10pm, the bus was still on the road. i was getting a bit sick of the scenery outside, and thinking to myself why the hell i'm here? then, the bus slowly approaching a ... temple... err... yeah it looks like a temple to me... oh no, it's actually a toll!! goodness...

i checked my watch again, mmm... 3.15pm... we might just make it to the 3.30pm bus to Baemsagol. i was so hopeful. but very fast, the bus caught up in the traffic, stopped by a few places, i kept on looking around if those were the places i supposed to stop... but i supposed i shall only leave the bus when it TOTALLY stop... so i still waited... 3.20pm... 3.25... 3.28... up til this point, i know my chance has gone. buses in korea are very punctual one.

true enough, we reached Jeonju bus terminal 3.35pm, ran straight to the counter and was informed that 3.30pm already left. the counter lady was very helpful... mmm... too helpful that she suggested us instead of waiting for the 5.05pm last direct bus to Baemsagol, we could consider taking a bus to Inwol (引月) and there will have more buses going to Baemsagol... okay, i GUESSED that's what she meant!!! i don't think i will understand any of them fully with 1% English 50% Korean & 49% body language...

At this stage, me and my sister exchanged eye contact, and we just purchased the tickets to Inwol without thinking. i think we both were really tired and whatever will be will be lah... you said so we trust you... hahaha... and by the way, i like the name of the city very much, very poetic! well, is it even a CITY?? we shall find out soon... haha...

3.50pm, we were on the bus again!! and i don't think i've ever changed so many buses before in my life. worse still, in a foreign country to an unknown destination... the bus went into more rural area now, the roads became narrower, the sceneries became browner, houses became smaller and simpler... passengers got on the bus would talk and joke with the bus driver. at this point of time, we knew, we were going into some village area.


the bus stopped for a few more times, then it reached a small station around 5.10pm. everyone on the bus left. the bus driver stepped out from his seat, talked to us in Korean, which of course i don't understand a single word except "Baemsagol, Baemsagol". he signalled us to follow him with his hand, but we were not sure whether we shall go down or wait, moreover we have big heavy bags with us, we were not sure whether to leave the bags and follow him down or what? we slowly lifted our bags, the driver got impatient, walked up the bus and talked to us louder this time, so we were pretty sure we WERE supposed to follow him. we quickly moved our butts and followed his lead to yet ANOTHER bus... sigh... i asked the driver don't we need to buy tickets, he just shaked his head and pushed us up the bus... gosh... i felt so insecure.

we walked up the other bus, i asked the other driver how much... he didn't seem to understand me, he just pointed to the seats and hurried us in. apparently he has to leave already. before we could even sit down, the bus has started to leave the small small station, which we suspected is not Imwol... where were we?? i felt so damn lost...

here are a couple of photos my sister took on that journey...


Pretty they are, but i was not in the mood to appreciate them that time. i was too busy feeling insecure, as you all can see, it was getting dark and the place was getting more and more "ulu" now... and we were not sure whether we got on THE correct bus or not...

more students came up the bus, making noise, shouting to each other... the bus stopped by the side of the road, the driver shouted at the few kids at the back, those kids walked down and waved goodbye to the driver and some of their friends still on the bus... few aunties hopped on the bus... and it was completely dark outside just few minutes shy of 6pm... we went deeper and deeper in...

until about 6.10pm i think, the bus stopped by a gate/entrance, which suddenly i felt relief coz i was pretty sure it was the entrance for the Jirisan National Park. an uncle came up the bus, walked to us and uttered more Korean words, but by tearing 2 tickets in front of us, I think i know what to do. i checked the price stated on the ticket and gave him Won3200 (RM12.8) for 2 tickets. the bus continued into the darkness again... after 10 more minutes or shorter i was not sure anymore, we stopped at I-don't-know-where-the-hell street and we walked to the front of the bus (only left 2 of us), and the driver said "3 thousand won"... i knew we were there already. to double check i asked "here is Baemsagol", the driver answered "yeah yeah".

we walked down the bus, freeziing cold and dark street, just 1 row of shops and NO ONE is around... it's like a DEAD town... we were so so so so so lost... then out of the sudden, an aunty walked out from the 1st restaurant and started talking to us in Korean... &@%$^*!%#$*^@!#!*%... which we waved our hands and said "we are not Koreans"... the aunty then mimed a sleeping gesture by putting her hands to her canted head and said "min-bak? min-bak?" thanks to my sister who watched Korean dramas faithfully she understand min-bak means "homestay"... too tired to think, and desperately need a rest and a place to put down our bags that were getting HEAVIER, we agreed to go upstair with her.


we walked up the stair, walked passed a dimly lit and wet (dirty) corridor, and reached a room. the ajumma (aunty) opened the door. my sister said okay, i guess she was just to tired to think anymore. we asked for the price, ajumma said "yee-man-wu-qian-won"... which i thought it means 15000 won (RM60) which is quite cheap for a room with TV and attached bathroom... but looking at her finger, she pointed 2 fingers up, only i realized in Korean, "yee" means "two"... so it is actually won25000 (RM100)... well i was tired too, so i took out the money and paid her. she smiled at us and left...

wait a minute, isn't she supposed to give us a key or something?? then only later i found out that no key will be given and it's actually SAFE to leave the room unlocked.

so here you go, my accomodation for the first night in Korea. it's called a "ondol". lay maitress on the heated floor, and you can go to sleep already. not bad an experience.

after putting down the bags and tidy tidy a bit, we decided to go down take a look at the street and perhaps ask some information about hiking Jirisan. we walked to the nearest convenient shop, which we came to realize owned by the same ajumma renting us the room... so using our not so useful English, and her not so useful Korean, i think we got a faint idea of what we should do tomorrow morning. and suddenly we felt hungry and decided to go look for dinner. and we ended up having our first dinner in the restaurant owned by the ajumma too... hahahaha.... ok ok we were hopelessly tired and lost all our adventurous spirit. hahahah... but the dinner was actually pretty good.


We had bimbap (which means mixed rice with vegetables in soya paste or something) and kimchi tofu soup or something... okay, you guess correctly, we didn't even know what we ordered because again, communication breakdown. so we just simply point point here and point poin there, have our fingers crossed and hope for the best. wuahahaha.

so, not bad hor by the look of it... the turth is, only the bimbap is nice... the rest are either too salty or too hot. YES, you heard me right, too hot!! i don't mean the temperature, i mean the "spicy-ness"... we MALAYSIAN kalah lah if compare the hotness of the food there! the kimchi soup and most of the kimchi side dishes were so hot that we couldn't finished them. then the ajumma and her husband and family were having their dinner too on the next table. we took a peek of the uncle (ajoshi) eating whole green chili with red chilli paste just like that!!! pengsan terus... when the ajoshi noticed us looking at him, he offered us those green chillies, which we quickly rejected... then he offered us "shou-ju" (rice liquor), which we also quickly rejected... wa lao wei, these people really enjoy life hor!!! wuahahaha!!!

after dinner, we paid (won12000 or RM48) and went up to our room to take bath... my sister then realized there's no HOT water to bath... so i went down to the ajumma to ask... now i again mimed like a crazy charlie chaplin, repeat "hot hot? water water? bath bath?" like a million times... the family looks puzzled, the younger daughter broke into laughters, the ajumma brought out a pile, i shaked my head, tried harder to explain, the ajumma brought out another ladle... i gave up. i thanked them and walked up. my sister was very upset coz there's no way we could take the bath with the icy water in a freezing weather.

i decided to give it another try. this time i brought along a travel guide which it teaches how to pronounce "hot water" but of course they mean to order hot water to drink lah... but it's worth a try... so i asked the ajumma with my half past six Korean "mul? mul?" she thought i want water to drink... then i did my famous taking bath gesture again... still she didn't get me... i then pointed to the water filter and pointed to the red button (indicating hot water), then repeated the bathing gesture again... then finally the ajoshi understood... he also mimed the gesture of turning the water tap to left hand side... (of course we have tried turning the tap to left, we are not idiots, but it didn't work)... well, i very malas to explain any further, just thanked them and went upstair to tell my sis the bad news...

ok, so we decided to do as they said, but left the water running for longer time. after about 3 minutes, the water turned to hot... yahoooo!! bathing time!!! it got so hot i nearly got burnt!! hehehe... and the floor was very well-heated too... i changed to my singlet and short pants... and quickly fell asleep....

to be continued... the next morning when i became the iced-leg-man... :P

17 comments:

++ said...

很想問,are you still available?
我可不可以報名啊?哈哈...!!!

swing said...

haha..
i like the taking-bath-gesture-trying-to-ask-for-hot-water part..
so so funny!!

WanYe said...

++,如果他是attached,
那这一趟,应该是和女朋友去的。。。

婉依

Teddy Beh said...

something needs clarifying, i was in Korea mainly for conference/work, partly to travel.

canny said...

sir,its so funny by reading ur blog...ur korean trip...sound quite "hak jai" but it was quite a good experience n funny...i think korea government should give their people to learn english...it is so kesian for us to communicate as what u said sir, communication break down.haha...these days i watch a korean drama called "gong"...quite funny n nic estory for me,since the purpose is to entertain me.gagaga....i learnt few words...omba=father?omma=mother...ommi=sister?...if i m not mistaken...xarangmida=i love u?haha...mel gotta crazy of my "omma"...their spicyness really so hot?if have chance to go there...i will go n try...i like spicy.sir,u will supervise me during the industry training...haha...请多多指教和多多关照...

fengmey said...

haha.. sir i actually sambil reading sambil imagine ur face n those body language when ask' de korean auntie bout water heater le.. vry funny, hahaha..
thr r always lots of surprising things happened during unplanned trip. BTW, who's ++ ar? hehe

Shuk Ling said...

HAHA....sir, while i reading ur blog i keep on laughing cause i'm try to imagine u when u were asking with bodylanguage on for d hotwater...it will b v.funny right...haha....

++ said...

看来有人误会了,赶快誊清一下!
我是想问,are you still available as a 旅伴?要约你去旅行得排队到什么时候啊?What's your next destination?赶快先报名!

^o^ said...

这回复是写给Canny的。我是这个人的姐姐。看了你写的回复,忍不住想告诉你《宫》真的很不错。我们在济州岛时,还去了Teddy Bear Muzeum。看到了信王子的Alfred。详细情形,等你这个慢吞吞的sir写给你们看。(是在旅程的最后两天,所以请慢慢等 ^o^)

另外,obba是女孩称呼哥哥,appa才是爸爸,妈妈是omma对了,女孩称呼姐姐是onni,男孩称呼哥哥是hiong,男孩称呼姐姐是nuna。sa-rang-mi-da是比较正式的我爱你说法,一般是说sa-rang-hei-yo。

好了,趁你那凶死人的sir还没发现我把他这里变成韩语教室之前,溜…… 886……

++ said...

《宫》确实不错,可是我有好几次都看到睡着了... -_-"

meikeng said...

haha..ur narration is so funny! i think i would be tickled to tears if i was there too! =)

but yeah lah, it must have been really hard being not able to communicate with the ppl there.. thats why, the body language!! hehe..

why no pics of u and ur sis?

Teddy Beh said...

++: my next destination will most probably be Vietnam and Mount Kinabalu (again). both will most probably be on end of April and beginning of May depends on uni holidays.

Wanye: 你想太多!

Canny: i don't watch Korean dramas, so i don't think i can comment on Gong.... wait, Gong is not Malay musical instrument meh?? if you really wanna talk about korean dramas, go to my sister's blog above...

Sis: i think i'll direct my students to your blog, then you can teach them Korean there... -.-

Shuk Ling & Feng Mey: i don't think it's hard to imagine me doing all the body language hor, coz i think i do that all the time during lectures. :)

Mei Keng: pics of me will be up soon. pics of my sis... too bad, she bans me from posting up her pics.

Swing: by the way, who are you?? :)

Wan ye said...

Mr beh:

通常这样问,应该是指“哪个”的嘛。。唉~单纯的我,真是不了解大人的世界。。。。

马先生的姐姐:
我也是有看《宫》,那你有没有看到有心跳的Bear?我也是在学韩语,不过现在不到半桶水。。。

婉依

ahvans said...

Swing=诗韵=szu yin

题外话,看完occident有什么感想?

vans

^o^ said...

婉依,我没看到那只有心跳的熊。应该没有展览,剧里是说做慈善的。我没有正式拜师学韩语的,我是自己买书学的。

Wan Ye said...

马老师's 姐姐:

我也是自己买书学的。。。有时我妈看到我看韩文翻译书,忍不住还会说:读书就没有看你那么用功。。。|||。。。

马老师:

其实有很多韩剧/电影很有质感,有空不妨看看。。。

婉依

^o^ said...

婉依,呵呵~偶妈也是怎么说我的!以后我会到你的BLOG去聊吧。西西,我潜水去过了,很好的地方。或是欢迎你到我的地方来。总之别在这里谈韩剧了,有人会不喜欢的。 ~o~