Saturday, December 30, 2017

Eksena sa Korea Series

Eksena sa Korea is a series of my adventures, funny moments, and experience in Korea.

Eksena sa Korea #1 
Information  Booth sa Incheon Airport

I showed the printout of my hotel made at I did not speak.
Korean staff: (looking at me and continuosly saying something in Korean and then looking back at her monitor)
Me: (ano daw?!)
Korean staff: (speaking again)
Me: (now I know why) Am sorry, I am a Filipino, English please..

Pasado pala ako maging Koreano talaga hehehe

Eksena sa Korea #2
"A must-read"

It was 5am and I had to rush to the KTX (bullet train in Korea). I arrived past 11pm, woke up 4am and took a hot shower while the temperature outside Incheon was -3.
Anyway, I was freezing cold while I was walking towards the KTX station and upon arrival at the counter, I was told that it will open past 6am. Instinct told me that I had to eat first in order to have energy for the long travel ahead. And so I went to the convenience store.
A guy was mapping the floor while I entered the store. I bought my meal and my coffee. Problem was I did not know how to operate the coffee machine and the microwave because it was in Korean.
The guy (who was mapping the floor about early 20s) helped me throughout the ordeal and I was so thankful. In fact, he was also the staff on duty at the counter. And so out of my profound gratitude, I said...
Me: Sa rang ham ni da πŸ™πŸ» (with all the bow I could make)
Guy: (stared at me at disbelief, perplexed and scratching his head)
Me: (I guess he did not understand me, I was just being thankful! And so I repeated in again and again while leaving the store)

That afternoon I asked Youngjae Lee the Korean translation of "Thank You!"
And now I know why the guy was anxious and disturbed when I said - Sa rang ham ni da (which means "I Love You!")

Malay ko ba!?
They sounded the same

Korean 101
Kam sa ham ni da
Thank you

Sa rang ham ni da
I love you

Eksena sa Korea #3
Train to Busan

I have no idea if I will go to jail for this. But the movie has left a permanent scar in my mind. And I had to do it in Busan.
But when I was in Busan, I forgot all about it.
Going to Daegu, I boarded the KTX (bullet train) from Busan to Dongdaegu. Departure time was 12:30 and I boarded 11:50. Nobody was there when I was inside the train. Then, the thought of the movie suddenly sinks in to my mind and this is the moment I was waiting for, nobody was there! And the camera rolled...
My acting was not that good because I was afraid I might get caught in the process. I know there is a CCTV inside the train but what the heck!! πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Eksena sa Korea  #4
Finding a Resto (enjoy this one)

From Daegu, I boarded the KTX to Seoul. The ride was good for almost 2 hours. I arrived at Seoul Station and asked for directions. But this time I was a bit slow getting the directions (I was tired) and so I ended up asking a lot of times and there was even a point when I was already exhausted and had to give up. Finally, after several attempts, I found the secluded hostel.
From the hostel, this time the endeavor was to find a place to eat. I WAS STARVING!
And so finally, I was able to find one. I had to peek and from the view outside, there were lots of customers inside. One thing I learned in the Philippines is that if the restaurant is pretty much occupied by the locals you can be sure of two things - (1) price is cheap and (2) it tastes great!
I was not able to understand the signage. For all I know the food here is REALLY GREAT!!!
And with all enthusiasm and gusto, I joined the long queue.
I begin to notice that a lot of people were seemed to be past the age of 50, distressed, mendicants and somewhat unemployed from what they appear to be...
They appear to be without any means of support.
I also noticed that they all have the same meal (they must really love this meal made me more hungry) .
And these people were beginning to STARE at ME..
All of sudden, a Korean woman at the top of her voice was staring at me at shouting something (even pointing her finger at me). Of course, being a good foreigner, I did not retaliate and smiled back.
I remained in the line. The people continued to stare at me. I did not mind it. But the Korean woman was getting into my nerves. She was still shouting!
Hello!! My pera po ako! Magbabayad po ako!!!
Then suddenly, everything sinked-in.
WHOA! =)
This is a feeding program for the homeless and the elderly!!
I looked at EVERYBODY and said - ANNYEONG ASEO!!!!
I hurriedly went out bowing and bowing and repeatedly saying - ANNYEONG! (the only Korean greeting that I know)

Eksena sa Korea #5
Finding the rice

After my city tour, I went back to the mall and ordered my lunch.
Everything was in Korean. From the pictures posted at the wall of the resto, I tried to pic the best meal.
Hmmm. finally, I was able to select one!
I ordered and pointed at the meal posted at the wall. Problem was there were 5 pictures posted on the wall. And so from the counter, I had to walk back to the wall and point to the actual picture (while the rest of the customers were staring at me).
The staff was able to understand and I said with "rice" (again pointing at a bowl of rice).
After 10 minutes of waiting, I was called back by the staff (you have to get it from the counter and after eating you have to clean it on your own).
I seated. Looked at the meal and noticed that there was NO RICE!
I asked the staff at the counter.
Me: Where's the rice?
Staff: It's under

(All the utensils are under the table)
Me: (going back at the table and trying to look for the rice)
Futile effort
Me: Where's the rice?
Staff: It's under (Pointing at the meal)
Me: (took a peek inside the meal) nasa ilalim pala ng ulam


Eksena sa Korea #6
What Parade?

On my 6th day in Korea, I booked, enjoyed, and finished the Seoul City Tour Bus with 22 stops. Last stop was the biggest palace in Seoul (it is very difficult to either say it or write, please do not ask).

Anyway, on with the story. Across the entrance of the Palace, a lot of people were celebrating something. Out of my curiosity, I walked across and saw people holding the flags of United States and South Korea. Without even asking what the occasion was all about, I joined the parade and marched with the Koreans. 

I had to ask for my own Korean flag as I strolled along the park with the Koreans (blending with the crowd). The Koreans were repeatedly shouting something and waving the flags and as an obedient follower, I tried to shout what they were shouting (without understanding what it meant) and likewise waving my own flag. I noticed that majority of the participants were war veterans. 

After nearly 10 minutes, coffee was served and meals were given to participants. I joined the queue and ate my "fair" share of the meal. Sumigaw din kaya ako!

Imagine, I got a free coffee and a light meal for attending the parade. =)

Note: The day commemorates the men and women who died while in military service or in the independence movement. On this day, a national commemoration ceremony is held at the Seoul National Cemetery. The day celebrates the promulgation of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea in 1948.

Eksena sa Korea #7
Breaking one's heart - "EXO"

I was happy I was able to finish early on my 6th day of my tour in Korea. I hurriedly went home and did blogging and posting in my facebook and instagram.

Past 6pm, I remembered something!!!

OMG! I forgot my niece's request (also inaanak) to buy her something and I scheduled it today. I again hurriedly fixed myself and out of nowhere it was raining (mixed rain and snow) and the temperature was dropping to 1 degree.

I had to this! Against ALL ODDS!

To make the story short, I went to Seoul Station and asked for directions on how to get there.

After given the direction, I went to Exit No.2 and proceeded walking to Line 4. It took me more than 10 minutes before I reached the track.

From Line 4, I boarded the train and alighted after 6 stops (or after more than 15 minutes onboard the train). I had to change Line and proceeded to Line 7. Again, I walked and this time it was more than 10 minutes. Reaching Line 7, I boarded the train and alighted after 7 stops (or more than 15 minutes). I walked again to Exit No. 6. And it was raining outside! I asked for directions on where SM Entertainment and after asking a good Samaritan, I was told of the precise location.

Finally, I reached SM Entertainment and went to Sum Cafe.

According to the instructions given by my niece, I have to go the cafe and asked for a "free copy of the album of Exo - Universe! Yup, You got it right! It's K-Pop!
She told me that it was given for "free."

(While onboard the train, I was already having doubts on whether it was free or not!? But I proceeded anyway.)

I went to the counter and hesitantly asked for a free copy of the album of EXO. At first, the staff was surprised about my request and after coming to her senses, she pointed to the Sum Market situated at the basement of SM Entertainment. In other words, IT IS NOT FREE!

If you were in my place would you buy at the market downstairs?

Out of love, I DID! =)

I did not want to break the heart of my niece and go home empty-handed. I bought the album (and even got 2 free posters). 

Exiting the store, I noticed that there was a multitude of Korean teens looking at a glass with all their cellphones' camera pointed to the glass. I guess a celebrity or a singer was inside. I tried to join the crowd but I remembered my cargo. It might be destroyed in the process of squeezing my way into the crowd. I decided to go home.

Walking again in the rain... But this time the smile was written all over my face. I told myself - "I will make someone happy in the Philippines." 

And I placed the package on my chest so that it will not get soaked in the rain..
Note - Bawal na po magpabili hehehe

Eksena sa Korea #8
Lip Balm

I was doing my review about Special Laws in the CPA Board Exam for May 2018. During the short break, I was approached by one of the reviewees that he recently went to Korea last November 2017.

He was kind enough to give me his reloadable card and told me that it still has a balance. He gave me tips to buy an inner wear in Uniqlo and a lip balm for the cold weather. Three days before my flight, I was able to buy an inner wear for the cold weather.

But forgot the lip balm.

The day before my flight, I went to Waltermart Tanauan and went to Watson to buy one. I told the saleslady to give me the cheapest and I was so happy to get one for only PhP69.00. I placed it in my pocket and then at home placed it my Deuter bag.

Fast forward..
Day Two in Korea

I woke early morning and because it was -2 around 4 am. I had to put the lip balm. I told myself - "Dapat madami nito para effective"

As I was passing the crowd, onboard the train, I noticed that the people were taking a glimpse of my face! Oppa!

At first I was flattered. But I saw my face in one of the mirrors on the train. My lip balm is colored PINK!!!!

And I placed too many on my lips!!! As in ang kapal!

Oh Boy!

Oh girl pala hahaha

Note - I bought another one in Busan but this time the cost was KRW 2,500 or roughly PhP250.00.

Eksena sa Korea #9
In pursuit of a business proposal

Day 4 in Korea, a former student gave me a hint on buying something in Seoul and selling it in the Philippines.

I told myself - "Why not?"

Day 6 in Seoul
I saw an outlet store and remembered the proposal and with a positive outlook, I tried to make an inquiry.

The saleslady asked me what brand, color, shade and size.
She was asking so many questions.

Hello! Malay ko!
Hindi naman ako gumagamit nun!
Lip balm nga mali na, LIPSTICK PA!

Hindi na ako magbebenta ng LIPSTICK!

Eksena sa Korea #10
Shelter please

Seoul is one of the famous cities (if not the most famous) in the Philippines. My visit this 2017 was the second time I was given the chance of seeing Korea anew. This time I had more time and places to visit.

Day 6 of my Korean Tour
I went to Namdaemum Market (after going to SM Entertainment in Cheongdam Station to buy the EXO album).

As I was walking to the tunnel. It was raining. Mixed rain and snow.
I felt so cold. (I learned later that the temperature was -1)

I saw a man fixing something. 

In fact, as I proceeded further, I saw a handful of people doing the same.

I hurriedly went to the market. And to my disappointment, the stores were already closed. 
There was no night market. It was my intention to buy something as a souvenir.

After 5 minutes of walking, I reached the tunnel again.

The people are gone and all I see are small make-shift houses.

My heart broke.

This is their home.

I felt ashamed. I was disappointed for not buying the souvenir item and these people needed more.

They needed shelter. 

The temperature further dropped.
A cold tear fell as I was walking back to the hotel.

No comments:

Post a Comment