Korean Questions to me

What is your name?
Me: Zarina
Their response: Ahh..Ja Ri Na.

But they simply could not pronounce it. There is no letter Z in Korean's hangul. Hence they pronounce it Ja-Ri-Na. Aigoo..my name. Ottoke? And they thought Ja is my surname and my name is Ri Na. Cool..I have a surname now. Though my father's name is Jani. Shortened to Ja instead. Sorry dad, not my fault. Kekeke..

Which country are you from?
Me: Malaysia.
Their response: Kuala Lumpur?? Petronas Twin Tower?? Korean built that!
Me: Really?? I didn't know that.

How old are you?
Me: 31
Their response: You look young!!
Me: Dangyunhaji!! (Of course!!) Hahaha..All my previous boyfriends are younger than me :)

What is your job?
Me: Computer ( I have very little korean vocabulary to explain my job further ^^)
Their response: Wahh..

Do you have boyfriend?
Me: No
Their response: I have brother/cousin/friends/students who are single. Do you want me to introduce them?
Me: What???!! No!! I'm not into a relationship now..thank you. (Reason: Cross culture is even harder to understand when you interact with body and sign language most of the time. It is fun, I know..;))

and always..they like to compliment - You are so pretty!
I know, they are just being courteous. I accept the compliment, cause it is rare to receive in Malaysia. Hehehe..

How to ask direction/location in Korean

Apart from greetings which is important to be courteous in Korea, asking directions is also vital to get to the correct location. If you are not so good at reading map like me ^__^ you should ask for help from Korean. There were many occasions where I just grabbed someone and asked for directions.

But the hardest part is to understand what is the reply from the Korean. ^__^

Normally, my question would be:

1.Start with greeting - Anyonghaseyo.
2. You can use either of this.
(Location) eodi e yo? - where is (Location) ?
(Location) ka go shipo yo - I want to go to (Location)
(Location) eottoke ka yo? -How do I go to (Location) ?

Example - 이태원역 어떻게 가요? - Itaewon yeok eottoke ka yo? - How do I go to EE-tae-won station?

Korean's answer.

1. Anyonghaseyo OR they just nod at you and seems curious.
2. They will look at the map for Korean words of the location that you want to go. (It is important to have the map/the place name in Korean words...cause your pronunciation might be way off!)
3. Their direction varies
yeogi - here
keogi - there
jeogi - over there
wen pyeon e isso yo- It's to your left
ape - in front
dwee - at the back
genchoe - near / in the vicinity
yeope - beside / next to

P/S I'm not a Korean Language expert but I recommend KoreanClass101 for you. Learning is more enjoyable with them!

POW camp in Goejedo

Geoje Island's POW camp

I thought of staying home on Saturday after sending the university students off to Mameul Island but Ollergi insisted me to tour Geoje city. Her husband's friend suggested me to visit POW camp. POW - Prisoner of War. It was a war between North Korean and South Korean and the prisoners were put in Geoje island. Later the prisoners were divided between pro or anti -communist.

There were so many visitors from all over korea. It took me 1 hour to go to Geoje city from Okdong by bus. The cost was only 1,000 won one way. Once I reached bus terminal, I took a taxi for 3,000 won to the POW but it was so near..sheesshh... I should have walked for a good 20 minutes while enjoying the city. POW entrance was 3,000 won and later I bought some items from Tony Moly! Kim Hyun Joong (SS501) is the ambassador. What I really like about cosmetics shops in Korea is that they give loads of sample for FREE! I love it!!

Look carefully!! This is an open toilet ;)

This is priceless. The guy willingly become my model to pee pee..miahaha.

The only Halal mart at bus terminal I could find in Geojedo.

Old Miss v/s Gold Miss

The trend of marrying late for men and women is exceptable nowadays. Be it in Malaysia or Korea the ideal age for marriage has become to be late 20's rather than early 20's.

I met a couple from Seocho-ku, Seoul who came to learn on organic farming with Mr Han. When asked about my age - they told me that I am a 'Gold Miss'. Korean used to call ladies who are over the ideal marrying age as 'Old Miss' before which is similar to 'andartu' - anak dara tua in Malaysia. The perception changed currently because of education status or quality. Ladies now can work and support themselves with better salary equivalent to some men and now they are called 'Gold Miss'.

Ladies in Korean with good looks, education and high paying job are good catch for marriage. Hahaha..hence they called me 'Gold Miss'. However I refused to be called as such! I could tell that I am somewhat with good look..(hahaha..joking ok?) and good education but definitely not with high paying job.

I don't dream of being a manager or be on that high-level rat raced society. It will make me beserk and hyperventilating with exploded pressure. Hence my life is slow and easy and I don't care if people are not happy about my status. I accept their concern but I really don't have time to sit and blame on mediocre thoughts.

My parents, siblings, a village to call my own, friends, cats, my passions on knowing people and exchanging culture are my treasures.

Definitely not money or wealth!!

I wish for happiness for everyone around me. Life is so short..stop whining and live your life!!

My favourite poet - Kim Chun Su

I finally able to take a picture with these 'Flower' series poem. They are so beautiful. Kim Chun Su was such a sentimental. He said once - "I am fond of looking at pictures though I am bad at drawing." I was grateful that I followed my guts to look for his memorial museum although the search was tough, but I managed. The location in Tongyeong just around the tunnel near Chungmu bridge but so complicated! I chatted with these 2 unnies in broken Korean..ngehehe over a cup of Maxim coffee.

Karaoke but I sang japanese in Korea

After the sashimi dinner we went for karaoke. Hahah..I sang a japanese song - Best Friend from Kiroro, cause that was the only song that I memorized. I couldn't memorize any song in Korean eventhough I adore G-Dragon. Mian he..your song is too fast for my twisted tongue. Korean language is tough!!

Guess, which one is me?

Ollergi!! Pheewitt..

Sashimi/Hwe with Tongyeong city hall officers

I didnt' like the sashimi eventhough Dr Choi emphasized that the fish were from special breed for people who love dieting. But I'm not dieting!! ^__^ The sashimi I had in Yeondae Island was excellent!! Arghh..I would love to eat that everyday!

People were curious about me- especially about my age and whether I had a boyfriend or not!
Hahaha..it is the same in Malaysia..WTH! Dr Choi even suggested his students for my future husbands. I wish someone like So Ji Sob maybe ? Hahaha.. Where are the Korean girls, I wonder..

Koguma day

I had a free day on Friday (in Okdong, Geoje island) cause last night we were home late for the Yeondaedo fund celebration. As always, nice dreams don't last long. 5 exchange students from various universities in Daegu came to Ollergi's house. There goes my sweet dreams.

They planned to go to Mameul Island which is a very unique island. Before that, Ollergi needed their help to harvest the koguma in her farm. Koguma = sweet potato. Her sweet potato is different! It wasn't purple like normal cause the compost/soil has different proportion when they grew the seed. Hahaha.. Hence the sweet potato is ...isange --weird..hehe.

The students who came were -
Mikka - Finland
Antoine - France
Yui - Hyogo, Japan
Kyoko - Osaka, Japan
Hwang Hyun Jin - Daegu, Korea

Mikka loves Koguma so much!!

From left - Yui, Hyun Jin and Kyoko

These were only from one row..aishh..

The leaf is for kimchi! I guess Korean use almost all vegetables and available leaves for kimchi..I am now officially turned into a cow..ngehehe.

Cute caterpillar.


Now I'm in Jangheung

I'm sorry for the delayed post. Currently I'm in Jangheung, about 1 hour from Gwangju. I stayed alone for 5 days here in an empty alternative school. Scary? Hmm.. a bit. The school is so silent at night and no TV, no radio, no internet. I'm lucky I have my LapT to kill the time. If not..aigoo..hehee.

Cause I'm pretty busy helping my host to harvest his yellow, green and red rice (yeap..this is my first time seeing it), raising cow, harvesting garlic and onion too ; I really don't have the time to upload any picture now.

I came here on 26th October. Ollergi sent me off from Tongyeong bus terminal. I set off for Jinju in hope that there's a direct bus to Jangheung but OMG..haha Ollergi and Mr Han were wrong! Ngehehe..After visiting the famous Nongae shrine in Jinju for a good 1 hour, I bought a ticket to Sunchon (1 hour) and then to Jangheung (1 hour and a half).

Geoje to Tongyeong - Ollergi sent me by car (30 minutes)
Tongyeong to Jinju - 4,400 won by bus (1 hour )
Parked my 2 heavy bags at Courier center - 4,000 won
Nongae shrine - 1,000 won
Jinju to Sunchon - 6,100 won by bus ( 1 hour )
Sunchon to Jangheung - 7,700 won by bus ( 1 hour and a half)

Total - 23,200 won

P/S I can't promise on the pictures. Will upload it when I have longer time to use my host's PC

Tongyeong - Part 4

What I really like about Tongyeong is that there are so many things to do and interesting places to go eventhough it's just a small island. I went to this park during the day but the fountain show is only done at night. T_T

The fountain that is beautiful only at night. Yikes...

Traditional Craft Hall. The craft are made from shells. So beautiful and expensive.

This could cost around USD2,000 t0 USD 18,000 per piece.

After that I walked into an undersea tunnel. Told you..Tongyeong is so unique!

I walked to this market with a 'crazy' man. He just refused to leave me alone and kept saying I was beautiful x 1 million! He really freaked me out! I ignored him and bought my favourite tteok here. The lady was very kind to sell me 2 packet for 2,000 won. Kamsahamnida!

Later, I went to Cheongryeolsa.

General Lee Sun Sin's potrait.

Eating my tteok.

There are a few streets dedicated to artists of Tongyeong and some of their pieces decorate the pedestrian walkaway.