Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Korea Day 2: My 1% Knowledge about Korea and Koreans...

~ 24th January 2017~
Toboggan in the open~!
As far as I remember, I think it's Jaerok's 12th birthday. Breakfast was at home. The porridge was a piece of brown wheat, dried as Maggi noodles. Cooked like how you gonna cook your Maggi noodles but since it's tasteless, you'll need to have something that's salty enough to cover the blandness. Top it with kimchi. I don't eat kimchi but I found the only kimchi I like. No such vegetables in Malaysia, thank God for that~!
I heard the boom early in the morning. I thought it was thunder and it would be raining soon. The sky was oddly really clear and blue in colour. After uncountable booms, finally I realized it was the sound of cannons as I was staying at the army barrack. What was I thinking? Haih... Before we left, we were busy working from home.
Working from home... money coming in~!
The traditional heater found in the village area of China...
We made a stop at a shop owned by a Siamese. South Korea is both modern and ancient at the same time. Everything can be so technologically inclined that you feel like you're coming out from a cave but there were things that they use that baffles you, like you have more modern electronic stuff in your cave. It may confuse you to the extend that you figure, living as a Malaysian is of good balance to the body, mind and soul. 
Why are you shining so brightly until I don't get to ice-skate?
We went to the military playground for family members. I wanted to ice-skate but the low temperature was not low enough. The sun was shining brightly and making the ice surface really thin. We just played with toboggan. Sad case, all photos and videos were not to be found. I wanted to build a snowman but it wasn't snowing and the snow was really powdered, like having ice shave. I can make many bowls of ais-kacang with the powdery snow.
No sign of life... We owned the road...
Then, we went off to my camel's parents-in-law place somewhere in Cheorwon. You may Google about Cheorwon and read up on DMZ - the de-militarized zone. Why would anyone want to live in that area with tanks moving along the road, on active training. The whole village was left with mostly the elderly. And because it is so close to the north, the cold was really harsh. You would wish you're able to have the sun all to yourself, the best is having the sun right on top of your roof, or even pull the sun down and hug it all day long, slap the moon away. But even the sun felt that it was too cold and left really early. By the time we were done visiting for a few minutes, we were looking at sunset with the sun running away so fast, it was gone within minutes.
Maybe next time I would really want to take a tour at the DMZ. I did not know of such tour because I was one ignorant tourist who had no knowledge about South Korea. I have only heard of Seoul, Busan and Jeju Island. I can tell you that I did not go those places at all. I was everywhere except those places. I don't know what type of tourist I was, with no plans at all. I trust my camel~!
The old houses were built with red bricks~! I like houses with red bricks because it would be really cooling but the whole house turned into a freezer during winter. Penang no winter, so I want my house built with red bricks~!!!! It was my first time looking at a huge refrigerator with boxes and many more boxes of kimchi. Those kimchi must be stored for one year and the smell was, oh my... so sour... There's another refrigerator with good food though, all the meat that I can live with without getting out of the house. The heating element was on the mat only, not the whole house. I have yet to figure out how the heater works in the whole house. Why only the flooring? Heat rises but the winter was so bad, the heat could not fight the cold. The heat only managed to get to your ankle. All potted plants must be kept in the house, you see nothing could survive the winter.
Can you smell the spiciness?

Oh, to make perfect kimchi, make sure you have the best quality of chilli powder. But whatever is it, as long as it's chilli powder, it works la. The rest depends on your skill.
Let's talk about recycling your rubbish around the housing area. This is how they do it. You either sort your rubbish out in your house or you bring everything out, stand in the cold and sort it out accordingly. There's no smell because your kitchen waste is freezing cold. No bacteria can live. It will different in Malaysia. The flies will be swarming all over you and the smell will make you vomit before you're done sorting out your recyclables. I sort my rubbish already but until today, I don't see different coloured trucks coming to pick up my rubbish. Now even the rubbish collectors decide what to take and what not to take. Before long, my house will be a rubbish dump as we do not know where to get rid of some of our bigger size trash. All keep in the pocket la....

Friday, February 02, 2018

Korea Day 1: Off to Pocheon...

~ 23rd January 2017~
Cool~!

I have no idea where I was heading to. My camel said that we should get something to eat first before we started our journey home. I had a Krispy Kreme doughnut and got that yogurt that apparently was really famous among tourists, but I got myself a chocolate drink instead. I'm not fit to be a tourist.
Snow-covered mountain top...
Bare mountain... taken from above...
Why you look like Hong Kong?
White white snow...
Such beauty... bald and beautiful...
First tunnel... definitely not the last...
First road trip that turned out to be endless road trips...

The road trip was really amazing. The number of brown and bald mountains were so many. I have no idea how many mountains I was looking at. There were some parts which looked like Hong Kong. The bridge and the domino set apartments. I thought home was half an hour or an hour away but it turned out to be a three-hour drive. I could not imagine that my camel had to drive three hours to the airport and drove back for another three hours. I was really touched by her gesture. Airport from my home was merely a 10 to 15 minutes drive only. 
I love you Samsung... but I want Volvo for a car...

My camel drove a Renault Samsung Car. I love everything Samsung not like Samsung is giving me anything free... haish...
The Gimpo Airport is after Incheon Airport...
Why build Hong Kong in Korea?
Hi, outlet... but I don't like shopping...
Finally, Pocheon.. after 3 hours in the car... my ass was flat...

My first trip to Korea, I could not recognise a single word. But now I could read and write perfectly well. At least I can write better now. If I were to write this up earlier, everything I would describe as I don't know where, don't know and don't know. We drove until we could see sunset. Sunset was way too early as it was winter, thus night was longer than day. 
Why you look like a shop in Shaoguan?
Our two big bowls of delicious soup...
Who ordered so many?
Oooo... like in China...

My camel stopped by at this shop selling all sorts of soup for busy people. Just get the soup with some meat in it as take-away or just in the shop to eat. On a cold day, any kind of piping hot soup would be good. 
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Then, we went to The Local 43 selling fresh produce and meat. Eggs were not cheap at all. They cost a bomb. Nothing seemed to be cheap in Korea. The currency in Won did not help much with the numerous zeroes behind every significant value. Writing those prices in standard form would really help to reduce the stress of purchasing.
My hyeongbu, the chef in the house...
My bulgogi... I can eat all, if only 

Dinner was real good bulgogi prepared by hyeongbu. Hyeongbu means brother-in-law, my camel's hubby. We were staying at the army barrack as hyeongbu is/was an army officer dealing with the repair of the army tanks. God really knows my travel style. My camel is so much like my travel buddy. Everyone can cook extremely well. My stomach was taken care of. 
After dinner, we went to emart to get groceries done to make kimchi and to prepare for Chinese New Year. I was looking at ice-cream on a cold winter night where the temperature just fall off to the negative mark. I kinda enjoy having ice-cream during winter. 
My camel was completely exhausted but the kimchi has to be made...
The Korean mortar and pestle...

While the Koreans enjoy sleeping with the heater fixed to the mattress, I felt that I was being barbecued alive. I had no idea how to turn it off and it was really hot that I couldn't help it but to allow some cold wind to enter into the room through the sliding balcony door. But it only made the heater worked extra hard. I could not understand how everything worked in the house.
It was night at 6 p.m. onwards...