Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Korea Trip: Seoul Part 3

So.. Our next stop after DMZ was a ginseng tea house located in Hongdae. Realizing that the Nanta Theatre is only a few blocks away, we decided to walk to the theatre after the tour ended. On the way, we stopped at the Hongdae Flea Market; located in a small park, opened only during weekends. This is where local amateur artists showcase and sell their art works. Very interesting indeed.



I think he's the most famous artist because people were queuing to get their faces drawn in cartoon. The line was too long that I don't even bother though I do find that intriguing.

So as we were walking among the Koreans, suddenly a handsome Caucasian guy in red shirt approached us

Handsome guy: Hi. Do you speak English?
Us: Yes . We do.
Handsome guy: Good! We have this project called insideoutproject where we take the facial portrait of people from 22 participating countries.... bla bla bla.. So, would you like to participate??
RA: We would love to! It'll be our pleasure

\(^^)/ Yes, we were excited!!!


They are actually doing this for a good cause whereby they capture facial portraits of people from all over the participating countries and each of them will come with a special message. The website says that this is an effort to tell the world of the untold stories around the world. After strolling around a bit, we head straight to the Nanta theater. It was quite hidden so it took us some time to find it; the large crowd of shoppers was giving us a hard time too *skali lagi sign of aging.. X suka crowd..*


So what is this all about?? Ini adalah among the most heart touching moment when we were in Korea.. The story goes like this.. The show starts at 5pm and we were about an hour early and wanted to perform our prayer first. There was this very convenient area for prayer on that floor but I noticed there was a cctv there. So, I actually asked the receptionists whether we could use that space for prayer

Receptionists: Prayer???
GG: Yes prayer. *sambil buat gaya takbiratul ihram*
Receptionists: Prayer??? *masih nda faham*
GG bermonolog dalaman: Ni mesti nda pernah tengok orang solat ni

So I did some actions that I think was more familiar to them and they exclaimed excitedly as if they've just solved a tough puzzle

Receptionist: 기도!!!! (KIDO!!!)

They told us to wait for moment and we did. We waited and waited and waited and I finally went to the counter again to ask her whether we could use the area again. And she typed something in her computer and later wrote on a piece of paper and yup, that was what written on the paper. And guess what, the manager actually provide us with a very cozy room for prayer T_T BAEK KAN!!!!!???


Ohoho terharu sangat.. We did our prayer and also had our lunch inside this room :) Alhamdulillah



 Nanta show is actually a musical comedic show about four cooks preparing a wedding banquet. The best thing about the show is that they turned kitchen utensils into percussion instruments. The beat was slower in the beginning and become faster and faster throughout the show. There was one part where the cooks sang in harmony by just pronouncing the names of vegetables.. "Cucumbaaaaa..." Cabbageeeee" "Tomatoooooo" "Onioooooon~" Surprisingly sedap dorang nyanyi!
And at the end of it, all the actors and the actress performed the traditional Korean percussion so we get to experience Korean culture as well.



So this is the ticket. You can buy it online; cost us around RM 135. See bottom left, there's my name there! There are 2 other theaters in Seoul; one in Myeongdong and the other one in Gangbuk Jeong Dong. We opted here because of the Hello Kitty Cafe and because there were no seats in Myeongdong theater for that date.. I mean the front seats were full.. X mau duduk blakang bha :p




That glass building is the Nanta theater. I'm actually holding a card holder that I bought in Lotte World. Each of us have that to make it easier to carry our T money around. Hung it around our neck and just place the card holder on top of the sensor and voila! the subway gate will open \(^^)/ mudah!



The Hello Kitty Cafe is also in Hongdae so after the show we went there to have coffee. Again, it was hard to locate the cafe because it is actually hidden in this very narrow alley so you have to be very watchful of the baby pink cafe


Hurm.. Other than the cute presentation of the food and drinks and the pinky surrounding; I actually find nothing interesting. Plus, this coffee house was not as clean as the other coffee houses that we went to. But it is still worth to go here. That waffle was tasty and so was my mocha. (^^)

Next we rushed back to our guesthouse because we have to check in into another guesthouse and at the  counter I was being soooo apologetic because I'd left the key inside the room. After my effort to explain what happened in my most apologetic tone ever the guy at the counter replied me with a straight face, as if nothing happened "It's ok. I already got the key."

GG "O man.. Kalo di Malaysia kena marah suda aku ni (-_-")"

And after that we rushed to the Namsan Tower because we know it'll deny visitors after 10 pm


And the queue was snaking long!!! Like extremely snaking long!!!! The cable car station is a 3 storey building and the length of the queue extended to the outside of the entrance! As we stood outside the building, we could see the line coiled at the stairs of each level through the glass window.. 


"OMG! Panjangnya.."

And guess what, we were already inside the cable car within less than an hour! Sangat efficient! \(^^)/



Bare in mind, the cable car ticket is NOT inclusive of the Namsan Tower entrance fee. And one more thing, you'll be given a number and people holding certain number can only accesss Namsan tower at a given time. Hurm.. For instance, number 1 to 10 can enter at 8 pm and 11 to 20 enter at 9 pm. Yup, something like that..


The panoramic view of the city from Namsan Tower... 



There is one corner where you can send postcards to your loved ones..


I was the only one who didn't send any. The rest bought cute postcards at the gift shop and wrote to their family. I actually wanted to write to my mom because I think she would give a more favourable respond than my dad. But then I don't know what's her mailing address since she retire because all letters used to be addressed to her office hehe So.. I just stroll around, bought some stuffs for my family at the gift shop and I got my favourite souvenir here too! which I will show in another post, that is (^^)



This is another section at the tower where they have wooden tiles pasted on the walls. The shop selling these was closed so we didn't paste any message on the wall T_T




And yes I did leave a lock there. I bought it that evening in Hongdae. We have no marker pen, so what I did was, I tore a small piece from a price tag sticker and stick it on the lock and wrote my name hehe That is more to desperate than creative kan :P HH wrote a very long note and attached it to her lock. I don't know what she wrote, though.. 

Maybe I am a woman with less words.. haha pasti ada yang mau bantah statement ini :p

GG have dreams...


And we were among the last to leave the tower. hehe .

This was the night when I did the massive picture upload on facebook because HH and I got the VIP room and the internet wireless router was in our room haha \(^^)/








Friday, July 27, 2012

Korea Trip: Seoul Part 2

Our second day activity should be the one that I've been waiting for \(^^)/ the DMZ tour!!!



Initially we'd wanted to go there on our own. That's by train from Seoul station to Imjingak via the Gyeongui line. But after considering that we have to be extra punctual because we have to catch the Nanta Show in Hongdae in the evening, we finally agree to go for the tour.

We saw some brochures at the receptionist counter at the guesthouse and found some very cheap half-day DMZ tour. The one that we took cost 41 000 won. It says there on the brochure that we can make a booking within 24 hours so I was in a hurry and sent an email. When they didn't reply as quick as I expect them to, I called them after our prayer in Itaewon central mosque. Surprisingly, the booking was extremely quick. They only asked for my name, how many person and our lodging address. I was out from the phone booth in less than 5 minutes.

MR: Dah ke? Kejapnye
GG: Dah. Errr.. Tu la gg pon konpius kejap sangat
MR: Confirm 41 000??
GG: Erk? Meh nak confirm balik

So.. On the 23rd June, at 7.40 am, the bus waited for us in front of the guesthouse. We were late! We were suppose to check out that morning and move to another guesthouse and and and I'd left the room key inside the room instead of the counter.. O MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our extremely cute tour guide

The bus was full. I sat next to a very nice Swiss businessman.

GG: HH, orang sebelah aku dari pergunungan Alps!
HH: Tengok die pakai jam brand ape weyh!
GG: Eyh?? Jap jap aku x nampak brand die!!! (-_-") stress!

DMZ was not far at all! It took about 20 minutes to get there. On the highway, we can see North Korea just across this very wide river. No boat was sailing on the river; that's forbidden. There was also no aeroplane in the airspace; that's forbidden too. There were barbed wire fences along the river bank and there were watch towers  in every 200-300 meters *rough estimation*. 


Along the way, our tour guide told the history of the Korean War. The history goes back to when Japan was in power. The Soviet declared war against Japan and towards the end of the World War II, the Soviet have occupied the northern part of Korea. Then, Korea was divided into north and south by this agreement made by the victorious Allies. The US was to administer the south while the Soviet administered the north. So that's how the North becomes the Communist while the south becomes the Capitalist. So, the Korean War started when the North invaded the South on June 1950. It lasted for about 3 years and the Korean suffered a lot from the war. The tour guide repeatedly say, "We don't war anymore" as she tells us the story. Our first stop was Imjingak



Imjingak has a 3-storey observatory building but I didn't spend much time there because I wanted to see the displays that they have in the park. Met a Korean fella with his Mongolian friend on my way down. They asked me where I'm from and then the ayam-itik conversation starts again. I got used to it after 6 days in Korea hehe 

So, what else do they have in Imjingak...



This altar; Mangbaedan altar. I didn't take the whole picture of it because there were so many tourists. Anyway.. this altar is where the North Korean do their annual ancestral rites ceremony where they'll bow towards their homeland on new year. There's a plate that tells how the North Korean still hope for unification and still dream of going back to their homeland. Rasa macam mo menangis jak masa baca tuh T_T o sedihnya tu kalo aku x dapat balik pi Sabah suda~ emosi..



This rusty locomotive was derailed by bombs during the Korean war. There are 1022 bullet holes on the locomotive!



And this is the Freedom Bridge. It was originally one of the two railroad bridges on the Gyeongui line that was later destroyed during the Korean War. The west bridge was then restored to enable the return of 12 773 prisoners of war. The prisoners returned on foot and they yelled "FREEDOM!! FREEDOM!!" as they walk back towards South Korea. That's how the bridge got it's name

Next the  3rd Infiltration Tunnel


There are four infiltration tunnels dug by the North Korean. The first 3 was found in the 70's while the last one was found in 1990. We were not allowed to take pictures in it. I think there must be a good reason why they don't allow tourists to take pictures so, yeah, we didn't. This is a very interesting place! \(^^)/ (for nerds like me..)
The tunnel is actually inclining so we have to go down and then walk for about 300m until the first concrete barricade that is used to block the tunnel. The height of the tunnel is said to be 2m but I think it's lesser than that now that they have those metal pipes on the ceiling. We were given helmets so we don't knock our heads on those pipes. I'm short so I walk erect all the way. But you can hear 'thud.. thud.. thud' bunyi kepala orang terhantuk haha


The most interesting part is how they found the tunnel!!!! 
Well, the south intelligence only know that the north is digging a tunnel in DMZ area and it is located just beneath an area that has trees.. Ok smart.. How are they going to narrow that down?? You know what they did? They placed many many PVC pipes filled with water in the suspected areas and after 3 years, suddenly one of the pipe burst and the water shoot up to the sky and that was how they found the tunnel.

The north tried to cover it up by saying they were actually mining coal and even painted the walls with coal. But it was obvious that they were making the tunnel for invasion because there are no coal in that area.. Only granite. 

Next.. Dorasan Station and Dorasan Observatory


This is the Dora Observatory which is situated on top of Mount Dora. Inside the bus, the guide told us we are going to climb the mountain by foot and HH and I were so happy about it \(^^)/ "Yeay!" but later she said she was just kidding.. Memang kami suka naek gunung kan.. :P


They actually restrict photo taking beyond that yellow line. So I didn't get any nice shots of North Korea due to my non-modifiable height :p. The army stationed there are very strict. There was a guy who took some pics beyond the yellow line, an army shouted with a very stern voice, "NO PICTURES BEYOND THE YELLOW LINE PLEASE!" took the camera and I think he deleted the pictures. You can get a glimpse of the north side through the binoculars by inserting a 500 won coin. You can see the Propaganda Village and a city called Kaesong

Kejayaan MR :)

You know, as I stood there, I was actually allured by the enigmatic quality of the North Korea. Maybe someday I'll find a way to visit that country that most people know so little about.. Bole masok dalam wish list :).



 We then moved to Dorasan station, the last station in South Korea that are now left abandoned. Once upon a time, long long ago (to make it sounds epic sket), there used to be a train that carries goods from Kaesong to the South but then one day the North Korea decided to close the border. If unification ever happen and this station is reopened, we could go to Europe by train from Seoul via the trans siberian railway \(^^)/ tapi bila la tu kn....


The tour bus actually will either drop you at the city center or in Itaewon but luckily it made a stop at this ginseng shop in Hongdae so kami turun di sana jak la.. Okay.. ketara kan sy sangat excited about DMZ that I wrote this lengthy post about it though this is actually a half-day tour.

So to be continued lah! (^^) 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Korea Trip: Seoul Part 1

So.. mari kita sambung...

We took the 2nd last flight from Jeju to Gimpo. I don't know why I bought the 2nd last one, though. Maybe if we miss it then we can buy the last flight.. Most probably that was what I was thinking at that time :P

We arrived around 22:10 and there was a Korean guy at the exit holding a signage with my wrongly spelled name written on it; NORHAZIAS. Plural di situ.. I already requested for transport from the airport to our guesthouse a week before we arrive so it was convenient. He didn't speak English but he tried to make a conversation and we were only guessing and simply answering his questions without even knowing the real meaning. And then the funny thing was HH talked about Running Man and the driver seem to be so pleased when he found out she knows many of the Korean celebrities.

When we arrived, I was surprise to find that our booking was different from the one that I made. O rase bersalah sebab we have to change to another guesthouse on the third night. I think the staff forgot to update my booking (-_-") But that night we had a feast!



In Jeju, we had macaroni and cheese, bread and instant noodles. We didn't eat rice for the whole 3 days so we've been missing our staple food very much. So on our first night in Seoul, we ate rice with Serunding and canned chicken curry and beef rendang. I didn't eat much though but I actually enjoyed it. 



The next morning we head to Itaewon first because we really need to eat something heavy. It was not hard to get there. The train system is extremely efficient. Even though all the announcements were in Korean but they have this screen that flash the name of the next station inside the train. And at the station they have this screen that shows where the train is and the time of arrival. And memang tepat!



When we got there, there was this shop selling Turkish ice cream just a few meters from the subway exit. My friends were excited so they bought 2 cones of ice cream and we shared them. I was more interested in the texture of the ice cream. It was so solid that he can take the ice cream chunk out of the container with a metal rod, spun and tossed it too!
 \(^^)/



When we were doing the studying, I was less excited about Seoul so I don't really know what is there in the town area. Being a big fan of World War II history, I was more focus about realizing my dream of going to DMZ hehe (kan confirm suda nerd..)
So these girls really know where we should eat and where the mosque is located. Impressed!
When they saw the signboard that reads Murree they exclaimed joyfully "Murree!!" It was like they've all seen it before. And I was.. "Err.. ok Murree.." :p

Camera whoring while they browse the menu :p

I also don't know anything about Korean food so I just eat what they picked and the food was excellent! Actually it is not a Korean restaurant but they serve Korean food. If I'm not mistaken the restaurant is run by a Pakistani. They ordered Bibimbap; a bowl of rice, sunny side up egg, some special sauce and vege. And two other chicken and beef sets. I don't remember the names *kan suda cakap tulis dalam buku, Haziah!*




Tempting kan?? I like the beef and chicken sets. Don't like the Bimbimbap much because I have issues with food that are mixed that way. You know, they stir everything in the bowl and it's all mixed up that the rice turned red. I have issues with food like that. I don't know why. Macam autistic jak nih






And then.. Voilla!!!


LICIN BHA!!!!!!!!! Haha we were obviously so deprived of food. Kebulur bha...

So next we head to the famous Itaewon mosque. The woman area was not that spacious but was comfortable enough. I don't remember seeing any Korean Muslims though. Most of the Muslims there were foreigners like us; most of them looks like people from the Middle East. 



Next, we went to Lotte World \(^^)/
Lotte World is located in Jamsil so we used the subway again. There were so many stations along the way and I'm very sure Itaewon to Jamsil is much further than Kelana Jaya to Terminal Putra. And the journey only took about 30 minutes. Laju gila!! And the train only stops for a very short duration in each station.



We entered after 4pm so it was cheaper. We paid 19 000 won per person. It's the cheapest theme park that we ever been to. But to be honest, I think nothing much here. None of the thrill rides were new to us. So, I think next time I'll go to Everland instead. But, as usual, we still enjoy our time there. There was a parade at 6.50 pm (kalo x silap) and we saw the most handsome guy in Korea!! Ok exaggerating.. SJ, RA and I thought he was the most handsome because we are not into sepet and slim guys. His feature was like Pan Asian. More to Asia but you can see the European feature as well. Most probably Turkish or Kazakhstan. Sampai menggigil bha masa amik gambar. He actually posed for us but I was having severe palpitation haha


Lepas tu giggle giggle macam teenagers sebab excited he posed for us hahaha

And then at night they have a laser show. It was beautiful. I loved it. And after that they have this concert. The band was from the Philippines and they really can entertain. They chose the right songs, really know how to interact with the audience and even the Koreans love them very much. Tapi paling terkejut when suddenly the lead singer called "Hello Malaysian ladies!!!" and pointed at us. We froze and didn't know how to react

"Die panggil kite ke??"
"Ye la kot.."
Tengok kiri kanan. Ok sure suda panggil kami baru hands in the air \(^^)/



They also invited us to the stage but we were shy. Everybody turned at our direction when he called bha.. Malu~ (^^*) and we just make heart shape with our fingers and sway to the song n our seats. And when the concert was about to end, once again, "Good bye Malaysian ladies
! Good bye Korean!"

"Fuiyo! Sebot kte dulu!!!!" Excited and terasa glamour sekejap haha

And we pace towards our locker after that and MR found that she'd left her camera on the bench. When we went back to the bench it was no longer there. Went to the visitor's service office, and the staff there brought us to the info counter. And volla! Within less than 5 minutes, her camera was already at the info counter. If it was here, I think the chance for it to be stolen is 89%!!! MR's camera is one of the best compact camera lo!

Jujur kan dorang.. Macam mana la kami x fall in love~ More to come in my next post (^^)

Kemanisan ukhwah~ hee (^^)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Videos In Jeju

The Korea trip is currently the longest post ever and I haven't even started with our stories in Seoul *lepas tu ada melencong sket di post sebelum ni :p*

Here are some videos from the trip in Jeju. Some of you might have seen in FB (^^)

This is taken during breakfast before we head to Cheonjiyeon. "Kapal-kapal yang sedang berdagang..." okay sebenarnya mo sebut belayar but the word didn't come to me :p





Cheonjiyeon waterfall




This one is in Seongsan Ilchulbong. It was very windy that morning and you can hear that I was actually gasping for air as I climb. Not tough but I think the wind was too strong that I ran out of breath easily huhu



Another video in Seongsan Ilchulbong; when we just reached  the top





This one was taken in Seopjikoji. My voice is a bit too loud, kan.. The waves were very big and the sound was so loud and I can't hear my own voice but I forgot the mic is actually so close hehe




And finally this is the one taken in the mysterious vegetable farm. We can't even describe where we were when SJ wanted us to say something for the video hehe





Actually there are more videos but they are too short and with my rookie video editing skill I need some time to combine them hehe Next time I'm going to take video with my Nikon instead.. Kan suda x HD vdeo aku.. Or maybe, I'll consider buying a video cam hehe mo jimat bateri camera wo!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What He Doesn't Know..

*This is a fiction*

The frantic air has been wafting for many weeks. The admission rate rose in an unprecedented trend and so was the discharge and mortality rates. My colleagues and I tried our best to cope with the number of drugs to be supplied, the number of patients to be educated on their medications and last but not least the number of errors to be corrected on the prescriptions. I understood that the doctors and the nurses were going through harder times than us, the pharmacists. So I'd kept myself quiet; not wanting to burden them with any additional unnecessary complaint and tried my best to keep things running as smooth as I could.

Sitting in that small room with three prescriptions in my hand made me felt secure. Secured from the daunting atmosphere. It has been a year since I took over the pharmacy, but I still have not adapted to the frail looks of the patients, the smell of urine and alcohol mixing in the air, the wailing and the deaths. I breathed a deep sigh of relief before I start working on the case note that rested on my lap. I murmured the case summary and the list of drugs in the lowest tone possible as I flip through the pages; not wanting to distract the doctors. Then suddenly a voice from my left side caused me to jump.

"Ehem.. Pharmacist sekarang strict ek..."

I turned slightly and glanced upward. It was the new houseman who was sitting with his back facing me. He was staring at me at the corner of his eyes and was not smiling. I remember he is the houseman that my senior spoke to this morning. I remember sensing anger in my senior's tone as she spoke to the houseman. I remember it was about a wrong drug frequency. Maybe he was still holding grudge against pharmacist after what had happened earlier that day. I forced a smile and said, "Hurm.. Kene la strict.. Kalau salah kan susah.."

What he doesn't know.. His first sentence was my facebook status that evening...


****************************************************

It was a sulky Monday. No trainees to help me out and I was trotting all over the wards trying to settle both queries and counselings on my own as the others have gone to meetings and clinics. By the end of the day, all my energies have drained out. It was one of the last query of the day when I sat at the registration counter at the entrance of the female ward. The case notes were scattered all over the counter; stacked on one after another. I searched for the case note that I need to refer to and it was to no avail. Everything was too disorganized and confusing. And as I was asking around about the case note, I suddenly caught a glance of the case note number that I was looking for. No wonder I didn't see it, it was covered by an opened case note and a face that I recognized from male ward a week ago was writing on the opened case note.

"Hi.. Bole saye pinjam case note yang kat bawah tu?"
"Ambikla" Slightly lifting the case note he was writing on without looking at me and still not smiling.

I have not seen him for a while but have learned his name from his stamp on the drug charts. I was starting to feel that he might be another arrogant houseman but I continued to sit in front of  him since it was the only available seat left. I noticed his tanned skin "Hurm.. rasa hari tu macam lagi putih," I thought. I queried him on some errors and he doesn't seem to be pleased about it. I'd wanted to ask him where did he go and why is he so tanned. But I'd kept the questions to myself because he was still not smiling; and that, he doesn't know..

******************************************

 I was pacing nervously towards the office because I just remember that I have to settle some documents when I suddenly heard a voice calling from behind. It was a lady, most probably in her 50's. She asked the direction to the medical block because she wanted to see her nephew who is a doctor there. I told her the medical block is huge and some disciplines in the medical department are in separate blocks. I asked her the name of her nephew and to my surprise, she is the aunt to the houseman who don't know how to smile. I walked her and her husband to the ward and went to the office after that.

Later that evening, I have another counseling in the ward. He was sitting at the counter, writing in yet another case note. I guess he was startled by the banging of the door and turned at my direction. And for the first time, he smiled. I was actually taken aback by the smile and it took a few seconds before I smile back. Another thing I remember on the day he first smile at me is... it was a Wednesday :)

*******************************************************

It was hectic as usual in the acute ward but the commotion seem to be muted as I concentrated on the case note in front of me. With my limited clinical knowledge, I tried to figure out what was missing on the list of drugs that was ordered for the patient. The office hour was already over and I finally decided that I should call it a day since I fail to concentrate on the words on the case note. I went to pack my things and head to the musolla; I haven't got time to pray earlier since there were so many things to settle.

When I exited the main door, I saw a familiar figure heading towards the musolla too. "The houseman who actually know how to smile," I thought. He asked me a question earlier that day and I felt rather awkward to the sudden friendliness but I thought I should take that as a good sign now that I can comfortably query on the errors or ambiguities. He noticed my presence as we enter the musolla's ground.

"Eyh, baru nak smayang?" He asked in a teasing tone

I was actually too exhausted and didn't feel like replying but I did anyway with a poker face,
"Tak lah. Bukan nye nak smayang.. Saye nak query awak. Kejar sampai surau."

I walked passed him and turned slightly when he did not reply. He was staring at the floor and he was smiling."Alamak, cute la pulak." I thought and rushed towards the female area. 

Facebook status that evening "One can look much better when they smile," 

*******************************************

On the days that followed, nothing seem to be at ease in any of the ward. More and more admissions and additional beds were placed in all the extension wards. I befriended most of the houseman and that had made my work easier. But none of them knew my name. I was merely 'the medical ward pharmacist' because I was seen everywhere; the male ward, the female ward and also the high dependency unit. Some were even confused why I was 'all over the place'. "I'm in charged of the supply and not the clinical side" I answered.

But one houseman can really get into my nerve and it was the one who just learnt how to smile. Once I even have to stay after office hours because he was no where to be found in the ward when I needed some justifications of the drugs he just prescribed. He actually went to escort a patient for a CT scan. It was not his fault but I glared at him in the most devilish way that I could anyway because I was already late and I have to catch a flight.

I don't know where did he learn that my name starts with a 'Nor'. It was one of the busy day where I only have a few minutes to screen the drug charts in the ward when it was not the indent day when I heard someone calling "Nor.. Nor.." I was oblivious to my surrounding as I usually do when I am concentrating on something. I heard the faint call but did not respond because nobody ever calls me Nor  "Ehem.. Pharmacist Nor," I was startled by his sudden appearance from my back.

 "Awak panggil saye ke? Nobody calls me Nor!"
"Ok ape Nor.. Cahaye.." He said as he handed me two discharge prescriptions and then walked away; laughing.

He finally learned my name one evening when I was trying to call my staff in the pharmacy using the ward's telephone. My hand was full; I was holding my handphone, my pre-inked stamp, a pen and my punch card. I put them on the table when I  had to flip through the drug charts as I held the telephone receiver with my other hand. When I looked up from the drug chart, he was already holding my punch card. I heard him said  "O.. Anak pacik Salleh rupenye"  I made a poker face as I usually does when he tease. I actually wanted to said something every time he teases me but I would hold back because I wanted to be professional in the ward because I know gossip can spread very fast and I don't want to create any.

What he doesn't know? He doesn't know that I'm happy that he wants to know my name :)

************************************************

One evening, he told me that it was his last day in the ward. I replied with an "Oooo.." and asked him where he was posted next. He said most probably in another ward in a different block. I didn't know how to respond and just smiled and said, "Good luck kat sana," And the next day, he wasn't in the ward anymore and it didn't bring any change to my routine because it was normal for the houseman to come and go for their rotation.

One evening, when I was alone in the pharmacy, as I was packing my things getting ready to go home, the phone suddenly rings. I picked up the phone, "Hello,"

"Hello, pharmacist Nor ka ni? Boleh tolong. Satu lagi last kaunseling. Patient tunggu suda,"

I went down to the ward and did the counseling. It was simple and the patient was young and understood easily. When I was back at the pharmacy, it was almost dark outside. Took my handphone out of my handbag and text him a short message

"Skarang suma nak panggil Nor!"
He replied almost immediately "haha"

And that was when I realize I actually feel his absence...

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It was raining heavily outside and I was battling whether I should go to the bank or not. But our vacation was only 4 days away and I need the cash and I also need some time to search for a money changer that offers the lowest price for Korean won.  I grabbed the umbrella hanged at the side of the table and walked my way down to the parking lot. As I walked down the stairs, I heard a familiar voice calling "Nor!" from behind. I was surprised to see him in the area and was actually glad. I tried to show no excitement in my expression and just gave a brief smile. I waited for him and we walked towards the clinic slowly side by side because he was having muscle ache as he just climbed the Mount Kinabalu a few days before.

We chatted along the way. He told me about his climb and asked me how was mine in April and about Via Ferrata. By this time, I can no longer suppress my excitement because it was about the mountain. It was clear that I was excited but what he doesn't know is that my excitement was partly because of him.

He asked me whether I could drive him to his ward because his leg was very painful. I didn't mean to turn him down on that. It was raining heavily, and my car was parked at the open area. If it was a bright sunny day, I would have sent him to his ward. But considering how heavy the rain was and the fact that we have to share the umbrella and get wet anyway, I have to turn him down. I know that sound almost romantic; walking in the rain under one umbrella and get wet. But I think that is just inappropriate..

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My stomach was growling and there was nothing that I wanted more at that time but leave for lunch quickly and eat as much as I could. I was rushing down the alley where patients and visitors usually sit about; waiting for the ambulance or waiting for the visiting time. I don't usually look at by standers and I usually don't notice if any of my friend is around. But I don't know why I noticed him sitting there wearing his dark blue shirt. I said hi and waved at him and continued to walk passed him. I stopped at the stairs and turned back. I wanted to give him a souvenir that I'd kept for weeks inside my purse. But there were too many people and again I don't want to create gossip. So I turned around and said "Takpelah"

I walked into the pharmacy and found that  my friend was not yet ready for lunch. Then I thought maybe I shouldn't be too worry about the gossips and went back to where he was sitting and he was no longer to be found.

I text him "Cepatnye hilang. Nak bagi souvenir"
"Tadi kate takpe"

We arranged to meet that evening but I was the one who cancelled it in the end; not because I don't want to create gossip but because I don't want to trouble him for the small insignificant souvenir. He was posted to another place and I won't be seeing for at least four months. I hope 1/3 of the 365 days pass by quickly...

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Life goes on.. I continued my daily routines as did he. I haven't heard from him since the evening that I cancelled meeting him. I wish him well.. I don't know where this story goes after this but that's why I feel like writing it because it's hard to find some stranger with the ability to make me happy every time I sees him. Yup.. It's not like I have palpitation when he is in sight. I just feel happy and the rest of my day will be brighter.. Weird~

Anyway, where ever this story goes won't do any harm to me. I'll try looking at the bright side of things that are not going as I want it to be. I don't want to think he already has someone so I initially thought he might be gay; because thinking it that way made it less hurtful. But, something dawned on me  after I watch spider man.. I want to think him as a superhero who has that special power to make me happy. It's just that we can't be together because he is a SUPERHERO haha



*Sy yakin die x bace blog sy.. Kalo die bace, sy akn malu sampa menangis.. Yakin!*

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Korea day 3: Jeju is like a piece of heaven..

It was suppose to be a long drive but it didn't because my friends were making silly jokes along the way. Luckily there were lesser cars at night and the route was actually straight so it was easy for me. But we went silent as we enter Seongsan.

GG: Bukak tingkap weyh!!!

Why... Because Seongsan happen to be a small town that is separated from the main land, connected by a 4 lane coastal road that is superb even at night. We could hear the sound of waves, feel the breeze and smell the sea.. And we went "UUuuuuuUU..." and "Aaaaah" when we saw the silhouetted Seongsan Ilchulbong, the sole reason that took us there.

We checked in at Ilchulbong Tourist Hotel; the nearest that I can find. Well, there were very few reviews about the hotel in the website where I made the booking so I really really put low expectation and to my surprise the RM 193 room was extremely spacious and complete with a hair dryer, a fridge, a tv, it's air-conditioned and have all the other essentials! Plus the window faces the Ilchulbong!!! Worth it! and as usual I was the first to fall asleep.. zZzZzZ..


But I was not the first to wake up (^^)v we woke up very early that morning to catch the sunrise. We were suppose to go to the starting point at 4 something since the sunrise is around 5.30 am but as usual we were slightly behind schedule. And I was so confused by the signboards and the direction given by the GPS that I drove in circles. Adeh! And finally we started climbing around 4.30 am
It was flights of stairs all the way up. Not that tiring because it is only about 170-180 m climb. It took us about 15-20 minutes to reach the top and Subahanallah~ Another palpitation..



All this while when I was studying about Jeju, the pictures of Ilchulbong Seongsan were always the ones taken from air or from far away to portray it is a cliff formed by underwater volcanic eruption and it stood there on shallow water. But literally standing on it that morning gave me a different feeling altogether.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty; the pristine beauty of the meadow with the vast sea ahead that stretches beyond the horizon and the strong wind.. They made me feel so puny.. Yup.. Puny.. That was how I felt as I stood on the deck..



It was quite cloudy that morning so we only get to see some trace of the morning sun rays but still it was jaw-dropping beautiful!!! And then we spent about 3 hours on the top; having breakfast and enjoying the view.

Makan Ruski (^^)

The small town of Seongsan (^^)


Yah!! Sekali lagi artis :p





We head back to the hotel to shower and get ready for our next destination. We were in no hurry although we know we haven't got that much time on our last day. But it seem that we were really enjoying the atmosphere in Seongsan. From our room window we can see a throng of crowd climbing Ilchulbong. It was only around 9 am when we saw that. SJ breathed a sigh of relief as she prepare our food next to the window "Nasib baek kte gi awal weyh.."

The next destination was Seopjikoji which means "A sudden bump on the land" We don't know how far it is but estimated that it'll take us around 30 minutes to get there. It was not far but the random beauty put us behind schedule again. If we haven't stopped by the beach, it would've been only around 15 minutes drive from our hotel. But the beach was irresistible..

Farewell bid to Seongsan Ilchulbong

When we reached Seopjikoji it was already crowded with tourists. We walk our way towards the coastal line and found ourselves holding our breath as we look at the beautiful landscape that lies in front of Seopjikoji.. "Ape yang tak cantik kat Jeju ni weyh!!!" *dengan nada geram sebab dah nak balik*



There is actually a nice walking trail on the cliff but we chose to walk on the rocks instead. HH was very excited and wanted to touch the water, but that is so not a good idea. The waves were violent with different magnitude every time they touch the rocks so yup, dua orang pharmacists in patient yang garang actually scolded her haha "Pegila! Aku cakap awal2 aku x slamatkan ko kalo ape2 jadi.." But seriously, you need at least a fair swimming skill to get near the water; to safe you just in case you got washed away by the waves, that is.



At the end of Seopjikoji stood this lighthouse. My first time ever to get close to a lighthouse so I was excited :p Slama ni tengok dalam Enid Blyton series masa kicik2 jak kan :p



We spent around 2 hours in Seopjikoji and next we head to Trick Art Museum. Ohohoho Masa ni la memang x bole blah.. That morning on top of Ilchulbong we actually saw many windmills on about 3 different parts of Jeju. We wanted to see it closer and asked a Korean guy on Ilchulbong of the windmills whereabouts. He didn't speak English so hurm.. buat2 faham saja la kan.. And my friends went to ask the guy at the hotel reception counter as I heat up the car's engine but still they didn't manage to get useful information. So.. On the way to the Trick Art Museum, we caught the sight of the windmills again and just drive towards it without knowing where we were. And we end up in a vegetable farm :P


Can you see the windmills? 

Lepas tu random bush pon cantik..


Realizing that we have about 5 hours before our flight to Seoul, we just continue our journey towards the Trick Art Museum although each of us was still hoping to see the windmills closer than the one from the mysterious vegetable farm.. And thank you GPS, she (because it was a woman's voice) recalculated the route and took us to a route that pass next to the windmills \(^^)/


Masa ni berhenti tengah2 jalan amek gambar (^^) There were no cars though sebab tu berani :P

It was less than 5 minutes drive to Trick Art Museum from the point where we stopped to take the pictures of the windmills. When we arrived, there were soooo many people at the Trick Art Museum and sangat rimas.. We were there for about an hour because we can't stand the crowd. *Sign of aging kah ni??* Took some awesome pics and head straight to Manjanggul Cave



Manjanggul was not far either, around 15 minutes drive from Trick Art Museum. Manjanggul is one of the lava tubes in Jeju with a total length of about 13 km but only 1km was opened to public. I was surprised to see how big it was because the tunnels in caves that I ever went into was only about 5m high but in Manjanggul it could be as high as 8-10m *rough estimation*


It was so cold inside like less than 18 C and I didn't sweat at all as I walk towards the end of the tube. Along the way we saw lots of structures which were formed million years ago from the lava flow. I don't think everybody will appreciate the exhibits inside because it was merely rocks and rocks and rocks again. But it was how those rocks were formed which are special. They are the aftermath of a massive eruption and they are beautiful.We tried to understand and differentiate the rocks formation by using medical terminologies hehe "Aku rase raft ni macam embolus la, yang mural tu kre macam thrombus.." NERD!


The end of Manjanggul lava tube is that rock that protrudes to the ceiling. Actually it is formed from the lava that was flowing down from the ceiling and it cooled off as it was still dripping down. We went out and performed our solah under a tree near to where we parked our car and rush to Jeju Do to the famous Yongduam Rock after that


There were so many beautiful places along the way but we couldn't stop because there was only about 2 hours before our flight. We saw Halla san on our left and vowed to come again to conquer its peak. I say Jeju-do should be the most populated area in Jeju since it is the main city. It was hard for me driving inside the city and there were so many cars parked at the side of the road and sangat sakit hati sebab x dapat bajet space... But Yongduam Rock was surprsingly.. hurm..ordinary


It was another rock on a beach to me but the sunset was extraordinary (^^) One of the most beautiful sunset that I've ever seen. And the most memorable thing about Yongduam Rock is it was where we met the friendly Korean guy Mr JL and his Japanese wife and in-laws (^^)


There were only 4 of us on the deck and HH was at the shop buying some souvenirs when Mr JL came to us asking "Where are you from?"

"Malaysia"
Mr JL: Muslims??
"Yes we are Muslims"
Mr JL: Aha! Muslims can marry four wives! Are you single??
"Haha okay, four wives.. Yes we are singles.."
Mr JL: Good! I can introduce you to Korean guys!

Dan ntah apa lagi kami mengarut lepas tu. Sakit perut aku ketawa but they were very nice people. SJ asked them what her name means in Korea and we had another wave of laughter after knowing the meaning. We exchange contact numbers and we really hope to see them again in the future


We head towards the airport with a heavy heart. I was so sad to leave Jeju, I even felt like crying.. We didn't talk much in the airport. I was busy updating my status in facebook because I happen to have left a worrying status when we arrived and wasn't able to give any update throughout the trip. The rest were carried away looking at the pictures we took in Jeju and HH was charging her handphone in front of me. Suddenly a 13 year old boy came to HH with two other smaller kids asking her where she is from. After that he went back to his seat and a few minutes later he come again with 5 Jeju chocolates (^^)


Hurm... Seriously.. Rindu sangat dengan Jeju... I will come again and my main mission would be Hallasan.. :)


Serius ni... Rindu....