Friday, April 5, 2013

Respect the Boundary

There are two things I am absolutely very sensitive about right now.

ONE. My hair. Especially when the natural curls are out.

TWO. My recent failed Korea trip.

Any mentions of these that I find insulting, watch our relationship turn sour.

If you were me, you’d know how my natural curls gave me a really bad time during my late high school period. The curls are in my genetics and therefore, I am programmed to be sensitive about it. Nuff said.

Now, regarding my failed Korea trip, there’s a lot more behind it…

Anyone who knows me knows that I SHIP this land of plastic surgery. The announcement of the Korea trip sent me over the moon. I worked hard researching and planning the tour itinerary, learn how to expect the harsh Korean winter, learning the basic tourist Korean, food, transport, shopping, etc. It was my first time; planning and visiting Korea.

I spent my December and January reading up on all those information. KTO, blogs, yahoo answers, Youtube, more blogs… But there’s only so much I can know and remember. How does one be fully prepared for something she never experienced before? I do not have much guidance except from the internet. Tonnes of information but vague… Extremely vague. “Winter is harsh and cold in Korea.” How cold is cold? And how harsh is harsh? I watched in Running Man that they shivered in the bitter cold wind but how cold is it? “-16 celcius” Look sister, I come from a tropical country of Malaysia and all my life, all that I’ve seen were sun and rain. The coldest I’ve ever felt would be when the air conditioning was set to the lowest temperature and that probably would be 18 celcius? Thick padded windbreakers and white winter wonderland was all I had in mind. And thoughts can’t be felt by the skin.

Seoul’s subway system was amazing… …-ly complex. It was efficient. But complex. In Malaysia, KL, we have our commuters, monorails, LRTs. It is okay, can’t say it is bad, but I bet the upstairs people are “trying” to improve things. Our rail systems, it is funny. Well, they are not interlinked. To change commuters to LRTs, we have to change station. It is pathetic. Nuff said. So when I got my hands on a Seoul subway map, imagine the shock. Saw it a gazillion times on Google image but the physical map is still different. It felt like efficiency IN YO FACE! Such a huge leap from the local public transport to the public transport there. Good thing my brother’s experience navigating through Melbourne metro shortened our time being lost underground.

Gift giving and souvenirs. I live a mundane life and I do not believe in the practice of gift giving and souvenirs. My concept of these practices is pretty similar to that of Sheldon Cooper’s. I will not take initiative of the hassle of estimating what you might like, buying it and wrapping it in fancy paper with a bow on top, unless, you mean that much to me where I take it personally to care. On your side, if you like that activity and wish to surprise me, be my guest, but take note that I expect you to not expect anything in return other than a thank you and a set of genuinely happy eyes looking back at you.
Shopping in Seoul. I had a great time browsing through the endless racks of clothes, shoes, bags, merchandise and stuffs but to buy them is a tad tricky. Words of many were that if you ever visit Korea, be sure to haggle A LOT and stuffs are EXTREMELY cheap. Well, yeah. I heard those, I read those. But note that they are folks from the US, UK, Europe, Japan, Singapore, etc but Malaysia. Less from Malaysia. Dude! Do you realize how much we are losing on our side of currency? To be thrifting on a vacation doesn’t feel nice. I’d like to be shipping hordes of fashionables back home but we ain’t rich. We get stuffs for the family, yes, but extras, sometimes we really just can’t. Well, maybe my dad can, but I can’t. I just can’t anymore.

Falling sick for 3 days. Out of an eight-day trip. Do you know how that felt? Especially for me, after all my effort researching, my hopes, my expectation. It was just awful. However, it wasn’t something that can not be controlled nor foresaw. My disappointment and bitterness could not be measured with anything before this.

There could be more, but I really don’t wanna be recalling all this crap anymore. So sister, your words, “白痴,有去相没去”, you are rubbing salt on my still fresh wounds. It’s uncomfortable.

Mock my height and my dressing but this of Seoul, do it more, and I might just shove a chainsaw up your pathetic ass.

You have been warned.