Monday, January 31, 2011

Jeonju - The sound of music

Do you notice any similarities in her with...


She looked almost the same like Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) of Smallville! OMG! Actually when I saw her that day, I thought I had seen her somewhere before. ;) I only realized later after viewing the pictures and she really look almost the same as the one from the TV. Wow. Do watch the video below too.

It was kinda cool when I went to the WSK camp to watch the Korean Traditional musical performance. In Korea, there are lots of musical instruments. A majority of them are made from bamboo and sometimes oak so it is no wonder that some can cost millions of Won for a small piece of instrument.

I was kinda amused to know that one of the girls performing then almost resembled Lana. I used to watch smallville but since coming to Korea, it was kinda impossible because I really do not know where to watch or download the episodes online. Besides, I am also busy sometimes.

Anyway, in Korea, traditional musical performances are common accurrences to the foreigners because they (Koreans) are really proud of their cultures and really kin to promote them all. The costumes especially for the ladies are really eye-catching with so many variety of colours almost resembing a clown. :) Just kidding.

They look very "traditional" and "conservative" when wearing the traditional costumes. I did wear it before, but the one I wore was for the King and also to be worn during the marriage ceremony. It looked weird because the belt is not tight and I have to HOLD it instead of it SUPPORTING my waist. This is 100% true. The belt should be wider than the waist. No common sense but this is traditional costume la..

Pansori or Korean traditional music is quite a nuisance for some at first because the song is like a conversation. The lady will talk about her life or the villager's life. Usually it is accompanied by the tune of traditional musics.

I do not understand at first but after a while when my Korean becoming better, I can gradually understand them all. It's hard to explain it. :) Oh and one more thing, I realized that when we search for something over the net, the first thing that appear is from Wikipedia. Do try it.

Hmmn. Is it a good thing? Well, I think getting information over the wikipedia is just like plaigarism. I am avoiding wikipedia when writing because it is cliché and not original :( However, I do hope I have more time to write and think what to write. Wikipedia is really when learning statistics and mathematics especially the equations. All in a very simplified manner. Easy la.

PS. HEY READERS! Do you like long post or short post? And do you want infos from the net which is useful? Let me hear from you :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Of Jerusalem, Middle East and Malaysia

When we look at the spiritual context of religions, we will be amazed that nothing is really uniform. It is perpetuated when we humans are blessed with intelligence (and soul). We want for ourselves to reap the benefit and we are able to think for ourselves unlike the animals. That distinct trait sets us apart from the instinct-driven beast – the animals.

I recently read an interesting article on how our country is doing to maintain the dominancy of the dominant sect – the Sunnis [Source : The Sun Newspaper]. It is no wonder that even in times of peace, there will be clashes among people of the same religion. Middle East is divided because of the sectarian factor. Iran and a majority of Iraqis are from the Shia sect while almost the rest of the Middle Eastern region is from Sunni. So it is no surprise when Iranian neighbors were calling for it’s destruction and so forth. [Source : Wikileaks]

This article of mine, will provoke some clear displeasure among some readers of mine, but let us all think and read this article with a clear mind and that this is just my opinions and my opinions are never truly right. I am just a University student whose major widely differs from what I am writing about. However, I have strong interest in international relations and wrote a number of articles for university but just too shy to publish them all.

Do not continue reading this piece if you have a narrow mind.

One of the holiest of holiest places on earth, the epicenter of war, the place fought by many and the most sacred place – The Jerusalem.

"Whoever did not see Jerusalem in its days of glory, never saw a beautiful city in their life."

(Talmud: Succah 51b)

For the Muslims, for the Jews, it is one of the most sacred places but indirectly it had been transformed into a nest of conflicts. From the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonians to the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages, the caliphates till the present day, not once has it not been the center of occupations and conquests.

The problem lies with the religious view that during the biblical times, the land was given by the God to the Israelites. Nevertheless, it was not until the Byzantines emperor, the Constantine converted to Christianity and Christianity was proclaimed as the state religion that Jerusalem thrived due to pilgrimages and sort.

When the Muslim conquered the land, it was transformed into a sacred place because of the building of a mosque with material said to come from the time of Prophet Muhammad. After the sacking by the Crusaders and the conquest by the Ottoman Turks, it had turned itself into the real center of warfare and it escalated after the 1948 Arab-Israel War where Israel annexed East Jerusalem from Jordan. [Source : Jewish Virtual Library]

This is one of the many reasons how the enmity between Arab world and Israel started. Of course when we view them from other standpoint, we can note that since the early days, Muslim does not recognize the existence of Israel. We are ought to know that due to the many conquests by invaders, the Israelites were left with no land. Along the course of time, Israel received back some parcel of lands but it did not match the one they had during the ancient times. After a series of war, they got more than they had (example, Golan Heights annexed from Jordan during Yom-Kippur War) and this made Israel the target of international criticisms.

It was made worst by Israel settlers that illegally settled on Palestinian land because they believe that the land was theirs as it was part from the ancient Israel land. The non-compromising stance left Palestinians with no choice but to fight back like the Israel used to do to get back their land. The solution is actually simple, just give back the land or compromise by giving part of the undeveloped but viable land as an exchange.

The Israel need to return the land back to the rightful owner because a house is like a property, and imagine one day, your house was seized unrightfully, would you fight back or leave as it is?

Greed permeates in politics. Who would want to surrender their conquered land back to the losers? Politicians from both sides refused to compromise or give way and this makes the conflict continues. I believe peace in the Middle East will be restored only when the land of Israel and Palestine are rightly given to the rightful people and agreed by everyone. The longer the siege of Gaza and the continuation of occupation by the Israel, the longer the damage will be done and irreversible.

Nevertheless, the Muslim countries ought to recognize Israel as a rightful state because the country is constituted by people believing they are the people of Israel. Locally, it is the same as in East Timor where the nation was created by the people who seek independence from Indonesia. In Malaysia, if we depended on history, there are two scenarios that might happen. Either our country will grow bigger or shrink. If we rely on history, since the Malacca sultanate, the empire extended until Indonesia. Therefore through this history, we might as well say Indonesia is our country and vice versa too. We might too give up Malaysian state of Sabah to the Philippines if they are to say it belonged to the former Sulu Sultanate that once ruled Philippines. Therefore, we have no right to claim anything as ours based on old history.

History, like what many historians had said, is written by the victors. There is more history to be unraveled but the histories told by the losers were completely erased through the course of time. The land belongs to the people and must not be based through mere history. If humans originated from Africa, does it mean each of us deserve the right to say this land is ours?


The view that sensitive issues are not meant to be discussed openly is wrong. Humans mature through opinions and learning from mistakes. In Islam, it has different groups, the most dominant one is Sunnis while the other is Shia. For the Sunnis, they have Hanbali, Maliki, Shafie and Maliki school of thought. [Source]

This is equally equal for Christianity (ex Catholics, Protestant) and Buddhism (ex Mahayana, Theravada). With so many variety of groups and each and every sometimes claimed to be better than the rest. The reason was why some countries usually do not develop as quickly as it seemed due to religious differences. During the reformation years, Christians fought among themselves because of the split in the church. It was divided into Protestants and catholic. Same goes to the Muslims because after the death of Prophet Muhammad, Islam was divided into two groups.

The irony part about being humans is that we still have the animal instinct to maintain our mark even after death. Animals procreate to ensure the survival of the generations while humans preach to ensure the survival of the religions. How do we call ourselves different when we still behave almost exactly like animals?

The freedom of religion in Malaysia is guaranteed in the Malaysian constitution. But of late, it had been breached. Our constitution, though a constitution, maintains the basis of basic human rights and equality. As a new young nation eager for independence, the constitution was drafted in a hurry with the hope that one day, when our nation matures; the people will rightly retouch the misbalance of it.

I fear that when we returned, we find ourselves being judged based on our religions and races. I fear when we do not grow forward as a country but instead being too preoccupied in petty things like religion, prosecutions of non-followers and political opponents. The Muslims in Malaysia, I believe are equally intelligent to achieve success without the need of support from the government.

The thing that needs to be done to help the poor Malay Muslims are to ensure they receive a competitive or good early education at a young age. They do not need NEP (New Economic Policy) that distributes AP (Approve Permits) to only the rich, they do not need MARA schools that curtail their competitive spirits and they definitely do not need multi billion dollars Malay conglomerate that do not really play a role in helping the Malays.

They need education and not NEP. How can we unite the country when our country is itself divided and everything is based on non meritocracy? The non-Malay origins too lose out in meritocracy if they do not work hard. So if we instead provide some help by giving top notch education to the students regardless of ethnicity, they regardless of races will be appreciative and feel that they are really, truly blessed citizens of Malaysia.

Sometimes, I find it funny to know that even when I am born in Malaysia, I am still being called non-bumiputera (non-native). [Source : Malaysian Constitution] If I am a non-native, which country do I originate from? China? Korea? After 54 years of independence, even when my mum and dad are Malaysians, I am still a non native. There are too people fighting to maintain their so called special rights but don’t we, Malaysians but of a different ethnicity deserve an equal rights? How about a fair chance in entering certain schools like MARA, just simply for a better education?

Sadly some people say no and protested. Instead when they graduated from that school, they wish to get into foreign top universities (when given the opportunity) where they too will have to compete with people of different races (and different nationalities). How ironic sometimes. We need to have the confidence to achieve success in life. We might fear of falling at first but ups and downs are just part and parcel of life.

Nevertheless, I am a supporter of a single school system. A school where students are reading the same books and materials. However, it is too early to be implemented and if it is been done, either the quality of the books will go up due to the increase in standards or down because of the need to consider the Indigenous people’s scholastic ability. When the indigenous people are able to compete fairly and are not due to distance and poverty like in the past, then one school for everyone.

Besides, instead of sending students overseas under Government scholarship, why not we bring the education closer to home. Built universities, internationally renowned ones and bring the best brains to teach here. We don’t lose out too because we have “fixed investment”. Instead of relying on teachers for rural schools, why not we make government scholars do some short stint in rural areas teaching language, mathematics and science. Let the scholars inspire the rural and indigenous students that they too can be like them if they work hard and at the same time, we do not waste the money sponsoring the scholars.

The scholars definitely do not need to work there for long but the experience is really long lasting. I prefer having a scholar with humanity than a scholar with great academic results. Great academic results will not leave a mark on this earth, but a scholar with humanity will leave a mark. A mark on the people he helps.
I hope Malaysia can really change. Lets start small and achieve big.

“But while we think of the past, we look forward in faith and hope to the future; from henceforth we are masters of our destiny, and the welfare of this beloved land is our own responsibility: Let no one think we have reached the end of the road: Independence is indeed a milestone, but it is only the threshold to high endeavour-the creation of a new and sovereign State…”

Tunku Abdul Rahman – Proclamation of Malaysian Independence [Source]

*I am a government scholar (sponsored by Korean government). After staying overseas for long, somehow, it changes how I think. I hope every people will share the same inspiration and belief of a better country for their citizens. I sincerely apologize if it unintentionally offends anyone.*

I am the master of my destiny, the captain of my future.

The End.

Source worth reading:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just like any other day - 23 Jan

I had just opened my Chicken bak hu (dried meat) and it tasted so heavenly. Felt like I am in heaven, never thought it would be so delicious. Actually the one that I am eating now was bought by my friend, I "pleaded" (just kidding) her to bring back some Malaysian food and she bought back the bak hu and a container of GIANT pineapple tart (GIANT hypermarket??).

Will be eating the pineapple tart for CNY. For the bak hu thingy, usually I would be buying it from Bee Cheng Hiang of Singapore (they have franchise in Penang) and I was kinda skeptical when she told me that the chicken bak hu she had bought from Kiew Brothers was the BEST!

So today, I tried it. WOW. It simply melted in my mouth. Oh la la... Yummy! Now I am waiting for my chinese new year package from home. For the first time this year, I ate real food. All those Korean food... Too common and not exotic. At first it was delicious but after some time, there is no difference whether it is good or not.

Same as the infamous oily Roti Canai, Loh Mee, curry me, Fish and chips and all those nonsense back home. After eating them for a long time, we tend to prefer other different meal.

But today, the bak hu was fantastic. Ngamm! Just another random post by me ~~

Sunday, January 16, 2011

16 January 2011

Something was wrong this morning. No. It is not me turning into a frog. It is not some hot chicks calling me randomly over the phone. I felt like I was in Beijing and Seoul all over again in winter...

Coz I had to wait for warm water
Coz even while wearing a Down jacket, I didn't feel like wearing any.
Coz even the cafeteria's not-so-delicious hot broth was so heavenly
Coz I thought I had fever

Because it was so cold.

Only to check it later while that


The weather really sucks here

I don't think I will go to gym. It sucks but I have nice dried prawn sambal popiah goreng thingy by my side.


Great. Just great.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

15 January 2011


Halfway through.. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. So far, the novel I am now reading is of less complexity than Jane Austen's :) 그래서 이틀쯤에 책 다 읽을수있다!

Jane Austen's novels are mostly about conversations, sometimes when I am too tired reading and accidentally skipped a page, I will be clueless about what's next.

조용하기 바랍니다 ㅋㅋ

PS. Bought this book in Kyobo yesterday, about 13,000 Won (USD 11++) since I need to something worth reading after my monthly magazines were no longer sold here. :( Will blog something maybe tomorrow if I have the time.

I prefer real books made from paper and ink over ebooks which can be freely obtained. Why not e-books? Maybe I am still a traditionist in choosing paperbacks. But who cares!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

13 January 2011

남이섬에서 찍었다
그 때 그 순간 생각했다
이 인용 정말 믿을 수있다
부모님, 친구들
사랑가 있으면

넘 보고 싶다

ADV - Korea’s Ancient Capitals

"The present is an accumulative total of the past. So, if you want to really know about the present of a country, you need to delve deep into its history.

And learning about its past capitals – the central locations for the country’s politics and culture – will be a very helpful and significant approach.

The cities of Gyeongju, Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan were designated as the ancient capitals of Korea in accordance with the Special Act on the Preservation of Ancient Capitals decree enacted in March 2005.

For a city to become a capital, it must be some place that is well-suited for residence; a strategic location against foreign invasions and an all-around convenient spot for overseeing the country. That’s why capitals are usually located near a big river, surrounded by mountains and furnished with a broad expanse of fertile planes.

Gyeongju, Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan

Jeonglim Saji 5 Floor Tower in Buyeo

The Baekje Kingdom (18 BCE – 660 CE), one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla, controlled some colonies in China and most of the western Korean Peninsula at its peak in the 4th century and was a significant regional sea power.

In the 5th century, Baekje retreated under the southward military threat of Goguryeo, and in 475 its capital moved to Ungjin (present-day Gongju). Gongju is home to numerous historic sites including Gongsanseong Fortress, Magoksa Five-story Stone Pagoda, and Seokjang-ri Old Stone Age Ruins.

In 538, King Seong moved the capital to Sabi (present-day Buyeo County), home to significant relics such as the five-storied stone pagoda of Jeongnimsa Temple site and Banwollu Tower.

Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage

Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BC-935 AD) which ruled most of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. A vast number of archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city. Among such historical treasures, Seokguram grotto, Bulguksa temple, Gyeongju Historic Areas and Yangdong Folk Village are designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The many major historical sites have helped Gyeongju to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea.

A Map of Korea’s Ancient Capitals

The Cultural Heritage Administration recently published a map of Korea’s ancient capitals in English as a tourist guide to important historical sites in Korea..."

Read more here

I will not edit or provide any addition to this post. This "historial" post shall be forever etched in the archive ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

World Students in Korea (WSK) in news (한국어)

37개국 외국인유학생블로거, 전주한옥마을에서 1박2일 -국가브랜드위원회 해외블로거 4기 캠프개최-
Bloggers from 37 different nationalities. Jeonju Hanok Vilage. 2 days 1 night. Korean Brand Committee, Foreign Bloggers 4th Camp.

국가브랜드위원회(위원장 : 이배용)는 12월 17일(금)~12월18일(토), 4기 해외블로거(World Students in Korea)를 초대하여 한국의 문화 및 산업체를 탐방하는 1박2일 해외블로거(World Students in Korea)캠프를 개최했다.

이번 행사는 충남 아산에 위치한 현대자동차 공장을 견학하여 현대자동차의 대표차종 중 하나인 소나타 승용차 생산라인 및 조립과정을 관람하는 등 한국을 대표하는 산업체 생산현장을 방문하여 한국의 산업발전과 기술력을 체험하고 한옥, 한식, 한지 등 한국의 전통문화의 보고(寶庫)라 할 수 있는 전주 한옥마을 탐방을 통하여 37개국의 해외블로거들에게 한국의 역사, 문화, 산업 등 한국에 대한 이해를 돕기 위해 기획되었다.

이번 캠프에서는 1977년 한옥마을 보존지구로 지정된 조선시대 양반가옥을 그대로 재현하여 한국의 전통생활양식을 경험할 수 있는 전주한옥마을내 부용헌, 동락원에서 숙박하며 다양한 문화적 배경을 가진 해외블로거들에게 한옥체험의 기회를 제공하였다.

전통문화예술회관에서는 한국을 대표하는 음식, 김치를 직접 담궈 보는 체험시간을 가졌으며, 겨울에 담근 김치를 땅에 묻어 다음해까지 저장하여 먹었던 한국인의 지혜와 높은 영양가치에 대해 설명을 듣는 시간을 가졌다.

또한, 저녁식사이후에는 1992년 창단하여 전통국악의 맥을 이어가고 있는 남원 국립민속국악원 공연팀의 기악 중주, 판소리, 남도민요 등의 연주를 들으며 한국 전통국악의 소리와 함께 전통 국악기에 대한 이해를 갖는 시간을 가졌다.

이어서, 전통국악을 현대화 하여 다양한 레퍼토리 연구와 실험정신으로 꾸준한 연주활동을 병행하고 있는 퓨전국악팀 「나니레」의 공연에서는 해외블로거들에게도 익숙한 현대음악 등을 국악기로 연주하여 큰 호응을 받기도 했다.

행사 마지막날에는 태조 이성계의 어진을 모셔둔 경기전, 교동아트센터, 한방문화센터, 한지원, 전주 공예품 전시관등 전주한옥마을 투어를 통하여 한국의 역사와 의,식,주 전반에 걸친 문화에 대한 이해를 돕는 프로그램을 진행하였다.

세계적으로 그 품질을 인정받고 있는 한지 제조 공정을 둘러보며 직접 한지로 만든 복주머니를 만들어 보면서 한지의 촉감과 특성을 손으로 느껴 볼 수 있는 체험의 시간을 가지며 이번 행사를 마쳤다.

이번 행사에 참석한 말레이시아의 Tan Kyle Jin Soon학생은 “이틀간의 일정은 너무나 즐거웠고 한국의 다양한 모습들을 직접 보고 느낄 수 있었다. 특히 김치 체험과 경기전 투어가 인상 깊었다”며 “WSK 프로그램은 정말 유익한 프로그램이며, 제가 이렇게 프로그램에 참가할 수 있어 큰 행운이다”라고 캠프에 대한 소감을 말했다.

(Translation : In this event, Kyle Tan Jin Soon [and not TAN KYLE JIN SOON] from Malaysia said that "In this 2-day program, we were able to see the various sights in Korea and I am sure everyone here were happy with it. We had lots of interest in the activities especially the kimchi-making experience and the tour." "WSK Program is really a beneficial program and I am fortunate to be able to attend this camp".)

I do not remember saying all this. -_-" Maybe 60% of it. lol. I was interviewed for 2 to 3 minutes in Korean and they just simply summarized. Hmmn.

국가브랜드위원회에서는 온라인을 통한 국가브랜드 홍보력 강화의 일환으로 “한국에 주재하고 있는 해외 유학생”을 대상으로 해외블로거 운영 사업을 2009년 6월부터 시작하여 현재 63개국, 210명의 해외블로거를 선발했으며, 이와 같은 사업을 통하여 외국인의 시각에서 바라본 한국의 모습을 자유롭게 이야기 할 수 있는, 온라인을 통한 소통의 장을 지속적으로 확대해 나갈 계획이다.

This article can be read over here with links to the many articles of this program.

ADV - Growing Coffee on Jeju Island

I had written that coffee drinks are really popular in Korea. Korea has 4 seasons but Jeju island is almost a subtropical-climate island so planting coffee beans is feasible there.

My previous blog post on coffee shops...

With so many coffee shops in Korea, you are really spoilt for choice. *Click to enlarge*

In Malaysia, we had our famous Kopi-O but until now, I never tasted it. Either you can believe me or not, I never before taste black coffee in kopitiam and not even Nescafe (Korea really changes me in one way or another..). In Korea, coffee shops are common sights. From a place where you meet your friends, doing homeworks, studying, dating, to stealing free Wi-Fi, coffee shops in Korea are damn versatile!

However, it doesn’t come cheaply. The prices there are more like Starbucks in Malaysia for a small cup of espresso. Wah! It’s like highway robbery la wei! Since the "purchasing power" in Korea is quite high and since I am getting Korean money and had stayed in Korea for a long time, I don’t convert it to Malaysian money so buying an espresso at 4000 Won (RM 12) is affordable :)...

Read more at this link


Growing Coffee on Jeju Island

"Love for coffee is getting pandemic these days. You can find coffee shops in every places. Some people go to the extent of buying espresso-making machines and other coffee gadgets to furnish in their homes. (Well, I myself being one of those crazy coffee lovers, I am just being envious.)

Coffee is a highly sensitive plant, requiring specific growing conditions. It grows in subtropical regions where the temperature stays above 10 degrees Celsius even during winter. That’s why farming coffee has been mostly considered out of the question in Korea.

Well, Ms. Roh Jin-Yi doesn’t accept this belief.

Korea’s First Coffee Farmer

The first coffee farmer in Korea, Ms. Roh had invested all her money and energy in coffee farming in her 400-pyeong (1 pyeong equals 3.3 square meters) green house in Jeju City since early 2008.

Despite the unfavorable conditions, even Jeju being sometimes too cold, Ms. Roh has been persistent in realizing her dream of cultivating coffee. And she has succeeded to grow enough coffee for about 10% of Jeju citizens to sample taste.

And last October, Ms. Roh even held the first Jeju Coffee Festival in her own coffee plantation. At the festival, there was coffee tasting, coffee drinking competitions, hands-on experience of roasting coffee beans and hand-dripping.

Hard Work, But I Loving It

Ms. Roh is currently growing some 25,000 coffee trees in a 5,600 square meters plantation. And it is no easy job looking after those highly sensitive plants. They have to be watered twice a day (at the break of dawn and around sunset) for 3, 4 hours. When a storm hits, the fragile plants might get knocked out of their pots, and Ms. Roh has to spend many sleepless days nurturing them back. They also need to get nutrition shots at regular, designated times.

Roh says she does not expect coffee farming to become a profitable business.."

Edited until here. Do read more here.

Some parts of Malaysia do have coffee plantation and most Malaysians (especially the old people) would prefer Kopi-O. I can't drink plain Kopi-O. I will not sleep.

WSK - My Escape to Jeonju

I was in Jeonju for 2 days under the sponsorship of Korean Government. Well, all I need to do is to blog. lol. I am now a paid blogger by the government and this blog is all about promotion of Korea.

Sounds boring? Can you believe it?


I am just kidding. :)

Minus the sponsorship part. Sadly, I am not paid to write but I have a long school break and to get in touch with the worldly affairs and to not let myself think inside the box, I write. It's really exhausting to blog. The ideas must be thought, the photos must be selected. Of course, when you consider me scanning over thousands of pics and carefully selecting the right pictures, lots of time is consumed..

Recently, okay la, last month, I went to Jeonju. Imagine for only a 2-day 1-night camp, I can write a hell lots of posts but I am a bit lazy so I'm planning to compress what I had done in this camp - World Students in Korea (WSK) 2010 - The 4th batch camp. Of course, I will write more because there is so much to write of but I have so little time.

I was selected to blog (for fun) a bit about my life in Korea. So when I got this opportunity - great, this is what I like. I might get something in return too. One day, I can be a PAID tour guide in Korea, professional photographer, writer and something not related to my major in university for once.

WSK is practically a great program for bloggers like me with nothing much to write about especially on topics like places of interest. So on the early morning of 17th December, with the temperature dropping to minus degrees centigrade, I had to wake up as early as 4.30am so that I can catch an early train to Seoul.

Travelling with the ever reliable friend, a Dutch, we took a KTX from Daegu to Seoul at very early morning. Somehow we reached there quite late (to the Seoul people) but what can we do? We took bullet train there and if we took the bus, it would be 3 hours more.

The first place we visited was the Hyundai factory in Asan. I don't like visiting to factories because I hate tours in something uninteresting. But before that, we had some talk on the "Power of Twitter" in promoting overselves.

Well I am a bit private in sharing my stuffs over the net. Blogspot is already enough. I do not want to share more especially through twitter. This is the reason why I don't over promote my blog over the net.

YES!! I'm going to be a DAD! Erika and I are expecting a little one this summer. Let's hope it'll be my best production ever.
2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

Stomachache. Going toilet.
about 4 hours ago via web

LOL!!! im no gangbanger! where im from we say cuz, blood, folk, woadie,homie, patna, its slang and ebonics!US KIDS USE THESE TERMS. chillout
about 6 hours ago via web

Some is okay, some is like pain in the a** to the readers. SAY NO TO TWITTER! :)

After the twitter talk, we had a tour in the Asan Hyundai Plant. I like Hyundai cars but if I am a "nationalistic" person, I prefer Lotus Cars, the company was owned by Malaysian Proton, so it can be counted as ours, right? haha.

I was amazed by the automatic machines that made the cars but due to "No Camera" rules, no photos. The workers there were like robots too, doing things so monotonously. I guess this is how some working adults will be one day.

We had our lunch in some place well known for the roasted duck and pork. It was okay. But it would be better if the food served here were in big portion. Seems like ducks nowadays are either too expensive to be reared or had the owner of this restaurant decided to join PETA for Ducks and spare some of his ducks?

Overall : Average but Great services.

Lunch was over and we had to attend Kimchi-making ceremony. Looking at how Kimchi was being made was in fact very simple. When it was our group's turn to make it, that's a different story. We could not chop the vegetables finely enough, aiyah, even the girls can't do it right. So I think it's okay.

Then, we had some cultural performances by Korean traditional groups (maybe my next post will be about it - check it out) and some simple warm-up games.

According to the camp organizers, it was already late at night by the time all were over, only 9pm but they called it lights off. We plan to go somewhere else but we were in the Jeonju Traditional Village so what's exciting/new to see?

Village? Come on.. Clubs? No clubs around Traditional Korean Village. Karaoke? Can't be found. Restaurant? Not at around 9 pm. Coffee shops? Yes, but not a very nice way to spend our time. So some of us went back, bath and sleep. And the bathroom (outdoor) was freaking cold. My shoes turned into ice. The water heater sometimes did not produce hot water so.. lol.

"That's why it'll never work
You'll have me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over..."

Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston

Lucky. Only 1 day.

The next morning, we had our breakfast in the kitchen. The 아줌마 (auntie) were really kind and the dishes were really authentic Korea. The kitchen was a bit dirty and old-looking but I appreciate sincerity. The food were okay. My tastebuds really could not differentiate nice Korean food after eating korean food almost everyday. But I can still judge Kimchis. hehe. It would be better if the aunties could cook curries or authentic Penang Char Koay Teow to me...

And so we toured the Hanok village. I had been to this village few times so there was nothing exciting in this trip. The trip back to Daegu was the worst. 4/5 hours of sitting in the bus. Glad to be back to Deagu safe and sound. and with warm room, bathroom and net.

I was in Jeonju!

I know, I knew. It's late but I have to tell you this. I was in Seoul for a week (8 days 7 nights) so blogging in Seoul was not my priority. hehe. There were so many places to see in Seoul and I will blog about it someday. In this post, it will be about my trip to 전주 (Jeonju) on the 17 and 18 of December 2010.


Most of us, I think, hate history. But to me, I scored exceptionally well in history from UPSR (Kajian Tempatan) till STPM (Pengajian Am), I got A's consecutively ^^ I like history not because of the crazy dates, but because I like story and reading.

I had read many books and so far, the hardest book to read is from the driest of all literature, the literary novels by Shakespeare and Jane Austen (especially Pride and Prejudice) while the easiest were The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and Marley and Me by John Grogan.

In Korea, Jeonju is a cultural village still untouched by modernity. I had been there many times and the most memorable time was when I went there in spring 2009. It was really a sight to behold because that time was my first overnight trip outside of Daegu and in spring, the flowers were blooming and the streams were so refreshing.

I went there in 2009 (in spring), 2010 (during LCIS camp in autumn) and again this time (in winter). The best time to visit is definately spring. Going there during winter was seriously bad. I stayed in Korean Ondolbang (Korean traditional house) and the bathroom was at outside! I woke up early to take a bath but it was so cold that the wet slippers that I was wearing turned into ice! wth.

The bathroom was not insulated too and I pray I will not turn to iceman even before I take a shower :( (PS : When I went there in spring, I had an attached bathroom when I stayed over there). Nevertheless, it was a great experience.

No more in winter :)

To get to Jeonju is easy. Just take bus there. Though there are trains and express buses, I had never try any of this methods. Take a bus from Seoul to Jeonju station, after that you can take the city buses (bus no. 12, 60, 105, 109, 119, 511...) to Jeondong Catheral (There is a pic of the catheral in this post). From there you are free as a bird :) Going back is similar too.

Jeonju is famous for its Korean traditional food. I think most of you will know 비빔밥 (bibimbap) and 김치 (kimchi). In Jeonju, this is the place to try them. Seriously, the bibimbap is delicious, well... maybe because at almost 9 USD for a small bowl, my tastebuds "changed" and the kimchi was great but not as great as the one I tried in Seoul.

Actually, I was there on a educational trip and the best part was that my exam's finally over! So instead of further continuing my endless, hopeless and gloomy prospects of getting good results, a trip to somewhere was a great relief. It doesn't matter whether I am going over to the same places again but the feeling of no more books, no more studies and holiday was fantastic.

Jeonju in winter was gloomy, the ground was slippery due to the ice and not many places to go after dark. But it's way better than doing nothing back in Daegu.

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"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning" ~Winston Churchill~