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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

How do you say…in Korean? (Day 217)

Sayonara Japan but how do you say... in Korean? Another language to learn!

A very fond farewell to Japan, we packed our bags (it really doesn’t take long). Our lovely host offered to take us to the Bus station and when we got in the car he announced that he was going to drive us all the way to the Airport as it was raining heavily. How kind is that! And how often have I written that about the wonderful Japanese people we have met? Quite a few times. We had lots of time at the Airport. Believe it or not, the International Terminal was closed until 3 hours before departure (just shows how early we were) so we sat in the Domestic Terminal, with a drink in hand and postcards to the family being written. (The 2nd time we have sent some and last time we sat at Auckland Airport quickly writing them!) Let’s hope they arrive before we do! So here we are in Seoul, South Korea. First impressions? It seems much more modern than Japan, lots of new buildings and good road system, just as clean and tidy with wonderful flower troughs at most of the neat and tidy bus stops. We love Japan, however, it does seem a bit behind the times. We miraculously found our Apartment (we didn’t have wifi and hadn’t downloaded – schoolboy error) and arrived to find that the door password didn’t work. Were we at the right place? I found the wifi information on Airbnb and Tim managed to connect to that, we must be at the right place. Just as we were about to contact the owner, two young Korean girls came rushing out of the lift, tapped the code in and opened the door. They gave us the correct code and disappeared into their room. We didn’t know we were sharing the flat…another schoolboy error not reading the description properly. After a while, we went to find some food and an ATM. When we got back, the owner Olina had arrived. She was so apologetic about the incorrect code. We did have a giggle about it. She was here with her 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, plus the two young ladies we quickly met earlier, Hui Jeong and Da Som. They are both students studying Chemistry and Chemical Engineering respectively at the local University. We had such alovely time with them. Tim was doing his magic trick with the little boy whilst the girls and Olina helped me decipher how to cook the convenience dinners we’d purchase. We don’t usually eat stuff like that, but it was late and we wanted some substance quickly. The dinners were much tastier than we expected. Later in the evening Hui Jeong and Da Som helped us learn how to say various phrases in Korean. For example Annyeonghaseyo = Hello, Gamsahamnida = thank you. It is interesting how different nationalities can find it difficult to pronounce certain sounds that are not used in their native language. For example, many Indians we have met find it challenging to say 'w' as in water. We found it difficult to say the “g” at the start of “gamsahamnida”. It sounds like a mix between g and k. We had such a laugh with the young ladies and so enjoyed spending time with them. We love being with young people. I think our next 7 days here in Seoul is going to be great.

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