“Whatever you are – be a good one” Abraham Lincoln (Day 240)
I reflected this morning on our journey. What does it all mean? What are we doing apart from having amazing experiences and meeting lovely people? That sense of purpose seemed to be lacking and then fortuitously I read a post by Mira, a Facebook connection. She suggested that our learning, growing, exploring, living is our purpose – it’s the here and now. I love that. Who knows what our travels will lead to in the future? It is about living in the moment right now. It was quite a “normal” day. We went to find the Tourist Information Centre – not easy. We knew it was in City Hall and ended up being taken to an open plan office on the 12th floor of a tower block. This was not exactly what we were expecting and for that matter, I doubt the people in the Tourist department office were expecting a couple of English travellers turning up. It’s not usually open to the general public. A very friendly lady gave us a map in English, but other than that didn’t really have much more information. We had a lovely chat though and she was intrigued by our travels. I did give her some feedback that the canal here is wonderful yet I hadn’t read anything about this when researching Pohang online. She took the feedback in good spirits and realised that they need to improve their PR. They really do, it’s a much-underrated place. We have been delighted with our stay in Pohang so far. The majority of the people are so friendly. Just like yesterday, today a few people stopped us in the street and started talking with us. One was a young man the same age as our son George. He is studying Art here, so we showed him photos of our trip to the Art Museum yesterday. I wanted to see his own artwork and he showed us a van Gogh painting and typed in Google translate “Copied”. We thought he had copied the famous work of art and were flabbergasted. Sadly, no, it was a photo of the original. He didn’t have any of his own work. We all had a laugh though of the miscommunication. He has since been in touch with us and asked if we would like to experience some Korean culture. We have, of course, said yes, haven’t a clue what this entails though – watch this space. Later, we realised that our Korean sim card needed topping up. (If you ever go travelling for a long time, make sure that your mobile is unlocked. It’s much cheaper to have a local sim.) We found an SK Telecom shop and popped in there. The assistant couldn’t have been more…sadly unhelpful. We realise that we cannot speak Korean, however, we do our best and try to connect. She near enough sent us packing. Perhaps she was having a bad moment. Just down the road, we found another SK Telecom shop. The reception couldn’t have been so different. A young man was so helpful, explained that they only sold phones and suggested we got a taxi to the correct place. He even came out into the street with us, hailed a taxi, informed the driver where to take us and waved a friendly goodbye. What a different experience. As I write this, I am smiling to myself. How many times do I say that our experience comes from within and here I am describing people giving a different experience? Ah – the illusion of it all. The rest of the day was wandering down the Streamlet of Jungang shopping centre, a pedestrian walkway with a stream running through the middle of it. And hurrah! I found and bought some very nice blue dungarees. I’m not sure who is the most pleased, Tim or I! I think he is very relieved that our clothes search is over. Later it was a pop to the supermarket and back home for some delicious Mackerel with Japanese Murasaki (similar to a sweet potato) and homemade ratatouille.I love the quote "Whatever you are - be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln. And today we experienced some good ones and not so good one. And are we being good 'uns?