Thursday, 30 July 2015

Jumpa lagi Malaysia, Annyeong Korea

It was 5:20AM when the alarm rang. I immediately hit the dismiss button instead of the snooze button without realizing. This was probably the aftermath of yesterday's farewell party with these guys.

Next thing I know, it’s 5:55AM and a green light is flashing on my phone – Michelle was outside my house waiting to pick us up to go to the airport. The next few minutes was a blur of a rushed morning routine combined with the flurry of last minute packing. 

Athiei and I exited the house with our total of 3 check-in bags weighing 60kg and 2 hand carry bags. We were delightedly surprised by the presence of both Ian and Xin Xing who had woken up to join the airport entourage. We attempted to stuff our bags into Michelle’s car – not enough space. Ian came to the rescue with his car which had just enough space to fit the bags in his boot. Ian opened the boot, exited the car and shut the door behind him. A sound followed – the sound of an auto-locking door. We were all locked out of the car with only the boot open. Thankfully, Audrey had the wiz idea of climbing in through the back passenger seats and we all pushed Xin Xing to climb in (being the smallest of us all). We all got in and off we sped to the airport!

We arrived in KLIA2, with 20 minutes to spare till my check-in counter was going to close. The original plan was to arrive earlier so that I could check in my bags and go with Athiei to check his bags in at KLIA1. Unfortunately, we had to say our goodbyes at the KLIbA express terminal train as he proceeded to his terminal while I headed to the immigration counter. There was more walking than I expected to get to my gate – Q4. Thankfully as I arrived, they began to board in the next 5 minutes. 

I got on the plane and realised.. I was not going to be fed anything for the next six hours and I hadn’t managed to get any breakfast in me. I had minimal amounts of Ringgit on me and so my hopes were put into my CIMB Debit card to pay the bill. Unfortunately, there was a RM30 minimum charge required to use a card. The lovely air stewardess, however, said a very comforting statement – “You can use Korean Won if you have any” (which I did). Seconds later I chowed down on a RM17 plane-sized nasi lemak together with a RM6 teh tarik. I know the price was rather steep, but a 6 hour plane ride would have just resulted in my stomach digesting itself.

I arrived at Busan (부산) to see Taewoo (태우) waiting at the arrivals gate. His parents were waiting in the car and we headed to his lovely abode in Jinhae (진해).

Since they had lunch and I had a peanut-sized nasi lemak for breakfast, I voiced out my slight hunger pangs and was rewarded with a large spread of homemade Korean food by Taewoo’s Mum. Traditional Korean side dishes which included kimchi, beansprouts, black beans, sausages, sweet potato stems, egg roll, pork cutlets together with rice. It was mmmmm delicious! This was followed by my measly attempts to spout some Korean in thanking the parents for their hospitality. The mum seem pretty happy that I liked her food :)

We paid a visit to a local hangout spot – the Jinhae-ru 진해루 where people were sitting around chatting with a couple of drinks and snacks while enjoying the view.

This was the view that we had from up there.

Meanwhile, children were able to play along the playground and other locals were jogging in the cooling breeze.

We then headed for my first Korean dinner in Korea which consisted of spicy mixed cold noodles (비빔냉면) (it has ice in the noodle soup. Very intriguing) which was absolutely delicious and I was certainly glad of my dosage of Korean dramas to educate me in their dining etiquette. We sat on little mats on the floor at a low table while Taewoo’s dad cut my noodles with a scissors. Taewoo then proceeded to pour me some soju in which resulted in several glass clinking sessions. The noodles also came with another smaller bowl of cold soup which complimented the dish in reducing its spiciness.

The chicken and kimchi dumplings were a great compliment to the noodles as well. They came in adorable little circular shapes which were full of flavour!

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