Written by Mega Ai
It was Friday, the last day of the school in a week. A day in which students could feel relieve after the weekdays of the school with so many materials to read, so many home works to do, and sometimes quizzes in the class. We, students, especially exchange student like me who will just study in Daejeon for only one semester, always comes up with a plan in almost every week. The plan could be travelling around Daejeon, travelling outside Daejeon, visiting international community center, visiting orphanage, events, and festivals or maybe just staying in the dormitory for the whole day to surf the world of cyber, internet. Well, last week end was the time to travel outside Daejeon. Powerful Pohang and Dynamic Busan were being a part of my journey.
Well, it was quite-cold weather in the evening; I, one friend from the same country with me, Indonesia, and one friend from Kazakhstan were sitting together in a bench, we are waiting for the bus to go to Pohang, where my Korean friend lives. Anyway, I’ve been living in Daejeon for approximately two months. I am getting used to with almost everything here, such as the weather, the food, the people, the environment, and others. But still, I found my feeling a bit nervous at that time. You know why? In the next couple hours, I would meet a family of my Korean friend. I was a bit afraid about how to behave to his parent while spending the night in their house.
Arrived Pohang, we went to my friend’s house directly. We were greeted by a beautiful lady with her sincere smile. “Annyong haseyo,” I said it while bowing to my friend’s mother. This bowing culture, I appreciate it very much. It really shows your respect to the people.
I came into the house, stepped the warm wood floor, and went to the main room. This house was so nice and it was dominant with wood. I saw a very ancient telephone near the television and it was working anyway. I saw a classic clock on the wall. That was perfect. After having a very nice conversation with everyone, we went to bed in one of the warm bedroom.
In the morning when I woke up, I remember my professor said, “Think about what makes you smile when you wake up in the morning”. Now I had the answer, every single joy which is given by the people around me is the thing that makes me smile when I woke up in the morning.
My friend’s mother had prepared us a very yummy breakfast. One of the menus was bulgogi (beef), the best Korean food ever for me. And one thing never left by Korean people while having meals is kimchi and green vegetables. They have a healthy food culture.
Spending one night with a Korean family maybe is not enough to really understand the culture in a family. But I do feel fortunate to have the chance to live with this very nice family even just in a short time. Even though I didn’t talk a lot with his parents since different language becomes a matter, I could feel the warmth of this family. They treated us like their own family while it was the first time we met.
After having a fabulous breakfast together, we went to visit one of the temples in Pohang. It was clean and well maintained, like in the other places too. Enough going around with the temple, we went to Busan directly.
Arrived Busan, we went to Haeundae and Gwangalli beach. We were enjoying the beach, enjoying the longest bridge in South Korea (Gwanga Bridge), walking around the beach, playing around with the sands, taking pictures, and at the end, we were walking around the street of the city. This city was very clean and organized. Moreover, the public transportation available made us easier to move. We were using taxi, subway, and bus to move in this city. It was so easy!
I really enjoyed the temple, the beaches, and the city, but more than those places, I enjoyed the togetherness between me, my Indonesian friend, Korean friend, and Kazakhstan friend. We came from different country with different culture but we were enjoying our journey together though.
Alright, that’s my journey, it was only one night, it was so short, yet it was so memorable.