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Reisverslag On my way to: local typhoons
18 augustus 2014
On my way to: local typhoons
After Donghae, I went to Wonju, where I met with the Dutch girl Renée. Together with her, I went to Andong afterwards. You can read one of my days in Andong below. I usually don't do as much as I did on that day; this day was awesome, but exhausting (and expensive for a Dutch student).
Renée and I went to Hahoe village; a traditional village which is about one hour traveling by bus. It was raining again, so karma couldn’t but give us lots of luck with bus schedules. Even though we ran every now and then (for traffic lights for example; otherwise you'll have to wait for at least 5 minutes), we were clearly on time for the irregularly departing bus to Hahoe. I sat next to a Korean guy (almost all tourists were Korean) who was very interested and talkative for a Korean. Thanks to him we stopped at an isolated part of Hahoe (a Confucian academy I think) before heading to the village itself. The village was idyllic; it looked so old. I could barely believe that people lived (and still live) in those houses. After hanging our wishes unto a spirit tree and walking some wrong way around, we were ready to leave. Unfortunately busses were less convenient this time (and the rain was still pouring). We waited for more than 30 minutes and the bus which finally arrived was already crammed with people when we got on. We both were glad to get off again at Andong’s bus terminal. On our way back to the apartments, we separated our ways. I went to new downtown to stroll around and have some hot chocolate with as main purpose using the Wi-Fi at that café. When I was walking alongside all the restaurants I realized once again that there aren’t many eating opportunities for solo travellers in Korea and that I didn’t know any of the dishes which were on the menus. I therefore asked a non-Asian looking girl (who was someone I had already spoken to on couchsurfing as I later found out; talking about coincidence!) where to eat. When I arrived at the place she, Anje, suggested, a handsome, English-speaking Korean came to help me. All their dishes were for at least two persons. When I explained him I couldn’t eat a portion for two persons by myself, he eventually decided to join me and split the bill; even though his parents owned the restaurant and he was working there and it was quite busy. It was really nice to randomly share a meal with someone and to get to know that random person in such a short time. After dinner I decided to leave him alone and wandered around again until I went for a dessert at Angel in-us coffee shop. Since there was nothing more to do in the city centre, I walked back to the apartment again to get some rest. Renée came back; Garrett and Stephanie came to invite us over to a meeting with English teachers. I think there were at least 9 English teachers from different countries like Ireland and Canada. They all were interesting and had their own stories to tell. We listened to Disney songs, and went to a bar for beer afterwards. After two beers or so we went to a club where we were almost the only guests. It became incredibly late, but it was so much fun.
After Andong I went to Gyeongju where I met more couchsurfers. I'm in Busan at the moment and will have lunch with the couchsurfers I met in Gyeongju in a few hours. I'm so grateful for all the people I meet. I learn so much from them and get inspired to visit their countries, too.
Best wishes to everyone.
18 augustus 2014 14:38 | Door: mama
Hai lieve Madeleen,
Fijn om weer over je belevenissen te lezen! Is dit een ander soort hot chocolate dan in Rusland?
Leuk dat je contact hebt met andere couchsurfers. Wel pech met de regen. Hopelijk wordt het snel beter weer.
18 augustus 2014 23:42 | Door: Elizabeth Koole
Hello there, Madeleen!
Well, I just finished reading all your blogs - it's like reading a book! You're a good writer, did anyone tell you that already? And I'm proud of you for the guts you have to do this journey all by yourself! I had read one of your blogs before, but it was good to read it again. What an incredible adventure, Madeleen, wow! I'm wondering how you found all those people who would pick you up and show you their country. Well, I will hear that some time when I talk to your parents in September (yes, Phil, my ginger son, and I will be in Holland from 12-25 September, because oma had to cancel her trip to Michigan). Your english is very good; just an aside note: you're my niece and Marije and Jael are your cousins. That always got me confused when I immigrated to Canada way back in 1967!
All the best, Magdalena, enjoy every day!
19 augustus 2014 03:05 | Door: Madeleen Graafland
It's incredibly nice to read all the reactions. Thanks a lot :) The hot chocolate is 'normal' again in South-Korea, fortunately. And I meet all these people through the website called couchsurfing.com. It's basically opening your house for travellers to get inspired and to learn about each other's culture. I know it thanks to Lisette and everyone is helping me so much. When I was in The Netherlands I also sometimes had a couchsurfer (someone who uses couchsurfing) coming over. www.couchsurfing.com
20 augustus 2014 15:43 | Door: Willie K. Tonini
I never knew you would come to Korea so earlier than I'd expected bcoz you told me that you would visit Korea on Aug 28th. Anyway, welcome to Korea even though it's a little bit late to say like this.
One thing I'd like to say at first is I feel good at that you've been accomplishing your mission quite well here in Korea. Actually, I worried a bit whether you could have a good time with lots of experience during the journey of Korea. Reading your Journal, I could forget all the worries that I'd had.
Hope you keep on doing your first class job in the rest of your travel of Korea. - Willy oppa
PS- If you have any kinda trouble during the trip in Korea, don't hesitate to contact me by fair means or foul. (In case, here's my phone No. +82-10-9222-4018)