I’ve Been to Korea for 17 Days!!

This is like a bit of a comeback post, and I’ll probably recount my experiences in Korea through this blog, but right now I need to compose myself for a while.

Anyway, I traveled from March 4 to 20… alone, and it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to my life.

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Panggap-seumnida Story #003 | 가식 이야기 #003

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THIS JUST IN!! It’s a bit embarrassing inside, but all in all, I think it’s a very good *short* experience.

I just finished my lunch and decided to buy a cup of milk tea. It’s raining super hard so it’s not very possible for me to go outside, but I went down the elevator still. I was waiting for the rain to, like, get a bit bearable, but it looks like it’s just not going to be so I decided to come back to the office.

While waiting for the elevator, I’m reading ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’ and to make everything more clear, today I look like this:

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I finally rode the elevator and continued reading, I’m currently at Stage 2 (Taeyang’s part) then the elevator opened…

I was just reading the book in full concentration when this guy (probably a nurse or something medical-related) spoke in Korean. He rung my bells and multiple things came to my mind *in that short 5 seconds*, (1) he is definitely talking to me, (2) what did he say again?, (3) DON’T USE BANMAL, (4) WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO MEEEE!!!, (5) WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO MEEEEEE!!!!, (6) DO I DESERVE THIS?????!!, (7) Bore someone else with your question *The Devil Wears Prada*, but then I just answered: ‘네?’ He repeated the same question again but I honestly didn’t knew what he was talking about. (Or I think he asked something like, ‘여기에 계신가요?’, but I’m not too sure)

나: ‘죄송하지만~ 이해할 수 없어요~ ㅜ.ㅜ’
남자: ‘Insert random Korean sentences here, and don’t forget to put ‘-(으)ㄴ데’ in the end *because that’s what I’ve heard*’ (but then he asked me if I can understand what’s in the book)
나: (with a pinching finger gesture) ‘조금~ 사실은 지금 한국어를 공부하고 있어요.’
남자: ‘Oh! So you’re reading while studying Korean? That’s good, that’s good.’ (In his pure English without accent voice.)

The moment was very spontaneous and I’m trying hard not to pee myself or die. But this 남자’s voice is so cool because he dropped all the accents and his English was just good.

나: ._. (trying to zone out)
남자: So where do you study?
나: 한국문화원
남자: 아~ 한국문화원? I’ve never heard of it, where is it?
나: BGC
남자: 아 BGC? *thinks for a moment*

Now everything got awkward. WHY DIDN’T I HAVE EARPHONES!!!! Or why was my cellphone NOT in my pocket just so I could do something else. The only thing I did was to continue reading the book so as not to feel like I’m a loser or something.

When I finally reached my floor, I just bowed a bit and said ‘안녕히 계세요~!’, and hurriedly went to the office, cry a bit *lol* and palpitate, and compose this blog. OH MY GOSH YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M FEELING RIGHT NOW~ I just wanna sink and melt like ice.

Now I should take that as a lesson, for ‘가식’ tip no. 3, ALWAYS WEAR EARPHONES OR HEADPHONES WHEN ‘PANGGAP-ING’. And of course, the real tip is to study more, and listen carefully and quickly. But I’m still not in that level, so yeah~ I should ‘panggap’ more. It’s all gonna be worth it in the end after all. But the next time… with earphones.

Panggap-seumnida Story #002 | 가식 이야기 #002

To read the first story, go here: Panggap-seumnida Story #001 | 가식 이야기 #001

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This story has been years ago, but for ‘가식’ tip no. 2, You need a hat when you go somewhere.

Boracay is the prime spot for foreigners, whether it be Korean, American and European. As much as how ironic it is, Filipinos are very conservative, but when you come to Boracay, there are topless woman who would sun-bathe under the sun, with their * slightly covered with towels.

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I don’t even look a bit Korean here 😐

I really love Starbucks, and when I learned that they opened a branch in Boracay, I should definitely go *not that the taste will change, or something*. We were at Station 2 and I have to walk up to Station 1 to reach Starbucks. While on my way, I can notice Koreans looking at me *this is true, and since this is already a shameless post, I should just go on with the story, lol*. It’s not like I look like a celebrity or something because that’s just too impossible, but maybe they were looking because, “Birds of the same feather, flocks together.”. Back when I was at Singapore, too, whenever I see Filipinos or Filipino-looking people, I would look at them and try to examine whether they’re Filipino or not. Maybe it’s a collective behavior when someone’s in a different place, to make them feel a little more secure, or I don’t know.

As far as I can remember, three different Korean groups did that while I was walking, and this is when my ‘panggap’-ing diminishes quickly. I will suddenly feel extremely shy and walk faster or something, looooool. I can still remember how I felt that day.

I also came across local people who would ask me in English if I’m interested with their boat tours or diving gears to which I decline silently, because if they hear my voice, they would think I’m a Filipino, lol. This is something I do as a defense for me not to talk so much when I’m outside.

I finally reached Starbucks which was far >.< and started looking at the menu, thinking which of the drinks would be a perfect summer drink. The queue was a bit long, so a barista smiled at me while I was waiting. When I’m finally ordering, that same barista talked to me and asked for my order. She casually asked me if I’m a Korean, and this is one of the instances when you say no, and say you’re also a Filipino. She was half-shocked and said, I definitely looked like one of the Koreans, to which I replied ‘Hindi naman’, ‘Not really’.

On my way back, no one looked or talked to me again, anymore. LOL.

Panggap-seumnida Story #001 | 가식 이야기 #001

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Now here comes the real intention of my blog but since I’m not mistaken for being Korean/한국 사람 24/7, I chose to share a lot of Korean stuff here and there for fellow beginners.

Now, for panggap ‘가식’ tip no. 1. You need glasses, whether it be glass-less (just frames) or not.

Moving on… I went to work and school like this:

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밥을 먹자!

My appetite was not very good earlier, hence the look.

Anyway, I had to meet a client outside the building, so I waited for her when she texted me that she will be arriving in a matter of minutes. She’s texting me continuously when she said “I think you’re the guy with the blue coat and glasses, I’m just gonna take a U-turn.” Apparently, she saw me from the other side of the road, and when she finally arrived, she was like “Korean ka ba?!” “Are you Korean?”. Now these are one of those instances where pretending is not to be used.

“No, but I’m studying Korean.”
“Wow that’s good! You really look like one, you deceived me!”
“Thanks! ^_^”

Fast forward to my school. I arrived some minutes earlier than our class schedule, so I hurried to the library, returned the book I borrowed, and borrowed another book again. I shall post it some other time. It’s basically a Korean textbook, 2nd level, and the cover is written in Korean.

Going home, as always during Monday and Thursday, I go home with my classmate 누나, 윈니 씨, since she drives by herself, and she drops me off where I can commute easier. Even the weather’s hot, I didn’t remove my jacket, since it’s really hard having your phone on another hand, a textbook on another. And besides, even if it’s hot, I’m training myself to get used to wearing long sleeved clothing since I never did during my college and earlier days so whenever I wear something less casual, I already look highly formal >.<

I rode a jeepney, and since I was not sure if it was the right route, I checked the sign first if it’s the right jeepney. For Filipinos, first thing to do is ask the driver, but since I’m not in the mood to speak, it’s time to make ‘panggap’ happen. I always prefer the passenger seat, and earlier someone’s already sitting, but two people can ride anyway.

I paid my fare with a bill, without speaking, and the driver gave me my change. Then this girl beside me, it seems as though she’s looking at my name tag (which you can’t properly see through the picture, anyway it’s ‘김성규’. She’s trying to examine maybe whether I’m a Filipino or not. She’s looking at my borrowed textbook, which as I said earlier was written in Korean, and comes looking at my cellphone *no she’s not in any way a snatcher or something, the girl was pretty*. Luckily, my friends were talking in Korean through LINE so I replied in Korean. The girl beside me might be a K-Pop fan or something because she’s looking continuously. I even saw her looking at me through the rear-view mirror, which is funny because my Korean pretentiousness is working, LOOOOOL.

The girl beside me had to get off earlier, so I had to give way by getting off first. Some of my coins dropped, and helpfully, the girl picked up some of the coins and gave it to me. I bowed at her, and she bowed back. IT WAS FUNNY, and somehow expected at the same time. And it’s good that she knows how to give respect the Korean way.