Thursday, 9 July 2009

Episode 3 & 4 - short updates

Thokpukki

Murphy got to me again. After roaming around for an hour for a new place to have dinner, I landed at a restaurant and ordered this. To my horror, I had landed up in the wrong restaurant. This was probably the only purely vegetarian restaurant in entire Korea, so I was served some rice cake like stuff, without even an iota of anything like egg or meat. In fact they were missing from the entire menu card of the restaurant. I had made a mistake, while Thop is pork, Thok is this rice cake thingy. So there, any Jains visiting Korea, you know what to order...

Solo dinners and Taekwondo master

Since my colleagues here have decided strictly that they shall cook their own food because -
a) it is "their" kind of food
b) they want to save money to take back home

I end up having dinner alone everyday.

So there I was, one night, peacefully having my take away dinner of bulgogi-rice-squid kimchi in front of a convenience store, when I suddenly had some company. As his wife went in to get water from the store, he suddenly sat down at my table. Soon he smiled at me, asked me where I was from and introduced me to his wife. We had quite an interesting conversation, the three of us, for about half an hour, during which I had been called a "baby"(on account of my age), asked to quit smoking and encouraged to take up Taekwondo. He ran a Taekwondo school nearby and asked me to come visit him.

It is such moments which makes any trip worthwhile, I guess, these strange connections you establish with complete strangers. A traveller relishes these moments. A tourist will never understand...

15 comments:

  1. You give very little credit to the tourist in you who is so completely taken by these chance encounters. Tsk.

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  2. i consider myself more of a traveller..
    why..you ask..perhaps a post should be more apt as an explanation.

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  3. jains visiting korea..only if they were forced to....like some kind of saazay kalapani!!!!
    but ur right about the difference between traveller & tourist!!!

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  4. hey ..good to see you back.
    as for jains in korea, well, i guess some might be forced to...

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  5. Such a snooty traveller... sigh. Tourists must hide, take cover when you walk by!

    Also, Jains WILL cook their own food in Vietnam. They will actually CARRY their own food to Vietnam!

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  6. ...And then open big big boxes of said smelly (Stinky, depending on which side you are) in airport lounges and stink up a mess. Eugh.

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  7. Me Snooty?...Hang on, is that a tourist I see lurking in the shadows with his tiffin box...I'll be back..

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  8. Haha! I love travelling and I love doing touristy things too. But I CANNOT deal with tiffin boxes. CANNOT! Stinky pooh!

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  9. you see the problem with tourists is...for some, a new place is just another shopping mall.

    i have no problems with shopping per se, but when shopping for articles predominates over experiencing a place or when you are content only with touch-and-go of "tourist attractions" and a smiling snap of you in front of it for the numerous social networking sites...that is when i think you become the kind of "tourist" whom i snootily hunt :)

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  10. Not everybody has budget to experience a place and most have to be 'content with' touch-and-go tourist attractions.

    Going with your word verification says, like those 'dessis'

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  11. is it not more about attitude than budget?

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  12. Ok, so I was in Kentucky for a day and I wanted to experience Southern America and do the Bourbon tour but my budget which in this case was time only allowed for the Creationist Museum. I did take pictures and bought a Tee. And this was when I was doing my 3300 miles road trip across the US.So what does that make me, a shopping mall tourist?

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  13. :) context is vital.

    you begin with "I was in Kentucky for a day", now what if that became, "I was..for a month" and yet the destination/activities did not change much...you get the picture?

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  14. Cliches: "TOURIST. You are a traveler, others are tourists; smirk when they pull out a map."
    You're not alone!

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