Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Special Trip in Seoul

Day 1

A perfect week in Seoul it was. I arrived at Incheon International Airport around 6.40am on 3rd September 2014. As soon walked out to the waiting area, I was greeted by the program staffs then we took a cab to Somerset Palace Seoul with April Tan, Singapore representative who was already waiting at the airport. We had breakfast with Miss Jae Oak, who was in charge of greeting us at the hotel. I took the elevator to my room on 5th floor and greeted my roommate who arrived there hours earlier than me. He's Bilguun, a very cool guy from Mongolia.

During the orientation, we received our full schedule for the next two days which is quite short in my opinion. After we're done with orientation, we went back to our room, watched a random reality show about how two lovers spent their day. Yes, too random. Two single guys watching such a random show. The great thing is he don't speak English with me so it's a great chance for me to finally practice my Korean again.

If you click at the picture above, you'll see that there's only five guys out of 21 contestants.

Oh yeah, here's the view from my room:

Just perfect!

Day 2

Well it's day two or should I say we're already halfway into the final day? We started off with a trip to Korean Folk Village. I've seen it many times on the internet but you have to go there yourself to really appreciate its beauty.

Jang Ahreum is our awesome team leader. We were divided to four groups with one Korean team leader to guide us around.

At the Korean Folk Village, we caught a glimpse of Lee Jin Wook who I first saw in Nine:9 Times Time Travel. Looks like they were just done shooting The Three Musketeers.

After we're done at the folk village, we went to another location to shoot making Kimchi with Ms. Lee Mun Ja at Learning Center for Traditional Korean Foods. I also tasted injeolmi (rice cake covered with dried bean powder) for the first time and now it's my favorite tteok (rice cake). Ah I am loving this free trip.

KBS staff members arranging the shooting set. It was around 2.30pm and yeah it was hot!

Finally done with shooting outdoor after about 3 hours!

Final shooting location: Yongin University for traditional wrestling competition (ssireum)

Well the winner got a new action camera. I've been wanting to get one of those camera but I couldn't win against the stronger guy who beat me after 40 seconds.

He went on to beat the guy after me in less than 10 seconds. I guess I didn't do too badly. The referee was Lee Tae Hyun, the 'Prince of Ssireum' in Korea. 

Now time for dinner at Seoul Tower!

I don't know how much buffet at HanCook Seoul Tower would cost but the food is simply amazing!

No tripod no problem!

They gave everyone this skin care set. I've never seen the brand before but after checking the price online, my mom would be more than happy to use them. $550 for all three... and the cream in the middle costs about $400 for 60ml. Ugh...

 Day 3 - Final day of Quiz on Korea

Ugh okay it's the last day of Quiz on Korea already so the whole day was spent at KBS Yeouido doing rehearsal and finally recording.

21 contestants from 21 countries all in one picture!

Picture taken during rehearsal. The stage wasn't 100% done yet.

During the rehearsal, one of the directors talked to each of the participants. He said to me that Malaysians have been asking them (KBS) why there was no participant from Malaysia in previous years so he finally included Malaysia this year and asked me to do my best. Thanks a lot people in Malaysia! (and sorry I didn't win the first prize...)

Ah well... I wasn't expecting them to put up that picture lol. I don't know if you are going to read this but I would like to sincerely thank a Malaysian family who came to support me that night. The quiz ended very late so I couldn't get a chance to meet them. Also thanks to Foong Yi, Suyeon and her sister Sumin for coming!

There were three rounds with winner from each round will move to the final stage so I had three chances to book a place in the finals. Too bad I blew my chances. Erm, the questions were tough too to be fair. Well I do feel a bit disappointed for not making it to the final but those who made it really deserved it.

I actually called Suyeon after I'm done with the quiz and she said those questions were tough even for Koreans. Ahha yes! Definitely getting US$10,000 is never going to be easy!

Congratulations to Su Mei who won the first price of US$10,000 and six-month all-sponsored Korean language learning program in Korea! Taking the taxi to hotel with you on the first day was an honor lol.

 Souvenirs from the friends I've met during the program.

Oh yeah Maxim coffee mix set that we got during orientation! They should last for a few months.

Also thanks to Young hyung, Heejin, Juyeon noona, and Heeju noona for the gift! My mom would definitely make a super delicious dish when you guys come to Malaysia! Thanks to Seojin, Jiyoung, Suyeon, Sumin, and Foong Yi too for making my stay a pleasant one.

Although I did not walk away with any of the prizes (not even the action camera...sigh), getting to know these amazing new people is more than enough.

Thanks to everyone for all their kind words and support for all these while. I'm about to start my service as a Teach For Malaysia fellow this coming January and who knows after two years I might go back there for master's degree :)

See you again! Here's the video of the show. The server is quite slow though. Too bad I couldn't find the one with subtitle yet. The show was aired on KBS1 on 8th September 2014 10.00am Korea time and on  9th September 2014 KBS World 4.00pm Malaysia time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Miss Qistina's Long Call

Congratulations Miss Qistina! I met her for the first time few months ago during her engagement and then for the second time right after her long call. Again, thank you for having me as your photographer again this time.

By the way it's great to know that she shares the same passion in making differences in young generation's life and how she really considered being part of TFM.