Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to share Jesus

Re-reading this

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 14, 2011


Lord, you are all I need.

With the excessive cortisol destroying my body,
Your healing and comfort is all I need.

With the guilt of sins weighing down me,
Your forgiveness is all I need.

With the seemingly impossible challenges facing ahead,
Your wisdom is all I need.

With the insecurities of uncertain future,
Your sovereignty is all I need.

With the needs and desires in heart,
Your providence is all I need.

With the temptations facing day-to-day,
Your grace is all I need.

With the discouragements and frustrations face each day,
Your joy is all I need.

Lord, your love, evidenced by the cross, is all I need.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seoul - Day 1

Couldn't believe that I was on my way to Seoul, Korea. Had been waiting for that moment for at least 8 months and wanted to get away from the stagnant life in Malaysia, it was a little miracle for me to be there. The flight was impressive, even it was a budget airline, at least it met all my expectations, there was nothing to complain about, other than a weird Indonesian guy sitting next to me... Anyway, the flight landed in Seoul after almost 7 hours, and I was so excited and impressed by the wonderfully built Incheon airport. Everything was smooth from leaving the aircraft to getting through immigration, I got a my luggage and my Seoul adventure begins.

First mission of the day: to buy a T-money card and hop on the right train to Seoul downtown. There were many other solo travelers like me and were confused on buying the train ticket, but in my heart I was glad that fortunately I did some homework beforehand, I went to the convenience store and bought a T-money card. Usage of Korean language failed, but English was not a problem. It was my first real(?) contact with Korean, with the cashier.

After checking with the information counter on how to get to the airport rail (AREX), I walked towards the train station according to a mix of her information and my instinct. First excitement: the AREX train station is exactly the place where Runningman (my favourite Korean game show) was filmed! I was standing at the place (where the escalator and lift were) where the Runningmen were chasing each other. XD Because I was carrying my baggage and some many things, I couldn't be bother to take out my camera and capture the site, but I was a bit worried on whether I will catch the right train on time and reach my destination.

The train arrived and there were not many people in the carriage. I sat down with my suitcase lying in front of me. After making sure that I was in the right train, and counting on how many stops before I need to leave and transit to another train, I secretly observed the Koreans around me. I was just sitting there, and pretending that I was part of them. Most of them were businessmen wearing suits or family. That's the joy of taking subways and trains, it made me feel included like I was one of them...

I got down at the Hongdae station because I need to change to subway line 2 to Chungjeongno. The moment I stepped out from the train I felt the cold. In the train was much warmer than I thought and because I wore so many layers I felt stuffy but outside I could feel the cold immediately. The unexpected cold made me stopped and put on more layers, before I followed the crowd to walk towards the platform for subway line 2. The demography for subway was very different than the airport train. I felt awkward with my suitcase because most of the people in the subway were youngsters and students with their trendiest outlooks. Subway line 2 passes through Hongik University, Sinchon and Ewha University where most youngsters and students are populated. The train was much more crowded than the airport train, and the lesser usage of English made me realised that I was at a completely strange place.

I got out from the train, got confused with the exit (as I came out from the wrong exit due to the elevator), almost got lost but finally reached Bangrang Hostel. There were no one at the hostel, but only a note from the hostel manager. My phone was unable to roam, as I was panicking if I should call the manager at 11:30pm, I decided to use hostel phone to ring him up... The manager finally turned up and settled my payment and my room, everything was good. I liked the hostel, the interior set up and the numbered security lock. I met Kayo, a Japanese girl, my first roommate, first friend I met in Seoul. We chatted for a long time and we got really excited to know each other. We decided to meet up for dinner the day after.

First impression of Seoul was great, all the people that I encountered seem nice and friendly, I was looking forward to journey in Seoul...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Seoul - My Full Itinerary

I did a lot of 'homework' before embarking on this 5 days trip. Managed to meet some Taiwanese friends from the travel forum, I tried not to travel on my own throughout the trip, but make new friends~ But I did all the shopping on my own, to save time. :)

Planned itinerary:

Day 1

Incheon airport - Bangrang hostel

Day 2

Namdaemun - Myeongdong - Namsamgol Hanok Village - N Seoul Tower

Day 3

Deoksugong - Hongdae - Sinchon - Idae - Dongdaemun - Jimjilbang

Day 4

Sinsadong - Express Bus Terminal Station (underground shopping) - Yeouido (Cherry blossoms) - Hangang river cruise - Yongsan Emart

Day 5

Samgyetang - Gyeongbokgong - Samcheongdong - Bukchon - Insadong - Incheon airport

Actual itinerary

Day 2 ~ (mostly resting and very relaxing)

Namdaemun - Myeongdong - Sinchon - Jonggak (dinner) - Jonggak underground shopping

Day 3

Namsagol Hanok Village - N Seoul Tower - Hongdae - Idae - Dongdaemun

Day 4

Gwanghuamun - Toksochon samgyetang - Gyeongbokgung - Samcheongdong - Insadong - Banpo bridge - Express bus terminal - Dragon Hill Spa

Day 5

Jonggak - Myeongdong - Sinsadong - Insadong - Myeongdong - Incheon airport

What a change...

Seoul - 1

Okay finally I'm ready to start my blogs on Seoul...

Seoul, a dream place for many girls, was beyond my expectation. I guess it is not just about the place itself, or the tourist sites, or the shopping... but, the people, the culture that impress me much.

Thoughts on Seoul #1 - Infrastructure & Technology

Seoul is a metropolitan city, with well-integrated transport network, and sophisticated technologies. WiFi was covered in most places, with free access but speed connection, otherwise if you are subscribed to a local network, wireless internet is covered in almost all subway trains. Not only that, Seoul is very tourist friendly too, at some subway stations I can see the giant iPhone-like touch screen that allows you to find direction, places information... Oh and when I make a credit card payment at the store, I did not have to sign on a paper/receipt, instead I signed on the credit card machine (hmm... it's something unavailable in Malaysia, yet).

Incheon airport - Departure Gate

Thoughts on Seoul #2 - Character

Seoul is a city full of character. Unlike what I heard about the negative comments about Seoul before - boring, characterless etc. It was completely opposite from what I expected. I cannot pinpoint on the most prominent character of Seoul, but when I think of Seoul, things that came in my mind including: Cafes with unique characters, contemporary and traditional arts, modern and traditional buildings, delicious street and also restaurant foods, popstar culture, and variety of goods made in Korea! There are places filled with scent of youth and life such as Hongdae, Idae and Sinchon. Whereas Myeongdong is an area that impresses you with the latest cosmetic and fashion trends. Insadong and Bukchon Hanoks offers you a taste of traditional Korean lifestyle and culture, but Samcheongdong and Sinsadong are places that surprises you in every corner.

Somewhere between Samcheongdong and Bukchon Hanoks

Thoughts on Seoul #3 - Language & Culture

Hangul is an interesting language. From the language, we can tell about the culture. Unlike English, the use of Korean language largely contextual and situational. The way a person speaks to another person reveals their relationship, age difference and social ranking. People do pay a lot of respect to the country or company leaders, elderly or those with great achievements. However, the way people are addressed also come with individual responsibilities. For instance, if you are a 형(hyung, older brother for a guy), 오빠(oppa, older brother for a girl), 언니(eonni, older sister for a girl) or 누나(nuna, older sister for a guy) you should look after / protect the younger ones. I would say, Koreans are relationship oriented and it is a good thing, because in this way, everyone knows their position in a family, circle of friends, group and society quite well, therefore they know how to get along (相處) with each other well. I won't say it's discrimination or inequality, it's just that basically everyone is different therefore we need different ways to interact with different people. The way guys treat girls should be different than how guys treat guys. The way young people interact with young people should be different than how they treat older people. This is completely opposite to New Zealand, where everyone calls everyone (including parents and professors by their first name).

Bosingak - Jonggak

Thoughts on Seoul #4 - People

My most favourite part about Korea. My initial impression of Korea was not the best one... (sorry Korean friends I misunderstood you...) I thought people there have fake looks (plastic surgery and cosmetics), rigid and competitive, maybe it's true to a certain extend, but... as compared to Singaporeans, I find them more genuine and authentic when it comes to making friends with others. They are shy perhaps due to language barrier, but I found them actually very enthusiastic and interested about people from another culture. :) I like it when the Ajushi's and Ajuma's kept talking to you even they knew you can't understand on anything they were saying about. The hostel staff, restaurant owners, sellers, taxi drivers, policeman, airport staff... were so helpful and made sure that our problems are resolved before leaving us alone... They are so genuine, sincere and helpful... I really appreciate their help, that made our lives much easier... It's the people that matters...

David, Athena, Kitty, 핼이, 핼지, Wendy, Me

Thoughts on Seoul #5 - Foods & Drinks

Love it! Tteokbokki (I don't know how to spell), Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup - so nourishing!), Kimchi (ahh~ can't live without it!), BBQ, green tea cinnamon pastry.... oooohhhh... mashita (delicious!)! Indescribable... (next time must try seolnongtang / beef bone soup)

Drinks: raspberry tea, black soy milk, aloe vera juice, ginseng wine, Cass beer, banana milk... yum yum (didn't get to try makgeolli T_T)

I don't know what is this called...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recent life

I have not been blogging for a while, I doubt if I can still write a good article with proper English. The reason I'm here of course is that I have something to share. Life has been journeying as per norm, yet there are times that we can spice it up a little bit, like travel.

I'm pleased for being able to tick off the list of things I wanted to do since last year. Last year in October, I went to Taiwan, and visited my uncle, who passed away, as well as my grandparents. I had a better sense of closeness to my roots in Taiwan than ever before, and I am planning to go back again by the end of this year.

The second destination that I decided to travel on, was Seoul, South Korea. Managed to grab a flight ticket with an extraordinary price in August last year, I traveled there at the end of March. With a little disappointment, I was not able to see the cherry blossoms, because I booked the tickets a week earlier... However, the good thing is, it was still sort of considered as the end low season, before the crowd of tourists and visitors flood into Seoul, and that's why I get to experience a bit of Seoul people's real life.

Just like New Zealand, I'd never dreamed about the possibility of being able to reach there. It is a miracle, a gift of grace from God above. South Korea is a beautiful country, with their very own unique culture and way of life. 5 days in Seoul made me felt like a local, I took the subway just like the locals, with the locals, I ate like a local, I went to shop at the places where locals only go. Although it was too short to get to know them deeper, it was an eye-opening experience for me to appreciate the beauty of Korea.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

My song of choice this new year


It is new year. Description my feelings now? Heavy. Received a call from my parents in Taiwan last night, found out my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and tumour in the neck, and if the tumour is cancerous, it means that he is already at the end stage. Grandma told my mum that she felt a lump at the breast, and it's painful, but haven't been to check up yet, so we don't know what that is. Cloud of gloom surrounds the whole family, as mum just lost her brother recently, not yet recovering from the pain of loss, there are more challenging issues surfaced.

What should be our attitude like, when we face such almost unbearable suffering? Shouldn't we start thinking why there is suffering, what is the purpose of our lives, and what will happen when we die? The Gospel is really fundamental to Christian attitude and thinking, as it explains everything, gives meaning and gives hope to life. The gospel should DEFINE our lives. 'When we are still sinners, Christ died for us.' That's a short but astonishing statement, revealing the abundance of God's love and grace on hopeless humankind. It is comforting to know that though we are hopeless in sin, whether big or small, Christ has overcome with his infinite power on the Cross. He is the figure that we should look up to, and longing deeply for. We wait patiently for his return, for his fulfillment in future promises.

The dilemma is, what about those who never heard about the gospel? Were they given a choice? I can only say that God is sovereign of all, he has chosen the ones that he chose to love and accept, according to his mercy. Will our prayers and effort make a difference? It might not. But our attitude and action will show where our heart and treasure is. Therefore I pray, pray that the Lord shall have mercy on my grandparents and the family, firstly for salvation, because without salvation everything is meaningless and left them only with pain and hopelessness.

With my limited knowledge and imagination, I couldn't think of how the gospel can reach their ears and hearts and make them understand, but I believe God is the God of miracles, He'll have his own way in doing things, if He wills. Secondly, I pray that God will heal them, physically and emotionally. Not because of greed in having them and enjoyment in life, but because I love them. No one likes to see someone they love in pain. Thirdly, I pray that things will fall into the right place, whoever we are, we must know, learn and worship God, and follow God each day in our lives. We suppose to do what we suppose to do, which God intended us to do, because God is good, all the time. And we know that in all things God works for the good to those who love him, who have been called to his purpose. In Christ Holy name, Amen.