Born and grew up in none other countries but Indonesia makes me being accustomed well with common sense of this beloved country of mine. Therefore, when I did travel abroad, I was sometimes surprised by one or two acts; even it was a simple one. Actually not only when traveled abroad, but also anywhere in Indonesia, but East Borneo where I precisely born and grew up, when I encountered quite different culture with one we usually did in East Borneo.
I usually hide my surprised in action, but sometimes, something or some events left the impression a little bit longer or dwelt longer in my mind. So, it also happened with the last trip I took to South Korea (wish you all weren’t tired of reading my South Korea Story, I still have plenty of it though) 😀
I arrived in Seoul on Friday, which later I heard from my friends that Friday night was time for beer and party or whatever you felt like having fun mostly with friends. It might happen not only in Seoul, but almost anywhere in entire world. However, the surprising thing for me not for the Friday night (since I was in anyway), but on the day after; Saturday morning. I was first quite surprised by (what I call) a remaining of last night. On Saturday morning, it was a common sight, seeing few people with one or two bottles of liquor on the street’s side with any kind of acts. Seeing that, two things crossed my mind, whether they were really went all out at night before or they still couldn’t get over it and just simply wanted to continue drinking on the street. For whatever they reason were, I was surprised at first (we did it inside the bar). It also happened on the next morning because it was weekend too.
After seeing it few times, starting on the Saturday morning, I’d been accustomed with that. I thought, until one Sunday morning I encountered another thing, as picture below.
I said that I’d been accustomed right, but I was wrong, I was surprised seeing this at first. It was Saturday afternoon when I was about entering a convenience store and seeing this. Even though I was a bit surprised for it already afternoon and this old man still had few bottles of soju with him, I just passed him and had my own coffee. I also need something to make my heavy head lighter.
Having my cold coffee, I sat on the chair in front of convenience store facing the old man. I wanted to ignore him at first because I also had to deal the last night’s remaining in my head, however he started saying something and moving his both hands. I kept ignoring him, he continued saying it and the sound was getting louder until I noticed that he said, “mianhe, mianhe” to everyone who passed him, and also to me when our eyes met. I felt bad for him somehow. I didn’t have any idea what happened to him and I didn’t have to. However his shout somehow touched something in my heart. He was alone and old. I only said that if he was my family or someone I knew, I might be very bitter. Meanwhile, on the cross road, I saw another old man, who seemed to me was enjoying his afternoon.
In few minutes later, didn’t want to bother both old men’s choices on how they spent the afternoon, I chose to roaming around Seoul, left them both, and drove this little step of mine.