Monday, August 27, 2012

Suwon Paldalmun Market

26/08/2012 - Sunday: 
Today, our senior bring us to Paldalmun market to buy some food, vegetables, fruits and other material for cooking. They say the price will be more cheaper and a lot of thing can get here. We also invite other exchange student to join us, so there is 2 other China friends, Huang Jia and July Kong followed us to the Paldalmun market. 

From Ajou University, we took bus number 720-2 to Paldalmun market and stop by the Paldalmun station just before the Suwon station. It's took around 15 to 20 minutes to reach there. Here, Korean people didn't call it Paldalmun market. They use to called it Namun market and i don't know why because when we asked the people here they like don't know where is the place. When we say "Namun", only then they will understood. 

Paldalmun is the south gate of Hwaseong Fortress. 
The name means "open roads in every direction"
Suwon Paldalmun market is found in the block surrounding Paldalmun (the gate).

Suwon Paldalmun market is BIG~ There is a lot blocks of shops sold clothes, shoes, bags and so on but we only walked at the wet market area to buy thing for cooking. The view of Paldalmun are yeppu-ta~ and felt peaceful. =)

So far, in my mind, Korea are clean and they really take care of the environment. We can see their river are clean and not smelly. Most of the river they make it to become a place for people to relax their mind and spend some time there. I think if Malaysia can make it like this, sure our country will be more clean and more visitor come to visit.

We took a walked at the Paldalmun market to looked around. Here, we go! =)

This is our first stop at the nuts shop. Here, they sold variety of nuts with a little cheaper price compared to other places in Korea but don't compare to Malaysia currency (it's really expensive~). In Korea, vegetables, fruits and meat are expensive. Really really expensive. When i want to buy anything, i always have to think twice and felt heart pain when want to pay the money. Haiz...

Some of us bought the Gajus and one of our senior bought the corn from this shop and i taste it. Hmmm~ I don't like it because it's taste weird compare to Malaysia corn. I like Malaysia corn because it sweet and delicious but Korean corn it's like taste chewy, plain and felt like eating "pulut" Malaysia sticky rice. 

Then i bought the apples here. One basket have 8 to 9 apples and the price is 5,000won similar to RM15. Aigoo~~~~ so expensive!   I'm Broke~    T^T 
But i still bought it because i love to eat apple. Then one thing that make me felt satisfied is the apples are big and sweet. =) In korea, peach and berry are everywhere... and.... i can't find Durian. Hahahaa... 

After that, we keep walked and have a look around the market and bought all the ingredient we need to cook.

There is many different kind of fish at here but we don't know how to cook it so we just have a looked and the fish are weird and even some look so funny and for sure it's expensive~

And looked here what i found. Cincalok~ Hehehee... but don't know here what they call it. It's look delicious but don't know how its taste like.

After that i found they sold Onion with the whole thing. In Malaysia, i never saw people sell onion like this. Here, nothing is impossible.

Korean cakes are colorful and some of them are delicious and some not suit to my taste. I love to see their cake every time i went to market or any shop that sold the cakes.. I just can't take my eyes off it. =)

Korean famous vegetables / food or slide dishes that always will serve no matter what Korean foods we eat. KIMCHI~ At Paldalmun, here you can get any kind of Kimchi you like and we are allow to try it. So what i did is.. try it all. Hehehee.. most are delicious and i like it. I bought Kimchi at the Home Plus (tesco) it is expensive compare to here. So next time i will buy it here and taste it all again. =)

Most Malaysian love spicy food, so we looking for the Chili but we can't find any spicy one. Here, the chili are not spicy enough that's why when we cook we have to put a lot chili in our dishes. 
Here are the dry chili at Paldalmun market.

After a few hour walked and shopping for food, all of us went back to Ajou University by taxi due to too much of thing we bought and the taxi only cost us around 4,000won. =)

Here some video make by me to show the environment of the Paldalmun wet market. It's fun and can see more clearly the foods that sell over here. 
Hope everyone enjoy watching it! =)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

24/08/2012 - Orientation Day, Welcoming Party

24th August 2012, Friday
Today is our orientation day. This is the day all the international students from all over the world that been selected will gather and listen to the introductory and information from OIA (Office of International Affair).

At 9.30am, all new international students register at the Auditorium and received some documents that we need to do after that. 

After register, there is welcoming address and introductory video of Ajou university shows all the activities from last spring season to us. It's look fun and they really have a great time over here. It's make us felt more excited to looking forward at the activities that will be provide to us. After done, introduction, we been provided all the information about campus life & facilities, how we want to survive in Korea and Dormitory life & fire prevention. It's really a short and useful information all provided to us.

I think, if in our home university also do the same thing is much more better. We no need to waste time to have an orientation for 1 week because 1 week orientation make student felt tired and even some fell asleep during the orientation. So it's like not effective. Short orientation save cost and save time.

After that, they gave us a special lecture on sexual harassment caution program. It's really funny and awkward but the information provided are useful to us. I think in Malaysia suppose to have it as well. This is my first time attending the sexual harassment caution program. I really learn and know a lot information what should and don't. 

Then, we have a break time and this is my favorite part because there is variety of food provided and i taste it all. hehehe.. So delicious and enjoy it. Most are the Korean and Western foods so everything i can eat. But pity to Nani and Sarah. They scare to eat due to not sure the food is halal or not. So they went back room and have their lunch. I keep continue having my lunch with Mary and other China friends. From here, i knew some foreign friends. They are Chirstina from Puerto Rico and Elina from Finland. So we have a chitchat then slowly be friends and sit together for the next orientation by AGA members. =)

After end of the orientation, all of us took pictures together and kept it as memories. =) 
Next, there are welcoming party organised by AGA members at 7pm.

Since the welcoming party is located at Bar, Nani and Sarah are not joining us. So, i went there with Mary. This is my first time went in and have a drink with all the friends. Felt scare and doubt because went to this kind of place but when go in and meet all the friends it's so excited and fun. Everyone seen so enjoy and have fun together. I sit with Chirstina, Elina and from here i knew another new friend, Martin from Germany. Luckily all of us not really drink beers. So, everything still in control and i keep request for the plain water to drink after drink beer with them.

Then, the AGA member come to us and then here we go~ start played all the Korean games. It's so funny and fun. Here, i learn a lot Korean games during they have a drink and spend time with friends. Then, Kyoung Min and Jisu the AGA members treat us Korean Drink which called Soju. First time in my life try it. At the beginning it's not tasty because it too sweet then slowly i OK with it. After drink it, my body became hot and little red on face. Hehehe... I'm bad in drinking. I guess this is the last time i drink it. No more next time.

Sometimes, is not a bad thing to join this kind of party because from here we can knew some new friends and learn about Korean culture. From this party, i learn and knew about the Soju because the AGA member explained it to us. Then Jisu, the AGA member also teach us some Korean words and how to drink in-front of someone who older than you to respect them. They demo it to us and it' so funny to watch them do it. Besides that, they also have some games to all of us to participated especially they compete to dance gangnam style.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

23/08/2012 - First Day, New Life.

23th August 2012, Thursday 
In the morning, we check-in dormitory together and on the same day we met our Malaysia seniors who studied master here. Actually before we came to South Korea, we already knew them because they have the Facebook group add all the Malaysia Students who study in Ajou University. It's really convenience for us because we can ask everything about the new environment and be prepared.

Start from today onward, we will refer to them if we have any question. After knowing them, they 're so friendly and willing to help us anytime, anywhere and any problem that we faced. They're so caring and make us feel safe and comfortable staying here. Once we arrived, they invited us to have lunch together because they know all of us tired for seating flight 6hours 20mins. It's really really nice and glad.. hmm...what to say.. feel like home. =)

After having lunch, we went back to our room and unpack our things. At the moment, someone came in and say Hi! She is our roommate, Mary which is from China. Before met her, all of us wonder how she would be. Friendly or someone that hard to accept our Malaysia live style due to we are the major in room. Hmmm... My thought about China student is negative and bad due to China student in our university, they are rude and unclean? Some of them just wear underwear walking around dormitory and always cause the toilet dirty. But after knowing her, my thought was change. Not all the China student are same. Mary major in English literature that's why her English is good and we can easier communicate with each other. She is friendly and understandable. She the one who love to learn and explore new thing. That's why she have a lot question about Islamic so sometimes i will explain to her in Chinese.

Due to I'm the one who can understand and speak Chinese so i became the translator in our room. If anyone don't know how to translate or explain, at that moment i will appear to help them. At the beginning it's fun to translate and now or sometimes  when almost all the words i need to translate, i became tired and sometimes lazy to translate for them. So sometimes i will ask them or make them to speak in English with each other. Felt bad at the beginning but at the end i think what i did is good for them because from here all of us can learn and improve our English. (still... am i bad?)

At night, we went to cafe to having dinner. Their cafe system totally different from us. In Malaysia, we bring cash to counter and pay the money to get food. Here, we need to go to the self-service machine to choose what we want to eat, click on it and insert the money to get the ticket. Then bring the ticket to the counter and in a few minutes we will get our food. It's sound difficult and waste time but with this way, they won't face any problem in losing or short in money. Even though the system are efficiency, in my opinion, the menu too little and student can only order a few and same menu everyday. Student don't have much choice to choose what they want to eat. Lucky we cook our food by our self. So it's won't feel boring. In fact, it's fun because we cook together.

Here it is! Our room! I really like our room because it's comfortable. Our dormitory's rooms are furnished with 2 single beds for 2 bed room and 2 bunk beds for 4 bed room. So we choose the 4 bed room so that we can stay together and share thing together, like cooking. It's convenience for us. Our room provided with dressers, desks, chairs, internet cable lines, phone (for us to call other friends from other room), fan and even the air-con plus heather. It's really cool isn't it? =) Beside that, each of us also been provided a bed sheet, an air pillow and a blanket when we move in here.

My desk and dresser

This is my desk and my dresser. Well, it's look empty due to we just move in and of course i bring along the friendship card that made by my best friend, Mas because when i miss them, i will take a look and smile. =)

Then i took a walk to look over the environment and facilities that provided in dormitory. It's really nice and comfortable. All of us really like it so much.

At the beginning when we arrived and move to our floor, when i saw this pavement (kaki lima), the first thing that come in my mind is.. "scary~ It's look like in the hospital." But now slowly we use to it and i like it because here, our dormitory always keep in clean due to the adjumma (auntie cleaner) clean the dormitory everyday excluded weekend.


Here is the Toilet~ Everything looks so clean am i right? If Malaysia friends saw this, i'm sure that they will say it's look like staying in a hotel not dorm. Hehehee.. We are so lucky isn't it? There is the washing machine and the dryer machine. It's same like our Malaysia dormitory, we need to put coins to use it but there is one convenience thing here, the dormitory provided the changing coins machine at ground floor for student. Beside that, they also provided the self-washing place so that student can wash their clothes and dry it up. Here, they also provided mop and even vacuum for students. =)

Then..... I also like their toilet bowl~~ . Maybe it's seen like i'm crazy but it's true i like it because the toilet bowl are automatic machine (like we always saw in korean drama in the rich people house). I do love it so much. =)

Here, the shower rooms... At the beginning it's hard for us because it's different from our country that most are door but here it's only the plastic sheet as the door. For us, not sometimes but all the times we felt unsafe when took a shower. Most of the student here, they not often take a shower because their country have 4 season and not always sweat a lot like us in Malaysia. So, it is weird for them to see us took shower everyday at most the time.

Shower Room

In our dormitory, there is PC labs that are located on the 4th and 5th floor and are opened 24 hours a day for students to use. Luckily it is in our floor. So sometimes students spend their time here to study and make a discussion together.

PC Labs

Next, there is Rest Room at each floor for students to have a chitchat here and spend time together with friends. In the rest room, there is the refrigerator and water cooler. I always took water here to drink and keep my Kimchi and some fruits inside the refrigerator here. =) They are very systematic in managing. All the student are required to get the sticker at the officer room and stick the sticker at their container then put their container in refrigerator. Every month they will provide different color sticker and on the sticker we have to write down name, room number and the date we will keep our food. Every Wednesday, adjumma will clean the refrigerator and if there is no sticker on the container or food, she will throw it away.

Rest Room

Beside that, each floor also provided a TV Lounges/room. But we are less to spend time here due to all are korean channel and i don't understand what they say. hahahaa... Here, there is the place provided for student to iron their clothes.

TV Room

At the ground floor there is common room. Common room is for guest and both genders students can freely communicate. There are equipped with English magazines, multiple language broadcasting channels and comfortable sofas. Beside that, there is vending machines (ATM), religious room (tempat sembahyang for muslim), small lecturer room, convenience store (mini mart), gymnasium and seminar rooms provided.

Students are provided a student card, which is we will use it to touch for every class attendance and touch it to enter to dormitory. So, their security are good because with this way, will stop all the outside come in and  prevent lateness to class.

Our dormitory coordinator office also arrange and having a Korean language class every week for student who wanted to learn Korean language. It's really fun!

Besides that, i also like their services. When student report inconvenience thing or anything that not function well their will take action in a day. Really really nice. =)

We love the facilities and the services that provided by Ajou dormitory and felt comfortable.
I LOVE IT!!! =)

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Day Malaysia Met South Korea..

For the first time i'm leaving my own country for a long period. Hmm.. it's really headache to think what i should bring and what i need to do over there plus keep worries what i haven't done yet before leaving. Scare that, something left behind and can't turn back to Malaysia to be done. Besides that, deep in my heart, I'm worry about my family. Worry that if something happen, what i should do or will it be too late to be home when they need me.

Day by day, when its near to the day i almost want to leave to South Korea, i handle everything with calm but i can't feel the excited for leaving. Maybe because everything was done and have nothing to worry anymore or maybe because i went to South Korea before? My feeling like unstable? Blur? Hmm...

There is 3 of us, Nani, Sarah and i will leave to South Korea together. Feel glad because 3 of us are in the same dormitory and same room due to the request. This will easier for us to go anywhere together and less feel inconvenience. Soon we will meet our roommate from China. I wonder how she will be. How is her personality and can she adapt herself with us? Hope all of us can share our culture and living well together. Can wait to know her. And also hope that from her i can improve my Chinese language. =)

Since Nani and Sarah are Muslim so they keep worry about the food because most Korean food are non-halal and i keep worry about the financial problem that may face when stay there. Even though our university gave us sponsorship but it's not enough due to the Korea currency are more higher and the food, clothes and everything that we need are expensive. It's 3 times our money! =.= (headache, headache..) That's why 3 of us make an early plan, each brings Malaysia flavoring (perencah) so that we can cook. With this way, we can save our money. =) 

For me, i bring my winter coat and all winter needs due to we will stay until end of December. I don't want to waste my money to buy new winter coat since i can't wear it in Malaysia due to our country are hot for the whole year. There will be winter season at Korea! Can't wait to feel it by myself for the first time. Hope before i'm back, i can see the snow falling and touch it. =)

We just bring a few clothes or maybe clothes that enough to wear for a week then for sure we will go  for shopping due to the clothes there are nice and beautiful. Besides that, i just bring all the necessary thing and daily use like i bring to UKM then just bring it to Korea. 20kg done!

23rd August 2012 is here! 3 of us promised to meet up at 9.30pm at LCCT airport but i'm late due to i came from Ipoh and it is traffic jam. All of us are inform by AirAsia to reach 3 hours early to the airport for check in due to the Hari Raya. Both of them have their families sent them but i the only one alone. Haiz.. My family are faraway so its ok to be alone i guess. Well.. maybe a little bit felt sad? Luckily my buddies Rathi and Arvin came to sent me off! They willing to ride motorbike from Jalan Ipoh came to LCCT just to sent me. I'm really happy, touching and glad. At the end, i still have "family" sent me and not lonely anymore. Love you guys. =)

Rathi and me. =)

3 of us. =)
The flight took 6hours 20minutes to reach South Korea. Once we reached there, we been pick up and welcome by AGA (Ajou Global Ambassador) members. They show us how to took bus and taxi to Ajou University and directly register our dormitory. I love the way they managed all the way. Its so systematic and follow the flow. 

After reached our dormitory, we received keys and our room are located at 5th floor which are the most higher floor. At that moment when they say there is no elevator, i felt like want to fainting. Which mean all of us need to carry our 20kg baggage from 1st floor to 5th floor. Luckily there is 2 foreign guys who help us carry our baggage to our floor. Thanks God and also really really thanks to them for helping us. =)

I love our room because everything look nice and comfortable. Hope that, 4 of us can live well and face all the challenges together in future. Wish that we can spend all this precious moment with full of memories. =)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My experience: Fasting & Iftar in Bulan Ramadhan

Puasa (fasting) is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink or both for a period time. source: wikipedia

In my experience, fasting is a need and obligatory practice for Malaysian Muslim before they celebrate their New Year which called Hari Raya. Normally they will fasting for a month before Hari Raya and usually start from dawn (subuh) until dusk (maghrib). They are prohibited from eating, drinking and engaging in sexual activity. Besides that, they are also encouraged to control their negative temper such as anger and addiction. Therefore, fasting helps to develop good behavior. =)

As what i knew, there is special exemption for a girl who period during the fasting month, but they have to replace it after that. Most of my friends, they replace it when near to another fasting month which is another year coming soon. There is a reason why they replace at that period but i don't know why.. Maybe next time i should ask them to find out why.. =)

For the pass previous years, i do fasting with my diploma friends, fully a month. Well, its may sound weird for a Chinese to fasting because it is not our culture. But for me, there is another reason why i fasting, fasting actually good for health and of course DIET (that my main reason). hehe.. i do lose 1 or 2 kg when i fasting because when fasting we will start control our eating and when break the fast we won't eat so much. 

Besides that, i do found out and i experience it, fasting actually also make us close to each other especially with friends and family. Iftar (Arabic) refers to the evening meal when Muslim break their fast. Normally when they break their fast, they will Iftar with their friends and family. This is the moment, where they can spend time, sit and eat together. For family, mostly parent will cook. Its also can be like family gathering. That's why all my malay friends leaving me here all alone and went back home to eat mom's cooks. Besides that, all of their sibling will go back home as well. So, they can meet all the family members and spend time together. 

Then i also found out something that i like during fasting month, which is Bazaar Ramadhan~ 
Bazaar meaning market. In Malaysia, when it come to Bazaar Ramadhan, there is a lot of variety foods and drinks. You can get a lot of Malaysia traditional foods which is not all the times we can get it such as my favourite food, kuih Tepung Pelita, Ayam Percik, Ondeh-ondeh, Kuih Cara, and so on. But there is one thing that i don't like is, sometimes the seller took this chances to mark up the prices and also sold foods at small quantity. (niaga tak ikhlas ni)

This are some of the Malaysian traditional foods i ate.

This year, due to my close friends is malay and most of the time i spend with them, so i also fasting but not fully. This year quite special because most of the time i fasting with my close friends mas and ida. They show me all the delicious and nice foods. Introduce me new type of malay kuih and taste it. Besides that, they also told me more about fasting so that i can gain more knowledge about their culture. From them, first time in my life, i knew the word of "Iftar". 

From them, only i knew that if a person with no intention taste a food because forgotten he/she fasting at that moment, their fasting did not cancel (batal). Because god create human not perfectly and sometimes human forgot what he/she do.

Iftar at D'Manis Restoran

In Malaysia, there is variety of religion such as Chinese, Malay, Christian and India. Every religion have their own special practice and tradition but we still can live together and respect each other's tradition. Some of my chinese friend even fasting for some period such as in class or going out with malay friends because they respect their malay friends during fasting by not eating in front of them.

Until today i only experience and felt how is it the fasting like.
For the first time in my life, this year i will experience the Hari Raya at my malay friend's house for this coming Hari Raya and of course i will wear baju kurung. Besides that, i also told my friend my favor which is i want to eat lemang or ketupat for this Raya. heheee... Hope my wish come true. =) 

Last, i wish Selamat Hari Raya to all my malay friends and have a wonderful Raya this year.
And also thanks for reading my blog. =)