I felt sick the moment I opened my eyes on our fourth day. Our room was unbelievably hot. When I decided to get up, Shiela was already finished with everything. Ang husay! I then decided to have a quick coffee and take a bath. After everything, I went out of the bathroom and as always, Mark was still in bed (consistent ka bro! Iba ka!). When he got out of bed, he had his breakfast and asked for coffee (e di tinanong ko, Kopiko o Nescafe?, he chose one of them, I won’t tell–bro code).
Few minutes later, Tikoy entered our room and asked if we were all set. When everyone was downstairs, we were off to the Ski Resort.
It took two hours to get to the Ski Resort. Upon arriving, the group had a quick loo break. While I was waiting for the others, I saw Shiela and Mark having a snowball fight, then I joined them afterwards as we were looking forward to it ever since we set foot in Korea. Tikoy then bought the tickets while the group was having lunch in a nearby Burger King (at last, burger). When we were all finished with our lunch, we went to the ski and gear rentals. When we lined up to get our suits, the guys were just looking at us as if they have some sort of super-galactic powers that can get your size just by looking at you. Sisipatin ka lang alam na nila size mo, Aba mahusay! After that, we went to the other building to get our skis and shoes then we went out.
Tikoy was our coordinator, friend, leader, and ski instructor all rolled in one. She told us about the proper techniques when skiing–how to move, proper form and how to stop. But! I can’t quite get her instructions as I was too busy putting on my skis. Ayaw kasi talagang pumasok, pagsasasapukin ko na yung nagbigay nun e. When all of us were able to put on our skis, everyone went on their own. I was surprised with how Kath got the technique really fast. Nakakailang balik na siya di ko pa naisusuot yung ski ko langya naman. I really wanted to walk up but the thing is I can’t even put my skis on. It was frustrating.
It took an hour for me to settle things–my boots, ski, composure and everything else. But my first attempt was an epic failure. I can’t control my ski (parang may sariling buhay kaya ayun dinala nya ako sa lambat, at literal na pumasok ako sa kabila, nagmadali lang ako para di ako mahalata). Then I decided to join Kath, Mark, Tikoy, and Phoebe. Ganun kalakas ang loob ko, wala pang practice pero halfway agad ang umpisa. While Shie, Stef, and Shiela are helping each other to get a proper and clean run. When we shared photos, we found out that Stef was also caught by the same net. 😂 whew at least di ako nagsosolo.
Around 2:30, I still can’t get a clean run. Maybe because there are a lot of people during that time. And since I can’t control my ski, if someone was in my front, either that person will get hurt or I will intentionally fall. Of course I chose the latter (mabait tayo e 😇). Then there was a time when Mark and I are pushing ourselves to our limits. While walking upslope, we saw Kath had a clean run. We were in awe so we were challenged by that and we talked about some things. I’m not going to spill the beans about our talk–bro code again. Then we went to have a few runs.
It was really tiring going up with the kind of boots we had. I felt no blood flow on that part of my body. But the excitement and challenge that we committed ourselves are more important than comfort. 😂 While going up to have another run, Mark and I walked by a lady who fell on the ground. As gentleman as Mark is, he offered help to the young lady. While pulling her up, the lady’s ski was sliding towards Mark that put them in a very awkward situation. Shie and I both witnessed that. Hehe. Pare, iba yun, “you need help ba kamo?“. I actually asked the girl if I can take her picture but I guess she was quite busy putting herself together. Because after that, we didn’t see her again (yes, we were looking for her the entire time).
Since I was still having a hard time getting long clean runs, I decided to just sit down for a while and breathe. I thought I was pushing myself too hard that it made me tensed. I saw Shie and Stef chilling at the side. Iba mag-chill ‘tong mga ‘to dapat sa snow park pa. Shie and I then made snow angels but it wasn’t successful since the snow was too hard. When I finally felt that I can try again. I joined the others to the peak of slope and tried to ski all the way down. Of course I fell again–not just once bit twice–but it did not stop me. Mahirap na, may pinag-usapan kami ni Mark. Hehe.
Shie, Stef, and Shiela decided to just call it a day so they went in and had coffee. But before that, we had our group photos taken first. What’s a day without a group picture? That’s not us if we don’t have a lot of photos. Hehe.
We still had an hour according to Tikoy. So Phoebe, Mark, Kath, and I wasted no time and went up again. My legs hurt so bad that time, but when I got a clean run all the way down, oh boy I felt I had three bottles of Cobra. It was addicting. Once you get the technique, time suddenly runs faster than it used to be. I only had four more runs–once I fell but the three were successful! Great job! Tap tap! Then it was time to go, I can still see the slope but I felt a different type of nostalgia. It was time to bid the snow park goodbye.
Wait! Where was Gayle? Hahaha. Well she decided not to go to Ski Resort and settled to do a K-Pop tour on her own(K-Pop building tour would be more proper). We just met her in Myeongdong afterwards.
The group decided to split to go where we want but our group decided to stick with Tikoy. While walking around the busy streets of Myeongdong, a mascot (a very stressed Winnie the Pooh) grabbed Tikoy and offered her a lollipop. Tikoy was doing her best to untangle herself to Pooh’s arms, haha, but the mascot was pretty persuasive. The mascot was winning every battle, but in the end Tikoy won the war. That was a good laugh. 😃😃😃.
It was already past 8 so we decided to eat in a restaurant in Myeongdong. We had seafood galbi–which I tried for the first time. Given the circumstances, I whole-heartedly ate the food since it was very cold and galbi was pretty spicy. But if I were in the Philippines, there is no way I’m eating that. My palette doesn’t really like it. Though I had two cups of rice. Hehe. I just need to feel full.
After our meal, we went to guess where? A supermarket. To buy pasalubong. Again. The store was very small but if I can remember, we scoured every row more than twice. Hehe. Hindi naman nabago yung laman. In the end, we settled for guess what? Pepero. Ang hilig hilig namin sa Pepero. Medyo nakakalito pag katabi niya yung Pocky. Pepero o Pocky? Place your bet. Hehe.
We headed to the hostel after our quick shopping and finished packing for our departure the next day. I felt every tick of the clock that moment, it was so surreal. The trip was over. As we walk on Hyewha Station, things flashed back–the first night, the chicken, the -15C temperature, Stef’s series of unfortunate events, the laughters, photoshoots–the memories. A 6-day trip can really change you. It can teach you a lot of things–be more friendly and caring, to laugh at every mistake and just shrug them off, and of course to live life to the fullest. A friend once told me; when traveling, oftentimes, the people you share the moments with can outweigh the destination itself. What I am most thankful for was the four more friends I can add to my ever-growing Travel Factor peeps. I just confirmed one thing in this travel–travelers are really the friendliest and the best people you can ever meet. Tikoy, come on let’s do the next trip! Note from Shiela: To Beijing or Not to Beijing, that is the question!
How can we forget Ed Sheeran?