A “Date” With A Stranger
Love, revelation and friendships are the words I would use to describe the wonderful experience I had in South Korea. Before I started my journey around the world, I knew I wanted the year to be more about the connections that I made with others, rather than the things that I would see. Three days into my stay in Busan I met a man, named Mr. Kim, on the subway platform. [I say Mr. out of respect because he could be my dad :)] I was heading back to my guest house in Haeundae, and he was heading home after a long day of hiking with a few friends. A little confused as to whether or not I was standing on the right side of the track, I asked for his assistance. We were both heading in the same direction so we ended up conversing on the train about my travel plans, career and Busan. He then went on to share the details of his day and how he enjoyed his time hiking with some old friends.
A few minutes passed before my stop was approaching and Mr. Kim asked if we could have tea. I must admit, at first I was a little hesitant as to whether or not I should say yes. I mean, a random stranger, different country and by myself, I’d like to think those concerns are normal. (smile) In that moment, I remember feeling at peace and open to the adventure, so I gladly accepted the invitation. We walked around Haeundae beach for a few minutes, looking for a specific coffee shop, before deciding that the overpriced Starbucks would be just fine. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you all that we talked about, however I will say that we had a lovely conversation about life and our beliefs – him as a Buddhist and me a Christian. I have no intensions on becoming a Buddhist, however it was nice to be able to ask the questions that I’ve always pondered about those that practice Buddhism.
In the midst of our conversation, I remember thinking how awesome it is to just converse with someone on a topic that could, in many times, be a very sensitive subject to discuss with those that may not necessarily share the same beliefs. Why is that? I would love to hear your thoughts.
After coffee, Mr. Kim asked me if I’ve ever had a private a fire work show? I wasn’t quite sure what he was referring to until we started walking closer to the man on the corner, whom just so happen to have a cart full of fireworks. Again, I felt a little uneasy about saying yes to something neither Mr. Kim nor myself had ever done before, but I said yes anyway. Yes, to ignoring the feeling of fear and no, to missing out on the opportunity to create new memories with beautiful people. We walked across the street to the beach and down to the water, close enough to see the tide come in, but far enough to ensure the water couldn’t reach the firecracker, planted in the sand by Mr. Kim. Two minutes later, the fire cracker is less than a boom and bang and more like a loud screeching that forgot to pop. I guess we had to pay more for the big boom. LOL
New places, new memories and new people, there will be more to come on Korea and of course Japan, my first country. Enjoy
Lots of luv,