I woke up hearing Koreans talking. Suffering from bad withdrawal syndromes since the day I returned home from Korea (yesterday), I thought I was just dreaming. But apparently it’s true. A group of Koreans were sitting on the cold floor of NAIA terminal 3, a few meters away from me. There were too far for me to decipher what they were talking about though.
Three of the girls from the group started walking away. One of them looks like my Korean-American friend from the International Summer Session of CNU. Still half-asleep, I really thought it was her so I followed them (I realized now that it is just impossible that it’s her since she never mentioned anything about visiting the Philippines before going back to Missouri). After all I also want to head to the same direction they were all heading to – the airport convenience store – to get another cup of hot coffee because I’m freezing to death. The airport’s air conditioner seems on full blast – on a rainy day like this! >.< It’s funny how just 2 days ago me and my friends almost “died” from the heat while trying to squeeze in some last-minute sight-seeing in Seoul before I leave (literally a few hours before my flight).
Anyway, as expected the girl is not my Korean-American friend.
I passed by them and I can’t help but smile after hearing them convert the prices to 천원 or some 백원 and all together squeal “싸다 싸다” while checking the prices of items. It brings me back to the day I first arrived in Korea a little more than 40 days ago (was it really more than 40 days ago already?). Like them I went to a G25 convenience store in the airport, converted the prices of the items to Philippine currency, but ended up putting things back on the shelves while muttering “너무 비싸요!”
Now they are back with the items they’ve hoarded from the convenience store and happily munching on some snacks. I wish I can see and hear their reactions when they get out of the airport and see the real prices of stuff here in the Philippines. The airport prices, just like on any other airports, are a bit more expensive than outside shops/markets.
I’ve been staying in NAIA airport for more than 24 hours now because of floods everywhere and I’m running out of money. I only prepared enough cash for a direct travel back home from the airport – not for camping out in the airport (plus I have to get hot coffee every hour else I’ll freeze to death). When my wallet’s gone empty (except for a few coins both in won and peso), I realized that I can still withdraw some money from my ATM. An amount that all Korean ATMs ignore can be withdrawn from any Philippine ATM machine. And it could still get me a couple of decent meals (or even 4~5 for-survival food). I was also wishing there’s some instant rice too in the convenience stores here because I have some canned chicken with me. Then I realized that fast food stores sells what we call “extra rice” which were half the price of the cheapest (on sale) instant rice in Korea.
If there’s one thing I like in the Philippines more than Korea, it’s the cost of living. In Korea the money I brought with me suddenly lost it value. Now that I’m back in the Philippines the coins that I got used to ignore in Korea is enough to feed me and keep me warm for more than 24 hours now.
Nonetheless, I still miss you Korea. ㅠㅠ