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On Arrival in Korea :the longest 1 and a half hours ever

23 Dec

(Shohei Nakamura)

As many of you know, I arrived in Korea, on the 14th of December, 2010. I had some images about Korea before I came here. Many people understand English, weather cold, food delicious, people korean, smell of Kimchi…

As I came outside of the Busan Airport building, however, the first thing that came up to my mind was “Oh my god it’s not so cold as I expected!”

Indeed, it was not cold at all!!



Throughout an hour and a half that I had to spend until the shuttle bus came, it got colder and colder and colder… AND COLDER. I met a Japanese woman and had a nice chat with her outside until her bus came. But I still had nobody to share the harsh coldness with. Yes, she was from Sapporo. (She actually said it was a bit warmer in here.)

No sooner had she left the airport, than I ran inside the building and got a hot canned coffee at Seven Eleven there. (For the precise  information, my first shopping in Korea was a cup of Coke that I bought earlier at a burger place across the hall.) Inside the building I waited, I waited, I waited, I waited… And I WAITED. Finally the bus arrived and I got in.

What a RELIEF!!

The bad thing was, that I had not been to the toilet ever since I stepped onto the land of the Republic of Korea.


The bus started off. I was excited. Maybe because of a load of caffeine that i took in earlier. (Coke*1+Coffee*3) That thing itself, was a good thing. Not often can one enjoy the excitement for the forthcoming jurney like a five-year-old kid.

The bad thing was, that caffeine had that famous side-effect.


It was a shuttle bus that starts from Busan airport and takes you to the city of Daegu via Highway, which takes approximately 1 hour and a half, which, eventually, turns out to be the longest one and a half hours I have ever had in my life.

It had been only about 15 minuites since the bus departed, when I recognized something coming up to my head. It could have been some other one. It could have. There are as many as 26 letters amongst the English alphabet yet instead of any other characters, it was the 16th letter that did come up. (or down, technically?) Suddenly my head was occupied with the “p” word. I could no longer think about anything else.

You may think, that it would not be a huge matter. And yes, so did I. I thought I could handle this at the moment. Well, it”s just “p” I’m not PHYSICALLY 5 years old however I thought about the trip in a way that a kid would do! But sometimes, you know, if you come up with a concern, sometimes it just grows and grows and grows within your mind until it comes true and becomes a REAL problem. Once I got occupied by the idea, it never slipped off of my head and just grew bigger, bigger and bigger.

By the time it had been 30 minuites since the departure, that “P” word, had already started torturing me. I knew VERY well that it is not a good idea in this sort of occasion to take a look at the time frequently. So I tried not to do that. But still, that strategy did not make things any better. I tried not to see the time for what I thought was at least 15 minuites. But the actual time elapsed had been no more than 3 minuites. I gave up and started thinking about something else. Something that is not related to the “thing”. But I soon found out how difficult it was. I applied a far easier method: Try to think of a WORD that does not start with P. You never imagine how I was amazed at the fact that I could not even do this. One every three words that I came up with started with P.

When I finished applying all these methods, it had been… say… 5 minuites since the “P” word with a capital P came into play. By then it was 35 minuites since the departure, which leaves 55 minuites until the arrival at Daegu. I started moving my body a little bit so as not to compress the “bladder” very hard.

I almost gave up on the way… not once…

I do not remember how I managed to got out of the bus. I remember myself getting off of the bus at the Daegu bus terminal. I quickly picked up the luggage and rushed to the busdriver. By then my bladder was about to explode in any minuite, for hours. I even felt like passing out.

However, I knew what I had to say.

Me: “Could I ask where the toilet is?”

Driver: “Huh??”

Me: “Where’s the toilet??”

D: “What??” (This is what I think he was saying in Korean.)

Me: “Where. Is. The. TOILET!!”

D: “Ah… NO!” (Arms spread, head insistently shaking… As if he was claiming that he did not understand what I said at all.)

Me: “Toilet! Toilet! T.O.I.L.E.T!!”

D: (Same reaction)


D: Started ignoring me.

It was amazing that there exists a Korean person who does not even understand the word “toilet”, but anyway, then there was just one Japanese guy left out in a near-yet-far country, with his bladder pumping.

This was a very long story that happened within just a hour and a half. How it came to an end, I cannot tell to the public. If there should be any body who has read this all through down to the bottom, I will tell you in person how this looong story actually ended.

Sorry guys, I gotta go p.



I picked some persimmons and I made a poem.

21 Oct

I (Shohei) picked some persimmon fruits which are right beside my room. And I came up with a poem about it. Hope you guys like it. It’s written in ancient Japanese.





Coming home, looking out the window, I see the west hills have already started to change their colours. The best season of the year is getting closer! Soon I came to wonder if the persimmons were ripe beside the window. Indeed they were. So I reached out of my window, picking a fruit, being a bit worried if it was going to get dark soon. And then I came up with this poem.

My room west window

Reaching out a reddened hand

Some persimmons I pick

(With the view with coloured leaves behind)

And I wished I had someone to share that persimmon with.


19 Sep

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