Lost in Fukuoka.

Konbanwa from Fukuoka, Japan!

And in true Agent P fashion, I got lost on my first night in Fukuoka. :rotflmao:

The flight was uneventful – save for that seatmate that badly needed a shower, who thankfully transferred seats as the flight was not full – and I got to the hotel just fine. Everything was progressing smoothly, until I was left to my own volition to look for dinner.

My companions flew in earlier so I had to do this alone. My friend did give me specific instructions on how to go to her recommended ramen place, but since I’m terribly geographically-challenged, I didn’t find it. :boinkself:

I did find a ramen alley – I just don’t know if this is THE ramen alley that my friend was talking about – but I didn’t find the specific ramen place that she suggested. After traversing that alley three times, I just decided to follow the locals, gritted my teeth and attempted to use that famous ramen ordering machine. Hey, it has pictures. I know how to use the touch screen. There were little notes in English next to the machine with short instructions and warnings on how to use it. It won’t be that bad, right?

Err not really. The actual display was purely in Japanese. :nailbite: I just tapped on whatever ramen that looked good in pictures, inserted my money on the machine and waited for the order slip and my change to come out. That part went well.

I glanced at what the other diners were doing and saw that they just gave the order slip to the restaurant staff as soon as they sat down on their chosen seat. I did the same and waited for my food.

Meanwhile, I got thirsty from all that walking. I saw this water dispenser in front of me and attempted to fetch some water.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Now, what?

After much contemplation and inner turmoil with my throat getting more and more parched due to frustration, I finally found the courage to ask the Japanese guy on my right to teach me how to use the tap. I furtively tried using sign language, which he responded to… in perfectly good English. :lmao:

What’s even funnier is, the Japanese businessman on my left was also fluent in English and was even teaching his companions – who turned out to be a group of visitors from Southeast Asia – on proper ramen etiquette. :lol: He taught me some pointers, too.

When my order arrived, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I was aiming for tonkotsu, which this? Was definitely NOT.

Fortunately, it was yummy. The broth was clear and refreshing, and the noodles had the exact chewiness that I wanted.

So I guess, getting lost wasn’t really bad after all.

After dinner, I took this photo of the menu posted outside the restaurant. I think what I eventually had was the Tanrei Ramen.

===

After a couple of missed turns, I managed to successfully return to the hotel unharmed and not too lost. My room has a complimentary phone which I can use to make local calls and surf the internet while in Fukuoka. I actually brought the phone with me in case I needed to be rescued by my friends. When I got back to my room and returned the phone to its cradle, I burst out laughing at what’s written on it.

TAKE ME OUT, I’M YOUR TRAVEL BUDDY. NEVER WORRY ABOUT ROAMING CHARGES OR GETTING LOST.

Well, I took it out. But I didn’t use it. Hence, I got lost. :boinkself:

===

To cap off Day 1 in Fukuoka, I had my cup of coffee before going to bed. My room has complimentary coffee/tea facilities, which I expected to be those little packets of instant coffee, sugar and cream. I took the coffee packet out, and…

Wait. This isn’t 3-in-1. :ehh:

I flipped it over, and heaved a sigh of relief.

Whew! Thank goodness for tourist-friendly facilities.

I have a feeling this trip is going to be so full of misadventures. I’m so excited! :hihihi:

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Magic words.

Hello! It’s been a while. I’ve been buried under piles and piles of garbage reports as it’s peak season at work right now. :stretcher: I barely have time to sleep, much more enjoy a hobby.

I just want to share something amusing that happened to me here at the office just a few moments ago…

An employee of my client agency offered to sell me some food supplements (juice and capsules), trying to entice me by using the magic words: “LOSE WEIGHT, FAST AND SAFE”. She said many of her colleagues have been using the product, and one by one they started parading their ‘brand-new selves’ in front of me. Of course, I’m new here so I’m really not sure how much have changed from their old selves to their brand new selves. Anyway, I would have been interested, not because of the losing weight part, but because with this new assignment wherein I have to travel a minimum of two hours per trip, I would need all the supplements I could get to boost my physical and mental energy.

And then, maybe in another attempt to get a successful sale out of me, she uttered more magic words: “pag ininom mo ito, mawawalan ka ng ganang kumain! (if you take this capsule, you will lose your appetite!)”

:kilay:

You could pretty much tell what happened next.

===

Postscript:

I couldn’t imagine how my life would be if I started taking supplements to suppress my appetite :ayaw: and then I made my client happy and they send me these:

Hearty afternoon merienda. #thankyousasponsor #okoy #lumpia #camotefries #pandesal #food #foodie #foodporn

A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on

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The Garden Tour.

For a supposedly experienced traveler, I am geographically-challenged. I am really bad at directions. I tend to go left when I should be going right, and I wouldn’t find out until I’ve already gone too far in the wrong direction.

That is why I was extra-careful when I was planning my trip to Chuncheon to visit the two gardens, namely Jade Garden and Garden of Morning Calm. I went to Korea with Charity and Mommy Chie, but they both begged off to go with me to the Gardens as they have already visited Jade Garden last year and didn’t want to go there again. But since these two have been in my bucket list of places to visit at in Korea during autumn, I felt that I absolutely MUST go there. Heck, if the whole trip turns out to be a misadventure, at least I have something to blog about. :hihihi: We just decided that I’ll meet up with them wherever they will be by the time I return to Seoul.

Armed with a sizable load on my T-Money card, prepaid mobile WiFi (more on this later) in case I needed to contact my friends later on, and what I thought was ample research on transport options and their respective time tables, I went on a tour of the gardens of Chuncheon. Alone.

chuncheon-jadegarden

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Today, in a nutshell.

Today, I went to the South Korea embassy to submit my visa application.

Travel time from my house to the MRT: approx. 45 minutes
MRT ride from North Avenue to Guadalupe: 30-35 minutes (surprise, no queue and the train is not packed like expensive sardines!)
Time spent looking for an FTI/Tenement/C5 jeepney: 25 minutes
Time spent before the jeepney was able to escape traffic at Guadalupe Market: 35 minutes (!!!)
Jeepney ride from Guadalupe to the South Korea embassy at McKinley Hill: 15 minutes
Time spent to have my document intially screened and get a queue number: 3 minutes
Time spent waiting for my queue: 1 hour and 5 minutes (with some entertainment on the side :naughty: )
Time spent at Window No. 3 to submit my application and get a claim stub: 10 seconds. Yes, SECONDS.
Taxi ride from the embassy to Farmer’s Market, Cubao: a little over one and a half hours
Time spent to grab a quick lunch: 20 minutes
Time spent at National Bookstore to buy books 2 and 3 of the Maze Runner trilogy: 37 minutes :grin:
Time spent waiting for a bus to go back to my office in Bulacan: 45 minutes :aargh:
Travel time from Cubao to Bocaue Exit: less than 40 minutes
Time spent waiting for the damn jeepney to move from Bocaue Exit: 5 minutes
Jeepney ride from Bocaue Exit to Bocaue intersection: 2 minutes
Time spent waiting for the damn jeepney to move from Bocaue intersection: 7 minutes
Jeepney ride from Bocaue intersection to Balagtas: 5 minutes.

I wasted so much time today. :wall:

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Agent P, the navigator – Part 2.

From Bongeunsa Temple, our next stop is the Cheongdam-dong area for some agency-hopping. It’s the first time for Tita Cheeh to visit the entertainment agencies, but for Tita Ruby, she has been there before. She was with us when we tried to search for The Missing JTune Office in 2010. But I promised them that even if I’m only playing this by ear as I didn’t review the directions before leaving, the J Tune thing will not happen again. Or so I thought. :dizzy:

I was thinking of ways to reach Cheongdam-dong from Bongeunsa without walking all the way back to Samseong station (it will be quite a long walk from Bongeunsa). I know that Samseong-dong and Cheongdam-dong are (relatively) near each other. Way back in 2006, we walked all the way from JYPE office (which is in Cheongdam), to Samseong-dong, to Bongeunsa, to COEX. But we were with our Korean friend Helena at the time so we didn’t get lost. This year, I got lost inside COEX Mall; do you honestly think I will dare try to figure out the way from Bongeunsa to JYPE on foot? And on blistered feet at that??

The answer came up when we got out of Bongeunsa’s main gate: there was a bus stop. :cheer:
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