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Archive for the ‘Life in South Korea’ Category

Nothing is more beautiful than a clear day of summer in Korea. I love the start of summer. After long, freezing, and chilling time of winter, at last summer has started in South Korea. Though it has started long time ago but, damn it,  I was too busy with my studies that I hardly had time to notice it:).No doubt Korea is a beautiful country but its beauty magnifies hundred times  in summer.

The last semester of university always brings responsibility and tough study times with a mix feelings of fear and happiness. I’m passing through this time. Last week was the toughest of my master studies. After finishing the final presentation of master thesis, I decided to visit as many beautiful places in Korea as possible.

To start my expedition, I planned a day with three  friends: Aamir, Umair, and Sarmad, to visit those parts of Seoul that attract  the maximum tourists. After scrutinizing through a list, our guide Aamir finalized three places: Seoul tower, Myoeongdong, and Han river. We had no other option to say yes as the plan seemed perfect. I wanted to include Itaewon to this list but it was not possible to go everywhere in one day.

So here we go on a stroll through Seoul.

L to R:  Sarmad, Aamir, and Umair. I’m behind the camera.

It was a beautiful day of summer, 25th of May to be exact; though it was not a sunny day but the weather was clear.

1) Seoul Tower: Our first destination was Seoul tower. The best thing about Seoul tower is, you can see most of the prominent parts(yeah I’m a bit exaggerating) of the city from Seoul tower in just one view.

We took the cable car to reach the tower. You could also hike if you are not a lazy bone like us.

There are some sitting places in the surrounding of this tower where  people were sitting and enjoying the fresh breeze of summer when we got there. Some people also took the elevator inside the tower to reach the peak but we preferred to fool around here.

The city of Seoul from Seoul tower

Love locks at Seoul tower

2) Myeoungdong: Our next stop was myeongdong. It is one of the busiest shopping places of Seoul. Its streets are always full of  people.

A busy street of myeongdong

We had a fish burger at burger king there. Meanwhile Sarmad and Umair were busy doing shopping, when aamir and I were enjoying window shopping. After everyone got tired with his business, we headed for our final destination, Han river.

On the way to Han river

3) Han river: The beauty of Seoul is incomplete without Han river. We spent one and  half hour there lying on the bank of the river.

A view of Han river. On the left is Banpo bridge while Seoul tower could be seen in the front view.

The effect of cool breeze, the soothing sound of water hitting the shore, the beautiful colors of cars and buildings’ lights making reflections in river water, and the illuminating view of  Seoul, altogether hypnotized our tired minds.

I was satisfied with my day as I had captured some beautiful pics.

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We were one, the three people were sharing the same feelings. When the two representatives of the Hanyang university’s weekly newspaper asked me, “Why did you set up this camp?”; I said, “To help those people who are poor, weak and helpless“; i saw into the eyes of the two representatives (a guy and a girl) one by one and  it was the moment when we three people were sharing the same feelings of grief and sympathy for all those unlucky people affected very badly by the worst ever floods in Pakistan.It was Friday, the last day of a 3-day donation collecting camp which we set up at the Hanyang university in South Korea to collect donations for the flood victims in Pakistan. I was one of the volunteers working for this great cause.

Though it was not easy at start to set up such a camp but when the intentions are sincere and strong, nothing can hinder  your way; so we set up the camp with the coordination of the university administration, the students union and the volunteers (Korean and Pakistani students). We collected enough money for the flood victims.

It was a wonderful experience for me. During these three days, dozens of students and professors shared their oneness with me. I felt connected with every one who came to the camp, donated money and wrote messages to the flood affected people. The students would come and would offer their volunteer intentions to help in collecting the donations. It was then when we all would feel as one – tightly connected with one another and with all those flood victims whom we don’t know, but whose sorrows and troubles do we share.

It was the first time in my life when everyone would appreciate me and my friends. I felt so good. People who passed by our camp would throw a smiley look – full of appreciation and the shared feelings of being connected.

I was convinced in these three days that the world, we live in, is not that bad as we often talk of it. There are still lot of people who want to feel the troubles of others and help them in heeling their sorrows. By and large, everyone wants to be connected with all human beings on our small planet. But  sometimes we are very wrong in making our minds about all  collective people based on our tiny bad experiences- with few people- occur at some unlucky moments of time.

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After a long process of crucial thinking and having survey about  my future career, i took the decision to go for MS in Computer Engineering. Luckily I got a Pakistani government  scholarship and got admission at Hanyang University in South Korea. A new life in a different culture and with strange people(everything was strange for me that time) started when I arrived in South Korea.

It was August 26, 2009.  I had already some friends in the university where I got admission and truth be told,  they helped me a lot in settling down but still it took me some time  to got familiar with the new environment.

Now, when I am writing this post, I have been much more acquainted with the Korean people and their society. My first semester has been finished successfully and these days I have winter vacations. During this time I have come across many wonderful experiences and enjoyable trips, which I would share on my blog.

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