July 25, 2009

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Korean friends in Maribor

I will be a tour guide for the first time today

Today I will be a tour guy for 4 Koreans, who visit my hometown Maribor. I know one of them from the internet, the other 3 are his friends. They are all students between 20 and 24 years old. They decided to backpack across half of Europe, starting in Seoul and flying to Prague. Then they stayed three days and went on to Vienna, where they stayed two days. After that, they came to Graz, that was yesterday. Today they'll cross the Austrian border and come to Maribor. It will be in the afternoon. They'll be here only 4 hours. Luckily the town is small and we will have just enough time to see the main sights. Well, nice. I just saw it started to rain. I hope it'll stop by the time they're here. It's no fun walking around in umbrellas...
I hope they will have a good time here. I've never been a tour guide to people who came from so far and I don't really know them. I showed my ex around the town, that's all. But a group? Nope. Not yet. It will be an interesting experience and I will blog about it after I return from the tour.

Maribor's cathedral stolnica.

Gosposka street, Maribor.

Wow, they came earlier as expected. 3h earlier. I wasn't ready, so when they called me, I said I needed like half an hour. I had to take a quick shower, dress up and rush off to town. There they were at the train station with lots of back packs. We said hi, stuffed luggage in our Ford Focus and the trunk was just big enough. Then I drove them to our biggest shopping mall, where I could park my car for free. After that we went on the sightseeing tour across Maribor. I guess I was good, because I planned that we make one big circle around the whole center and inclueded all the main sights. They snapped a lot of pics, the weather was a bit cloudy, but sometimes the clouds would go away and it became very hot with a blue sky. It was hot for them, but they like it for snapping photos. They were impressed and told me that they didn't expect Maribor or Slovenia to be so nice. They were impressed with our main attraction: The 400 years old vine, the oldest vine in the world. After we saw that, I treated them some beer and we relaxed in the shade. We had some nice conversations, I guess it served me well that I know many things about Korea, which made them crack up few times. Time went by so fast. After beer, we set off back to the shopping mall. I kept telling them about Maribor's history and they liked it. While we were walking on the street, I took out my handphone and played some Lee Hyo-ri mp3s and some other Korean songs, which made them laugh out loud.

Castle square/Grajski trg.

Back in the mall, I helped them buy some stuff and then I asked them, if they want to eat something. I was hungry, I skipped lunch, so they followed me. I kept asking them to tell me where they wanna go, but they always followed me. That's what I call a very easy to handle tour participant, hehe. Anyway, we went to that restaurant where you put together your own menu, it's part a buffet and part where you order the main dish. It was funny when all four of them looked at those chicken drums and sausages and had to decide what to pick. The cook explained to me what is everything and I translated. Took us five people about 5 or more minutes, there were some people lining up behind us. But once 1 ordered something, another one wanted same and it went fast from there on. So we ate a while and then just chatted from Korean to world politics, from travel to recession and Korean girls. I got some nice info about the latter. I asked them, whether Korean girls were hard to please, they replied unanimously: Yes! Oh boy, that's bad. I asked: Why? They said they always want to be treated, wherever you go. They want to be like princess, so you need to buy stuff for them and everytime you go out, you need to drive them back to their front door. And then I added: Are they generally loyal? Again, an unanimous no. Oh, boy, that's bad again. I told them, that they basically shattered my whole image on Korean girls. They laughed and I had to ask again, was it really that bad? Well, aparently one guy was cheated by his ex, but he said that not all are as bad (of course I know that). Times have changed in Korea and now you probably don't have any security, same as in the West. I also asked if there's many Westerners having Korean girls and they said yes. I asked why is that. First answer was: Westerners are big. And not shy. Well, these guys were small and seemed a bit reserved at the first glance. But they were pretty cool when we got to know each other better. So, after the relaxing conversations, I drove them back to the train station and they gave me this gift (see pic on right). I unvrapped it at home, it's a nice Haruhana memo pad with some very artsy pics.
I can't use it, it looks too nice to be spoiled by my scribblings. They also gave me a pin with some buddhist symbol, I don't know. I will ask what it is. I will probably go to Ljubljana tomorrow, to show guide them there.
They gave me tons of compliments, I guess that made me feel good.

Read about guiding Korean friends around Ljubljana here>>

[All photos taken by Hwan, 2009]


  1. I'm glad to hear you had a good time with those guys. I guess your fears were for nothing! I didn't know you guys had a 400 year old vine in Maribor.

    Also, the information about the Korean girls is interesting too. I suppose as the world globalizes more, those old stereotypes of a traditional Asian girl will become more and more outdated.

    I wonder how it is that they feel they should be treated constantly?

  2. @Tales, Yea, you never know about these things how they turn out. Glad this one turned out nice.
    Well, I needed to ask about Korean girls, especially because so many of us blogged about it lately. I guess I will ask them out tomorrow about more Korean stuff, so I can blog about it.
    They basically said men has to pay for everything there. Here in Europe depends. Usually if one treats one time, the other one treats the next time, regardless the gender. I guess it's different there. Anyway, I'd probably wouldn't wanna be with someone who'd expect me to treat always and to buy stuff for her always. I like it when it's not compulsory, but optional. Don't you feel good when you treat someone that doesn't expect it? Or when you buy a gift that is unexpected? I think it has more charm.

  3. i'm glad you enjoyed their visit and i'm sure they enjoyed it too, happy memories for everyone!
    my father was in the Royal Navy and always said that the girls from Singapore were by far the best but i'm not sure if he ever visited Korea.

  4. @adamantixx, thanx. I'll probably go and guide them around our capital city tomorrow, so I hope that'll be nice as well.

    As for your father's remarks: I think those were the good old times. Singaporean girls are not what they used to be. I used to stay in Singapore for few months and you have all kinds of girls, like here. Asia is globalized.

  5. Korea has some of THE hottest asian actors around! XD

  6. @Nashe^, I agree, plus singers and models. I like Korea :)


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