July 27, 2009

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Korean friends in Ljubljana

Being a guide for the second day

Monument to Rudolf Maister, our general.

This was my second day as tour guide for my Korean friends. It was Sunday and I was about to show them our capital city Ljubljana. I came to Ljubljana in the afternoon, around 3pm, because they were visiting our beautful Bled. So we met at the trainstation and then headed towards the centre. The city was virtually empty. The only people left were tourists. It was hot and dry, so it was quite tiring to walk so much. But anytime I asked them, if they want to see some building that was a bit far off, they said yes.

Zavarovalnica Triglav building, designed by Plečnik.

The highlight was Ljubljana's Old town and the castle. While walking around thru the old narrow streets, I saw trouble ahead. There was a bunch of people, maybe 2 or 3, on bikes and one of them was shouting and harrassing passers-by. He had a golf club in his hand. And guess what? He was a skinhead. Now imagine I pass by with four Koreans. Luckily I saw a street on the left and I started walking faster and telling some stories to them, to distract them. Those assholes became louder and louder and I was afraid that they might follow us. Luckily they didn't. I remember that while these Koreans were in Austria, they told me someone look at them strangely and they didn't like it there. Then you can imagine how nervous I was that maybe some idiot says or does something stupid. Fortunately, everything was fine. Later I asked them, if they saw any people who would look at them strangely here. They said no. Pheeewww... I was relieved. Then we went up on the castle and they snapped some nice panoramic photos of Ljubljana.

Miklošičeva street.

The time for my departue came nearer. I had to go back home at 19.45, if I took some other train, it would be a very slow train and I'd come home late. And they were tired, too. So while we walked back to the train station, there was this girl like 50m infront of us. She was walking very slowly in high heels, she had shorts and a black yet transparent shirt on. Her body was amazing, I thought she was a model... and how he butt swung... wow... We were walking faster than her, so we caught up with her near the train station. All of us were waiting for the green light and I saw that she was checking us out. Maybe we were just a funny group: 4 Asians and a white guy, talking in English. Anyway, we crossed the road faster and the guys were hungry, so we went straight to McDonald's. 1 min later, she was in there, too. Maybe just a coincidence. The guys ordered some big menues, while she just ordered a small burger and sat very close to our table (hmm, I wonder). Eric said: She's hot. I said: Yea. Eric is the oldest one, he's the only one who smokes. He looks like a cool guy who would pick up a girl. Well, they were so busy with food and I busy with them, that the girl left and nobody, besides me, noticed. So Eric suddenly wondered: Where is she? She's gone, I replied. He was disappointed. Well, I never asked, if he would talked to her, but he might. We'll never know now.

Anyhow. After McD, we went for a beer and chatted like 1h. It was fun. They told me a lot about Korea and I told them things about Europe. Time just flew by and we had to say good bye. They told me they had a great time in Slovenia, better than expected and they thanked me a lot. It made me feel good that I was appreciated. But we had to part and I was kindly invited to go to Korea next time. I hope I will, because I always wanted to go (Update: And I did!).

Some more photos from that day:


The Franciscan church.

The old railway station of Ljubljana. A new one is being built.

From left to right: Hwan, Eric, Justin and Peter.

What happened after the trip: Interestingly, Hwan (actually Kim Tae-Hwan), who was my friend for many years, suddenly unfriended me, when he returned back to Korea. It didn't happen right after the trip, but gradually over the summer and autumn of 2009. We were still fine in September, but in October he became distant and started to blame me for some things. It was right at that time, where I met my current girlfriend Lily and spent more time with her online and less with him. I thought a friend would understand that, but apparently, he didn't. He slowly blocked me in his emails, Twitter and Facebook (as Patrick Kim). He also kept changing his Western name from Shayne to Patrick to Simon... He deleted his blog, locked all profiles and stopped replying to all my questions. First I was surprised and didn't know what was going on, then I begged him to give me an answer why is he doing that, then I was angry and tried to spite. But I guess I never really got over this weird move. He adored me, called me hyong (big brother), he was so happy to meet and he promised me to guide me in Seoul, if I come to visit. Then he suddenly unfriends me and pretends like I don't even exist! And I was so nice to him, tour guided him around Maribor and Ljubljana, drove him and his friends around and even treated them few times. I don't regret that at all, but I would expect a little respect from him. Before going to Seoul this May, I begged him to meet me and to help me find my way. Guess what? He just ignored me. Just ignored and pretended I don't even exist and I went to Korea just to meet him. All his promises from the past faded away. And he tries so hard to have a good face (especially at AISEC Korea, where he's active), but what he did to me was beyond disgraceful. I'm still disappointed.

[All photos by MKL, 2009]


  1. Sounds like you narrowly avoided disaster. They wouldn't have thought so highly of Slovenia if they'd had an altercation with the skinhead moron.

    I wonder why there are still people like that around? They're ridiculous.

  2. Oh and by the way, I miss looking around castles. I used to do that all the time when I lived in Germany. We even took school field trips to castles. I don't remember which ones anymore because that was so long ago, but I remember how amazing it all seemed.

  3. wow. I never thought discrimination is still bad out there ... I mean really bad like that to threaten and hurt people?! I mean, this is 2009?!!! Hello?! People do exist outside their world and they don't look all the same, we have black, white, yellow, blue, green whatever kind of people they have not met yet, the world has it!!! So, yeah ... move on now.

    I think traveling is the best way to get educated about the world ... it's ignorance to the lowest form to be racist!

  4. How do you pronounce Ljubljana? God.. I find it hard to even spell it.

  5. @TalesOC, Yea, it was very close... Ljubljana is pretty bad with those. I mean, it's not like there's many, but they can be annoying. I actually didn't see all of them, I was so focused on the one who swung the club while riding a bike and being noisy. I made the perfect move, so it didn't look like we're taking a detour because of them.
    Yea, I like castles, too.

  6. @Sassy Scribbles, well it's still out there. Basically what I described is nothing, just 2 or 3 morons. We don't have a 'big' problem with those pinheads, but if you go to some bigger countries in Europe or even worse, to Russia, they are pretty violent there. If I was Asian, I'd try to avoid places like that. So I hope you don't think my country is full of neo-nazis. They are really a small small minority, usually a bunch of losers harassing people sometimes. I showed my girlfriend, who was Asian, around many times, we never met these people, nor we had any problems with racism. I'm just always afraid that an individual makes the whole country look bad. Because people remember 1 bad encounter more than 100 good ones.
    But what you said I totally agree. 2009 and still have so stupid people. It's sick!

  7. @Jerine, it's easy to pronounce for me. You just need some practice. It's something like:


    It's just that the sounds 'L' and 'Y' come together, something like if you'd pronounced

    I TELL YA together - TELLYA

    Ok? :)

  8. Geddit. So basically just change the J to Y. That sounds Spanish!

  9. Yes, yes. Spanish language has it, Swedish, all Slavonic languages like Russian... It's common here, but not easy for English speakers.

  10. ot but is that really your picture? you're really pretty (like an ulzzang, you know?)! :)

  11. @Skittley, WTF? These are the 4 Koreans I guided, I'm not in the photo, I took the photo of them. Who is ulzzang and what gender are you? I guess you won't drop by here again :)

  12. and you never got a pic of the girl!!!
    your friends look like nice guys but i'd still have liked to see the girl too!

  13. @adamantix, she was a goddess. Like a model, tall, blue eyes, sexy... well, i didn't snap a photo, i didn't talk to her... bummer :(

  14. It's always easy to say "You should have talked to her!" but it's harder when you're right there next to her, isn't it? Hehe.

  15. @Nashe^, it usually is. But with the Koreans, I could say something like: The guys want to know your name... and then the conversation would go on... But she was so gorgeous, I just automatically excluded her from the list of people I'd have a chance with. Besides, after the break up, I am so unfocused on new women. Just don't feel like engage with anyone new, not even picking up a conversation with a beautiful stranger.

  16. I'm kinda curious as to what an ulzzang is too, and why some nub came here and commented without actually reading the article...

  17. @TalesOC, I asked my Korean friend and he said 'ulzzang' means gorgeous for female and handsome for male. It's a very good word and a big compliment. I don't know who that guy is who commented that, haha. It's funny though. I wonder why some people comment, but don't stick around more often...

  18. Eh. Maybe they just happened on that one post, dropped a comment and took off. Maybe he forgot to subscribe? Who knows.

  19. When I read your latest post, I saw the link of this old post, and I clicked in, read this post and the comments again.

    Really interesting...last year you didn't feel like engage with someone and was unfocused on a new woman, that was the matter of 2009, July. And in this year, you have another girl and she visited you in Aug, 2010.

    Don't you think it's funny? If that time you went there and talked to the hot model-like girl, then the things now would be totally different. :-)

  20. @Lily: Hahhaha.. you think too much. So many things could have happened, but they haven't :P Just take it easy, ya ;)


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