Friday, September 12, 2008

Korea (S)

Korean langueage used to be a foreign thing. 8TV always show the korean drama series in Mandarin so, the language was not appreciated much. Ever since I started watching the series on DVDs, courtesy of my dear friend, Yat, I had started to learn and like the language and the culture and thus the country. And now, I have the yearning to go and visit Korea. I had even started a "Visit to Korea" fund for the family. Promised the children that we will go to Korea winter next year to play with snow and so much more, once Umi had saved enough money.

2 programs that I coordinated and is still coordinating with another colleague from Petronas brought me closer to Korea. Assoc. Prof Park Doo Yong, who had contributed so much to the professional association that I had a big role in its formation and growth - MIHA, become the one and only Korean that I know of professionally and personally. Almost once a year since 2004, we arrange a course that gave him the opportunity to contribute to the association and also bring his whole family over for vacation. Always, everytime whenever they're here, the wife will bring me some gifts. The first year was origami paper set which was very popular in Korea. And then, some toys, aeroplane set in the 2nd year. I can't recall what's next but the latest, late July this year, I've got beautiful Guy Laroche towel set. Knowing that we had problems to gather participants for the course this time, he even offered to teach for free! Such hospitality is hard to get. That shows the giving culture that people of this country have. And that's what I saw when I watched korean drama. Similar to ours, "buah tangan" is a must have when visiting. The gracious and polite way of talking to the elders no matter how hurt you are with the words that the elders said to you. I believed what they portray is part of their culture even though it's all just a show/entertainment.

I'm now given the opportunity to learn what Korea has to offer in Industrial Hygiene to Malaysian. On top of it being a learning trip, it would give me the opportunity to visit the country that I had come to learn and like -- heck, I even bought 2 books on korean language and phrases! Now come to the point of whether I would be able to go or not. Since I am very new to the company, it's not really justificable for them to sponsor me for this trip but they do support on me going and other than monetary support, I could get other support like, unpaid leaves. But then, would my husband allow me to go if its on my own cost? I knew what the answer would be. What would be the outcome of this trip for me? I guess more development in my profession as Industrial Hygienist - the few lots in this country. Is it more of personal development or more beneficial for the company? Maybe both, not to mention to the association and Malaysia as a whole...I'm deviating. Now, how can I justify and get the permission. My husband already said "suka hati ayang..kalau tak bagi pun ayang pergi jugak, nak buat apa tanya lagi!". Well, I do really want to go, even though I would feel guilty leaving the family behind for a week, but the urge to go is stronger - they will be fine.... But when my husband said that I know he is very reluctant of me going and at this point wouldn't want to care anymore. I would say this study trip would be online with what I wanted to do once I am done with working. I want to go into writing and teaching, and this experience would be most valuable and precious addition to me, which eventually would benefit the family as well. To go or not to go...would he ever give me a straight yes no matter how reluctant or adamant of him of not wanting me to go? *sigh*..

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