Day 1 Reflections - Timothy Kom

Posted by Kom Weng Ern Timothy at 4:38 pm

Daily Reflections: Day 1:

3 words to describe today’s experiences
  1. Refreshing
  2. Alien
  3. Cheerful
3 highlights of the day
My first highlight is visiting South Korea for the second time in 10 years. Although I can barely remember my past experiences here, I am glad to be back to learn more about this country. The climate of South Korea in November is very chilly compared to Singapore, and I find this to be a pleasant change. However, after many years of not coming to South Korea, I see that South Korea has many differences as compared to Singapore. Thus the environment in Busan is very alien to me. One example is that the car brands that I see in Singapore are from many different countries while the car brands I see in South Korea are mainly Hyundai and Kia, the local car brands.The next highlight was the visit to POSCO. POSCO is the world’s fourth largest steel manufacturer, and I would like to find out how POSCO contributes to the country’s economy, the port of Busan, and whether the steel manufactured there is involved in shipbuilding. I was curious to find out more about POSCO as it is closely related to the problem statement that I am researching on, which is how Singapore can learn from Busan in their management of port congestion. Lastly, I got to visit Jagalchi market, a place I can never visit anywhere else in the world. Jagalchi market is crowded and full of life, with shop owners selling their fish and tourists roaming the streets. This gives the street a very cheerful and pleasant atmosphere at night.

3 things you’ve learnt about Korea
I have learnt that a lot of food in Korea is spicy, especially during the winter. Some examples include bibimbap. Spicy food is popular during winter as it helps to keep people warm. I also realised that we should never lift a plate or bowl off the table in Korea as it is considered rude in Korean traditional culture. Finally, POSCO’s success was one of the cornerstones of South Korea’s economic growth, helping to make South Korea what she is today. Previously, I did not know about POSCO, but I came to have a deeper understanding of the company when I started researching about the sites that we would visit on the trip.

3 things you’ve learnt above yourself
I have learnt that I tend to eat more spicy food in cold weather as it keeps me warm for longer periods of time. I am sensitive to changes in the environment and might have dry eyes or dry skin when visiting a temperate country. Hence I should come prepared in the future with lip balm and vaseline to prevent my skin from becoming dry and drink more water to keep myself hydrated. I will also need to learn to write notes at a faster pace to catch key points, as this skill will help me greatly in the future, both in my academic studies as well as when I enter the workforce.

3 things I didn’t do so well
I did not get enough rest on the plane as I had a runny nose. I will try to get medication for this condition so that I will not run into such difficulties in the future. I was also unable to take notes fast enough when the tour guide was guiding us through the POSCO Museum. I will have to brush up on this skill in the future. I am not used to the spicy food that we had for lunch and had some difficulty while eating the meal. I will try my best to eat more spicy food when I am back in Singapore so that I will be more prepared for spicy food when I enter other countries.

3 things that I look forward to tomorrow

I look forward to visiting Busan Science High School for the first time and meeting new friends, as well as learn more about their mindset and lifestyle. I am also excited to learn about and experience the local culture by participating in tomorrow’s tea ceremony as this is an opportunity that I cannot find back in Singapore, and it will bring me closer to understanding Korean culture, by understanding their past. Lastly, I look forward to participating in club activities with my buddies. The variety and the type of club activities that Busan Science High School offers shows the students' interest, and I will be able to meet other students who have the same interests as I do. 

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