. The Liebster award? Come again? A fellow traveller and blogger, Simone Armer, recently tagged me in a post on Facebook nominating me for this (is it prestigious?) award. She too was nominated for the award and answered questions about life in Japan, where she is currently based. Her beautiful photos and sharp writing come together wonderfully to form Paintings from the Cave.Thank you Simone for the nomination and questions. A suggestion from me to you, if you do one useful thing today, go check out her blog here.
Back to my newly acquired nomination. Like all ‘youths’ in my day, I sought counsel from my good friend “Google” to find out more about the nomination. From what I can gather, this nomination is a way to expose smaller blogs and to network the blogging world. The rules are simple: accept or decline your nomination, thank and provide the link to your nominator’s blog, answer their questions and finally nominate five blogs for the award while providing your own set of questions. Here goes!
1. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back and tell yourself one piece of advice before you set out on your current journey, what would it be?
“Nadia...prepare your taste-buds for a journey of their own.” Let’s place that in context: I remember my body going into reflex mode as it was ready to gag and hurl the first silkworm larvae I had ever eaten here in Korea. When I threw it into my mouth and bit, the little bugger burst like a swollen grape and the pungent juices flowed into my mouth. One chew and a quick swallow later, I was done with it! I will never do it again. But I did it and I didn’t die thanks to a huge gulp of booze.
2. What is your biggest inner conflict when you travel?
‘Should I take this? Should I leave this? Oh but I MIGHT need this?” That gives me sleepless nights.
A day or two before I left Eshowe, as my grandfather’s car curved around the green hills, I remember looking at the brilliant blue sky, white puffy clouds and sugar-cane fields. It felt like my country was saying goodbye in the best way it knew how. I tell my kids that I teach about the beautiful weather South Africa has to offer and I even miss the stinking heat waves! Amazing how you only realise it when you are gone. I also tell of the different languages, cultures, foods and religions that South Africa is so blessed to contain. When living in such a homogenous country such as South Korea, you realise how you took diversity for granted in South Africa. I have become quite patriotic!
4. Which place, where you are now, serves the best food? What is your favorite dish there?
To be honest, my favourite ‘dish’ here in Korea is the chicken on a stick which is served almost everywhere in Busan! The chicken is tender, cooked on an open grill by street vendors and is usually coated either with a sweet and sticky sauce or a spicy sauce. I feel like I don’t get enough chicken in the week so when I do find my fix, I make a mad dash for the queue and wait patiently for my happiness to be served on a wooden stick. *You can find these vendors almost everywhere in Busan, I’m not sure about the rest of Korea*
5. What is something you wish you could bring from home in abundant supply?
I would love to have hugs from my family in a bottle that I could just whip out and use each time I need a big hug! I miss pap, Five Roses Tea, brown bread (I only seem to find white bread in the local stores), cheese in blocks (again, you will usually find cheese in slices! Agrrr), and I miss the awesome adverts that play on SA screens. I mean who can forget, “I love it when you talk foreign?”
6. What is something you’d like to take home in abundant supply?
Kimchi, the sticky chicken, Korean BBQ, the sticky chicken, green tea and did I mention the sticky chicken? I’m a foodie as you may have noticed. J
My Tomy Takkies have served me well over this period in Korea! I took time choosing them before I left and I wear them everywhere. They boarded my flight out of SA with me, they kept my toes warm when I literally froze during the tail-end of Korea’s winter and they have walked kilometer after kilometer with me as I have explored my new home.
8. What of your home country do you see in the country you live in now?
Respect for elders. There is a respect for older people here in Korea that I am able to identify with considering I had such a close bond with my grandparents growing up. I really admire a nation that is able to tend to and remember the older folk that helped build and still keep the nation alive.
Anyway! Here are my questions for the following bloggers who are either living in another country or have recently soared to new destinations:
Erica: The Bartletts Abroad
Alex: Ninja Teacher
Elna: Sometimes Elna Blogs
Kate: Keeping Tabs on Kate
Ilze: Ilze in Korea
a) Why did you decide to use blogging as a way of capturing your adventures? Why not Facebook, Twitter etc?
b) What was the scariest thing about leaving your country?
c) I am a student leaving University. Tell me why I should travel?
d) Describe a food (make my mouth water!) you have had on your travels that made your eyes water from happiness (or possibly too much spice!)?
e) Describe the moment when you knew you had made the right choice to travel?
f) Solo travel or group travel? Why?
g) How have you dealt with challenging cultural differences?