I was in a hurry to get ready, and I had to look my best which was delaying my shore leave. After all this was for the first time I was going out from my ship to see Korea, Pusan, to be exact that too at such a young age. I was just a trainee then. My second officer and third engineer were also coming along. After working for the full night, I didn’t know from where this much of energy was coming from.
“Oh, you look like korean only” chief officer smiled.
And this was the only compliment or better to say comment I got, after so much hassle.
“Did you get the name of the place we are going to visit, written in korean by the agent or stevedore?” second officer asked.
I said “of course!!” .
“And also name of the terminal we are at right now?” he added.
” Why ?” I didn’t understand.
He said, “beacuse we need to come back too!!!”
“Okayyy… I will get that too,” I said enthsiastically and did the same.
After coming out from the ship, we took the seaman’s club vehicle which dropped us outside the terminal. Because it was winters there, we preferred to walk to the market which was about 2 kms away, as told by the ship’s agent.
At the first turn where the road branched, we asked one local about the directions and followed the same. Then again at another turn, we found the same person, and again we asked for the directions. This got repeated for almost five to six times.
Either the man was making us fool, or the place was haunted. I was surprised if ghosts exist in Korea also. Till now, I beleived that ghosts live only in Indian villages. Or may be somehow some Indian ghost managed to get a passport and travelled all the way to Korea.
But then there are a lot of people in India who are ghostly. They may tell you wrong directions and make your day haunted.
I got annoyed and said to second officer ” sir, i think this man is telling us wrong directions and we are moving in circles. See all the houses and roads look the same, we are going nowhere.”
He started laughing and said,” we are moving in the right direction dear, not only the houses and roads look similiar in korea, people too look similiar. No wonder you could not make out the difference between them. They all were different persons”
It was so embarraasing for me, I never felt so stupid before.
But the place was splendid.