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Korean Traveller’s Tale

Posted by on 14 January 2009

DH and I had a dinner meeting with two Korean guys last night at Sheraton Subang’s Miyako (Japanese restaurant). For the purposes of this blog post, let’s just call them Mr. Lee and Mr. Kim.

As we savoured the wonderful food in such a cozy ambiance, the conversation invariably went from a purely business discussion to a more casual one.

DH shared with us a story about a young Korean guy who was posted for the first time in Jakarta. On his first night there, the Korean chap was said to have not slept a wink… all because of a lizard — a.k.a. the common house gecko — which was on the wall. He said, if there are baby crocodiles that could climb walls in Jakarta, there could very well be a much bigger mother crocodile lurking around!

house gecko

Everyone had a good laugh but I was incredulous, thinking it was just a joke. But Mr. Kim, a seasoned world traveller, assured me that he had a similar experience related to lizards, too. He recounted how he had trouble sleeping on the first night of his first visit to Jakarta. So he turned on the bedside table lamp to do some reading. Just then, after taking one look at the ceiling, he quickly jumped off the bed and called the front desk for assistance. (He was staying at the Hilton Jakarta, mind you.) One of the hotel’s staff rushed to his room, glanced at the creature on the ceiling, then very calmly assured the frightened Mr. Kim not to be afraid for it’s only a lizard and that it is, in fact, scared of humans, and that its presence is beneficial as it would devour any small insects in the vicinity.

Apparently, there are no lizards in Korea, a country whose four-season climate is worlds apart from the hot and humid Southeast Asian tropical climate!

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