(Australia) What’s the point? [Latest post of Oct, 2020]

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After Covid19, every state had its own regulation in Australia. The state of Queensland closed the border for a while. Then recently they opened it and I hurried to cross it. There were police officers at the state border. Unlike my worry as a foreign traveler, a police officer let me pass without checking my border pass with saying “Good luck on your trip”
I reckoned there were not many surfers in Gold Coast compared to Bondi Beach in Sydney. The beach in Gold Coast was really long though.

 

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I tried to fulfill my dream which I have dreamed since starting the trip. It is about going my home, South Korea through North Korea to show the world Korea is one country and we can live with peace. I made the video to get support from people, I contacted tour agencies having North Korean tour, I applied South Korean national petition, I filed a complaint with the South Korean Ministry of Unification, I sent messages to Korean media and Korena politicians, and I asked for advice from people who have been in North Korea legally or tried to cross North Korean border with legal way. There was no anything I can try than just waiting after it. (Short post about this topic..)

 

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I was invited by an Australian family. When I had met them at first, I couldn’t imagine I would have a good friendship with them cause I didn’t experienced it for a while.

 

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There was no rule about who would cook tonight, but there was a kind of rule. Every night we cooked. My host and her husband cooked each two times, I cooked two times, and maybe Sunday was a bit simple meal.
This meal was the best one I’ve made at their house.

 

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I had a surfing lesson with my host for two hours. And then I went to surfing almost two or three times a week while staying at their house. There was no need to get scared that I could touch the ground always. And it was not difficult to stand up on the board from my first day of the lesson that I got improved little by little.
My host contacted ABC, an Australian public broadcast to introduce me to them. Thank to her, I got a chance to have an interview with ABC TV News and Radio. I also got an interview with SBS, thank to some Korean living in Brisbane. All interviews were on my youtube channel

 

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After one month I applied everything to fulfill my dream, it was amazing and surprising that no one ever cared about it. The answer from the South Korean Ministry of Unification was more like copy and paste. One of the foreign tour agencies helped me that they contacted North Korean authority to ask for me. They got the answer and told me “They said you cannot cross the North Korean border with a South Korean passport.” I wanted to see the document from North Korea to accept my failure. But he told me they talked on the phone that they couldn’t give what I wanted. A Korean in Brisbane asked the chairman of Korean Association of Yanbian, China for me. He said the chairman talked to North Korean authority and it said it was impossible to give the visa to me.
It was a really beautiful day and I heard another news; South Korea was having the second wave. My last destination was South Korea cause I really wanted to see my own country on my bicycle, but now it became even impossible. I wanted to drink for the first time after eight months of stopping drinking. But I always had dinner with my host family that it would be weird to go out suddenly to drink alone. I just went to bed after dinner.

 

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My host’s birthday was coming. I cycled to Southport at my favorite street in Gold Coast to buy a gift for her. I bought a pen and I wanted to engrave. But I couldn’t think what to write on it and it was really expensive to write longer. I had learned Australian English from my hosts. The most useful word I learned was Mate. When I asked the owner of the shop to engrave “Mate♡”, she kept a straight face. When I came back to the shop after one hour, I asked she had ever seen someone engraving ‘Mate’. She smiled and said “No. NEVER” I felt so bad and thought what kind of mistaking I made. But actually, my host really loved the pen with “Mate♡”

 

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I started my trip on 1st Sept 2011. I thought if I cycled six continents without going home, I would get big attention and I could spread the peace message while crossing the North Korean border. But it was the opposite. Everyone simply ignored it. Lots of criticizing would be better than total ignorance. My petition reached only 400. I had more than thousands of views and likes, but only 400 signs? I explained how to join with the link. But people just said “Oh it’s Korean. I cannot do it”. Seriously? Is it the best excuse you can make to ignore my dream and my goal of this trip? But.. what’s the point to ask my followers why they didn’t join and why they did ignore me? I have more than 60,000 online followers but what’s the point of that when I can have only 400 petition signed at the most important goal and the biggest hope.
Every day I just asked what’s the point of cycling without going back home last 9 years.
When I opened my eyes with the question of what’s the point in the morning, I could hear kids’voices from the kitchen, which I loved. I went to the living room and then they called me to go out together. Then I saw their drawing to congratulated on the 9th years of my trip. I was so touched. This family was like a bright light coming through a little hole in the dark cave.

 

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They drew in the back yard too. I had spent one month at their house. I had never had this much deep friendship with kids. Every day I got hugs from them and you cannot imagine how much that hug can mean duing this pandemic. I will miss them so much…

 

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I cooked on the last night. I bought some dessert to eat and congratulate my 9th year. But then I realized they prepared a surprising cake for me. During dinner, we talked about “Three things we learn from each other” At my turn, I couldn’t speak. I just wrote it in a letter on the bed.

 

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I decided to move to Brisbane and make the plan there. But I really didn’t want to go to Brisbane. What’s the point of going there? What can be changed? It was all useless and meaningless now. I wanted to organize my thoughts. It would take only one day from Gold Coast to Brisbane to cycle. But I just went far west than going directly.
I didn’t have any plan on which route I would go. I did hate people ask me the plan these days. What’s the point to have a plan now? I just cycled without the plan. I was so sad to leave the family I loved. On my first day on the road, I broke my stove. What’s the point to get annoyed at things already happened.

 

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Pandemic made a camping site full in Australia. It was not a school holiday nor a weekend, but there were so many people.

 

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Oh dear.. this is not the place you have to be. I would move you to a safe place.

 

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In my favorite poem, it said “I will love all the perishing things, With the heart that sings of the stars.”
I was wondering the poet loved most of the things around, or he couldn’t love things around easily, so he had to practice so hard?

 

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I couldn’t find any answer although I kept cycling. I didn’t know what I would do if I get to Brisbane. Everything went to fail. My dream I wished for over 9 years became impossible. I always said, “You never fail unless if you don’t try.” I did try and I felt a failure. Maybe real failure comes when I cannot overcome my failure.
What’s the point of keeping cycling to run away? After three weeks, I decided to go to Brisbane.

 

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Queensland was different than other states unlike NSW, SA, NT. They didn’t allow cyclists to enter the highway. Even they prevent animals! So if an animal came to Queensland’s highway, what kind of penalty would be? Hope at least birds didn’t get a penalty.

 

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I couldn’t use the direct highway road that I had to go around and around. Google map kept leading me to the blocked path. It was totally blocked just like my end of the trip.

 

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I was invited by a Korean family in Brisbane that I stayed at their place for a month. I cleaned all my bags after I arrived. I reckoned the last time I cleaned all bags were in Italy and I visited Italy in 2014. People shouldn’t think it’s so dirty that I didn’t clean over 6 years. I had lots of clean natural rainwater to wash it while cycling the world.

 

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I missed my Gold Coast family that I took the train to see them.

 

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My expectation was totally right. There was nothing I could change after I arrived in Brisbane. I didn’t know what to do when I cannot answer to what’s the point. I was totally a failure. I tried to write the blog at least which I was behind since five years ago and it gave me pressure when I wanted to catch it. I just got another excuse to procrastinate that a cat was sitting on my laptop.

 

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My host had MTB I could borrow. I used it on the hills behind the house.

 

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I met my Alice Springs friend in Brisbane. We drank often back there. But since I stopped drinking, we had a chat with a cup of coffee at the city center.

 

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My Gold Coast host told me she would have dayoff on a weekday. So we went to a mountain to have some fresh air.

 

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We had wine in front of the heater. She found 0% wine. It tasted like a bit of wine. If it was not much sweet, it would be better.

 

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My host family invited me to sleepover at their house on Gold Coast. It was good to see kids again. I always had fun to play with them. We had dinner together and the next day I headed to Brisbane. Before taking the bus, I had a cup of coffee on the beach in front of the town where I used to come with my host’s family.

 

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Finally, after five years, I caught up on my blog. I made the miracle on the days when I had to keep asking what’s the point. The friend who cycled MTB together in Brisbane took me to Glow Worm’s cave before I leave Brisbane.

 

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I wanted to see my Gold Coast family again but I would not have time to see. I was not sure when I would see them again.

 

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I couldn’t find an answer to what’s the point even until I was about to leave Brisbane. I will just cycle to Cairns. Maybe I will go home next year in March and try again.
The color of this picture is beautiful. When I can answer to what’s the point, I would share this picture’s color.

=============================
Thank you for reading my blog for a long time.
I have written my blog since September of 2011. I used to write three or four times a month over four years. But once I got delayed, I couldn’t catch up again.
I write the blog for myself to organize my thoughts and to learn about politics, history, and culture by sharing information with people.
I really wanted to catch up on my blog but it gave me pressure only.
And here miraculously I succeed to catch up my blog after five years behind. My blog is not behind anymore.
So I will ask you directly.
It is the time you have to pay for my manuscript.
You give money to the farmer to pay for their hard work and you give money to the author of the book to thank for their artwork.
I have spent lots of time on editing pictures, writing the blog, updating my website and etc over nine years. Especially to write in two languages was so hard work that you have to thank for it.

Many people have suggested me to write the book later. But I never have later. I have only today, which is the destiny of the traveler. And you are reading my book through my blog lively.

How much will you pay for my book? You can answer through below.

Australia Westpac
BSB : 733-083
Account Number: 691852

Paypal
http://paypal.me/universewithme


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9 Comments
  1. I’m so sorry that not many signed your petition. I was really hoping it would attract a lot of signatures! Never give up hope, Jin. It just may be delayed. I’m more than happy to pay. Your blog is one of my favourites.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your lovely photos, Jin. Your ideas about spreading love and peace are admirable. I understand your disappointment about not being able to cycle through North Korea but, unfortunately, such gestures mean nothing to autocrats and even less to callous despots like the Kims of Pyongyang. Please don’t lose heart. You can influence the lives of others in positive ways through your writing and your photos. I hope your travels continue to delight you and your many followers.

  3. You words are precious! Enjoying your experiences with admiration!

  4. Jin, contact New Zealand DPRK society, maybe they can help you: https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/10/28/police-raid-humanitarian-group-over-pandemic-aid-to-north-korea/

    “In 2012, I got a call from a Korean-American woman. Three years earlier, she had had a dream and a vision of women doing a peace march across the DMZ. Everybody she had consulted for three years had told her it would be impossible. We had just completed an epic groundbreaking project in which a bunch of Kiwi motorcyclists rode their bikes through Siberia into and across the DPRK, through the DMZ, and over the length of the ROK. She asked me whether I thought her vision was possible. I still recall my reply: “I believe it is eminently doable.”

    Based on our Society’s experiences, I was able to tell her how to go about it. For the next 15 months, I worked with Christine Ahn. And she fulfilled her vision. On the 24th of May, 2015, I was the only Westerner amongst a couple of busloads of North Koreans who watched Christine and her twenty-nine international women enter the North Korean passport office in the middle of the DMZ and cross over into South Korea.”

    • I already wrote on the blog that I tried to contact as much as I can. Of course, I did contact them as well. They answered they cannot help it. All of them I’ve contacted didn’t try to help but just saying not possible cause it’s not possible. To get the answer “I will try to help you” is impossible even. How frustrated… and it was happened by the guy from Lupine travel. He tried to contact N.K authority for me because he was actually following my trip for a few years and he loved cycling. He also tried to cycle in N.K but he didn’t get permission although he has a business there. As I wrote on the blog, I got the answer “No” from N.K’s authority.

  5. Hi Jin,
    It can be hard when our plans don’t come together. It’s easy to understand how important this plan is for you. You are not the first with this problem and you won’t be the last. North Korea does what it does and will continue to do what it does.
    During these past nine years, you have brought a lot of kindness and colour into the lives of many. Individuals like me and families as in Mexico or Gold Coast.
    Clearly, many have brought kindness and colour into your life too.
    The future you hoped for is looking a little grey. But it is only the future.
    And the grey is only grey in the future dreams.
    You helped me find the bright colours from my past, to put them in my present and keep them. We were simply doing what I always loved. I am still grateful for this.
    There are people and colour in your present.
    If you can be you and do what you always do…….
    The colour will come back soon enough.
    Could this be the point?
    Ian.

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