When we thought we would be robbed in South Korea

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*You can change to 1080 HD in the setting on the bottom right of the video (:

“We are finally hereeeee!!!” Lilo and I squealed excitedly as we landed in Incheon, South Korea. It was a  long 16 hours flight from San Francisco, so we were relieved to finally stretch our legs.  We landed around 11pm, although our minds were still accustomed to  California time zone, which was 5am in the morning. We were going to meet, “Suzy,” from Couchsurfing site at the airport (she’s Hearing).  When we passed through the customs, we were searching around for Suzy whom we never met before. Even though instead, we knew it was wrong to meet a stranger but decided to  trust Couchsurfing site. Lilo was exhausted and needed rest due to lack of sleep, whereas I decided to search for Suzy. However, there was a problem. I couldn’t remember how Suzy looked like. I attempted connect to Wi-Fi but couldn’t do so. “What if she never came or cannot find us? If anything, it looked like we would have to sleep here at the airport,” I thought. I decided to sat back down with Lilo and waited….and waited for about 30 minutes.

Eventually, a girl came up to me and said something along the line of “Are – (inaudible)?” as I attempted to read her lips and hear what she was trying to say. At that moment, I still did not recognized her and uttered to Suzy “wha-what?”  Suzy paused as she was thinking about what to do. Then, she scrambled through her purse and took out a notebook and a pen. She started scribbling away. Then, she showed them her notebook, “Are you Stacey?” I swear, I bet my eyes lit up in excitement and I felt relieved, “yes! I’m Stacey. This is Lilo.” we were absolutely impressed how Suzy knew how to accommodate with us; not a lot of Hearing people knew how to accommodate with Deaf people! It turned out that she never had interacted with Deaf, yet she still figured out how to communicate with us! It was so nice of her to bring her notebook and a pen. While introducing ourselves and getting to know each other as we left the airport, Suzy suddenly had a worried expression. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Nothing…..”  Lilo and I weren’t sure what to do as we waited for the subway. She then said, “I lost my wallet.” “Oh – oh? What happened? Do you need money?” we asked quietly. Suzy shook her head and insisted that she was fine. However, our subconscious slowly said, “this doesn’t feel right…”

LIlo and I felt uneasy and felt something was up. We started overthinking due to Suzy’s incident due to wrong timing. Well, it was 11pm at night, and we were not sure how safe Seoul is or where to go if we decided not to stay over at Suzy’s place. All the “What Ifs” scenarios constantly ran through our mind while riding the subway. “What if she will robbed us? What if she isn’t what she seemed? What if she is texting her guy friends and attempt to rob us at the end? What if…”  We couldn’t help it. Despite of overthinking, I was still getting sleepy in the subway and was about to knocked out until Lilo nudged me in the shoulder, “Stacey! Don’t! Dooooon’t leave me alone here!” I responded,“Sorry – I’m just tired.” When we arrived and followed Suzy though the dark alley, we were mentally preparing to how to defend ourselves.  “Lilo, take your whistle out. Have it prepared if anything happen,” I signed to her. “I’d hit them with my backpack at them and run!” Lilo signed back. Suzy pointed at the tall building that looked like a hotel, “you live in a hotel?” I asked nervously. “What? No, haha, that is my home.” She said. Oh, I thought and looked at Lilo,

“Oh my God, Lilo…” I signed. “Did you checked her reviews on Couchsurfing?”

“Stacey!!! There’s no reviews about her!” we felt our blood drained from our faces. I completely forgot about the reviews.

As we entered into the elevator in the building, we were nervously preparing for anything if something bad happen. The elevator door opened to a small eerie hallway….Lilo and I slowly walked behind Suzy…..Suzy turned the the knob and opened the door. With our hearts racing so fast, we did not walked in instead we peaked inside first. There, we spotted a pair of baby shoes among with three other pairs. Suzy’s mother came into the view and welcome us into their home. A sense of relief rushed through us! Although we might had overreacted, what a scary experience experience though! All that exaggerated thoughts for the past hour was for nothing…

Lesson learned: Although, it’s good to trust your instinct and be prepare regardless, do.not.overthink.too.much. They are a lot of friendly people in the world.

In the end, we all got along and became friends (:

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. dannielle

    Good read, I cant imagine the difficulties deaf travellers must face, and this kind of situation can happy to anyone!
    dannielle recently posted…A Weekend in AmsterdamMy Profile

  2. christine

    Great story and lesson learned! It is great to learn through experience.

  3. Dariece

    It’s true that you should always follow your “gut” instincts, but sometimes we overthink things too! Especially in a new country, with a complete stranger, I think that’s natural 🙂 I’m glad it all worked out.

    Dariece recently posted…From Hobby To Career: The Complete Evolution Of Our BlogMy Profile

  4. Sophie

    I think it’s okay to be nervous when going into a situation like that! But glad it worked out in the end!

  5. Jessica O'Neill

    I don’t blame you for thinking this way, I’d be the exact same! After being a lawyer for 10 yrs, I’ve seen some pretty rubbish behaviour from normal seeming humans, so I can be verrrrrry wary. 😉
    Jessica O’Neill recently posted…uTalk Language Application Premium Giveaway!My Profile

  6. Rachel G

    What an intense story! I was grateful for the happy ending, that’s for sure! My husband and I like to use Airbnb when we travel–but we’re not brave enough to book without reading reviews–I always go with the reviews, and so far they’ve always been accurate.
    Rachel G recently posted…Anyone Want a FREE eBook? {My Venture into Editing a Novel}My Profile

  7. Robin Follette

    Wow! I was a little worried even though I know you’re alright. You make a point in the end that I share often. There are a lot of nice people in the world, far more than bad people. It’s sad that bad people make the news so much more often than good.
    Robin Follette recently posted…Duckling Custody IssuesMy Profile

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