Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 6
by | April 15, 2014 | 45 Comments

EPISODE 6. Broadcast on April 11, 2014.

javabeans: Right off the bat as the episode starts, the halbaes and Seo-jin climb into the car to begin their day, only to have Na PD tell Seo-jin that they have to go to the police station. I love how Seo-jin sees the parking ticket on the car and is all, “Huh, okay” and just intends to go on with his day anyway, while Na PD is all, You must take care of this now, immediately.

girlfriday: Na PD asks someone else about the ticket, and gets told that if they don’t pay it now, it’ll be deducted from the credit card used to procure the rental car. Suddenly Na PD lights up. He practically skips back to the car and tells Seo-jinnie that he doesn’t have to pay it: “Only, if you don’t, a huge fine will be charged to your personal credit card that you used to get the rental car.” LOL.

javabeans: Seo-jin is so unruffled that he just says, “That’s fine” and looks like he’s just talking about the weather. We cut to an interview as he starts to say something, then cuts himself off: “No, I can’t talk about illegal stuff like this. Never mind.”

girlfriday: He says he has experience driving around in other countries with an international driver’s license, and that most of the time the red tape involved to get a ticket processed overseas is enough to deter anyone from chasing him down all the way to Korea. So… basically you’ve spent your whole life running away from the law, is what you’re saying.

javabeans: I know, he seems way too well-versed in the ins and outs of evading foreign traffic tickets. Then again, he does also seem to be the type of guy who sits back and waits for the consequences, and then when he gets hit with a penalty, just figures he earned it and pays up. So the opposite of Na PD, the king of nitpickery.

girlfriday: It is pretty funny to see one guy jumping up and down and worrying about going to jail while the other just sits back like it’s all whatever.

javabeans: I bet Na PD is the youngest of like five brothers or something. He just seems the type.
girlfriday: They get going on their drive to Ronda, and the show makes a big point of intercutting the very silent halbae road trip with the super boisterous noona one, with lovely weather, lots of happy conversation, and mood music. In the halbaes’ car, the only voice that can be heard is Navi Lady.

javabeans: Ha, as Seo-jin picks out radio stations, I’m remembering the ridiculous levels of preparation Seung-gi put into his road trip mix. So like him to spend hours of careful, meticulous curating on the listening mix, then get lost at the airport.

girlfriday: Oh I forgot about that! Haha. Man, I really hope the two groups can go on a trip together someday. It’s not enough that Seo-jin makes fun of Seung-gi after the fact. They arrive in Ronda, which is this gorgeous city built into this massive cliffside. It looks fake, like someone painted a fantasy city and built a miniature.

javabeans: Next they head to a “secret location” that the show carefully refrains from showing us. Why the secrecy?

girlfriday: It can’t be that secret if they found it. They get a view of the city from the ravine down below, and it’s like pulling teeth to get Seo-jin to smile in the group photo. Ronda must’ve been a short day trip, because Il-sub halbae is still eating sushi near the hotel where we left him last time.

javabeans: He must be paying for this meal on his personal tab because he buys his staff lunch too, and coffee afterward, which he sips at a sidewalk cafe table. His PD prods him with questions, like whether he wants to go see more cathedrals, but he’s happy as a clam to be sitting here drinking coffee. So then they ask questions like what kind of women he used to like and what his dating style was, lol.

girlfriday: Apparently he married pretty late (for the time) at age 36, and laughs as he says he’s pretty much dated every kind of woman there is. But meeting his wife made him decide to settle down, and before he knew it he was a husband, and father, and then a grandpa. And then it turns out that his wife has been sick during this entire trip, and he’s been putting on a brave face, but running to call and check on her constantly. Aw.

javabeans: He says that he just figured he would be the first to die in his family, and that when he stopped to think about his wife dying first, it didn’t compute because “It’s just wrong that way.” He’s not saying this in a depressed way, but in that matter-of-fact way that the halbaes discuss end-of-life concerns, and I do love the way he sums it up, said with a sunny smile: “In conclusion, I have grown up.”

girlfriday: He’s like the ultimate man-child, which is why I love him.

javabeans: Yeah, I do too. I know there have been comments (and complaints) about Il-sub halbae from the readers, and I think the dissatisfaction is understandable since he isn’t the kind of tourist who is eager to do all your usual tourist things. But maybe this is a culture clash issue, because he certainly isn’t reviled for his attitude in Korea, and I wouldn’t say this show has been a hit to his image. If anything it’s made him more appealing in my book, because he’s a giant teddy bear with the id of a six-year-old.

girlfriday: Yeah I’m actually happy to know that he’s exactly the way I imagined him, because he tends to play these types of dad in dramaland, but you never know what actors are really like. But he’s so childish and cuddly, and pretty much as grumpy as any dad/grandpa you’d meet on the street, so it makes for a funny combination. And as for the tourist stuff, I’d say Seo-jin cares even less than Il-sub halbae about going anywhere or seeing anything. Doesn’t make me love him any less. It could also just be that my idea of a good time is good coffee and good wine.

javabeans: I also think the purpose of this show isn’t purely “let’s sightsee in Europe,” but “let’s put these people together, put them on a trip, enforce restrictions, and see what happens as they try to navigate on their own.” So being a “bad tourist” doesn’t fit into my catalog of possible complaints for this show. Granted, if I had to travel with him on a personal trip it might be a different story.

girlfriday: And nothing beats Gu & Sub.

javabeans: Except maybe Gangsta Gu & Sub. Takin’ down famously conscience-less Na PD. Suddenly I have visions of the cast turning Na PD upside-down and shaking him by the ankles to get a few more coins out of him.

girlfriday: That should be the theme of their music video. Yunno, for the rap album they put out someday.

javabeans: Il-sub halbae uses most of his remaining allowance money to buy himself and his staffers a horse-and-carriage ride around the city, and he jokes that by the time they get to Madrid he’ll be penniless.

girlfriday: Seo-jin and the rest of the halbaes eat a fancy meal that looks delicious, and Gu halbae spends the whole time feeding everyone else, while Soon-jae halbae wonders if Helicam ate, talking about the camera like it’s his pet dog. When Geun-hyung halbae asks for toothpicks and a staffer shows up with some that he prepared, Na PD doesn’t waste the opportunity to needle Seo-jin: “Shouldn’t you have prepared that stuff? Are you just not gonna try anymore? You’re just gonna do whatever now, is that it?”

javabeans: You know Seo-jin’s doing a good job when that is all Na PD has to complain about. I can see his point about Seo-jin being so good at things that he just wants to showcase his mistakes, only since Seo-jin doesn’t really make them (or not in big showy fashion), he has to go around digging them up.

girlfriday: It’s pretty funny because Seung-gi’s mistakes are entertaining on their own (he needs no help being a heo-dang), but Na PD nagging Seo-jin is the funnier part of this relationship, because his desire to see Seo-jin fail is so apparent. And the more stoic Seo-jin is about it, the more desperate and flaily Na PD gets.

javabeans: It’s a win-win, honestly. If Seo-jin goofs up, great. If he doesn’t, Na PD gets whiny and that’s great. If Il-sub halbae is like a child who’s all id, Na PD is like a genius child who is all id, and yet also really really smart so it’s at conflict with himself.

girlfriday: They call and find out that Il-sub halbae is having a grand ol’ time taking horse carriage rides around the city, and Soon-jae halbae mentions off-hand that the last time he rode in one was in some ancient pre-war city.

javabeans: Lol, when Korea was a different shape, you mean?

girlfriday: Yeah, yunno, stuff that was named other stuff. And Seo-jin laughs, calling Soon-jae halbae Do Min-joon.

javabeans: Caption: “Halbae from Another Star.”

girlfriday: Il-sub halbae makes it back to the apartment first and waits for the hyungs to return.

javabeans: They make the drive back to their apartment in Seville, giving us a whole background score to the navi-lady’s endless stream of “Recalculating…” and “Make a U-turn” directions. By this point Seo-jin is just ignoring her directions wholesale, which makes me wonder why he bothers.

girlfriday: He drops the halbaes off first, and there’s this whole sequence of each of them walking in and the first thing they do is drop their pants.

javabeans: Like that’s not the first thing everyone does?

girlfriday: Right? And meanwhile Seo-jin goes back out to park the car, which means he’ll probably be gone for another hour. This time Na PD is with them in the backseat, and they circle around in the rain for a while. Suddenly there’s a yelp from behind: “OH! What’s that?” I’m totally expecting an emergency, but it turns out to be a free 24-hour parking garage. Ha.

javabeans: Dude. And after all the stress of imagining he’d have to go and feed the meters hourly that first day. He so deserves that, for just being all, I’ll just park here, push a few buttons, and let the chips fall where they may the first time.

girlfriday: I love how in both cases, it’s totally accidental. The captions point out that Seo-jin finally discovered this on the last day, but hey, a day of free parking is nothing to scoff at.

javabeans: Seo-jin parks and heads back with a grin on his face. And then… the camera looks back to point out that he left his lights on. Ack! Can you imagine being that VJ, noticing the mistake and getting it on camera, and not being able to say anything? This is why I’d be a horrible documentarian. I’d just want to save the animals.

girlfriday: I know! Eep, Seo-jin has encountered everything that could possibly go wrong with one car, save for maybe running out of gas in the middle of a highway. Un-jinx! Un-jinx!

javabeans: Seo-jin returns to find a kitchen full of dishes, and the producers triumphantly produce some dishwashing soap and a sponge to help him in his chore. Seo-jin’s immediate excuse is to say he can’t use those products (because he endorses a different brand, hahaha).

girlfriday: Lol, that’s a pretty handy excuse. While Seo-jin sighs over having to cook dinner and starts searching for Chinese restaurants in desperation, the halbaes have this really funny fight over a handful of coins found in Geun-hyung halbae’s pants pocket. Il-sub halbae claims they’re his, and they argue about it like children.

javabeans: I guess dinner will be cooked, despite Seo-jin’s protests (or maybe because of them), and he reluctantly gets to work. Even though Seo-jin has stated outright that he doesn’t cook and hates cooking, Na PD does that sarcastic thing of fake-marveling, “Hyung, how is it that you know NOTHING?” When Seo-jin fries his kimchi, the VJ audibly snorts at the pathetic visual. It cracks me up that the VJ would in any other situation be the clueless cook, but in THIS situation he is somehow the know-it-all because the others know so little.

girlfriday: Na PD sneaks by to taste the jjigae, and does this hilarious double take. Caption: “This is not a commercial.” Seo-jin must have a knack for getting flavor right, because even if he doesn’t know what to do, nobody complains about the way his food tastes.

javabeans: I know, his face is like the exaggerated CF “Omg, mmmm!” face even though you know he’s the most grudging judge of Seo-jin’s abilities. I believe him when he says he doesn’t cook except for on this show, but he must have a sense for what works, and a flashback to that first Paris night with ramyun and hot pot shows how much he’s improved. In only a handful of overall attempts.

girlfriday: There’s something that’s always entertaining about this guerilla cooking in random hotel rooms and such, like that time on 1N2D when they made noodles on the beach.

javabeans: Although that weird egg-sugar-bread mush thing still makes my stomach turn. Na PD makes a comment about the taste being a little mild, and Seo-jin says authoritatively that it’s not reduced down yet. Na PD backs off, his caption saying, “All right, Jang-geum, I’ll go now.”

girlfriday: The halbaes are SO excited about kimchi jjigae, and I’m a little jealous because it actually does look good.

javabeans: I love that little bit with Gu halbae rummaging in their empty kitchen sadly, and then Seo-jin popping in (he cooked in the staff apartment next door) to deliver the food, and Gu halbae lights up with this huge smile. And then Seo-jin actually hovers around while they eat like an anxious chef.

girlfriday: It’s just really cute because you know in real life he’s a fortysomething bachelor who’s never had to cook a day in his life. But he’s so pleased when they say it’s tasty. Gu halbae and Geun-hyung halbae stay up chatting about how the hardships on this trip (like the tiny train car and getting lost) will make it memorable, and then it’s lights out. Suddenly Il-sub halbae comes to the kitchen at four in the morning and starts boiling water. What’s he doing?

javabeans: Omg, the split screens are hilarious as we see today versus yesterday, and the show captions this as Sub & Sub’s Coffee Time. He does exactly the same thing on both days, pose for pose, like it’s something in a movie.

girlfriday: Lol it’s like a Marx Brothers mirror gag but it’s exactly 24 hours apart. Also, I can’t wrap my head around waking up at 4am and making coffee. That’s bedtime.

javabeans: Maybe you’ll read this post in forty years and understand. Or maybe in forty years you’ll finally be on normal people time, so your earlybird dinner is when everyone else is eating. Morning No. 7 begins as Seo-jin leads them all to a nearby cafe for breakfast, where he orders for the halbaes and then heads out to retrieve the car. Um. I hope that happens.

girlfriday: Ack, I forgot all about that. He walks to the garage in a great mood, but then lets out a yelp when he finds the car with the lights still on. He holds his breath and turns the key… but of course the car won’t start.

javabeans: Gahhh, I hate that clicky ignition sound, it just makes my insides shrivel. Of course, now that they make cars for stupid people like me the lights won’t drain the battery, but Seo-jin now has to figure out what to do. He tries asking a passing gentleman for help, but the man can’t help him. An employee suggests that he call the rental company.

girlfriday: Seo-jin sighs in a later interview that he must’ve been spoiled by only driving cars that don’t die when you leave the lights on.

javabeans: It’s hilarious, his “It’s all my fault, I’m sorry for being so spoiled” way of framing it. It’s backhanded, like when someone says, “It’s not your fault, it’s mine for trusting you.”

girlfriday: Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful and dimpled and have nice cars.

javabeans: But then the employee finds some jumper cables in the office and Seo-jin lights up. Caption: “Dimples resurrected.”

girlfriday: And then we go into this whole medical drama sequence where Seo-jin is the car surgeon reviving his patient.

javabeans: You know, it’s funny—Seo-jin may have wrinkled his image a little by leaving the lights on in the first place, but he’s totally getting the awesome hero edit with his handling of the car as he gets the jump going. It takes some finessing, but finally the ignition catches.

girlfriday: Yaaaaaay! That was harrowing.

javabeans: Hahaha, then as he’s driving out of the parking garage, Na PD comes up to the car, saying, “I heard your battery went out.” How much do I love that Na PD missed the whole thing?

girlfriday: I know, and then it’s extra funny the way Seo-jinnie gets to play it all cool, like he’s the hyung who already took care of it, eeeeons ago.

javabeans: “What do you mean, what did I do? I just jumped the battery. Where’d I get the cables? I borrowed them of course.”

girlfriday: And then for no apparent reason other than he can, Na PD sneaks a hundred euros about of Seo-jin’s wallet.

javabeans: IS HE STEALING FROM HIM. It’s all on video!

girlfriday: This cracks me up. It’s almost like he can’t resist when the wallet is just sitting there in plain sight.

javabeans: And how he invents the reasoning after the fact, that it’s for entrance fees (from the palace) that he’ll be taking retroactively. Na PD complains that Seo-jin has sooooo much money (like that’s a bad thing that must be corrected), while Seo-jin argues that he hasn’t even paid for the room yet. When he arrives and helps with the halbaes’ luggage, the PD on that side says the staff already paid for the rooms and he just grins at that, hee.

girlfriday: Hahaha. After all that, Na PD still loses money in the deal? Oh nooooo, but then when Seo-jin drops off the rental car, Na PD comes by to ask about the room fee and when Seo-jin says the staff paid for it, he finds out that what she meant was they paid for breakfast (“bbang” = bread, “bang” = room). Ack!

javabeans: Omg. They didn’t pay and just left?!

girlfriday: He’s like running all over Spain breaking all kinds of laws! And yet, I’m still laughing at the pun-mistake.

javabeans: It’s sooooo elementary. But I guess it happens! It’s kind of amazing how cool Seo-jin is in the face of stress, though, because he isn’t freaking out on the outside even though you know he’s cursing on the inside. He points out that they put down a card when they made the reservations over the phone, and a flashback takes us to the phone call he made with Na PD… when Seo-jin got a staffer to give him the production credit card, HAHA.

girlfriday: Lol, and then he saved that credit card number in his phone so that he could make all the rest of the hotel reservations on it.

javabeans: Seo-jin has been referring to his life abroad (at NYU) for some of the tips he picked up, like how to jumpstart a car. So now the show has this thriller-like sequence where they make it sound like that’s how he picked up his “card embezzlement know-how.”

girlfriday: Thankfully the staff goes through their receipts and finds that they were charged for the room after all. So phew, one less law they’re breaking.

javabeans: I’m also thinking, if you came as a huge group, obviously it makes sense that the owner would charge you for the huge group, not the one part of the huge group that you’re trying to communicate in broken English.

girlfriday: So then Na PD asks for the 250 euros from Seo-jin, who opens his wallet and hands him 150 euros, because Na PD already stole the first hundred in the car. HA.

javabeans: So great. That’s what Na PD gets for stealing without even a plan in place.

girlfriday: And then they actually start this hilarious chase, getting all grabby and running to the halbaes to tattle on each other. Pwahahaha.

javabeans: Hold on, need to rewind and replay about a dozen times.

girlfriday: I love it. So much.

javabeans: And then because this happens in front of Soon-jae halbae, Seo-jin goes running to him like he’s their teacher. “He keeps demanding money from me!”

girlfriday: This is so funny. They both take turns whining to the halbaes like fighting brothers, trying so hard to appear angelic while calling the other one a criminal.

javabeans: Has someone else gotten into the editing room to take over the caption-writing? Ever since the parking garage, the tone has been decidedly pro-Seo-jinnie, writing captions about how Na PD is “rambling to himself” about this and that. Na PD goes to Gu halbae next to complain, and Gu halbae just says, “I wouldn’t know the circumstances of that.”

girlfriday: Na PD finds that Gu halbae is clearly on Seo-jinnie’s side, so he moves onto Soon-jae halbae next.

javabeans: It’s hilarious how Seo-jinnie takes a seat on the bench between the halbaes, which leaves Na PD to loom over him like a bully. When he leans in, Seo-jin automatically cradles his bag like it’s about to be threatened. Na PD points at Seo-jin and whines to Soon-jae halbae, “Please say something! He’s a scammer!” Soon-jae halbae: “Why would you call a perfectly normal person a scammer?”

girlfriday: Seo-jin decides that splitting the difference is a fair way to handle it, and suggests 50 euros. This kind of negotiating cracks me up because all he does is make it sound super reasonable that he’s cutting it in half, and gets the halbaes to agree with him that going halfsies is totally fair. Na PD actually gets so pissed that he looks like he might stomp off and have a good cry.

javabeans: Na PD really has the best facial expressions—if he were acting you’d say he was exaggerating, but in the real moment he looks like a cartoon character. The captions “translating” the halbaes’ thoughts are the best. Out loud, the halbaes say diplomatic things that sound neutral, but the captions say stuff like “I’m on Seo-jinnie’s side, you punk” and “Our Seo-jinnie has let you off easy.” Na PD tries to raise the compromise to 75 euros, and is on the verge of skulking off “pissy, with his feelings hurt” (more caption wizardry).

girlfriday: When Na PD gets nitpicky about adding the breakfast tab to the total, Seo-jin starts to paint the picture that Na PD is trying to give the halbaes a hard time (making sure to stop for approval from either side). Na PD assures them that they’re going to take care of the teachers, “But I’m going to ruin your credit rating!”

javabeans: Na PD insists with a seriously dark face that he needs 70 euros total and Seo-jin gives in, and then the INSTANT he rips that cash from Seo-jin’s hands he taunts, “The ticket fees were only 14 euros” and walks off with a shit-eating grin.

girlfriday: HAHAHA. The lesson: He who has less shame wins. Next week: Madrid!


45 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ethalina

    Sounds like real fun episode, what with Sub&Sub’s coffee show & the sibling hijinks. Too bad I can’t watch it anywhere TT.TT

    • 1.1 kimchi

      I’m watching it @hulu. If you are outside US, there are ways on how to unblock it, just google it.

  2. Questions987

    I vote for a gangster gang up on Na PD by the halbaes while Seo Jin is there to laugh. God these two crack me up so much more then Seung Gi did. Now the three of them on a tr…I would pay good money for that.

  3. bakedshrimp

    Hi, does anyone know where we could watch the English-subbed version of GoF apart from Hulu? Thanks in advance.

    • 3.1 AAAA

      good drama dot net~!

  4. Ace

    There are complaints about Il-sub halbae? Why? I luff him. He’s so cute. Besides, sometimes when I go on vacation abroad, I do the same as him (not go around all the tourist spots). Except I stay around the hotel room more and wake up late.

    • 4.1 sab

      I don’t understand about the complaints either. Firstly, this isn’t a travel documentary — you’d get a much younger and more daring host than 4 elderly gramps on the show.
      And what’s wrong with travelling juz to sit at sidewalk cafes and watch a different world go by?
      Doesn’t mean being a tourist means rushing to ALL the touristy, must-see places. Being on a tour is an experience, and how each person experiences his/her tour is different.
      some people are juz so narrow minded…sigh

      • 4.1.1 Wanderlusterer

        That’s not the issue. People are making it out to be “Tourist vs being a real local” and it’s not that. If he was truly like, I don’t like having a packed schedule and seeing all these landmarks, I want to immerse myself in the real culture and live and eat like a local! Then all the power to him cuz I reckon that is the real way to really experience a country instead of just seeing what is the most photographed and on the postcards while disregarding the real culture.

        But Il Sub halbae is neither, he likes to sit because he hates walking, not because he likes to people watch and understand the culture. People watch is the by product of sitting, and it’s because he’s sitting that he’s happy end of story. He doesn’t like walking because it’s tiring and only does it to find food. With that, he doesn’t like to try anything new, especially the cuisine. He wouldn’t have paid any attention to the sights around Seville had he been walking or even riding in the car. He was more interested in the horse and again, not having to do any physical moving. He compares everything to Korea and nothing compares to that.

        You can’t call people narrow minded for wanting him to at least appreciate some things, you’re there already, why not make the most of it instead of dismissing it as nothing just cuz it’s not Korea? To me, that is the true definition of narrow minded, thinking everything outside your comfort zone or anything unfamiliar is not worth your time or attention. People like that in real life make the worst travelling companions, dragging them down with their bad attitude, slowing the whole group down and at the end of the day no one is happy cuz of this one person. Add in money to the equation and it’s worse cuz you are spending money to go travel. Actually these kinds of people would not travel, period.

        I understand where both parties are coming from but the fact is Seo Jin works so hard to make this stress free for the halbaes and what makes the day for Ilsub halbae is how much you have to walk vs how much you don’t have to walk and everyone is totally accommodating for him when he isn’t for them. I love him still but I would never ever want to travel with him. If I did, I’d suggest splitting into two groups and let him do whatever he wanted.

        The other halbaes are actually enjoying everything and making the most of it, realising what a great opportunity they have been given, to go travelling after never getting to do it when they were young, with their bestfriends, a porter who takes care everything and for free, no less. But Il Sub halbae doesn’t appreciate that either and that’s the real issue people have with him and that’s not petty or unfounded.

        • pigcowwhale

          Agree so hard.

          Just went on a trip with a group of friends recently to Vietnam and there was a guy that came just cuz his girlfriend, my friend, made him. Didn’t want to go anywhere, see anything, eat anything new, insulted everything we saw and did, and the culture, compared everything to America and called everything primitive and he was “glad he lived in a country where toilets weren’t in the ground like animals” and “America is called the greatest country in the world for a reason so why would anyone want to go anywhere else”.

          By the end of each day everyone wanted to punch him and he made the whole atmosphere so tense and irritating like a bomb waiting to go off. I could barely enjoy to trip in the end even though I am Vietnamese and was thrilled to be back because every complaint he made got to me personally and we missed out on seeing so much cuz he objected or was dragging his feet.

          It’s not about different travelling styles, in the end it’s about appreciating the vastness and diversity of our world which travel allows, but only if you are open to it and not narrow minded (real definition). If you aren’t open to at least being open, then the trip was a waste before you even got on the plane.

          “The world is a book and those who do not travel have only read one page.”

          • reutlingen

            I love that quote.

            I hope you gave that guy a piece of your mind, cuz I hate people like that. My bro was the one who didn’t want to go cuz he just wanted to stay at home and party with his friends at the end of the year but my family wanted a family trip.

            Sulked the whole time like a baby and was determined not to enjoy anything even when he did find something interesting.

            Texted the whole time and a day was good if we had or didn’t have wifi.

            I told him off, hard, and he deserved it. Waste of my parents money.

          • Gidget

            But with those types of people you just have to either laugh at their behavior (in a good natured way) or find ways to engage them and draw them in. Here’s an example

            I went on a trip to Africa with two friends. One was the brother of a person that I’ve traveled with a lot. The other was a guy he knew from his plastic surgery residency. My friend’s brother and I had the same general opinions on travel. We start or end at a really nice place, but don’t pre-book anything else for the rest of the trip. We always end up with more adventure and better experiences by getting recommendations once we get in-country.

            His friend is from a royal family in Italy. (Prior to WWII Italy was a collection of regional principalities. His mother was born a princess in one of the largest.) He had grown up in a beautiful home in Rome, and staying at anything less than a 5 star resort was unthinkable to him. He is a great guy. But traveling together was going to be either really fun or really not fun.

            We started with a pre-booked safari at a really nice place. So far so good. Our next destination was to go to Arusha to climb Mt. Meru. At our request, a friend in Nairobi recommended an ‘authentic’ place to stay. And authentic it was. It could be best described as a secure compound in the middle of a part of town that didn’t want tourists. We drive up, and our friend becomes silent… until he starts muttering over and over “I hate this place.” We convinced him that the next place will be nicer (hope = anesthesia.) We were fortunate that the neighborhood-life was fascinating and the household staff treated him like royalty. We had a such a great time talking with them and learning about their lives. It was eye opening to our friend. And when we left he muttered “I’ll miss them.”

            Next stop, Zanzibar for some diving. And promises are promises, so we had to book a nice hotel. The one we found was a former palace and had a fantastic restaurant. (Yea!) But reservations at both were only available for one night. (Uh oh…friend starts getting quiet again.) However, after talking ‘options’ with the hotel’s owner, he invited us to stay at his private villa in guest quarters that he sometimes rented out. And his household staff would take care of us. (Yea, again!) Now: where to eat dinners? Our friend would only eat at a western-style hotel. We wanted to eat at the waterfront market. So we sat at the hotel with him while he ate. Then he went to the market, where we ate. The next night, the same. But that night, since he saw we hadn’t gotten sick, with ample teasing we were able to convince him to at least taste the food. He ate both of our meals. And wanted to go back the next night too.
            (Seriously, I’d rank Zanzibar as having some of the best food in the world.)

            Ultimately, compromise, empathy, good adventures, plus lots of laughter and good natured teasing, changed his perceptions and created a really…

          • Gidget

            … fun experience for everyone.

        • gg

          Agree. You summed it up so well there.

          I personally am not the type to cram all the must-see tourist sights into my travel itinerary either, and I like just wandering around, strolling into any random cafe, relax and just soak up the atmosphere. But Il Sub is just sitting at a cafe because he hates walking. He’s not really appreciating the local cuisine either because he’s always asking for korean food and having soju with almost every meal. One fact I cannot stand is that he told Seo Jin off for not finding the way correctly. He should be more appreciative of the fact that someone was there to guide them throughout the trip in the first place! He just strikes me as someone who doesn’t like to step out of his comfort zone at all. It’s not his travel style that bugs people but rather, his travel attitude.

          • Gidget

            I agree that telling Seo Jin off was too much. And I wonder if that’s what tipped the scales against him this season.

            To try to be fair, I wonder if – to some degree – Il Sub is also playing a role that’s been sketched for him. Like, “you be the temper tantrum throwing little baby (brother), who loves his mother(land) more than anything else in the whole world.”

            He seems to have the general tendency to be the way he’s being. But is the show asking him to amp it up for entertainment value?

            Personally, I think it’s kind of funny. It’s the quirky things in life that make me laugh the most.

          • dubistmein

            I think season 1 people were only getting used to him. Season 2, he went home early and Sunny was there was of the time to placate him about walking. But season three, he’s really been given more screen time than any of his hynugs and it’s not for a good reason and they don’t exactly show him in the best light

            I agree the previews that constantly played that were showed Seo Jin’s future troubles always included him telling off Seo Jin and that was hard for me to watch so I always fast forwarded it because I felt bad and indignant for Seo Jin.

            When he had to walk more than five minutes there and was exploding, saying stuff like “Are we dogs or what?!!” I was really taken aback. I was like it’s just walking.. but then I was like wow his leg must hurt really bad.

            But then I thought if that’s the case then he really shouldn’t come. You can’t get out of walking during travelling, long or short and if his leg is so bad that walking is what becomes the deciding factor of whether a day is good or not or if there are chairs at this place then he really should stay home. There is a reason why he never travelled in the first place and it’s not because he was busy like the other hyungs.

            Na pd just wants to make this show harder and harder and focus on the hardships so if that is going to happen, he is only going to get more pissy and uninterest and more screen time because of that and that would alienate more viewers. When he gets angry or annoyed, I really cringe because it feels like he’s angry and annoyed with me lol

      • 4.1.2 oppanappa

        Dude, Il Sub halbae got pissy at Geun Hyung halbae in season 2 in Taiwan for stopping at a shop to browse and buy something for his wife. That wasn’t about comflicting travelling styles, that was him being petty cuz he had to stand. Then Geun Hyung halbae had to apologise to him after, cuz he kept the group waiting, even though it wasn’t wrong. Il Sub halbae keeps the group waiting all the time, he didn’t have any right to get angry.

        I don’t mind him at all, and don’t have a stance about the issues with Il Sub halbae, but do you know the actual definition of narrow minded?

        That was it.

      • 4.1.3 dubistmein

        Did anyone who doesn’t understand why people are having trouble with connecting with Il Sub halbae even read the comments or watch him properly? They specifically asked him last episode: “Viewers don’t understand why you go because you don’t look like you enjoy yourself.”

        When was the issue ever travelling styles clashing? If that was the case then no one would complain. Everyones saying his way of travel is a better one, um, what way is this? Searching for every available chair and then whining to go home and eat Korean food? If what you said about him wanting to take it slow and enjoy the culture that way then lets use an example of a recent example when they went to that castle. Il Sub just sat in the chair available in every room and zoned out, until he was called to the next room where he promptly found the chair there and did the same thing. If he was really “immersing” himself in his way, he would be looking around while sitting, watching people and looking at the architecture. He does neither. Season 1, in the train up to the Matterhorn with the gorgeous scenery outside, he was sitting, and the grandpas pointed out how awesome the view was. His response: Eh, not that great. In Lucerne, Geun Hyung and Soon Jae halbae ACTUALLY did go walking when they got off the train, to look around the streets and see the culture and see the bear park. If anyone wants to know what trying to live like a local looks like, look at Soon Jae halbae- he’s always walking around, anywhere, to really get a feel of the culture and country. That time, Il Sub once again decided to sit down, cuz he didn’t want to walk. When asked if he wanted to see the bears, he was like “No, I’ve seen them in pictures.”

        What the? Who can like anyone when they have that attitude. In every comment and action he makes, you can see his disinterest and disregard for the country and culture. So it’s wrong to call people narrow minded for calling out someone who is ACTUALLY narrow minded.

        Others who are defending him are like, oh but everyones different, compromising is part of travel. Okay sure, that’s true. But what compromising exactly? All I see is the hyungs compromising for him, Seo Jin compromising for him, trying to take care of him, when has Il Sub halbae ever compromised for the Hyungs or anyone? He does the least work, all the others have taken charge in one way or another, yet he still does the most complaining and that’s not right.

        He told off Seo Jin in the earlier ep for “lying” and not telling him the real time it took to walk. That was and will always be the most important thing to him. Seo Jin does everything down to the tee for him and understands him the most, he has watched it, he knows how stressed Seo Jin is and Seo Jin even made a reference to how Il Sub halbae was the one who caused him the most stress in season 2, he could have kept that comment to himself but he didn’t.

        The hyungs never get annoyed at him when they have…

        • dubistmein

          The hyungs never get annoyed at him when they have every right to cuz they’re all so caring and good natured. This ep they were worried how he was doing by himself, while on his end he was laughing at them for taking the trouble to drive 2 hours to see a “bridge”, which doesn’t beat the bridge in Korea. He completely misses the point of any kind of travelling style, through and through.

          Stop saying it’s about the travelling styles. It was never about the travelling styles.

      • 4.1.4 donnerbox

        I loled. Since when was Il Sub halbae wanting to sit down mistaken for him wanting to people watch and see local culture?

        Have people not been watching this show?

        Honey, he sits because he doesn’t wanna stand or walk. and he sits cuz he doesn’t wanna see culture or sights, period.

        If there was Korean food in his hotel room/hostel, he wouldn’t go anywhere.

        • blink182

          Some people are making out to be like the other grandpas and Seo Jin chose this packed schedule, they didn’t, it was Na PD’s idea to amp it up to showcase a real backpacking experience.

          The other halbaes get tired at going to so many places and all the travelling which is why Geun Hyung Halbae vetoed Lisbon. But they don’t complain and when they get there, they try and make the most of it like how Geun Hyung and Gu halbae laughed over the cramped car train instead of demanding a room alone like Il Sub halbae did and then getting off and making a scene.

          Like Geun Hyung said to Gu halbae in the last ep “Travelling and going through these hardships is tiring but in the end it makes it more memorable, right hyung?”

          Il Sub halbae does no work, nothing, and whines the most. Compare that to what a hard time Soon Jae had the first ep being in charge and getting them to their hostel, staying up in the airplane to study, all done silently and with a smile, he had a cold and was exhausted by the end of it but he never once made an issue of it, and you can see why some people aren’t taking kindly to Il Sub halbaes whole attitude.

          • Sammi

            Yeeeees. This WHOLE thread, basically.

            I get that GF and DB love Il-Sub halbae and they want to defend him. But they really didn’t have to mention that the complaints about him were unfounded and that it’s just a matter of “culture clash”. If you just like him and don’t like it that other people aren’t as fond of him, then it’s really just about you taking issue with people who don’t agree with you, isn’t it? People need to get off that culture differences high-horse. He may be a dignified actor/elder, but he’s the one who committed to this when he signed on to do the show. If this is just a documentary about him taking a trip on his own, then who can blame him for traveling the way he wants to. But the man is getting paid for doing this and he’s traveling with a group of peers, and whether they like it or not, need to work together to make this a pleasant trip. THAT’s the difference, and that alone enables views to decide whether they like or dislike him.

            Admittedly, he’s a LOT better this trip than any of the trips so far. Yes, he’s mature and much more open-minded now, and I’ve grown fond of him. But it didn’t dismissed the fact that his attitude was stank during the first two seasons, and perhaps that might have turned the less patient viewers away.

          • Colourfulsensibilities

            I only remembered today that he gets paid to go on these trips. That makes it even worse, he really is wasting the trip and it’s still a job of sorts and I don’t think it’s fair to be paid for not compromising and complaining and slowing down the group.

            I’m thinking the people who are defending him aren’t actually watching the show they’re just reading the recaps. Sorry jb and gf, it’s not about culture clash that viewers are not responding to him. He didn’t like France or Germany or Switzerland. He wasn’t interest in Taiwan and he’s not interested in Spain. It’s not only international viewers catching on to his attitude, Koreans did too and the whole production knows it and they highlight it consistently. And we all know someone like that, from any country, whom thinks that their country is the end to all countries, that what they know and see is the best and nothing can beat it. This attitude isn’t just for travel, it bleeds out into everything they do and they’re the types of people who will refuse to listen and accept any opinion but their own. The worst case is they’re racist and believe it or not you can be racist without meaning to be and the other case is that you’re just ignorant and biased. This all starts with refusing to acknowledge the world outside of yourself. These people are narrow minded and pig headed and that’s not an attitude that should be defended or praised. You can also tell Il sub halbae gets totally unreasonable when he’s angry or annoyed.

            It’s funny how he went walking (to find Korean food) and sat (to drink coffee) for one episode and it’s only because he had find his own food because no one was around to serve him, and everyone who is defending him is like

            Real travel!
            Such local!
            Not tourist!!
            Much wow!

            And they ignored every other time he sat down and straight up refused to go anywhere or see anything because he didn’t want to walk. Which was a lot of times. The walking is the biggest concern for him simply for the fact that he doesn’t care for any of the activities they do, seeing the country or experiencing the culture.

            He really doesn’t have any excuse except for that’s just his personality and that’s understandable but not likable. I think he’s made some progress but it was still pretty bad this season, especially the episode where he had to walk longer than the 5 minutes he was told. He was basically spitting venom the whole time and then reprimanded Seo jin who made an honest mistake. Walking is a part of travel. You just can’t get around that fact no matter which way you slice it so he just isn’t compatible with the show.

            I disagree with the assessment of his image, I think it’s because he’s a veteran actor that it won’t affect him much because his roles are set, but if he were a younger actor like Seo Jin or god forbid a kpop idol that acted this way, there would have to be some serious damage control.

      • 4.1.5 Magic

        Rrr, did you watch season 1, when they were in Lucerne? It was the last day when soon jae halbae and Seo Jin went walking around slowly, just talking, feeding ducks, observing locals, riding on boats soaking up the atmosphere, (I.e actually immersing themselves in culture without seeing any tourist sights, the thing people are claiming Il Sub halbae did this ep when he didn’t)

        And where was Il Sub halbae? Sleeping back at the hotel and lazing around back at the hotel. Then on a cigarette break he saw Seo Jin and soon jae halbae walk across the bridge and he made fun of them for doing so. He was like “haha they’re just walking around uselessly! Why would they do that? He didn’t understand what they were doing so to suggest he did the same in this episode is kinda ridiculous because one, he chose stay back at home again because he didn’t want to travel anywhere and two, only ventured out to find food, same as the lucerne episode. And he made fun of the halbaes for wanting to see the bridge and making the most out of the experience again.

        Sorry to say that he’s the narrow minded one, actively dismissing cultures and any travelling style that doesn’t involve Korean food and soju.

    • 4.2 yesyes

      He totally doesnt deserve the complaints. Poor him. My father is very much like Il Sub so I understand.

      • 4.2.1 chakichalk

        He does all the complaining to people who don’t deserve the complaints like Seo Jin but doesn’t deserve the complaints against him?

        Makes sense.

        • yesyes

          Good job twisting my words.

  5. mary

    OMG hahahaha I died laughing at this recap. So much fun in this episode. It’s really best when Na PD and Seo Jin are butting heads.

    Or more like, Na PD keeps trying to butt heads with Seo Jin while the Hyung swats him away like a fly. 😀

    I have to agree with Il Sub Halbae re: “Not Proper Tourists”

    I just want to *be* in a new place, not run/walk around trying to get picture-perfect frames of buildings and cathedrals! Sometimes you just want to go to a special place and sit and watch people walk by and eat new things!

    Maaaaaan that’s my dream South Korea trip! No running around trying to go from museum to museum. Just me hanging out at mini-marts and strolling along shops and buying cute socks and wearing ahjumma pants… Maybe going to a movie when I feel like, then getting distracted and eating dokboki in a pojangmacha on the way, missing the movie and going “eh, I’ll just go tomorrow”. 😀

  6. bebethao

    Seriously I would love to watch this with English subs but it’s no where…so sad! 🙁

    • 6.1 annachae

      It’s on Hulu.

  7. xoxoxq

    Love Seo Jin oppa even more after watching Wonderful Season!! 😉

  8. Sarang

    I’m one that alternatively loves and gets annoyed at Il Sub halbae. On one hand he’s so cute and so funny with his random comments and man child teddy bear looks, he reminds me of the grandpa in UP haha. On the other hand when he dismisses stuff offhandedly and doesn’t even try to show some interest (for getting a free trip) then I have to tamp down the natural reactions in me. I think that’s the real problem that some viewers have an issue with, that he doesn’t make an effort and makes everyone cater to him and it’s especially obvious when he’s right next to his hyungs who want to make the most of the experience and go everywhere. I don’t think the issue that his travelling style is different and he likes to just laze around and people watch. That’d be fine but that’s not the case, all he wants to do is sit and eat and if you get in some sights in while he’s doing that then he calls it a day and “traveling”. If he coulda stayed home all day and had seo Jin cook for him I think he wouldn’t have gone out at all.

    What is really an issue to me this season is what they choose to show as oppose to not show. I download the episode on torrent right after it airs because I’ve been so excited for it. But each week leaves me with an unsatisfied feeling because there never seems to be any Halbaes (except Il sub halbae grumpy reactions) and half an episode or more is dedicated to Seo Jin’s troubles, cooking and car etc. I thought when Na pd said it was gna be less about sighting seeing and more about the travelling, it just meant less money and more schedule and more sights and places for the halbaes! That’s not the case I feel like we’ve barely seen Spain at all. I know Ronda took 2 hours to get there but they literally spent 5 minutes on it on what seems to be a theme each ep: aerial shots with the helicam, reaction shots of the grandpas going “yaaaaaa” and then more helicam shots, taking a picture then done, cut to something else. I guess the day was short but dude I KNOW you had more footage than that, when Geun Hyung halbae was heading down to the observatory I was yay and then they showed him for 2 seconds and I was like oh.

    I guess I’m in the minority but Seo Jin and Na pd and their struggles is entertaining/funny but I came for the heart warming moments of the grandpas enjoying themselves like season 1 and 2 and to get an ep full of cooking and car troubles again was disappointing this week. They always do a great preview of all the culture places and activities so I get excited but that’s all it is, a one second shot in the next ep. Na pd please remember what your show is called!

    • 8.1 Mrgerman

      At first I was all like yay free day Il sub halbae gets to rest and do whatever and be happy and the rest can go wherever without having to worry about him this ep is gna be AWESOME. Then we saw the halbaes for about 15 minutes all together and the Ronda trip was actually about 5 minutes, I counted lol. And I was like again?

      Il Sun halbae made me smile this ep when he hasn’t done that in a long time but then he lost me again when he was like “today I really did well! And the hyungs had to drive 2 hours just to see a bridge haha!”. Really Il sub halbae? You’re actually calling them out for wanting to go places and make the most of the experience? All they’ve ever done is be caring towards him and his grumpy ways when frankly it slowed the others down a lot but they never once complained and understood him and so it came off as a tad ungrateful to be making fun of them even if it wasn’t mean spirited, he couldn’t for the life of him understand why they would want to go and just concentrated on the 2 hour car trip as being indicative of why it must’ve sucked and that shows his complete lack of interest in the culture and that’s why I think lots of people have been voicing their concern about why he is there when he doesn’t want to be. It was like the first ep of noona over flowers when he asked why they couldn’t go to Croatia and Yeo Jung was like “um what are you talking about all you did was sulk and not want to go anywhere on your own trip lol” it’s like he’s going just for the sake of going.

      Logistically I think it’s unrealistic for noona and halbaes to go all together but you know what I would LOVE?? Swap the two porters around for one season!!! Like have Seung gi go with the halbaes and be all bumbling and not getting much praise like he did with the noonas and I think he’s try and interact with the halbaes much more than Seo Jin does cuz they’re always so silent, and Seo Jin with the noonas who have all these opinions and try to get stuff done themselves when Seo jin is always used to having no say or having ALL the responsibility, it would throw him off so much haha! Oh god that would be so epic! Please make it happen na pd!

      • 8.1.1 maryngoround

        I don’t like seeing Seo Jin troubles, I didn’t like it in the first season and this season is just viewers being bombarded with it and I find it the opposite of funny, I just feel so bad for him. He seemed so much more confident at the start of this trip and it is just going downhill. The previews at the start of the season made it seem like he enjoyed himself more this season but nope.

        I also want halbaes, 24/7 so this season definitely doesn’t have me feeling as feel good’ as the first two. Oh well.

      • 8.1.2 kyl

        I’d LOVE to see that happen: the swapping between porters. I’m curious to see how the halbaes would react with the heodang porter who is the opposite of capable Seo-jinnie. I think Seo-jin will talk a lot with the women; Kim Hee-sun said he talks a lot like an ahjumma, LOL. Different people, different dynamics.

        I think I might be in the minority when I say that I totally enjoy Seo-jin’s troubles because they’re kinda entertaining…for the first season. Na PD is always trying to squeeze out any entertaining factors at any possible moment and to him, when ppl makes mistakes it’s entertaining (that’s why he’s a sadistic PD). It worked in the context of 1N2D because the casts can work around it and they know they have to be entertaining even in the midst of sadistic games. But this is essentially a travel show with no pre-planned games and all. So I think while Na PD being sadistic and mean is entertaining, I’m worried that it’s irritating to other viewers who tune in for the travel aspect so I guess a balance is a must.

        That said, I love their fight over money at the end. Haha.

        • maryngoround

          There has been absolutely no balance this season. Every ep has 10-20 minutes of the halbaes and the rest is Seo Jin troubles. I agree it’s entertaining but not at the expense of the halbaes and what the show was about originally. You can practically name it Seo Jin over halbaes cuz we see him every second he struggles and the halbaes get helicam and reaction shots, picture, cut, done.

          How cool would that be? I think they really need to shake things up cuz I sense some flagging interest this season. And Seo Jin is like older than Mi Yeon, but she’s so boisterous that wouldn’t faze her at all. He’d deff get to interact way more with the cast than he does with the grandpas who he tries to give a wide berth aside from doing his duties.

          Seung gi would really make effort to talk to the halbaes, and it be ten times more entertaining if he screwed up with the halbaes cuz the noonas just laughed it off and tried to help.

          Eeeee I’m getting excited for something that’s not real 🙁 Does Na pd have an email???

    • 8.2 TS

      I have to agree: more travel shots!

    • 8.3 sammi

      I do enjoy seeing Seo Jin and Na PD bickering — although in reality is more like Seo Jin not caring and doing an awesome job and Na PD picking on him and wanting to see him fail. But like you, I’m also disappointed in the lack of sightseeing scenes with the grandpas and their reaction. I barely remembered seeing Soon-jae grandpa this season, other than the first two episodes when they fought about money. It kind of went down hill after the Gaudi architecture episode.

      • 8.3.1 strawberrycherry

        Soon jae halbae really does have the most incredible life and he’s so interesting to listen and watch, I think it’s such a shame and waste to not show more of him and interview him more, as opposed to showing Seo Jin struggling to cook for the umpteenth time. This season is really missing out on character points and developments and it really takes away the magic that was the first season for me.

  9. fontnadetrevi

    lol sorry but Il Sub halbae doesn’t sit to people watch and appreciate local culture, he sits to not stand.

    • 9.1 champelsee

      LOLed so hard at this comment.


  10. 10 TS

    I want to get Il-Sub Halbae on a maknae rebellion show already – produced by Na PD.

    Can you imagine all those popstar maknaes’ jaws dropping when IlSub Halbae joins them?

  11. 11 yesyes

    Seo Jin/Na PD’s bromance is giving me life.

  12. 12 Mia

    Love this bromance, dare I say it can compete with Yoo Ah In and Song Joong Ki? Hahahahah!

  13. 13 Abbie

    Loved this episode! It always brings a smile to my face when I’m feeling down.

    Thanks for the recap, JB and GF!

  14. 14 fareeda

    Always waiting for your recap and review. Thanks a lot and you really make my day..

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