Monday, November 26, 2012

The Long Trip Back

Flying back to Korea I flew on United.  It was quite a bit different from Delta for several reasons, and I'll get into those later.

On Tuesday afternoon I flew from Niceville to Housten.  The flight was rather uneventful, but I was starving by the end of it and they served no snack, just drinks.

As soon as I got to Housten I took the tram to the right concourse, where I proceeded to follow my nose to a Subway.  I couldn't eat a foot long, but I ordered one anyway since I had a suspicion that the flight to San Francisco wouldn't have food either.  I ate half the sandwich and then found my gate and played on iPad until it was time to board.

I had been partially right about the flight to San Francisco.  There was food, but they charged extra for it.  And it wasn't worth what they were charging.  So about an hour out of San Francisco I ate the rest of my sandwich.

It was about 2100 or so when I landed and I went and grabbed my bags, then found the free taxi to my hotel.  I had a pleasant stay in the hotel.  I don't know what it is about hotels, but whenever I stay in one all by myself I actually feel like I'm a real adult.  Which is amusing, since you'd think leaving everything I know to get a job in a country halfway across the world would make me feel that more.

The next morning I woke early, grabbed some of the free breakfast, and headed back to the airport.  I dropped off my bag again and then passed through security and found my gate.

The flight was booked solid so they were offering to check carry on bags for free.  I checked mine since I didn't want to deal with finding a spot for it.

Once on the plane I found I was in the very last row between a young Korean man and an old Korean woman.  It turned out the woman and her husband were on the flight together and their seats had been separated.  So, remembering my first flight overseas when a nice young man switched with my grandmother so our seats would be together I offered to switch with him.  After a conversation using hand gestures and my baby Korean they understood me and I found myself pleasantly surprised to be sitting in an aisle seat next to a young Korean woman.

It was SO much better!

The flight was really long.  I couldn't really sleep, though I managed to doze a little.  There were no screens on the back of the seats so I had to watch whatever they put on.  Some were good, like 'Men in Black 3', others I'd seen before, like 'The Amazing Spiderman', and some were so boring I don't even remember the names...

I read some on my kindle and even watched a movie on my iPad.

It was a long flight.

When I arrived at Incheon I helped a couple young (18ish) army people that had no idea where to go.  I don't think they'd ever traveled internationally before.

Customs was easy to get through.  Though after I picked up my suitcase I got stopped for a random drug search and my bags were sniffed by a dog.

I was met by a taxi driver my school hired.  He drove me all the way across Seoul to my school.  Then I was taken to my apartment, since the girl I was replacing had already moved out.

I wasn't expecting that so I had no towels or anything.  Luckily MY came to my rescue when he got off work with towels and such.   It was so nice to shower again.

The next day, Friday, I got picked up by the school secretary, Young Teacher.  She took me to work where I spent the morning and afternoon following around the previous teacher.

Then, at 1600, I raced out of the school, sped walked to the subway, and rode it for an hour to the opposite side of Seoul.  Then I walked for 15-20 minutes to the immigration office where I proceeded to transfer my visa from CNS to Kid's College.  I also had to pick up stamped copies of the apostilled copies they had of my diploma and FBI background check.

Go figure.

The immigration office closed at 1800 and I left there just as it closed.  Then I walked the 15-20 minutes back to the subway, rode it for an hour and did my best not to fall asleep.

I completely skipped my apartment, though all I wanted was my bed, and got off at the East Seoul Bus Terminal.  I met MY and we grabbed some food before boarding the 2000 bus to Daegu.  I passed out as soon as the bus was moving.  Upon reaching Daegu we caught a taxi to his parents' house.  The taxi tried to cheat us by taking the long way and MY gave him hell.

Don't try and trick someone in their hometown.

That's why when I've ridden in a taxi by myself to somewhere new I keep my maps up on my phone.

We got to his parents house sometime between 2300 and 0000.  I really don't know.  I really just remember washing and then passing out.  I woke up really early the next morning due to jet lag and MY's parents made MY get up, though I was happy to quietly read my kindle.  His mom was concerned that I needed something and since we couldn't communicate very well poor MY lost sleep....

After breakfast and some watching of Pixar shorts MY and I grabbed his car and headed down to Changwon.

We went downtown and met up with my replacement, Tiana, to give her the spare key I had for my apartment that I had forgotten about before.  Then we went over to JD's place.

We grabbed all of my stuff and loaded it in MY's car.  The three of us grabbed lunch together and had a good time talking.  We eventually said farewell though and headed back to Daegu.

We had a light dinner with his mom and sister and then continued on to Seoul.  I passed out pretty early on in the drive.  We made one stop to use the bathroom, except for then I was sound asleep as my body healed and recovered from the jet lag.

We unpacked the car and then he found a parking spot somewhere and we showered and slept.  Well, I went back to sleep.

The next morning he headed out to the goshiwon he'd been staying in and got all of his stuff while I stayed and unpacked my stuff.  Once we were all unpacked we headed to Lotte and E-Mart where we got hooks to go over the doors, a shoe rack, dishes, and other random things we needed.

Then he went and parked his car at his office while I finished setting things up and unpacking.  He came back and we grabbed some food and then passed out at about 1800.

We didn't wake up again until 0600 on Monday morning.

We both needed that.

Due to the traveling I have no idea how long it actually was between when I boarded the plane in Niceville and when I woke up on Monday morning, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the longest times of my life.

Especially since I was still trying to cough up my lung.

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