Friday, November 21, 2014

SARAH GOES TO SOUTH KOREA: TRAVELING AND DAYS ONE AND TWO

Have I mentioned I have travel anxiety? Because I do.
On the outside I may look calm and undisturbed by everything going on around me, but on the inside I am so full of teenage angst and motherly worry. That's a terrible combination. Terrible!
So I went to South Korea the first week and a half of November. This was my first ever international trip. I flew to Seattle on Sunday night and tried to Space A out of Seattle on Monday. Space A is basically where I try and hop on military flight standby, but it is entirely contingent on the space available and the weight limit. Ticket price for a Space A flight: $17.50 NO JOKE. Doesn't that sound magical and worth the fight and struggle rather than having to pay $1000+ for a ticket.
So I tried to Space A out on Monday but didn't get it, but that's okay because we found out there were more documents I needed to get in (of course). Tuesday morning at 4:00 a.m. arrived and the flight was at its weight limit. So I wasn't getting on that flight. The next Space A flight out was Thursday and that one only went to Japan. I had planned on being gone Monday-Tuesday, so just a little over a week. That didn't fit with my schedule.
So I walked around the airport for 30 minutes talking on the phone with Jeff before going up to the Delta ticket counter and finding out how much a place ticket to South Korea, round trip, would be. Got the price, it wasn't horribly frightening. So we talked about it some more. Jeff said no let's not spend the money. I balked at his answer. Usually its the other way around, I'm the one who's concerned about the finances and spending money, but this time it didn't feel right to say no. It just didn't.
I miss that man.
I miss him so much that my usually tight-budgeted mind walked up to the ticket counter after an hour on the phone with Jeff and my parents and bought a plane ticket to South Korea that left in two hours.
I got upgraded to Economy Comfort and knew the second they brought me a lavender scented towel that I would never fly anything less again (internationally anyway). The flight over wasn't too bad. Slight bumps, so I couldn't freak too much. The girl I sat next too was really nice and they brought us snacks like every three hours. Oh yes I would love an ice cream sandwich!
The movie selection was AMAZING. I never get to just sit and watch movies to my hearts content and so I fully took advantage of this trip to indulge. 22 Jump Street, Guardians of the Galaxy, Lucy, the entire first season of Flight of the Concords, the entire third season of Veep.
The only problem?
I couldn't sleep. Oh I tried. I had my contacts out, I had the little eye cover over my eyes. I had blankets and pillows. But no. Sleep evaded me. I'd been up since 2:15 a.m. that morning and I stayed wide awake for the next 11 hours and 15 minutes of that flight.
When we finally started to descend, the fatigue started to hit me.
I rolled up my window and saw the gray sprawl of an evening ocean with little pods of land and saw Korea for the first time.
The word I would use to describe South Korea and I would say this is how I felt about it from the second I got off the plane until the day I left was INTENSITY.
Everyone and everything is going and moving and busy.
Luckily for me, I rolled in with a crowd of military guys who kind of knew where they were going so I followed them down the escalator, hopped on the train, and then rode up the four flights of escalators to customs. Once I was through customs and had my first ever passport stamp, I made my way through the baggage claim area to the exit where I found my handsome husband waiting! He was able to leave work early to come and pick me up. :)
So happy to see this guy. 
Oh just an ice rink inside the huge Incheon airport. No biggie.
From the airport we got train passes and hopped on the train for a four hour journey (we missed a few trains and had to wait longer than normal) back to where Jeff is stationed.
I fell asleep pretty much the second we got back.
I slept most of the next day (Thursday) until Jeff got me up to get signed in and fill out some paperwork. I got a bite to eat and then got to go and deliver letters like this:
To the guys Jeff works with for Veterans Day.  Those are evil sharks FYI.
 
And that was pretty much it. Jeff had to work. I cleaned his apartment from top to bottom and then we met some of his friends out for a few drinks before calling it a night.
The time difference thing weirded me out. When it was 12:00 p.m. on Thursday and I was having lunch, my parents were just putting the boys down for bed at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday night. It just made my mind freak a little.
 
Friday Jeff had to work and everyone there gets up at the butt-crack of dawn so I watched some shows (Hello Gilmore Girls on Netflix!) and exercised before hopping on the bus and taking myself to Starbucks for coffee and a muffin. Let me tell you, I'm not usually a Starbucks fan, but the coffee over in Korea...AMAZING. I don't think I had a bad cup of coffee when I was over there.
And that's not a muffin, that's a macaroon. I bought that after I ate my muffin.
That was also very good.
Jeff got done with work late on Friday and we took a taxi with Jeff's captain into town and joined another military family for a traditional Korean dinner. It was good. My stomach wasn't terribly happy, but I ate as much food as I could and then we talked and laughed and told stories before the hour came where we all just hit that tired wall. You know, that wall all of us late twenty-somethings, maybe early thirty-somethings hit when it gets to be past 8:30 p.m. when you are so tired that even though its Friday night all you want to do is crawl into bed and watch New Girl. Yeah that, we all hit that. So we caught another taxi who took us on a freaking joy ride through town (holy crap) before we made it back home and crashed for the night.
 
And that my friends was essentially my first two days in South Korea. Hold on to your horses though, because we're about to have a picture explosion and go on a fantastical journey filled with lanterns, and palaces, and weird looking statues.
I hope you're ready.

1 comment:

chazzmor said...

Enjoyed your blog. Looking forward to the next entry.