Sunday, April 4, 2010

Flying the friendly skies

As I sit here eating an apple on Singapore Airlines listening to the "Into the Wild" soundtrack I decided it was time to write a little in the journal. I wanted to write aout my adventure that is this day so far. First, I need to thank dad for getting up to drive me to Nashville at 4am when he didn't get in from his trip to South Carolina until close to 1am. I know he was exhausted and I'm sure the pouring rain didn't help as well.
When we arrived at the airport in Nashville we were too late and I missed my flight! However, the ladies at American Airlines (AA) were beyond nice and helpful and were able to get me on the next flight to Dallas, which was to leave at 7:05 and most importantly would still get me to the Incheon airport in Korea on time and it only cost me $50 to make that happen, very much worth it. I also learned that you don't pay luggage fee for international flights which seemed werid. So, I loaded my luggage onto the scale and what do you know, it's too heavy. So, I open the bag and start pulling clothes that I don't need: Charlie's sweat pants, ah probably don't need them; Pineapple shirt, hate to but it's staying with you dad. So, after a little trial and error we were able to get the suitcase under weight. Wow, even our suitcases in America are overweight.
To keep everything in balance though, I made sure to keep my hot pink Hawaiian shirt, you know so I'll make sure to stand out. I'll have to say that I fell in love with the AA lady as she was very nice and helped me more than I would ever expect especially at 6AM. Once we were able to get that situated I walked Dad and Allison back to the van to say goodbye. Allison is happy now that she doesn't have to fight for "shotgun" in the van, but I have a feeling she wishes she did. After saying goodbye I went through security and boarded my plane for Dallas. Normally I don't talk a lot to the people on the plane but the man next to me, He had him a guitar (Forrest Gump reference for you slow polks). We chit chatted a little and I asked him about the gutar and he said he was a song writer and that he predominately wrote country songs. I told him he was in the right city then! I enjoed discussing today's country vs old country and we also talked about my trip and he was very nice and encouraging. Then we talked about how it's hard for some people back home in KY to understand why someone would fly across the world to teach English.
As to why I'm doing this I will have to discuss later. After we landed in Dallas I bought a Code Red(Mt. Dew) and waited to get my boarding pass. I met an older layd that said we all looked like crap in a way only an elderly lady could say and you not be offended. It reminded me of someone and gave me a warm feeling inside. The flight from Dallas to SF was interesting as I fell in and out of sleep in the last row of the plane with an engine right next to me, for 4 hours! When I arrived in San Francisco I headed towards the International Wing. Right before I walked into that wing I stopped and had a junior whopper combo at Burger King, I should have just waited! I was concerened as I approached the counter as I didn't have a boarding pass yet. The lady at the counter said I shoule have got there earlier as they didn't have a ticket for me yet. Adding to my fun was that I didn't have a baggage ticket and they didn't know where my luggage was just yet. She asked me to come back in 20 minutes, so I sat down for a while and then decided to use the bathroom before my 13 hour flight. when I came out of the bathroom they were calling my name over the intercom and I hurried over to the counter and they had my ticket and my luggage, hooray!
Every since I stepped foot on the plane it has been awesome. I have a tv and have already watched Law Abiding Citizen, which I would strongly recommend! Next I watched Precious, in which words cannot come close to describing. For lunch we were given Chicken which lad lima beans, caulifloer and other veggies along with a hot roll and butter, salad, brownie, a coke and water. I told the guy next to me that my grandmother would be happy as I had a hot meal and bread. She was always asking me if I'd had a hot meal. I forgot to mention that I had to pee like right when I got on the plane, but I was lucky that the guy next to me was great and I went and used the bathroom for the first time on a plane. Since then I've been writing this and talking to the lady to my right who is also a really nice person.
For the rest of the flight I chatted with the people next to me some and tried to help the lady with her tv set and we didn't have the best of luck. I also watched part of the movie 2010 and also just tried to relax a while before we landed. It was very weird leaving basically in daylight and having daylight the entire trip and also when I landed. Once off the plane I followed the signs to go through immigration and to pick up my luggage. It's very handy that all of the signs are in English as well as Korean. I stood in line for about 10 minutes and I handed the lady my passport and received my first stamp! Afterwards I rode the escalator down to the luggage claim and waited for my suitcase. I always have a part of me that worries that the luggage won't be there, especially this trip when I'm so far away from home. However, after a few minutes I found my luggage and met a guy named Joshua Nardi that was doing the same thing as I and he would be teaching in Seoul.
I gathered my things and walked outside to look for someone to be holding up a sign with my name, and it was the first one I see. This was the first time I'd ever had anyone waiting for me at an airport with a sign. We walked to the bus taxi and put my things in and headed for Ildong where I'll live. The airport is in Incheon and it's a little ways from Seoul and then Ildong is a small town and it's about an hour or so from Seoul. With the traffic it ended up taking us about two hours to reach Ildong in which the long day caught up with me and I nodded in and out of sleep. On the ride in I wasn't for certain exactly where we were heading so I just sat back, relaxed and slept. Once were arrived in Ildong I picked up my things and met my co-teacher Bomi and my landlord and his wife. My building is three stories high and I live on the top floor. They give me my keys and show me my apartment and everything in it. It's a nice apartment with a good sized tv and everything else I need.
In Korea the heating system is mainly in the floor, which is nice when you get up at night. I talked with Bomi for a while and another English teacher stopped by and we discussed everything. They helped me find my way to the FamilyMart, which is a conveiniant store, where I picked up a bottle of water and a loaf of bread. Afterwards they left for the evening and I put everything away and tried to sleep althought it was much of a success. 'Til next time.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading the blog...sounds like you had an awesome adventure already. Much prayers and blessings to you Eric and your Dad.:)