Monday, February 14, 2011

The Struggles of the New Year

         After all the excitement of taking my new camera to Korea, it turned out to be a bust. Due to the horrible weather on the East Coast, my friend Mo’s flight was delayed putting her to arrive in Shanghai after I already left for Korea. In luau of Chinese New years we walked the streets watching all the fireworks go off in what seemed like a war zone, as the night sky was lit with fireworks. Having an 8 o’clock flight to Seoul, Miles, Kirsti and I decided it would be best to have a slumber party at Paulette’s house since her house was closer to the airport shuttle.

We some how managed to oversleep our alarms and rather than leaving at 4:45 as initially planned to take the shuttle, that’s what time we woke up at. In a frantic rush, we gathered our things and ran out the door to find the streets filled with firework remains and even some fireworks still going off. As we ran down the street we were crept on by a lady taxi driver  who slowly approached us as she honked her horn. Obviously, she could tell we had places to be and saw money signs all over us. As we threw our things into the cab, Kristi says, “I really hope that she is starting her shift rather than ending it”. Little did we know after a few minutes driving, it would be the end of her shift as we took a ride of a lifetime. While most taxi driver’s drive like bats out of hell, this in one in particular went rather slow. Figuring she was trying to milk the meter even though we were in a hurry, we soon noticed As cars passed us on the highway that when we hit 60km an hour the car started to shake and wobble, if that wasn’t enough already, she was nodding off at the wheel. After numerous encounters of looking up out the window and seeing the barriers pointed directly in front of us, before she swerved back into the lane, I wondered which would take my life first, the car breaking down or the driving of this lady, or both.
      Miraculously, we managed to make it to the airport safe and in time to catch our flight. Lucky for us, we got emergency exit seats, which provided us with a bit more legroom, which turned out to be clutch. In what was supposed to be a 1-½ flight, it turned into a 6-hour disaster. To top it off Miles was sick the whole time looking white as Casper. Our flight managed to make it to Seoul only to find that there was bad weather, so what do they do? Turn the plane around and go back to  China to a city called Qingtao where we waited on the tarmac for another 2 hours before finally taking off again. Once in Seoul, our adventures continued as we were supposed to meet up with Sawon whose house we were staying at. I managed to forget to get all the logistics of where to meet her exactly. We arrived at the metro station and searched around to find her. After no luck we walked to Starbucks to try and get wireless Internet so that I could message her. 
         While Miles, who was sick as a dog passed out at a table, I wondered the streets with kirsti trying to get wireless reception. Unlike most places, Korea’s wifi requires either a password, or to be registered to access the “free” wifi. Walking around the street for about 45 minutes I managed to find an open network at some coffee shop that I could actually log into. After 2 hours of waiting, it turned out she was at a different exit on the complete other side of the station. In dire need to get Miles a place to lay down, we booked it back to Sawon’s place. The place we were staying at was Sawon’s families “other” house , where they previously lived before moving to the ritzier Southside. This house was essentially abandoned for 3 months, so Sawon apologized it might be a little dusty. Once inside the apartment, it was actually really spacious and nice but there was crap scattered everywhere. It looked like they just took the things they wanted and left everything behind. Although a mess, I couldn’t complain since it was a free place to stay. After a long eventful day, I was blessed with my initial experience of some delivered Korean fried Chicken, which was mighty tasty and finger licking good. If Chicken is this good, I can only imagine what the other food tastes like.

1 comment:

  1. What an ordeal! At least you'll have plenty of stories to tell. And the food in Korea is *amazing* so I am quite jealous. Enjoy your trip and its many adventures!