Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas Eve -- and Stay Warm

My flight left Charlotte at 7am on 12/22. I arrived in Memphis to find that my flight from Memphis to Seattle had been cancelled due to the snow, so I was rerouted through Detroit, then on to Tokyo and finally Seoul. Every flight was packed to capacity, every flight was late taking off. Every connection I had to run to catch, but it could have been so much worse. The flight from Detroit to Tokyo is just too long no matter how you think about it, and I am sure I will be sore and achy tomorrow but it is done so the pain of that portion of the experience is quickly wearing off.

The real fun started when we got here. Several people do not have their luggage due to all of the chaos with the flights. I, ever sooooo gratefully, do have my luggage. I praise God because I know that if I didn't have it, I would be so stressed right now.

I had already met several of the teachers as I had journeyed through the different legs of my trip so it was easy to all get together at the airport. There was a man holding a sign that said "English Camp" so we all gathered. Our flights (scheduled to get in at 9.10) didn't arrive until after 10pm and we were not all on the bus until 11.30.

Our group was 21 people (I think) and we dropped off the first two people (to go to wherever they are staying) at about 11.50. It was strange. The bus pulled up, a few semi-bilingual Koreans met the bus, whisked away the teachers and then we drove off. A little disconcerting since no one knows where anyone is or how to get there.

Then... the bus broke down. I kid you not! There we sat in the middle of traffic in a broken bus at midnight! It gets better folks!
It is bitterly cold must be in the teens at night. The bus starts to cool down (before it was comfortable climate wise).

After 45 minutes many of us decided we needed a bathroom. Our first authentic Korean bathroom experience. I am an old pro at squattie potties. This was the one in my room in Thailand:

However, this was the one at the seedy gas station tonight:

Uggggg. But it is still better than sitting in a bus that was approaching freezing while trying not to allow your shivering to cause you to pee in your pants!

Finally, another bus came to pick us up. It had NO working heat. But it was 'festive' as shown in the picture here:

Why do asians (sorry to generalize) seem to think that cute is always ok. Side note Cute is NOT always in good taste. Especially in freezing cold, old, worn out busses at 2 in the morning!)

We dropped off the next two sets of people. By now it was almost 3am.

(If you look closely you can see the time on the clock on the upper right side of the picture.)

Finally, only a few of us remained. We started off on the last 45 minute leg of our journey. The bus was so cold I actually wondered if it was possible to pass out from too much cold!!!!

We arrived at our destination about 4 am. I know the girls I am traveling with are a little disappointed at accomodations. They are small, but they are clean and pretty. I am satisfied and grateful

Seriously, the room cannot be more than 6' x 8' which wouldn't be bad except the shower/bathroom takes up a good 4' x 4' hunk.

These are our shoes stacked by the elevator. (We are on the 7th floor.)

But it is a cute little building. Patterned (yes, cute) tiles. A nice little kitchen. My bedroom door.

Woooo so much more to tell, but I was only able to sleep about two hours total on the plane, which means in the past 70 hours or so, I have slept about 7.
Look for more pics and stories tomorrow!

1 comment:

Regan said...

What's up with the photo of the urinal on the floor? Aren't urinals usually on the wall? Why were you in a men's bathroom anyway?