It begins…

1 Sep

Moving to another country is never an easy feat. You are bound to stumble over many obstacles and have to climb up many hills… However, I can say with absolute certainty that it is totally worth it… and over the course of writing this blog, I will show you exactly why…

***

September 1st 2010:

Having only had around 3 hours sleep (maybe 4), I woke up to the sound of my ipod alarm clock chirping away at around 6.30am… This, of course, had been set with the intention of getting “up an’ attum” the moment it was heard…

But this is me we’re talking about… And anyone who knows me knows that that is just not feasible(-_-#)

The concept of moving ones arse does not compute, even at the best of times… So, true to form, I lazed in bed until around until the last minute, then wisely thought it best to GET THE HELL OUT OF BED!!!

Following my final departure from amongst the bed covers, I ran around like a headless chicken (no surprises there) making some last minute preparations – bathing, picking up my freshly re-heeled boots, downing a can of cherry coke for breakfast, etc. I then had about 10 minutes in which to grab all that was to be the sum of my worldly possessions over the course of the following 10 months before the taxi arrived… Fun times.

Once in the taxi with my Mother by my side and my crap in the boot, we set off for the airport… Along the way I couldn’t help but think I had left something behind… Of course, I did… But nothing important, luckily enough. (^_^;;)

After arriving at the airport, checking in my beast of a suitcase, and having a last chat (accompanied by a caramel latte) with my dear Mother, I set off through the war zone that is customs and into the magical world that is duty free. (FTW!)

I topped up on my supplies of deodorant (because Asian deodorant just doesn’t cut it) and lancome makeup (perhaps the only brand I will swear by), grabbed a toothbrush, toothpaste and a world transformer plug thingy-ma-bob, then headed over to the nearest bar, sat down with a large glass of red wine and proceeded to ponder on the journey that lay ahead of me…

Tickets - check. Passport - check. Large glass of red wine - check. ALRIGHT LETS DO THIS THANG!!!

The flight over to Dubai wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, the service (Emirates) was pretty damn awesome. A lunch consisting of a Prawn Cocktail and Lamb Curry, followed by a delish-much! Chocolate and Praline delice, was served just before half time, after which I settled down to simultaneously watch Avatar (the first half in English, then the second half in Japanese because I was bored…) and play The Sims 2 (as you do) on my laptop. Tried to sleep afterwards but for some reason felt quite dizzy and like the air was too thin – I figured later that it was probably a mixture of tiredness, excitement and some form of air sickness *nonchalant shrug*. The staff very kindly offered me some oxygen until I felt better – a little bit extreme I thought, but it seemed to do the trick and I managed to chill out enough to doze the rest of the way to Dubai…

Dubai is a very interesting airport… well… that is if you call having to walk from one side of the airport to the other in order to go through customs in order to come right back the way you came again, interesting… To be honest, I just found it perplexing, but that’s just me… And perhaps vaguely amusing – on the way to customs I saw a group of slightly mafia-esq Asian (Chinese I think, but not 100% sure..) men on the lower floor, sat on the airport floor in a circle playing cards. On the way back I walked past them again the other way on the same floor. (^_^)

With an hour to spare until my gate opened, and having passed on succumbing to the lure of Dubai airport’s duty free, I found myself thirsty… But I had no Durhams with which to buy anything… Then I remembered – Taka had left a 5 Durham note behind after visiting me from Japan and for some reason I had felt compelled to put it in my hand luggage, just in case… Turns out a bottle of coke and a packet of Rigley’s Watermelon chewing gum comes to just 4 Durhams – ftw~!

I pretty much freaked out when I saw this... My only other love, aside from Green Tea, is Watermelon... (ナイス〜!)

There was also a strange little ‘pub’ across from where I sat down to chill out – called ‘The Irish Pub”….

An 'Irish' Pub... in Dubai.... yeh....

The flight to Incheon Airport from Dubai wasn’t so great – there was a fair amount of turbulence and so I wasn’t able to sleep particularly well.. However I didn’t have any problems like on the previous flight, and the journey was made so much better by changing into my awesome paint-splattered pj bottoms

FTW!

This grand idea was inspired by Dr Cherry, who upon hearing my concerns about flying in planes (I reeeeeeeally don’t like planes~!) gave me the following advice:

Think of the likelihood of someone being in a plane crash – it is very rare, much rarer than being in a car crash… and then think of the likelihood of someone with a half-eaten ham sandwich in one back pocket, and a ping-pong ball in the other being in a plane crash – it’s pretty much unheard of, maybe a 1 in 1 billion chance… So, if you are scared about being in a plane crash, put a half-eaten ham sandwich in one back pocket and a ping-pong ball in the other!!!

Ok, so it’s not exactly a half-eaten ham sandwich kind of situation here, but the basic idea was the same… I figured the likelihood of someone wearing crazy paint-splattered pj bottoms would have less of a chance of being in a plane crash…. plus… squished-sandwich-in-back-pocket didn’t really appeal to me... (^_^;;)

The in flight breakfast was ok – Fresh Seasonal fruit accompanied by Mushroom Omelet (served with sauteed parsley potatoes and creamy spinach), a Croissant and a small portion of Kimchi (Yes, Kimchi – the Korean guy sat next to me got some so I figured I would ask for some too *nonchalant shrug*).

The ‘light meal‘ we were served towards the end of the flight was also good, but a little odd – Vegetable niçoise (Mixed vegetables tossed in olive oil, served with fresh lemon) and Orange hot bean chicken (soy flavoured chicken thigh, topped with an orange flavoured hot bean sauce, served with stir-fried pancit noodles.)…. Oh, and of course – Kimichi (again!).

In between naps I perused the in flight entertainment system some more (battery had run out on laptop and so couldn’t play the sims…) – switched between Korean pop music channels, Japanese Enka music channels, episodes of the Simpsons and episodes of Futurama…  Finally I settled on watching the Korean movie “Harmony” (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED):

This movie had me in flood of tears – luckily the lights were dimmed during the time I watched it so I don’t think anyone saw… However (amusingly) the Korean man sat next to me was watching the same thing and was roughly up to the same part as I was but remained totally stone faced. (^_^;;)

Then, finally (an hour before scheduled arrival) we started the descent towards Incheon airport and touched down with a reasonable landing about 15-30 minutes later than expected…

Thus my grand journey came to an end, and my adventures in South Korea began…

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One Response to “It begins…”

  1. Helen September 11, 2010 at 6:18 PM #

    so glad you got there safely – i’ll ask Martin to get hold of Harmony for me. What is Kimichi?

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