Published: March 15th 2013March 15th 2013
There’s at least one company (Key West Express for example) that advertises that “getting there is half the fun”. I don’t know that it applies to getting to Asia. I remember that as a youth I would always ask my father "are we there yet?" when on what seemed like a long trip. This is a long trip.
I’m writing this chapter in Seoul, South Korea (actually Incheon Airport) during my five hour layover to Hong Kong. I got up Thursday morning at 4:00 am in Sarasota and got to Detroit for my transfer flight at 12:30 pm to this airport. Everything went smoothly on the 14 hour flight from Detroit to here. It was a Boeing 777 and I had purchased an upgrade to economy class which was a good value for me. But, to get to my seat, I had to go through the business class seats. What an improvement! I don’t know if it’s worth it to me, but what an upgrade that would be! I was fed three times and the flight was smooth except for a few short duration bumpy patches. We actually arrived about 20 minutes early. During my layover I observed a ceremonial procession of Koreans in their native dress parading through the terminal. My camera wasn’t accessible so I missed a great picture opportunity. I exchanged some money because I wanted to eat before I got on the plane to Hong Kong and found a full service restaurant in my terminal (why do they call it a terminal? Do they know something I don’t?). I think they should call it a beginning or an embarkation point or something more positive. I went to that restaurant; they had three kitchens and dining rooms; Italian, Japanese and Korean. I don’t know why I would go to an Italian restaurant in Korea and I will be in Japan for three days in a couple of weeks. I had never eaten in a Korean restaurant before, so I tried it. Good decision! The waitress spoke excellent English and I decided on a stir fried octopus with rice and a couple of sides that were excellent but I have no idea of what they were. She warned me that the dish I selected was hot (she was correct) so I had a couple of Korean beers to cool it down (OK- three). The only trouble I had was with the chop sticks (I was ok with two hands but I need practice to do it right). Near the end of the meal she checked on how everything was and she told me that they usually use the spoon for the dish I had (I thought it was only for the excellent soup).
Chapter 2 - I boarded the plane and had been assigned a window seat (I prefer aisle seats) and was in an Air Bus (300 I think) with 3 seats on each side and 4 in the middle. Everything OK and the lights at night coming into Hong Kong were good, but access to the men’s room was difficult. I had eaten so much at the airport that I couldn’t handle another meal on the plane. No regrets though, I enjoyed my meal at the airport. Immigration and customs went smoothly and I got to the shuttle bus to my hotel just in time for the last bus of the night. Hong Kong is amazing at night. 12:30 am on a Saturday and lots of traffic and pedestrians. I got to the InterContinental Grand Stanford about 12:45 am and checked in to a beautiful room on the tenth floor. I can’t tell you what kind of view I have until tomorrow. I spotted a lobby bar and went to visit to help me prepare for this blog. I had 1.5 liters of Tsing Tao beer (sounds better than three) and enjoyed the music (a keyboarder and two young female singers) and watching people enjoying life. There were even a couple of white haired guys on the dance floor. Long day, 35 hours since Sarasota, and I’m ready for a sleep, but tomorrow the adventure begins!
No photos today, but I'll get some tomorrow.