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Published: October 10th 2008
Room with a view :-D
The view from my window.
Some people are notoriously early, some are anally punctual and me…well a safe description would be fashionably late….always!
1:30pm, casually making may way through the x-ray rigmarole when the X-ray operator asks if he can search my bag. I politely oblige and next thing you know I’m being accused of owning a firearm, go figure. After the third X-ray and round of interrogation he decides the only way to get me to admit to transiting munitions is to show me the screen cause he couldn’t identify the ominous munitions he was convinced he was seeing. Clearly Mr X-ray operator has never been lucky enough to own as nice a set of watercolour paint tubes (packaged in a very neat box) like I now own courtesy of my girls! Relieved that I wasn’t going to be escorted to Kempton Police station on the grounds of arms smuggling I merrily repacked my bag and began the epic schlep to terminal 15A., quite content and rather excited for the 1st time. I casually round the corner and was met by a wall of frantic airport official’s voices, one minute I’m casually strolling next thing I’m trying to break the 800m sprint
My humble abode
It might not be Buckingham Palace or even 195 Barkston Dr but it suffices!
record with the airport official (whole would have picked me up and carried me to terminal 15A is he could have). Apparently they were about to leave me behind, in fact they were about to recall my bag from the hold…. Oops and oh well better late than never!
After the exhausting start to my journey I made my way to my seat and was welcomed by my 1st Korean friend, Pastern David! I duly accepted his business card (mildly embarrassed that I had forgotten to order a print run if 1000 business cards for myself to exchange) and had a nice chat. I think Pastern David was most concerned that I was heading to SK on my own and being fetched by some unknown Taxi driver on the other end so he insisted he show me to the Taxi driver on arrival so that he could make 100% sure I wasn’t going to enter Korea and never to return.
8hrs later and Dubai airport reared its manic head. I have never ever in my whole life seen anything like the mania that can be described as Dubai airport. There are just 1000’s and 1000’s of people milling
My humble abode
back to the door surveying the rest of my apartment....its pretty expansive ;-)
about and just as many exhausted bodies lining the walls catching some shuteye between transits. I was so bleak I wasn’t wireless so I could just perch myself in one spot and catch up on some emailing…. milling the duty free was a stupid option, not only is it too busy to move but there are no trolleys to be had and at 1:30am my body was hardly in the mood to lug my 20kgs of hand luggage around on the off chance of finding a special on perfume or chocolates. If any one tells you Dubai airport is awesome tell them they are lying and stay far far away and hope, most of all, that if you are there in transit that you only have to kill two hours like me, otherwise I wish you luck!
Luck for the check-in crew in Dubai I was well on time for check in and even had 15mins to catch up with my next two Korean friends who spent much of the discussion trying to get me to teach them how we cheer out soccer team on in SA…so random and I’m sorry Khiza Chiefs but I just don’t think Ama
My humble abode
My "kitchen"....note the bag... I'm abiding by the trash laws here different bags for different trash ie plastic, paper, garbage etc madness when your kitchen is virtually nonexistent!!
Khosie for life is quite the cheer theses guys had in mind! Another business card later and I was finally on the final 8hr leg of the Journey. 16hrs of flying and two time changes later I reached my new home.
Incheon airport is unreal, it is so slick and so clean and so orderly it was the most welcoming change from Dubai. In fact Incheon was so quiet I actually wonder if they warrant having such a mammoth airport! Its so big that you catch a 3min subway ride from customs to baggage pick up…intriguing….ORT could really learn a thing or two could have saved me s sprint!
As promised pastor David escorted me to the pick up point and ensure the Taxi driver was legit and would be escorting me safely! Mr Joe was great company on the way to the school. Between sign language and my Korean English dictionary we established that he had 4 children and had been in Incheon since the year dot and would pose no threat to any young western dolly traveler.
Mr Joe delivered me safely to the school where I was met with a cacophony
A typical street corner near me.
of hellos from screeching 5 and 6 year olds and over excited Korean teachers, now I know what those poor orangutans at JHB Zoo feel like. The school is this lovely quaint little art and English school with stunning facilities and materials. Each class is named after an artist, it’s a really lovely academy. I have established that in Korea, private academies give all their staff and children a random English name when they start, how funny. I was wondering when I was looking through a pile of work books why I could only see David, Suzie, Mike, Kelly, Wendy….its classic…while you are at the academy “My name is Mike”but at home “My name is Kim Su-Lin” (and let me just tell you the English name is no translation of the Korean) its completely mad.
After the welcomes I was escorted to my new apartment. Small but adequate enough for me and by the sounds of it they have done a lot of work o the place, its clean and fully equipped so I’m super happy and I only have to clean a small space which also makes me happy! After dropping my bags I was treated to a
One of the 100's of massive intersections you spend ages at while waiting to cross the road. There is a stat that says people spend 2 weeks of their life waiting at red robots I bet its more for the Koreans!
“western dinner” at VIPs steak house, made a quick turn into E-Mart and finally home time! I was exhausted but found myself up at 3am reading cause there was no way my body could sleep at 8pm SA time!
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