There’s nothing quite being in transit for 24+ hours to make you appreciate the smaller things in life.
My day looked like this:
- Wake up at 5:30am, grab the 6:30am bus to Logan Airport for my 9:30 flight to DC.
- Boston –> Washington DC [ 2hrs ]
- 1 hour layover in DC
- Washington DC –> Beijing, China [14 hrs]
- 2.5 hour layover (had a delay)
- Beijing China –> Icheon, South Korea [ 2hrs]
- + 1 hour bus ride from Icheon to Ansan, where Jaclyn lives. Arrived in Ansan at 11:30pm.
This hellish day resulted in 26 hours without sleep for me, creating a high-functioning zombie. To be fair, I was lucky enough to get a few hours of sleep on the flight to Beijing.
I actually lucked out and got 3 seats to myself. This is the only way to get a lick of sleep IMO.
I’m actually the kind of person who enjoys flying – it feels like a break from obligation when you can watch movies, play games, do whatever you want and not feel bad about it. It’s also the only time when potatoes and sausage can taste exactly the same.
The flight to Beijing was weirdly empty – very few people. Lots of folks got a whole row to themselves. Something funny from this flight to Beijing (which was mostly non-whites) – an Asian flight attendant offered me some water and said, “Oh, did you come from there?” pointing across to the other side of the plane. I gave him a puzzled look and he said, “Oh, sorry, you just look just like that woman over there.” After he left I glanced over – there was a white woman with darker hair, but she looked nothing like me! I was a victim of the cross-race affect!
The flight was fine enough, but landing was troublesome – the first time I’ve almost been sick on a plane. Sure enough, when departing the plane, I caught sight of a few used barf bags. Ugh! Feel bad for the folks cleaning that up.
Flying over China was cool – lots of uniform structures.
Beijing airport was freezing to the point where I began thinking I was getting sick. Re-entering security there was easy enough, but the security equipment and trays looked dirty and dumpy. But hey, a new stamp on my passport 🙂
One thing cool about the Beijing airport – they had a water bubbler where you could fill up a water bottle or the like, but you could choose between hot or cold water, which I thought was pretty neat.
I think I was the only white person on the flight from Beijing to Icheon. It felt weird being a minority!
That flight was short but rough – kept nodding off in my chair and then convulsing when my head fell to low.
Thank GOODNESS Jaclyn was kind enough to come get me, because I was as tired and disoriented as anything when I got off the plane.
Taking in the landscape while we took the bus to Ansan, I was impressed with all the flashing neon lights. I kept asking Jaclyn, “is that a big mall complex?” and she would explain that no, it was just a random little plaza. Apparently ALL the stores have huge flashing lights like that everywhere. Very different!
Post about my first day in Korea soon to follow.