I have arrived in Seoul.
It was snowing when I left the house for Washington Dulles International. I took that as a bad omen, at least as it applies to air travel. We arrived at the airport without incident however. That last goodbye turned out to be the hardest.
So, my ticket said Delta but it was a code-share flight which means I actually flew on Korea Air. Fortunately I didn’t waste time waiting to check in with Delta, because it took me an hour to work through the KAL line. I did have a nice chat with a woman from Australia who was returning to Sydney after 6 weeks in the states with her husband and teenage daughters. Hope they made their connection in Seoul.
The good news is we boarded on time for a scheduled 12:30 departure. The bad news is we sat on the tarmac for 3 hours. Anyway, we finally got airborne for the 14 hour non-stop flight. The served two decent meals and had seat back video screens, so I watched parts of several movies. Most were dubbed in Korean with English subtitles. It was pretty funny hearing the characters from A Sharks Tale speaking Korean, I have to think that some of the nuance was lost in translation, but then how would I know?
It was a pretty full flight but I was glad the middle seat in my row was empty. Gave me a little more room, but I still was not able to catch much sleep. Ok, I will admit that sitting on the plane there was no denying the gravity of the situation I was getting myself into. Yeah, I was freaking out a little bit, but I’m ok now. Just can’t believe I am really doing this.
The other interesting thing on this flight was crossing the international date line. It was weird seeing Saturday’s sunset and Sunday’s sunset without a sunrise in between.
So, my new boss was supposed to meet me at Incheon airport (he was arriving on a flight from Hawaii around the time my flight was scheduled). Since my flight was now 3 hours late, I figured I would be on my own when I landed. I was surprised and relieved to see an American customs agent holding a sign with my name on it as I deplaned. He got me through immigration (as a VIP) without a wait. Had to wait 30 minutes for my bags, but he was my personal customs inspector and with nothing to declare he walked me to the counter for military transportation.
It was there I learned from Sgt. Mendez that I could take the shuttle bus to the base but could not actually get on the base (where my hotel is located) without a DoD ID. Nice little catch-22 since I won’t get ID until I in-process tomorrow. So, my boss met me at the gate and signed me in on a 24 hour pass.
Anyway, I am in my room which is very comfortable. Tomorrow is Monday in Korea and my boss is picking me up at 0800. I haven’t slept a real sleep since Friday and I am whupped. So it is to bed with me now. First impressions will have to wait until tomorrow.
Places I Go
Kevin: I am proud of the