Well I made it safely to South Korea with only a few minor hiccups. It’s 10:30 here and I’m really tired but I want to try and stay up as long as I can to try and adjust. I figure writing a nice, detailed account of my flight experiences will keep me awake.

I went with my parents to pick up my Visa in DC on Thursday. They insisted I get there early just in case the Visa wasn’t ready or something went wrong, so we showed up at 2pm with my scheduled time to pick it up being 4pm. And it was ready at 2pm. So we had about 4 hours to kill before I had to be at Washington National Airport to get my flight. We had a nice lunch at this little cafe called Firehook in Du Pont circle, which took care of most of the extra time. When we got to the airport there was a little confusion on how many bags I could carry and where I was supposed to check in for my flight, so it was probably a good thing I got there two hours early for the flight. But everything worked out. My parents waited with me for for another hour or so and then there were dramatic good-byes as I went through security and got on the plane.

And then waited for an hour. There were heavy winds at JFK and planes weren’t being allowed to land there. Which meant that my plane was taxied over to a waiting zone and we had to wait for permission to take off. I was a little freaked out about this because it could have meant that I would miss my flight to Seoul. Luckily after an hour of waiting, we took off and before I had even finished half of my coke can, we were landing. I had about two hours to catch my other flight but I really didn’t want to risk missing it so I pretty much ran with my 15lbs laptop backpack and my carry-on suitcase from Terminal 8 to Terminal 1 (with a brief break in between to sit on the train between the two) and obviously I made the flight. And let me just say, JFK has a lot of escalators. It might not have been so draining to do all that ordinarily, but it was 10 o’clock and I was getting really tired.

I really didn’t expect to sleep on my Korean Air flight, especially because they had a whole bunch of movies I wanted to watch but about three hours into the flight I blinked and when my eyes opened again, it was five hours later and they were serving breakfast. Now I know a lot of people don’t care for airplane food but I actually like it. For dinner they had this really delicious tomato and mozzarella salad and for breakfast they had tatertots (among other things). How can you go wrong with tatertots? You cannot.

Chung Dahm had sent a list of instructions on what to do after we got off the flight and through customs. From Incheon airport, we had to take a bus to the City Air Terminal, which was about an hour away. Then we had to find a cab from a very specific company to take us to our hotel. Getting through customs was a breeze (although I did get stopped by this quarantine barrier so they could check if I had Swine Flu). Getting the bus to CAT was a little tricker because there were a whole bunch of bus stops outside of the airport (well over 40) and the CAT bus was said to stop at two, except the one that I found the easiest doesn’t function as its stop anymore. But there was a CAT bus two stops down from it and I couldn’t figure out if that was the one I wanted. And no one spoke English. So after some confused wondering, I went to the other stop it was at and got on just as it was leaving. Once I was at the CAT, there was a cab specifically waiting for me, so he threw my bag into the cab (which had no seatbelts) and drove me to the hotel.

When I went to check it at the hotel, I was told I had already checked in. Which was very strange, since how could I have checked in when I only just landed 3 hrs earlier? He gave me the key to the room I was supposed to have been checked into and I went to get it, fully aware it was 7 am and I was probably waking up my roommate. Except I was really waking up two roommates, in a two bed room. It turns out there was another girl with a similar name to me, and she was accidentally checked in as me and got the spot that was supposed to me mine. So the hotel put me in her room instead, which I’m glad about because this one is a NICE room. The other one was basically a hotel room with a kitchen but this one has a living room, two separate bedrooms and each with their own bathroom. Plus it has a much nicer view.

Around 8 o’clock, other people started waking up and a bunch of us went to breakfast together. Which is when my first day in Seoul began.