Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tales from Incheon

Where to start! So much has happened over the last...okay I just tried to do the math and I realized that I can't. I'm so tired right now but if I fall asleep now I'll definitely mess things up. I woke up at 8:30am on Monday the 29th and I left Dulles at 1:30pm. I arrived in Incheon at 4:30pm and have finally checked into my hotel. It's 6:00pm here but I keep checking the time back in DC so I can call home.

Let's start with the in-flight entertainment system. I thought a 14 hour flight was going to be unbearable so I made sure my laptop, Kindle, and iPod were charged. I also stuck 2 Nat Geo mags in there for good measure. Plus I've been so tired with all the remodeling/construction that has been happening in our house over the past month (as well as packing to live away for a year) that I was super sure that I'd just pass out on the plane and sleep the entire way over. I didn't sleep a wink! I'm not sure what happened...actually that's not true because I know exactly what happened. Korean Air has an amazing in-flight entertainment system. I watched Fast Five, Thor, The Adjustment Bureau, Soul Surfer, Beastly, From Prada to Nada, Source Code, part of Kung Fu Panda 2, a Japanese movie about a young patisserie, a bunch of Bollywood videos and played games. They would have had the BEST entertainment system ever if they offered Harry Potter 7 Pt. 2 (which I still haven't seen!) I also spent a good amount of time viewing the feed from the camera they have underneath and on the front of the airplane. The front-side camera is awesome for take-off and landing. The under-side camera is awesome for when you're flying over the polar ice caps.

The trip was also awesome because of all the stuff that I did at the airport. I made the decision not to leave because I was SO exhausted and the airport was large enough that I could walk the length once and be super exhausted. I did traditional Korean ink printing and now I have that as a souvenir and a piece of art for my room. I had a delicious dinner and spent enough time poking around all the stalls. One of the most awesome things I saw was in the tobacco/alcohol/chocolate duty free shop. The image is the front cover of a box of chocolates featuring the cast of Boys Before Flowers (one of my favorite Korean dramas.) It almost made up for not running into Lee Minho at the airport. :D (Lee Minho is the hottie in the middle.) :D

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seoul, South Korea

Although I leave August 29th I don't arrive in HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City) until the 31st. Why? Because silly ole' me, due to my current Korean obsessions, decided a 16 hour layover in Seoul would be faaaantastic. I convinced myself that 2 hours wouldn't be enough time and the only other option was a 16 hour layover. When I land in Seoul I need to find a place to stay for the evening because I land in the late afternoon and then my flight leaves early the next morning. I'd wander around Seoul at 3pm but not 3am. No matter how crazy people think I am. Does anyone know where I should stay in Seoul? Any opinions? Any positives, any negatives? HELP! Jusigi balabnida! (That's please in Korean...I think.)

Update: I'm probably just going to stay in the airport and wander there. I'm sure after 16 hours of being in a plane I'll walk around the entire airport twice.
Check it out!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

T-8 days

So my departure date is officially 8 days away. I was going to wait until Monday to post this and say T-7 days but I was just too excited. I know 8 isn't as cool as 7 but there it is...8 DAYS LEFT!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tomorrow is my first day of being unemployed in 3 years. I'm a little nervous because I'm the type of person that can't sit still for very long. Thank God I'm unemployed because I'm moving out of the country. I still have a ton of stuff to do. Namely pack and everything that goes along with. I still haven't bought my laptop, Kindle, or sneakers. In the meantime I'm wasting all my free time by watching Boys Before Flowers, a Korean drama, that I'm obsessed with. Take a look at Episode 1 if you decide that you have nothing to do and want to waste copious amounts of time. It's in Korean with English subtitles. It's so dramatic it's fantastic.

Also, I got really amazing news today. My best friend's former Girl Scout leader from Kuwait now lives in HCMC and she offered to pick me up from the airport, have me stay with her for a few days, get me oriented with the city, etc. I definitely took her up on the offer of a ride from the airport because after traveling for 2 days I'm not sure I'll be able to manage a to find a taxi outside the airport (even though they're clearly marked) as well as find the guesthouse I'm staying in for the month. I'm a little scared now because things are going so well. I'll try not to think on it too much though and hopefully the Bad Luck Fairy won't find me.

Check out the wonderful things my friends have done for me so far.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Update: Things to do when leaving your old life behind.

  • Pack
  • Make list of things to pack
  • Make to-do list
  • Make sure passport is valid for at least the next three years
  • Get a visa for Viet Nam
  • Find my undergrad degree
  • Pay for class
  • Book flight
  • Notarized proof that I have a clean criminal record (Just mailed the forms today!)
  • Buy a red messenger bag
  • Get vaccinated for Hep A, Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid
  • Buy Advil to ease the headache caused when fainting after finding out much vaccinations cost when not covered by insurance
  • Get Malaria pills so I’m not severely limited in my travels around SE Asia
  • Fill anti-diarrheal medicine in case I can't find those handy curry colored M&M's that M. Floyd told me about
  • Buy crazy amounts of underwear in case I can’t find a washer or washer woman within the first couple of weeks
  • Find a place to store all my beloved books so they don’t develop mildew when I’m gone
  • Clean my room so the next occupant doesn’t have a fit when they see under my bed
  • Start donating clothes/items that I find in my room
  • Make sure my friends throw me a bangin’ going away party
  • Convert currency
  • Make copies of passport, visa, resume and Bachelor’s degree
  • Buy new laptop, Kindle, camera (if I can afford it.) If I can’t and anyone who happens to read my blog/can afford to buy one/wants to buy me one I want the Canon EOS Rebel
  • Get horrible passport-size photos taken for visa
  • Cancel credit cards that I don't use
  • Buy DEET-filled bug spray
  • Continue to study for CETLA course before I’m sent home after one month
  • Find a hotel for my layover in Seoul
  • Buy ForkChops for Lauren and I
  • Arrive on time for my flight
Grey: Done
Black: Need to do
Blue: Work in progress
Magenta: Things I want
Red: Recently completed