bringing myself along…

Two long days of travel.  My attempt to pack light meets with failure once again.  I lug my suitcase 5 blocks to metro on Wednesday morning.  On the train, 3 Korean young ladies chat cozily.  One is fingering the long red-dyed hair of another.  When I step off metro at Dongdaegu, I am startled by screaming and yelling.  The 3 girls are pulling each others’ hair and hitting and slapping each other, screeching like wild monkeys.  The Koreans on the platform are shocked into inaction.  Finally 2 Korean men and 1 woman intervene and break them up.  These girls are as dangerously violent as any men I’ve ever seen.  I have NEVER seen this kind of behavior here; Koreans are usually so passive and reserved!

Onward.  I catch the bus to Incheon.  Four and a half hours through monotone Korea.  Maybe I should say tri-color Korea: deep green, beige, and black.  Green grass & trees, beige skyscraper concrete apartment blocks, and the black hair of all Koreans (oh, except that red-head and we saw what happened to her!).  It hits me that what I so miss while living in Korea is color and diversity.  So happy to be escaping, though only briefly.

At Incheon, I immediately catch the airport-free shuttle to Cargo Terminal A, where I am to pick up the package Mike mailed me from home.  A wild goose chase: hours of traipsing across huge expanses of asphalt from warehouse to warehouse in the middle of nowhere, sun pounding down, me drenched in salty slime.  Why, why, why am I doing this??   I pay Customs 72,000 won, stuff the package contents into my already overstuffed suitcase, and catch the shuttle back to the airport where I wait 3 more hours for my flight at 11:55 pm.

FLY EMIRATES.  All through the World Cup games, I was enticed by the Emirates ads on the periphery of the field.  I board the double-decker airbus that could only be an Emirates over-the-top offering.  Not so great for us bottom-floor economy passengers.  The seats are tight and uncomfortable for overnight sleeping.  But a surreal experience at first: a perfumed mist blowing into the cabin from above the storage compartments, a mesmerizing tinkling tune playing.  Designed to put one into sleep mode, I think.  A fitful night of sleeping beside a Korean mother and daughter.  We arrive in Dubai at 3:45 a.m.  I have 10 hours to kill in Dubai.  More about that to follow.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tom
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 12:51:20

    I’m not sure Korea is high on my list of places to visit! Turkey, however, is another matter. Can’t wait to see your pictures and read your posts.

    Reply

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