South Korea: The plane ride and 36 hours before the trip

South Korea Travel Blog

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    The day I left NYC for South Korea was filled with activities. I worked a 12-hour shift the night before. And when I reached home, I used my sleeping time to clean my apartment, do laundry, and finish packing. Then at 4pm, I left for classes. I had two classes that night from 455 until 915pm. Needless to say, it was torture. I have been up for 28 hours. As soon as my class ended, I rushed back to my place and made sure I had everything and made sure my apartment in order as I don't like returning to a mess after a long trip. It was midnight. My flight was at 6am. Phew!
    Now I had to decide - catch a 4-hour sleep before leaving for the airport or go out get a few drinks before my flight? I received a text message on my phone. My friend just finished work and asked if I was all ready to go. I was and we decided to grab a few drinks. After 3 1/2 hours and 4 cocktails later, I went home for a quick look over at my apartment, picked up my luggage and hailed a cab to the airport. I reached the airport at 445am, a relatively late check-in for me, personally, since I prefer to be at the airport at least 2 hours before any domestic flights and 3 hours before for any international flights. But since it was a domestic flight as I had a layover at San Francisco before connecting to Seoul-Incheon, it wasn't bad and the check-in counters just opened 15 minutes prior to my arrival. When I went though security, I was asked to open my carry-on luggage - a first - because they couldn't determine the content through the x-ray. Wrapped by Bloomingdale's gift center, it was our wedding present for the bride and groom - Vera Wang's champange flutes with silver details and silver wedding photo frames. It was nerve wrecking. I thought they would ask me or attempt to open the gift and ruin the wonderfully wrapped present, but thankfully, they let me go and the presents remained wrapped and unharmed. Phew! By 515am, I was sitting at the gate waiting for boarding to begin. The plane left on time and the flight uneventful. I'm sure it was because within 15 minutes of lift off, I was out like a light and woke up 30 minutes before landing in San Francisco. Wonderful! Total straight hours of being awake: 36 hours.
    I arrived in San Francisco International Airport starving! It was a trek going from the domestic area to the international gates, too. Blah! I still had 2 hours before boarding, so after I found the designated gate I was to board, I backtracked to the food court area and grabbed lunch - err, breakfast. It was only 9am in San Francisco, but already noon in NYC. Nevertheless, I was famished. I ordered a sandwich and a couple bottles of water to hydrate myself after that 4 cocktails earlier that night. I sent a quick text message to my family to let them know I was in San Francisco, safe and sound, and that I am waiting for my connecting flight at the moment to Seoul-Incheon. And that I'll call or send them an email when I reached Korea.
    Again, the flight from San Francisco to Seoul-Incheon International airport was okay. We were half an hour behind schedule due to strong headwinds with some turbulence related to the headwinds, but it was a relatively uneventful flight. Unfortunately, throughout the 7-hour flight, I remained awake. So, I caught up on my movies. They had a good selection of movies and amongst the selection were "Knocked Up" and "Live Free or Die Hard". I had seen "Live Free or Die Hard" before, but I love this movie so much (and the other 3 Die Hard movies) that I watched it again. "Knocked Up" was the talk of the movie that season, but I had never seen it so it was my next choice after  "Live Free or Die Hard" ended. It made the plane ride quicker and next thing I know, we were ready to land.
    I passed customs with a breeze. I smiled at the custom officer when I handed him my passport. The custom officer never smiled back. What is it with custom officers and their serious mean look? They always have that look that I find discouraging to visitors. But that didn't deter me from my happy self that night - it was 7pm (Korea time), Oct. 11th. And when I came out of the arrival gate, I saw my friend, Sae! We hugged right at the front and in the middle of the gate. People gave us weird looks. Okay. I was definitely not in the U.S. anymore.

simsing says:
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Posted on: Nov 24, 2016
Paulovic says:
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Posted on: Nov 24, 2016
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