Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mid-Tour Vacation

A little bit of history on this: Kacey showed up on Thursday and it was a three-day weekend on base. So on Saturday, we went out shopping for boots, coats, blankets, purses, and all sorts of other things that were either a) custom made in a shop by a guy who lived over that shop, or b) product that may have 'fallen off a tuck on its way to export.' Sunday night, after a BBQ with some friends, we went back downtown to get a final fit (36-hr turn around!) for her coat, and also pick up a bicycle jacket for me. Well, my guy AJ wasn't around when we stopped by; we waited over 45 minutes but not a sign of him.

So this morning, we got all of our stuff packed and then we went back to AJ's. There was still no sign of him, but my jacket was hanging outside with my receipt showing. So, I wrapped up the amount due in the receipt and pushed it under the door. Jacket in hand, we headed back to base. On the way, we passed the intersection where not 15 minutes earlier there were six older Korean women in the back of a pick-up truck, wearing huge visors and gloves while dancing to the "Axel F" theme from Beverly Hills Cop and holding up seven fingers to advertise for the politician who was supporting this surreal spectacle. Only in Asia.

We loaded up my car and my friend Wendy drove us and our travel gear to the main gate in exchange for using my car while I'm gone. A short cab ride after that brought us to the Songtan Bus Terminal, for our two-hr trip to Incheon Airport. Almost as soon as we arrived, there was a bus leaving for Incheon Terminal, but some friendly locals were able to tell us that Terminal=Bus (not airport). Our bus from Songtan left at 1115, passing through Gimpo Airport on our way to Incheon. We lucked out at the check-in and got an exit row.

A quick lunch in the Western food court and then we watched a Korean cheer leading competition. Not sure if the "Bling it on" theme has marketability. Kacey filled out a survey for some student-type people who gave us a nicely wrapped souvenir that we didn't have time to open before our 1515 flight was airborne and the dinner was served. Beef and potato with an over-pressurized bag of kimchee. As I was eating, Underworld Evolution started, so I watched it. Dinner and a movie! My interest was piqued by the warning that the movie was not formatted for airline viewing, so all the swearing and nudity were in there..I suppose it's because the personal TVs make self-censorship possible. The amount of violence was quite staggering. I really think they sat around thinking of death/fight scenes and how to link them together into a plot-ish storyline.

We landed at 1900 Seoul / 1800 Hong Kong time, then proceeded to find some Chinese food in the terminal. Young Chow fried rice, two plates, and fresh grapefruit juice.Crazy delicious. We walked around the terminal a little more, buying some lychee and assorted candies with the left over Hong Kong dollars from dinner. We walked over to the gate and sat down to wait for the plane. Remembered that I had some Gatorade in my bag. We also remembered the free survey prize that Kacey got in Seoul - 2 coasters with traditional Korean scenes. Feeling sleepy at 1938 Hong Kong time. The plane leaves at 2055.

I couldn't fall asleep, so I watched a Chinese movie called "McDull, the Alumni" which was pretty funny if you're sleep-deprived. It was live-action and cartoon children/animals all kindergarten alumni. The seat in front of me is reclined, so I have to slouch to see the inset video screen. Even though I was reading subtitles, I felt that I needed to turn up the volume...on a Chinese soundtrack.


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