Wednesday, December 30, 2015

South Korea Bound! And Arrived... December 26-30

Our view of the city.
Oh, hi there! I'm sure you've figured it out by now, but I disappeared from the blogosphere because I finally left for over yonder, which I can now say is South Korea! WOOOOOO!!! I've had to take a few days to try and settle in and get accustomed to the time difference. It's 3:15 in the morning as I type this, so I would say I've failed at the second part. I'm also not settled in at all; the contents of my bags are strewn everywhere on the floor. In short, I have failed in all aspects of this move. Ah, what can you do!
I contemplated writing an entire post about how my travel day(s) went and my thoughts on that, but I still get upset and panicky when thinking about it so I'll instead do a semi-quick synopsis.

I woke up an hour before my alarm because I was excited. The airport was busy but I got through everything quickly. Thanks to paperwork and Delta being awesome I was not charged $200 for my third checked bag like I was originally told I would have to pay. My plane to Detroit was slightly delayed in boarding and the route had to be changed to accommodate for what became the Texas Apocalypse of 2015. We're lucky I flew out that day. Flights ended up being cancelled/delayed all across the states starting a few hours after I left.
My first flight was fine, even if the plane was small and everything was cramped. I ended up next to a very kind older gentleman who helped me carry one of my carry ons out of the plane when we landed. Finding my next flight's gate was easy. Lots of standing once I got there. We technically boarded late but made up for it in the air.
The second flight is what got me. We were on a massive plane. There were 3 rows of seats and I ended up in the middle of the middle row. I get carsick and that transfers to some slight airsickness during landing, takeoffs, and general turbulence. The flight was 13 hours. My seat was broken so it wouldn't recline at all. Not that the plane seats recline very much to begin with, but that small recline would have made a world of difference in my comfort. I couldn't concentrate on the movies I kept trying to play on my screen. It got really bad when I had between three and four hours to go on the flight. At that point the plane was hot and stuffy, I felt sick and cramped, and the pilot was doing some sort of meandering up and down with the plane that made me want to scream. It wasn't the jerkiness that you get from turbulence. It felt like the deliberate change in altitude that pilots make occasionally, like when they're trying to land or get up to altitude. Since I was in the middle of the middle, I couldn't see out any windows to ground myself. I was stuck with my oversensitive sense of balance and the feeling of the plane which compounded into a lot of frustration and upset stomachs for me. At one point I thought I would cry because I couldn't see the end of the flight ever arriving. lol. I'm so melodramatic.
But, alas, the plane did land and I got to stretch my feet and feel the wonderful fresh air and get off that aluminum tin can that had imprisoned me for the better part of half a day. I had to take some shuttles and go through some extra lines because I'm a foreigner in this country, and that took an extra hour.
Another thing I was not aware of until I got to the baggage claim was friends and family are not able to be in the baggage claim area. It's still part of the secure part of the air port. Initially I didn't like that because 1. I had no clue where Michael was, and 2. there was no way I would be able to walk around with all of my bags. Fortunately there is a free baggage cart system (take that, America! Why do you have to charge for this stuff?!) so I was able to load everything onto one cart.
A Korean gentleman caught me as I was trying to figure out what to do and talked me through where Michael would most likely be. I think he was the liaison for active duty members who had come in on that flight, but he obviously recognized that I was military because of my bags' camo design.
So I managed to navigate my way out of the secure section of the airport and Michael was right there at the fence line, waiting for me. We later admitted to each other that this was the most nerve wracking thing on both of our ends that we have ever had to go through. I had been unable to contact Michael whatsoever for over 18 hours at that point, so he had no clue whether I was even on my flight or if something had gone wrong. He said he was so nervous his stomach was upset, and he's never experienced that before. Michael's a pretty laid back person, so for him to stress out that much was a big deal.
The view from one of our porches. Not creepy at alllll....
 We drove the hour it took to get back home, where I changed clothes, dragged out the blankets I brought, and absolutely crashed. I woke up four or five hours later and took a shower, then slept another eight hours.
In the two days since then, Michael and I have gone into town twice. The first day was to get started on paperwork and in-processing that I have to do, then check out Lush and the local mall. The second day, yesterday, we went on post to buy groceries because the house had no food. Both days we were supposed to go out to a Korean restaurant for dinner, but I ended up sleeping from late afternoon until midnight. Today Michael goes back to work so I'm going to try and take that time to start cleaning and properly unpacking everything I brought. Before he goes in to work, though, we plan to go to the local grocery store and buy some stuff that was either not available on post or is much cheaper there. Because there is a trade embargo on chicken (and other things, but chicken is my main issue here) we can't find any chicken that's less than $5/lb on post. Which is ridiculous. So we're going to check out the local markets and see if we can find anything better. We don't really eat beef if we can help it, so turning to beef for our protein needs is something we want to avoid.

SO! That's been my past several days. I don't know when I will next post again, as I haven't found a solid part of my day that works for blogging quite yet. I definitely want to continue blogging, though. I really need to figure out what to call these daily journals thingymaboppits now that Blogmas is over. Any ideas?

4 comments:

  1. Yay! So glad you dumped us, ignored us, disappeared, and made it over there safely! There is something so incredibly cool about getting to settle in and actually live in a foreign country. Vacationing is fun but you are rushed for time, to go and see and do everything, and you live out of a suitcase. But to know you will be LIVING there...it's just so cool to me.

    I'm babbling.

    ~Deb

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    1. Ahahahaahha! I know, I'm so cruel for dumping and ignoring all of you!
      I LOVE being able to experience and live in a whole new country! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures for the next couple years so you can live vicariously through me :)

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  2. Cemetery view! You can watch for ghost lights at night. Creepy cool. Glad you made it over ok. I totally commiserate on that 14 hour flight. Totally bonkers and not fun. I brought books and sewing and nothing really helped except for this super cool heated mint eyemask that Michelle had sent me. It calmed me down and helped me rest for about an hour. I can't wait to read all about your experiences!

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    1. My grandparents were so unhappy when the found out I was no longer able to go visit them for Christmas because of my flight! They'd gotten me all sorts of presents that were meant to make travel easier. I could most definitely have used them on that flight!

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