I went on a trip to Korea earlier this summer, and got back
about a week ago. I figured I'd type out everything that happened, well,
most of what happened, so that people will stop bugging me for details. I
can't technically post day by day, seeing as most narratives will carry
over onto the next day, but I'll post according to my sleep cycle, which I
will call a day. So then, go ahead and read day one. Enjoy.
Sunday through Tuesday?
If I'm going to write about my trip to Korea, I guess I should
start at the airport. I know that's not technically Korea but hey, it's
part of the trip right? So basically, I waited in line, checked my
baggage, did all the normal crap you do at an airport. For the first time
in a very long time I didn't get stopped by the metal detector. Apparently
that piece of metal in my left foot has disappeared... but that's a
different story. During this time I was led by some random person working
for Asiana, completely unnecessary. After all, I'm 16 and can take care of
myself. Met some people on the way to the gate, didn't know their names
yet, so we'll get to that later. On the plane I met my first two, um,
acquaintances(?), the twins. They were so annoying, I mean, that was one
LONG flight. I don't mean long as in 11 hours, which it was, I mean long
"Can I see your gameboy?"
"Can I see your gameboy?"
"Can I see your gameboy?"
They're ok tho. It was just one of the twins anyway. The other one wasn't
so bad. Oh, just to clarify, they weren't identical twins. In fact, they
looked and acted nothing like each other. Sure the resemblance was there,
but you think cousins, not twins. Of course, I thought cousins because
they're the same age. You might think brothers, whatever, I wont be
describing people too often in this narrative.
Once we were off the plane, we got in a huge immigration line
and it was BIG. Apparently, a lot of people want to go to Korea. Having
been there myself for a few weeks, I can safely say that I have no idea
why. While I was in line, I ran into people from my church! What are the
chances?! I got my baggage surprisingly fast, exchanged about a hundred
and fifty dollars into, well, I lost the receipt but it was a little less
than 140,000 won. That's a lot of won. Did you know that the largest bill
they have is 10,000? That's less than a ten dollar bill. But that has no
bearing on my trip.
Having exchanged my money, I ventured into the main terminal in
search of my group. Unfortunately, I can't read Korean and I missed the
sign. So I wandered, rather scared I might add, for some time.
Ironically, when I finally did find the meeting place, I was the first one.
Apparently, I'm not the only illiterate peasant that came on that plane.
Now at this point I'd like to point out that that plane took three days. I
got to the airport Sunday, and arrived on Tuesday. Now isn't that
All of this miraculously happened before 4 am, because that's
when we arrived. Now if we sleep at ten, what are we going to do for the
next... I don't want to do the math, but you get the idea. Well lets see,
the first thing we did was look for the child we know as "lost boy." I
honestly don't remember his name. So we spent a long time looking for
"lost boy" who by the way appeared out of the blue later on. After
searching and not finding him, we piled onto the bus, most of us still
confused as to his whereabouts, and left for what we could only assume was
our hotel. It was a long bus ride, not one of our longest, but quite long
none the less. When we finally arrived, we saw what we could only assume
was our hotel.
It wasn't too bad, I wouldn't mind staying there any way. Sure
I've seen better, but I didn't sleep much on the plane *cough*twins*cough*.
Upon arrival, we proceeded to the third floor and ate lunch. Yum, Korean
soup. I'm so sick of Korean soups. Oh wait, that's not important. So
after lunch we had a little meeting, not the orientation yet, but it was a
meeting. And what do you know! Here comes "lost boy!" We sat down, and
there was a new kid. A bit of questioning proved that he was in fact "lost
boy." Then we all piled into the bus, and waited for what seemed like
hours for someone from New York that was apparently late. Joy.
At this point we left the International Youth Center for our
real hotel, New Yorker not in tow. When we arrived at the real hotel, also
known as Airport Hotel, we found several new people, all girls. Still no
sign of "New Yorker." I dunno, he might have been there, but I certainly
don't remember him. So once our rooms were assigned, we all went upstairs
to our rooms. Two people per room eh?
"Why are there four people on my list?"
That was me, as I and, for unknown reasons, three other people went
upstairs, we looked at the other rooms that others had received.
"Two beds, there are two beds per room, and four of us... I'm oldest, I get
Me again, now confused because there are four of us, and two beds. Of
course, when we found our room, all was explained. There were no beds in
our room, I repeat, NO beds. What a simple solution, if you remove the
beds, there's more room. Simply some blankets on the floor in a far too
traditional Korean style. At first, we were appalled. Then I made some
interesting discoveries: Our room rocked. Plain and simple. I found that
we have two doors, one main door, and a second door in front of which was a
section to remove our shoes. Not that the removing our shoes was that
great, even though we did so, but the door, now that was a discovery. Not
to mention in Summer Korean heat, it was nice being the only room with a
fan. Oh sure, we all had air conditioners, but WE had a fan. Last, but
not least, our room was just plain bigger, and size does matter. Fear us,
we are superior.
Now onward to Lunch. Wait, didn't I eat lunch already? Nope!
That was breakfast! Did I mention this was a long day? Because it really
was. It seemed like two days, which is why I'm worried that I'm slurring a
few days together. But other than that, all the events are mostly correct.
Come to think of it, until I wrote all this down I DID think it was two
days. Now onto the bus once again, and this time we went to some rest
stop, that's right, a rest stop. This is where we ate lunch, the real
lunch. Lots of twists and turns on this trip aren't there? Now at lunch I
saw a new teacher! But he was eating with the students, strange isn't it?
But we shall address that later.
Once breakfast, err, lunch was complete, we headed up on our
first sightseeing trip, we explored, or should I say, observed the Korean
North-South border. Well what do you know, there is an observatory aimed
at North Korea. Hmmmmmmm. We watched some stupid movie about how bad
North Korea is, and then moved on. It was a great view though. Back to
the bus, and back to Airport Hotel.
Did I mention that all this time a young boy has been following
me? An attention starved "special" boy named Elliot. It was bearable at
first, but then he kept popping up. It was as if I was the first person
kind enough to treat him very well in a long time, seeing as his brother
didn't acknowledge his existence. Sorry, just had to get that off my
Once we were settled, there was only one course of action, why
break the rules of course! So off I go with the twins, lost boy, and some
guy named Eric who reads Love Hina. Eric was a little closer to my age,
although I was tied for oldest on this little trip. So it was ok chatting
with him. I think we walked a mile. And after that trek, and discovering
that the twins and "lost boy," had ditched us, we found a wonder of
wonders. An arcade! So I wasted some money there and found the little
kids that scared the hell out of me, and started back. How did they scare
me you ask? Well here's how: I just snuck out, I am the oldest of those
that snuck out, it is quite obvious that I am responsible for those younger
than me. But they made it back ok, so no worries.
Then we returned to the International Youth Center. Now I have
a question, the damn place is called the International Youth Center, why
may I ask does no one working there speak English? Again I digress. Again
we returned to the meeting room where we found "lost boy," where we had the
orientation. Yes, now we have the orientation because now everyone has
arrived! Including a new teacher, and "New Yorker," who was the "teacher"
sitting amongst the students, now renamed Will. The new teacher seemed
like he was going to be a pain in the ass. Why? Because he speaks
English, lives in America, and is twenty-something and therefore knows what
we may do, *cough*sneakouot*cough* and how to prevent us from doing so.
And so, After another bowl of a different Korean Soup (yes,
more soup) for Dinner, we returned to Airport Hotel to sleep. Haha, yeah
right, sleep. We found Starcraft TV and some anime. One of my roommate's
dad showed up, so then there were 3, until I started a party in my room and
then there were, well, a lot more people. We tried to get out, but since
it was absolutely pouring outside, and the new teacher talked to the staff,
we were stopped. And so, my second attempt, though not the last, to sneak
out was stopped. We ended up sleeping around ten. I'm a bit embarrassed
at the early hour, but there weren't many days I slept that early. And
that is Day one. A very long day one.