The flight from Dallas to Seoul/Incheon (ICN) was quite long (14 hours). I was so relieved to get to ICN. My bags were among the first to be loaded onto the carousel so I was one of the firsts to go through the immigration line. Customs was a breeze. I was able to walk right on through. Apparently you only have to get your bags inspected if you claim something on the declarations form.
Waiting for my flight at DFW
I left DFW at 10:50am on Tuesday, February 15th and my flight to ICN got in at about 4:30pm on Wednesday, February 16th. South Korea is 15 hours ahead of Texas (add 3 hours to your time and that’s what time it is for me, but at the opposite time of day). I was planning on meeting two girls that I met on the EPIK (English Program in Korea) facebook group to stay the night at ICN. There is a spa on the basement floor of the airport called the Spa On Air. At the spa, you can pay 20,000 won to sleep in a communal area or you can pay an extra 12,000 won (about $30 per person) to stay in a private room. The 3 of us girls (Andy, Sadim and I) stayed in one room. In the room was 2 massage tables that were covered in towels and a mat on the floor. Andy and I slept on massage tables and Sadim chose the mat on the floor. We were each given a rectangle foam pillow. I was very thankful that I brought my pillow from home. The “beds” were very hard, but I had no trouble sleeping. I set my alarm on my iPod Touch for 4:30 am so I would be up in time to catch my flight the next morning. I woke up in the middle of the night and went to look at my iPod to see what time it was, but it was dead! Oh my gosh that could have been bad. I checked my watch and it was just after 3:00am. I drifted in and out of sleep after that, but I couldn’t sleep too hard because I was afraid I’d oversleep without having a working alarm clock.
The Spa on Air isn’t just a hostel type place, they also have spa services and a bath house type thing. I saw more naked ladies in my short stay at the spa than I have in my entire life. Basically, once you walk into the locker room, just about everyone in there was naked (except for all of the people sleeping on mats at 4am). Basically, in the bath (which is like a giant hot tub from what I gather) you would look like a freak if you wore a swimsuit. Also, the showers are open. I did shower, but I didn’t partake in the bath. Another thing I found odd was one of the women was standing there naked while chatting up her friend that was dressed and drying her hair. I guess this was my first cultural lesson that I experienced in Korea.
My cart of luggage
There’s wifi on the airport limousine from ICN to GMP
A snack before my flight to Busan
So once I left the Spa on Air, I grabbed some Dunkin Donuts and then I had to find my way to the “airport limousine” (aka shuttle bus) that would take me from Incheon International to the Gimpo airport for my flight from Seoul to Busan. The flight was only about 40 minutes. I got to the airport pretty early and met up with the Henry Oh, the CEO of Korvia, which is the recruiting agency I used to get my job with EPIK. He welcomed me to Korea and gave me a prepaid cellphone so I will be able to stay in contact with people here in Korea. I got to meet a lot of people while we were all waiting for the EPIK shuttle to pick us up and take us to the orientation site (Pukyong National University). There are so many great people here. I’m getting along really well with a lot of different people.
I have been so busy at orientation that I haven’t had enough time or energy to post about my time here. I have so much to say about orientation, but I’ll have to leave that for another time. I have lots of pictures to show all of you so be sure to check back. If you haven’t already subscribed, put your email in the little white box on the right side under EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION, then click on Sign me up! You will get an email from WordPress right away. You will need to open that email and then click on the activation link. After that, you will be all set!