Thursday, September 11, 2008

The First country

Well folks it has begun. I am writing this blog from Seosan. The past few days have passed like a whirlwind. It has been seven days since I was in Chicago doing my interview, and now I find myself here. For those of you not in the know I left Thursday morning at 1:00 AM. It honestly the best international flight I've had except for the one that I got bumped up to business class. Then again until I experience first class travel on an international flight I probably never will live that experience down. Yet, this was an excellent flight. It started off with the simple joy that there was an empty space between myself and the other person in my row. Sheer bliss for those of you who have been sandwiched in on a 16 hour coach class flight. That is the first time I have ever had the seat next to me open on an international. I seriously did a happy dance when the plane started moving back and the seat next to me was empty.

After the glorious open seat, it was followed by an excellent choice in movies. I watched Iron Man, Run Fat Boy Run, Prince Caspian, and 30 minutes of Kung Fu Panda. The movie selection was also followed by the sheer joy of being served edible food. Normally international fare is decent, it's normally not good. Dinner on this night was a 6oz demi-glazed steak that was cooked perfectly medium rare. With all this glory, the best thing was that I slept on and off for about five hours. This is amazing, because I have been in Korea since 5:00 AM, and am not experiencing any, I say again ANY Jet lag. I don't know if its just waiting to ambush me in five hours, but as of now I'm excellent.

So what does one do when he arrives in Korea, at 5:00 AM on a Friday. Well if you're like me you get shuttled off onto two different buses and drive two hours to a city, that is truly off the beaten path. After arrival and a gloriously hot shower in which I washed 24 hours of travel off of my body I went exploring for an hour. It was here that I had my first pigeon English conversation. I was wandering a park when a nice old man who worked as a grounds keeper came up and asked me where I was from. I said one of the few Korean words I know Migok which means American. For those that have travelled this normally brings about one of two responses. The first is a look of disgust at which point they promptly begin to tell you why America sucks. The second, and the one I always enjoy are the people who want to know everything about you and where you're from. This old man, new almost no English, but I'm thinking he thanked me several times for America's intervention in Korea during the 1950's. I say this because he kept giving me the V for Victory sign and saying Victory to me and that he loved America. I felt awful because I could not communicate effectively with this man. I hope in months to come that I will learn more Korean so that I can talk to this man if I ever run into him again. It was truly unique.

Yeah, I know all of you are rolling your eyes at me right about now and saying that in three weeks you'll be sick of it. You're probably right too. I'll probably be sick and tired of it in three to four weeks, but this man's feelings were heartfelt and he just could not express them in a language that I could understand. Well, for now my dear friends and readers I bid you adieu.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

That's awesome Will, I'm glad your travelling went so well! And I'm sure in time, you will be able to communicate with other people like that man, even if you never see him again.