I’m in Korea right now. OMG!

I left Cedar Rapids “yesterday.” I say this in quotes because in Korea it’s currently Sunday, August 28th and I left on Friday, August 26th. Totes weird right!? Anyway, I left Cedar Rapids at 6:30 and before we were at cruising altitude for long we were already descending on O’Hare. An hour has never gone by so fast in my life. Bye Bye Iowa!

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Then, I had to walk my chubby dumpling self from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5. Let me give you a visual of that.

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Bogus, right!? Luckily a friendly SkyCap recognized the look of terror and loathing in my eyes and had me follow him to the shuttle and I didn’t have to walk which is super good because I didn’t plan my footwear situation thoroughly and had blisters the size of elephants on the backs of my heels.

Then I had to find the ticketing counter for Asiana Air which was easy enough but the counter was not open yet. They finally opened and I was told I’d have to check my backpack as an additional bag because it didn’t meet their dimensions for a carry-on AND it was going to cost me $200. The lady at the counter told me to rearrange and organize my stuff and take the super important stuff with me in my approved carry-on size suitcase. I panicked and called my dad; because that’s what you do when you panic. I wasn’t able to fit all my stuff after rearranging so I asked the lady to throw out my extra stuff. I think she felt bad for me and told me to go to the duty free or other shop and ask for a bag to put my extras in. So yay, spending $200 on a stupid backpack full of random stuff!

Then there was the five hour layover that went by so incredibly fast and of course I didn’t have to pee until they started boarding. I farted around in all the duty free shops and ogled things for a while and then people watched. I also became a VIP… 😮

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Because of my extra baggage, I was moved to a different seat, why I still don’t know, but whatev. I was sitting right at the wing and my seat was the aisle right after the area where the air hostess people prep the meals so I had plenty to keep me entertained as I no longer had access to my earphones or book that were now checked in my $200 bag. I think they got sick of me peeking around the corner at what they were doing because I was given an eye mask and the other people around me weren’t.

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The seat was entirely too small for my body – the headrest was hitting me in the shoulder blades and it did not feel good. The edge of the chair hit me in the middle of my thigh and I kept getting cramps in my left leg because of this. Other than that the flight was good. The food was actually really good! For “dinner” which was served at like 1am I had bidimbap which had a lot of vegetables in it that I didn’t really know what they were but it tasted good. I even added some of the gochujang that made it super delish. ❤

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When we finally arrived at Incheon I was worried if my $200 extra checked bag would be intact; because I like to worry okay? It was! I was able to get all three suitcases and my fatty backpack on a luggage cart. Then I went to the currency exchange because I need Korean money, obviously. $63.00 has never looked so appealing! It gives me a false sense of richness. Like, yeah I totally have 900,500 Won in my pocket right now! I’m almost a millionaire in Won!

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Korean money is so pretty. Each bill is a different size and color. That’s so helpful! Thanks Korea!

Then I met my driver who, obviously, drove me from the airport to my hotel. We were in the car for an hour together. He asked me if I liked music, I said “heck yes!” He asked me if I was tired, I said “I slept some on the plane.” He proceeds to shuffle through the CDs in his CD player and played me Gangnam Style. After his personal song selection for me, a song by G Dragon came up and I was signing along and didn’t realize it. He was SO impressed with my GD style singing/impersonation skills, something I practiced with Courtney a lot. Anyway, he was super nice and helped with my bags and waited with me while they got my reservation/room info sorted out.

After I was alone in my room for about 20 minutes, I still couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights! I was pressing all the buttons and nothing was happening. I was ashamed and defeated as I called the front desk. The attendant came up and told me he needed my room key. I was confused. Apparently, you stick the room key in this to access the lights.

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Yep. Total n00b move. With all that sorted, I took my badly needed shower and attempted to sleep as it was now 6 a.m. It didn’t go so well. I only slept for a hour and a half so that leads me to believe I slept more on the plane than I had realized.

Yes, I am a crazy cat person.

Lately I’ve been thinking about some weird things I didn’t think I would but I will undoubtedly miss while I’m in South Korea for a year and some things I won’t miss too much.

Things on the list I’ll miss:

  • My friends 😥
  • The excitement in my friend’s children’s voices when I go over to their house
  • Hay bales randomly plopped in fields along the highway
  • Miles of green seas of corn and soybeans
  • Iowa sweet corn
  • Seeing the giant tractors at the Farm Implement store on the way to my house
  • Culver’s ButterBurgers
  • My family, probably

Mostly, what I know I’ll miss is my kitty Emily.

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Seriously though, for those of you who don’t know, this cat is 21 years old. I’ve had her the majority of my life and she’s been there with me through all of my journeys to date with an exception of the four years I lived in Minnesota; two with my aunt and the two years went to Winona State University.

Mom and I took Emily in to the veterinarian this past Thursday and made me cry because I realized that I might not be able to be with my kitty for the final year(s) and adventure(s) of her long, healthy life. 😦 I’m glad that she has a home with my parents who will be caring for her while I’m away but I just wish she could come with me so I can snuggle her in the twilight of her life.