Korea, Day 1

I woke up early this morning after eight hours of sleep and still felt as though I’d been run over by a truck. Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed, repack and have breakfast, all with just enough time to make it to the ferry. I took the ferry from Tanegashima to Kagoshima, then a taxi to Tenmonkan and eventually Chuo station. From there I took the shinkansen to Fukuoka, the subway to Fukuoka Airport, a bus to the international terminal and finally a plane to Seoul. A one hour train ride and a short walk later, I found myself at Ursula’s.

But before that I received some sketchy customer service for the first time ever in Japan and nearly lost my seat on the plane. The sketchy customer service came from a woman working at the information counter in Hakata Station in Fukuoka. After a couple of minutes of trying to figure it out on my own, I finally asked her about how to get to the airport. The woman responded with more attitude than I thought any Japanese person over the age of 15 could muster that I would have to take the subway. When I asked where the subway was she said impatiently, “It’s over there” without really pointing.

Once I finally got to the airport and went through customs and boarded the plane, I found a young mother and her baby sitting in my seat. After about 15 minutes of back and forth nonsense with the flight attendants, I was given my original seat, but the woman and her baby and her husband and other daughter were split up. I felt bad and told the flight attendant that if the family wanted to sit together, it was fine by me, but I was told that they couldn’t sit together because of something having to do with the oxygen masks, number of small children incapable of putting on their own masks and safety. Luckily there were some open seats and the mom and baby were able to sit with the rest of their family after we had taken off.

I was given a bento on the flight, which was kind of a shock considering it was only a 1.5 hour flight. Customs in Korea was mind-boggling simple and then I met up with Ursula who kindly met me at the airport. We took the swank new train back to the city and then I met her boyfriend, Gabe, and their cat.

For my first Korean “meal” we had chicken and beer. Apparently there are tons of these places in Korea. The one we went to had an outdoor seating area, which we went for, and soon I was digging into a plate of spicy chicken and drinking from a ginormous pitcher of beer. The chicken came with pickled daikon and weird vegetable-flavored styrofoam peanuts, which were unexpectedly addictive. From there we bought more beer and watched two episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia before turning in.

While waiting for the show to continue streaming, I was leaped upon by the cat and sustained a scratch right by my eye. It bled a bit, but she didn’t do it on purpose (she was chasing something and miscalculated her leap. She’s now sleeping with me on the futon). Kind of a long day, but I made it.

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