Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random Travel Update 26

Last Location: Farmington, Utah
Arrival Date: June 5, 2008
Departure Date: July 16, 2008

Current location: Seoul, ROK
Arrival Date: July 16, 2008
Departure Date: Undetermined

Next location: Undetermined
July 16, 2008
I am in the Salt Lake City airport awaiting boarding for my flight to Seoul via San Francisco. I stayed up most of the night, more out of tradition than an actual need to accomplish anything. I packed early this time to avoid the frantic organizational frenzy of stress that usually precedes my international adventures.

Yesterday was a great day. I feel as though there is some force out there conspiring to make my life really awesome. Jon had a mountain bike race at Solitude. I sat and watched the race, contemplating the mountain scenery and fresh air, wondering why I would ever voluntarily leave it. They gave each participant a raffle ticket, and because she had to leave early, one of the lady racers gave us hers. We won on both tickets. Headphones and sunflower seeds.

I ran all of my errands with spectacular grace. The people at DHL corrected an invoice they had overcharged me on and let me pay over the phone rather than having to wait for a paper invoice to arrive in Utah. The people at the optometrist had run out of contacts in my prescription and so offered to ship the whole year's supply to me in Korea free of charge. The people at the Apple Store online told me not to worry about returning a case that I didn't like, they would ship me a new one, worth $80 more for no additional charge. (I love Apple).

Jon's mom Kathy, baked our favorite vegan "Better than Sex" cake, for my going away. I think it consists of chocolate cake plus chocolate pudding plus chocolate chips plus chocolate frosting. I ate it for three of my last five meals. I figure I won't be getting much Better than Sex cake in Korea.

Jon stayed up with me last night and took me to the airport this morning. Such a gentleman, he parked and waited with me all the way through the security line until the last minute when I had to say goodbye. It is hard to leave Jon.

July 19, 2008
It looks like we may be returning to the days where I write updates over several days time and send them off whenever. I have arrived in Seoul. I have no internet, no cell phone and no power adapter to charge my computer. I also have no luggage. The 15 minute delay in my flight out of San Francisco threw the baggage people off enough to not transfer my checked bag in time. Luckily, I considered this possibility and took an extra carry-on bag with toiletries and clothes to last me a week.
July 23, 2008
It has been just about a week since I left the US. Things are going well. I have a cell phone, luggage, sleeping bag (no sheets yet) and I finally learned how to operate my water heater. My Kiwi neighbor and fellow teacher, Jeremy, has been the biggest help in my acclimatization. He has lent me a towel, a power adaptor, comforters, his clothes drying rack, soap, Korean friends and numerous other essentials. Last night him and our other neighbor, Marcus, had a breakthrough with the internet so I now a get intermittent wireless signal in my room. I will work on getting a more powerful router this week to see if that helps.
I will explore a bit longer and then tell you what it is like here. I am not taking too many photos, I figure that I already have two albums dedicated to Seoul on Picasa, but I will collect a few to send later on of things like my school, my neighborhood, recent attempts at vegan cuisine, etc. I hope all is well wherever you are.

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