On the cross-world flight, I met a couple of people who would be teaching in Seoul. One of them, Bryan, would be working with me at Chungdahm and staying at the same hotel, so we buddied up after we landed and made our way by empty bus and gutsy taxi to the Coatel Hotel in the Gangnam district of Seoul.
Archive for December, 2009
Flying in America on Thanksgiving Day is very stress-free and devoid of hassle. Even the employees were not showing the contempt for fellow man that I would expect of them while working on a holiday. Maybe the American workforce is better than I assumed. (I know for sure that it is not.) The flight to Kansas City featured a singing stewardess, a flamboyant steward, and a woman sitting next to me who read The Onion (an actual, physical copy of the paper). She smelled bad, though. Not quite like onions, but you get the drift (if you are downwind). All of this in an economical flight that got me to San Francisco forty minutes early.
While at San Francisco, I made some keen observations. One of these was the observation of many, many Asian faces. Did they send me through here on my way to Seoul on purpose as some sort of desensitization. (I think it worked. Unlike those lazy Chinese immigrants, am I right!? (Just kidding, really.)) Another thing I noticed was during the halftime “show” for the football game in Detroit. It seems like every other month there’s some new sort of Motown celebration or anniversary. It’s really just an easy way to distract everyone from the terrible plight of modern Detroit. We know you’re burnt, Detroit. It’s not working.
Once aboard United 893 bound for South Korea, I was treated to the greatest, happiest thrill I’ve experienced on an airplane: the flight was only going to be about 2/3 full, so I would be able to spread out over three seats and make myself comfortable. Comfortable according to economy (read: cheap) airplane standards, but better than the usual cram action.
I started out reading some Flannery O’Connor and drinking a glass of whiskey, but quickly realized that that was a black and disturbing path to travel down. That woman is wicked. Not in the new, hip way, meaning she is cool or something. I mean, like, she is probably casting spells and stuff. So I traded in high-class lit for high-altitude inanity and lay down to watch “The Time Traveler’s Wife” on my video screen. Now, I’ll admit, the premise is pretty interesting, but the execution is boring at best. Going further down the rabbit hole, I decided to watch the “GI Joe” movie. I hate you, American consumer who made this possible, acceptable, and publicly appreciated. Put frankly: what a dismal piece of shit! When Channing Tatum dies, point out his widow so I can give her a kiss.
The rest of the flight was an uneventful mush of attempted sleep, a package of powdered tryptophan, strange noodled food, and me trying to hide my tears among my laughs while watching “Up” until we finally touched ground in Seoul.
A quick housewarming note: I have written some stuff that I was going to put into one long post, but I figure I should probably just break it down into different posts on different subjects so it’s easier to read. Here goes.