Saturday, September 21, 2013

9-20-13 & 9-21: The Journey to Phuket

   Alright, because I haven’t been able to sleep for even like 10% of the flight so far, I’m just going to sit here and type about it. 
     I’ve never been a fan of long lines or airplane rides, no matter how short they are. I think I had one that was only 45 minutes once. That wasn’t too bad, but I’d still rather not have anything to do with it.
     Anyway, I left Chicago on 9/20/13 around 12:35 PM and am going to arrive in Seoul, Korea in a little less than 3 hours. After a heart-wrenching farewell with all my friends the week before and seeing Nick every day for at least an hour, I thought I’d be more prepared for how I’d feel when saying goodbye for 6 months. My parents and Nick waited with me outside in the international airport before I walked to my gate; I took a tiny walk with Nick and I teared up (maniacally, if that makes sense... I was literally laughing and smiling while holding back tears). As I was giving hugs and kisses to everyone though, some ladies shooed us out of the area because it was for travelers only. Okay, first of all, we look harmless--relax!!! Second, it’s 6 months that we won’t be seeing each other! Give us a break. :)
     Then, when I went in, I smelled like fried food, which by the way, is a perfume I wish not to be adorned with. I found a friend who’s also going on the trip and I think I out-crazied myself and scared him off. Great! Wonderful start to my next 6 months, right? :)
     Finally, I boarded and said some more tearful goodbyes to my sister, mom, and friends by phone. I actually love international planes--well, more than I like regular planes--because they’re so spacious. Sadly though, it doesn’t mean that I can really stretch out my legs or not get jostled by people walking past me. However, I am really enjoying sitting in the aisle seat, despite being nudged randomly all the time. That’s because I can get up and not have to squeeze past people, which is one of my most hated experiences on an airplane. 
     So I fell asleep for maybe an hour at the very beginning of this 13-hour flight on Korean Air. I was actually feeling great about that, since I didn’t sleep much the night before and I was trying to be alert in the airport. Then, the stewardesses came around with drinks and peanuts. Okay, that’s perfectly fine since I was starving before I boarded the plane (I forgot to eat and had only had almond milk). 
      But EWWW! It was honey-roasted peanuts, and I swear, they were like made with sugar and salt mixed together. I threw away the half-filled tiny bag of peanuts, and that says a lot because I love peanuts and hate wasting food. Yeah, it was THAT bad. Anyway, after that, I couldn’t sleep because about 20 minutes later, they started pushing out lunch. What???? The peanuts had barely traveled down my throat and now there’s lunch?! 
     There were three options: bibimbap, beef, and chicken. I chose the beef because starting a few days ago, I started craving hamburgers. Although it’s airplane food and not the fanciest, I was satisfied. I was able to enjoy a tiny balanced meal which included a salad, tea, fruit, a roll (which was horrible and very difficult to swallow), and beef with carrots and peas. I tried to drift off after the meal, but that didn’t work, so I ended up reading part of Cyrano de Bergerac.
     Maybe after about 1.5 hours, as I was in a state of ennui and my eyes were glazing over just from being tired of being open, but of course not tired enough to close so I could fall into a blissful resting state, the stewardesses came out with a bun. My lunch didn’t even digest yet, but whatever, free food is free food. I gratefully took it because I thought it was a dessert bun--I should really know better. No one is as fascinated with dessert buns as I am. Everyone just likes the ones filled with meat, which is what this one was. Oh well, again, food is food is food.
     Maybe about 45 minutes after that, the stewardesses served us yet ANOTHER MEAL. What?! I mean, I’m not complaining about getting so much food and drink, but I was just so surprised that I was getting some type of dinner seemingly right after a meal and snack. I stuffed myself again. Yum! This time, there was some form of mousse cake :)
     But to get to my point, I was never able to fall asleep because whenever I tried, they served food, so I think for the past 11 hours, I’ve been digesting what, to me, feels like 4 whole meals (I really don’t eat that much). So now I’m tired and my eyes are drooping, but my body is not letting me fall asleep. 
     Oh, and I finished Cyrano de Bergerac and teared up. His words of poetry were just so beautiful and the whole story about how Roxane falls in love with his words but believes she’s in love with another guy is heartbreaking. She never was in love with Christian and believed him a fool until he used Cyrano’s words. All throughout, though, Cyrano is proud and dignified, yet because he believes that he appears grotesque, he gives up this love. Classic love story about falling in love with someone’s personality over their looks.
     Also, the guy next to me has been reading articles like for 9 of the hours so in the darkness of the plane, his light was on.
     Let me list out a few other people because I’m just that bothered:
  1. Girl by the window seat who randomly opens the window so that the white light from outside streams in. Stop looking at me!!! And stop that! What on earth do you think you’ll see when you open the window and we’re thousands of feet above the ground... and consequently above the clouds?!
  2. Lady next to girl from #1: “Sh*t! Shut up! Make it stop crying so we can sleep!” Okay, so a baby’s crying. Like you need to tell it to shut up--have you ever had kids? Can you really tell an infant to shut up and expect him to listen to you???
  3. Lady closest to me, on the other side of the aisle, and next to the shut up lady: Every hour or so, she dropped scraps all over the floor. What the heck??? The stewardesses had to keep coming by and picking it up. Show some decency and at least look for things you’ve dropped. Like she unscrewed a bottle and the cap fell to the ground. She didn’t even care. No wonder the plane looked like a garbage truck when I was getting off of it. Where did all humanity galumph off to?
  4. Vampire guy in front of her--I almost started laughing if it didn’t look so ridiculous. The person in his aisle’s window seat opened the window and he was like a vampire, shading his eyes with his arms. I don’t know why, but it was just so hilarious to me. He put up both his arms and was like blocking his eyes (and he kept moving his arms) like if the sun touched him, he would burn to a crisp and die. Maybe that was just because he was trying to sleep and that light was just so bright, but still. LOL I’m so mean, laughing at people who are actually able to go to sleep :/
  5. The stewardesses are cute and oh-so-friendly, but when I fell asleep (because the guy next to me took up my right armrest), they ran into the hood of my jacket, which would make me jolt awake. Argh!!!!

     Anyway, I was so annoyed by everybody that I was holding a cup and cracked it just to put my anger and frustration into something.
     Okay, to end things, I’m feeling bloated, exhausted, sad, excited, cramped, and annoying (I can’t stop sniffing because my allergies are affecting me on the plane of all places). Actually, later, I realized it was happening because I was so exhausted. My body decided to overheat and I was sitting on the plane, taking off my clothes, and fanning myself like crazy. Thankfully, a stewardess came by and asked me if I wanted a cup of cold water. I probably looked like I was going insane.
     After this flight, I’ll be able to explore Seoul Airport, wait several more hours, and ride a plane for another 6 hours. Fantastic, especially since I ran out of books. I hope Bangkok, or wherever I get situated, offers a library and I can try reading Divergent. :) Oh well, this’ll be over soon enough and I’ll be able to rest in Phuket. 

     Now I’m in Phuket Airport Hotel. That flight was pretty empty (the one from Seoul to Phuket), but was filled with people from China. Part of me was so sad because they were in couples and leaning on each other, and that made me miss Nick... A LOT. 
     One time, though, I looked out the plane and I saw one of the constellations, the one that looks like a W. (Just found out that it’s called Cassiopeia.) It was just breathtaking, and I hope that when I go to the All Seasons Naiharn Phuket I’ll be able to look up at the stars from the beach.

The End, for lack of a better ending sentence. Oh, and as an afterthought, I saw some lizards and dogs. Looks like this trip might not be so bad after all. I'm not too eager to meet the giant spiders though. 


  1. Sorry, I've been writing my comment throughout breaks in classes, but I just now found time to publish it. I totally understand what you mean when you say the airport staff shooed you two away. They're only like that in the international departure area, and I think they stereotype individuals based on how they look (e.g., if they look foreign). It annoys me! Fried food perfume—what on earth is that?! Yeah, international planes are spacious in most cases, but not the ones flying to and from the Caribbean lol. And yeah, I prefer window seats (avoiding people) but it usually means I'm confined to not using the restroom until several hours of wait, when it becomes apparent that I can't hold it any longer and I force people to get up to make way. By that time, I'm usually severely dehydrated too. Not fun. Honey-roasted peanuts always have sugar with salt, as do most snacks. It's also common in fast food and junk food. "Free food is free food"? Haha, good one! Of course HB, no one is fascinated with "bunz" as much as you, no pun intended. But wow, that airline really offers you quite an amount of free meals. You should congratulate them! American Airlines flying to Saint Lucia doesn't offer any snacks for free. And they only offer 4 oz of water once, through the middle of the flight. If only reality could coincide with worlds depicted in novels like the one you read—although it's nice to have hope, I'm starting to believe that scenarios like these are impossible to exist in the real world.

    1. Maybe the girl is claustrophobic and is seeking an escape from the tiny confounds of the plane? And maybe she's looking at you because she's conscious of disturbing others and wants to ensure, at least in her mind, that no one physically appears disturbed.
    2. Wow, that's insane, borderline psychotic.
    3. That's impolite, but it doesn't surprise me. I expect that a large part of society could care less about the messes that they make.
    4. Oh when you said vampire guy, I thought he really looked like one.
    5. You should pretend that they're hurting you next time, even though they're not. That will get them to back off. Just kidding lol.

    It's always hard to leave the people you care about, but it's amazing that you're still able to communicate on a daily basis through the internet (which may not have existed several years ago). That's awesome, did you manage to take a photo of the constellation? Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm sorry your body wasn't treating you well, but if it's any consolation, my experience was pretty bad too. I was dragging around 60lbs of luggage at the airports, which prevented me from going to the restrooms and buying water, so like I said before, I was ridiculously dehydrated. It didn't help that it took hours even after I got here to buy some water and actually use a restroom. Please continue to update us as your days in Thailand progress!

    1. Haha, fried food perfume was actually the scent of fried food coming from one of the airport restaurants. Gross!!!!

      and lol your comment about the bunz :) QG

      Actually, girl #1 was looking at me like when we got up to get ready to leave the plane... she just kept staring, but who knows? Maybe I just look crazy...

      Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic of the constellation, but I wish I could have! I know it wouldn't have looked as cool from the plane window though, through a camera's lens.

      LOL Shyam, why didn't you just drag all your luggage into the bathroom?! I did that all the time! Trust me, no one will remember you and I'm sure they're all doing it too :)