Saturday, September 02, 2006

So the adventure begins...

Getting to Korea was a long, interesting and slightly trecherous journey. We left Vermilion at 1:30am since our flight departed at 6am to Vancouver. I wasn't sure our luggage would fit in Dad's car but somehow everything made it to the airport. Our first obstacle was in the form of Ann, Air Canada employee. She wouldn't let us check in our luggage and carry on through security until we had a return ticket to Canada. I was totally freaking out and we called someone from Footprints on the emergency line to try and straighten it all out. A supervisor was called and much pacing ensued until Matt relented and bought 2 refundable return flights from Osaka for October 31st. The reasoning Air Canada gave was that we don't have our work visa documentation yet and these countries (either Korea or Japan) do not allow people to enter on a one way ticket and Air Canada could be fined if they allowed someone to fly in without one. What Footprints said is that's bullshit and they do it all the time. I don't really care who is right or wrong as long as we get our money back when we go to Osaka when they process our visas (apparently they have an Air Canada office there).

So we managed to get our luggage checked in (only $105 worth of overweight fees later!) and find our gate just before early boarding started. With all of our planning and packing I really wish we'd thought to pack some food to eat along the way. Air Canada is horrifically stingy and even with the liquid restrictions they only brought the drink cart by once. When we landed in Vancouver we also didn't have much time (especially with gimpy Matt) to get our butts through customs and on the next flight to San Fransisco. We did get to ride on one of those carts though and Matt got pushed through the other parts on a wheelchair by an airport employee. I, on the other hand, got the awesome job of stacking all of our luggage onto a cart (think 4 massive suitcases and 2 carry ons) and pushing it through stupid USA customs. Keep in mind we didn't have to do this for our international flight, this is just a rule the USA has. Asshats. A nice thing about having a gimpy travelling buddy, you really aren't asked a lot of questions. I guess terrorists never jump into a lake and break their foot. During the flight to San Fransisco we were so hungry that we broke down and purchased Air Canada food. Just to [re]confirm, this is disgusting and a bad idea.

San Fransisco was our next stop and here we were less pressed for time. They found some pimply faced, fresh off the turnip truck teenager to push Matt around. This was nice since San Fransisco is the most handicap UNaccessible place on the planet. So he brought us to this dusty flight of stairs that had been corded off and Matt hobbled down. Teenager looks unsure and nervous and runs back upstairs to confirm that this is the correct door to get to the shuttle (that would take us to the international terminal). He leads us through questionable door. Alarms and lights go off. I think to myself, great we're going to be arrested, gimp or no gimp. Teenager looks quite distressed and starts asking anyone within earshot that works there if this is where the shuttle comes. Yeah, so that was not the right door. So Matt hobbles back up the stairs and then he hobbles down new stairs to get to the shuttle. We took the shuttle and then the driver made us get off. Matt hobbled up new stairs and we discovered that this was not the international terminal. Matt then hobbled down the stairs and back to the shuttle. Meanwhile, I carried all of our stuff.

I was starting to feel pretty gross and discouraged at this point. We'd been travelling for a long time and the food we'd eaten was fairly ick. We stopped at this Mexican restaraunt in the San Fransisco airport and had some very overpriced subpar Mexican food. Atleast we took a couple of okay pictures.

After we ate we changed a bit of money into Won and then found our gate and parked it until early boarding. I got our tickets changed so that we were sitting next to eachother and so that Matt was sitting in a good place for his foot. The Air Singapore people were super nice. Then we got onto the plane to Seoul. It was the coolest and nicest plane I'd ever seen! The flight attendants were adorable and just so dedicated to making us comfortable. It was so awesome- I think I want my ashes spread on an Air Singapore flight. It was drink cart and meal/snack central. They brought around drinks like every 5 minutes. There was actually a menu to pick stuff out of and every seat had it's own personal tv screen with tons of movies, games and other goodies on it. I learnt how to count in Korean up to 20 on the flight over. I was so amused (we could even play games head to head against eachother) that I didn't want to sleep. We also had complimentary pillows and blankets (comparison- Air Canada was selling those for $2) and disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste and the coolest purple socks ever. All discomfort melted away and I felt totally relaxed and excited about getting to Korea.

A couple of Air Singapore pictures. Note how refreshed and entertained we look. Also note awesome personal TV screen.

Finally we landed in Korea!!! We had to wait awhile until they brought a wheelchair up to the plane. The smallest, most adorable, sweetest little thing came up. She was about 4'11 and 85lbs soaking wet. She had her little uniform and a cute bow in her hair and a scarf around her neck. I wish I'd been able to take a picture of her. Anyway, I am thinking, she is never going to be able to push Matt around. I felt so guilty watching her struggle that I wanted to carry all the baggage and push him and maybe somehow carry her so she wouldn't have the burden of walking. I hope her job isn't just pushing large waygooks around in wheelchairs. Especially waygooks that are this cooperative and cheery:

Hello Nurse, I'd like to kick your ass.

We located our luggage and got through customs all right and waited a bit and Mr. Lee showed up. He's alot taller (almost Matt's height) than I expected and drives a silver SUV which was able to transport all of our luggage. He seems quite nice and spent a lot of the ride to the apartment telling us how much he likes Canadians (apparently Australians are not so popular with him). His English isn't too bad and he seems pretty upfront and honest, so those are very good things. It seems like things should go okay now that we're here, as long as Matt heals properly.

1 comment:

Dylan said...

Bwa ha ha. littlebrownblog = awesome.

"Hello Nurse, I'd like to kick your ass". Pure gold.