Sleeping on a plane sucks. I am writing this at 3:23 am, Dutch time after my 37th attempt to sleep has failed. I think I have tried every position in every possible creative way, but it’s simply not working. There is the foetus position, the with your head on the table position, the pretend the window is a pillow position and the turn your back to the person next to you position, just to name a few. I found this last one to be most comfortable; it’s just that you start feeling your neck after a while, as in, within 15 minutes or so. The window one would work if the window would be closer and if there wouldn’t be an armrest in the way. The table one might work if the table had been positioned a little higher and the foetus position doesn’t work because my body starts to protest after a little while. So yeah, I’m going to be dead tired when I arrive. At least all my fellow passengers are nice and quiet. If only I could sleep like them. Ina once told me that Koreans can take instant power naps. Maybe that is also how they manage to sleep right now. Did anyone ever try out taking sleeping pills on a plane? Is that allowed? It seems like a good idea.
In the end, I ended up sleeping for about 1 to 2 hours. I landed about an hour ago. As we were getting closer to land, I started to question where exactly is Seoul and is this Korea? There were little pieces of land with what on some seemed to be little villages, all surrounded by a beautiful, beautiful sea. But as we kept on getting closer to this water, we kept on passing the land without a bigger one coming into sight. Then all of a sudden the plane landed as I was still trying to prepare myself for the pain that was going to hit my ears. So actually, we didn’t land all of a sudden. The plane landed very gradually. It didn’t take long before we could exit and within 35 minutes I was outside with all my baggage.
The first thing I noticed was the silence in the airport. No one seemed to be in a hurry but neither did they go too slow. There was no stress and there weren’t many people. Unlike what Ina had told me, I didn’t have to take a bus and a subway to get to the actual airport. It took only one hall but because of that I came out way too early, Ina wasn’t there yet to pick me up. Another thing I quickly noticed were the air masks that quite a few Koreans seem to be wearing. I later found out it’s something they wear when they have a cold, or when they are sick. It’s also to protect themselves from the bad air and recently, some people wear it to make sure they won’t catch the virus that is now going around; Mers.
It is 7 hours later in Korea compared to the Netherlands, which means I am lucky. I won’t have to stay up an entire day after missing a night. Ina picked me up and in order to get to the flat we had to take the subway. It took about an hour before we arrived but in that hour I got to behold the incredible mountains and pieces of land surrounded by sea. Since the airport is located on an island, the subway crosses the sea over an immense bridge. From the bridge, you can see the incredible scenery. At that moment, I would have liked to freeze time. There’s no need for any other sightseeing. There’s no need for anything if only I could freeze that moment.
Only after exiting the subway did I become aware of the actual temperature. It also became clear that my suitcase does not have a very practical size. After dropping off my stuff, we picked up Hang and went to a coffee shop. Unlike in the Netherlands, they actually sell coffee there. While I had some lemon bla bla tea, Hang took bubble tea with actual bubbles in it. I suppose they must have it in the Netherlands too, but it was new and very surprising to me.
At 9, we could finally pick up Truci from work too and then ate at last. In Korea, people share their food. Hence, we bought 5 different dishes that I could all try. I don’t know the names anymore. I should have probably made pictures but let me explain at least one, my favourite from that evening. The dish was made in some sort of deep pot and in the pot was a fluffy egg. It is so fluffy that I would almost describe it as egg cake. I might write very poor descriptions of food through. Moreover, Korea has a lot of meat. Luckily they have chicken and seafood too. All in all, I’m surprised by how normal everything seems to be in Korea. Of course, Ina did say that. Korea is really modern in terms of technology. The disadvantage of this is that you can’t see stars at night. The sky is completely black. It’s also dark very early in Korea (8 pm). I like the language a lot and I like the Korean songs that are played in restaurants and shops. They do play English songs, but that is rather boring, don’t you think? ;)
Written on the 3rd and 4th of July. I’m too busy living ~ tomorrow we might do some sightseeing. Today we’re going to celebrate the birthday of one of Ina’s friends.