04 July 2008

Journey to the Centre of the (Well Paying English Teaching Job) World, Part the Second

In between watching a whole bunch of stuff and thinking far too much about it I came up with a business venture: an airline that doesn't let children (let's say under the age of 10 or so) on board. Can you imagine how utterly awesome it would be to have a whatever-hour flight without all those screaming babies (who I'd happily drown, if I knew that their mothers wouldn't cry)? That would be utter bliss. I really wish someone could get on with organising that, they would definitely be my consistent airline of choice (until/unless I ever grow up and decide to make my own babies...but even then I think I'd probably dope them up for the journey, or leave them at home with a babysitter).

Other things my perfect airline and airport would ban:

*TV screens freezing.
*Rude check-in people (enforcing rules about baggage weight counts as rude, FYI).
*Spillages (my perfect airline would be able to fight gravity, natch).
*Complete freaks sitting next to you especially if it's a night flight with the lights out and you're a woman travelling alone and you're sitting on those weird seats near the back where there's only two seats together, and they keep on talking to you and encroaching on your personal space...and taking their socks and shirt off.
*Confusing signs when you're interchanging: I stood in line for the 'stand by' counter for a while because it was next to the counter I actually wanted, it was only when I realised that they didn't all say 'stand by counter' on them that I clued on. I was being totally blonde and totally wandering up the garden path, especially as this wasn't a proper interchange thing, they merely told me the gate number for the next flight, which I already knew and even if I hadn't known it I am just about capable of reading basic information from a screen. When it doesn't freeze.
*Stopovers in the middle of the night where you can barely get anywhere because of all the people sleeping on the floor. Lightweights.
*The most sensible flight being at the same time as the UEFA Euro final.
*Freaky old ladies with extremely impossible to fathom accents interrupting your reading to demand if you're going to Perth. Why? And if it was that important to her, why not harass someone sitting nearer to her, who wasn't engrossed?

Despite the fact that real life, Emirates and Dubai airport are not perfect I did eventually land at Incheon, rather worse the wear from lack of sleep. Insomnia is the new black. Neophilia is the new... disorder of our time?

Incheon airport seemed to extend for ever when I was trekking through it. I managed to come out the other end and to call the people who were supposed to be picking me up from the bus station, as well as to get my arse there on the very pleasant limo bus. I know this doesn't sound too complicated, but my phone refuses to work in this country, and I tend to have a bad record with getting picked up from bus stations and airports when in foreign countries. Also I'm often stupid. I really shouldn't have started rereading Everything is Illuminated on this trip, but I finished Scenes From Clerical Life very early on and since I'd had to give up my pile of books to read and Stardust was buried deep in my suitcase somewhere I had had to turn to other options. The book hadn't affected me too much on the planes, but on the bus I couldn't help getting a bit sniffly, it's just so sad! I hadn't really got emotional or weepy for myself at all, even though I'd thought that I would be sad and certainly overwhelmed. I think that maybe I, like the characters I was reading about, am sometimes 'once removed' from my emotions.

It's weird, in fact I'm weird, because I don't seem to act like or be a composite person. Most people don't act consistently unless they truly are caricatures but I seem to portray mutually exclusive characteristics more often than others, or perhaps I just have some form of schizophrenia. I'm so smart and so dumb, but more than that... I'm painfully shy, and yet gleefully confident. I'm ridiculously overly-emotional and weepy about anything, but at the same time I am hard and cold and cut off.

Despite this (and my bad bus/plane meeting karma) about an hour later I was met by a couple of guys from HQ, one of whom, M, I had been exchanging emails with for ages so it was nice to finally meet him. They drove me to the hotel that I was being put up in and joked about it because, I thought, of it's name: The Soho Hotel. In fact it turned out to be a bona (ha) fide love motel. When I finally realised that it did help to explain the giggling, porn and free condoms. I had a nice room, and ohgodyes a shower, although I was very irritated that there was no proper internet since I'd been led to believe that in Korea it was impossible to not be connected to the internet. I fully suspected I'd be able to download things on my hand. I was able to leach wireless from various sources, which eased the pain somewhat. Once I was clean I wandered off for dinner and drinks with M.

I collapsed into bed about 11ish, letting the complete lack of sleep and jetlag overtake me, assuming that I'd be out for the count. I even went so far as to arrange with M for him to knock on my door just before 10 so that I would get to my training, which was to begin the next morning, in a timely fashion.

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