Des and I are still alive! After spending 30 mins in front of this computer, trying to write in English not Korean characters...here is the 2nd installment. On April 7th, we met up with my friends. We got really spoiled! We ate lots of food, shopped in markets, went sightseeing and ate really late. Guess what I ate? STING RAY!!! Yep...and chilli crab, fried carrot cake, oyster omelette and hokkien (sp?) noodles? Yeah...we ate so much and my friends never let me pay for anything...they're really sweet. What else? Des and I took the very last train...we ran for the escalator because we didn't want to climb the stairs with all those bags if the escalators stopped working. Lots of bags from shopping, gifts and stuff for Mellers who I am staying with in Japan.
Ok...so Nancy drove us to the airport and my suitcase is already wayyy heavy. I asked at the airport and we can have 32kg/luggage and you can have two pieces of luggage (to be checked in). I'm under 32kg for that big one so I guess I might need another luggage...but carrying that thing is insane...you'll find out why...Where was I? Oh yes, the HK airport...free internet. We were trying to rush and send emails b/c I haven't called or emailed in a while. I look at the computer time and it says 10:28am, but Des asks me to check my watch. Good thing cuz it was 10:43 and suddenly we hear "LAST CALL FOR FLIGHT CX416"...holy crap that's our flight...so we go running to the gate!!! My bag decides to open, so in the middle of running, Des is running behind me zipping my bag up and making sure nothing falls out. Before you decide to scold me, we weren't the last ones in line...lots of ppl were also behind us. hahahah... Also I have been stopped at security a number of times...for a watch, for coins and for my air freshner. We got out of there safe, even though we broke so many rules..but I'll have to tell you in person...hahaha
We finally get to Korea! YAY!! Except guess who doesn't have the phone number or address for Namsan Guesthouse? I have the directions and prices, but no address....what a dorko! So we look around for internet and find none. We went to get a phonecard to call or a service desk and suddenly I hear this voice. "May I help you"? I see a Korean woman with a cell phone and she definitely doesn't work there. She was so sweet! She called information to find out the address for us and we kept thanking her. She said she thought I was Korean. Anyway, she tells us to take a limo bus and guides us outside...next thing we know, we are handing our luggage off to someone and given a ticket. We're asked to pay 8,000 won and we're off to the nearest way to get to Namsan Guesthouse. I checked the internet directions I had printed out and the bus was on there too. She got us on the right bus and saved us lots of money b/c we were close to taking a taxi. Before we could thank the lady, she was gone. I didn't even get her name. She is my Korean Angel #1. <--#1 means there were more...haha
Korean Angel #2
We get off the bus and are trying to follow the directions. It says go into the subway station and get out at exit #3. So we are carrying all our luggage and I'm carrying that huge monster luggage too...down the four/five flights of steps. I swear I thought the thing would fall but thank you dragon boating I was able to take it down. Well we get there and we don't see a sign that remotely looks like a three. So I go to ask the man behind the glass, who doesn't look like he understands me. So I try my limited Korean asking where Namsan is..and then Pacific Hotel, b/c Namsan is near there. He gives directions in his best English. What a nice guy, but not Angel #2. Angel #2 is the guy who was wearing a medical mask who took pity on me lugging that dumb luggage UP the stairs. He helped me carry it. =)
So we find the exit by walking several blocks outside. We are both sweating like crazy by now and trying not to panic and some guy says to us "Namsan Guesthouse?" He points upward 200m walk. Bloody hell (excuse my language) remember how in some Korean shows there are these upward streets? Well yeah...this one was an UPHILL MOUNTAIN with that 26.7kg luggage, my knapsack and "purse"...ahahha...I thought it would never end. Des was in better shape than me, did I forget to tell her my cardio sucks? After a bazillion years I finally get there totally wiped out and Des, who got there first, says I have to confirm. So I tell him my name and he has the room ready. I'm still panting and asking him if I need to pay right away or when we leave, he just looks at my sorry state and says, "you can pay tomorrow". Thank goodness. He helped me carry "monster luggage" up the stairs to the room. The room is a little small but is good for us. We have our own washroom and there's no tub. There's a shower head and a drain.
We decide to adventure out a bit...Des mentioned something about lactic acid and being sore in the morning. We found a store and by now it was 11:45pm. We shop around and see the lovely $1.20 soju and the cheap gimbap and ramen. Of course I don't have my phrasebook so I'm trying to remember what to say. Thank you Jimmy, I asked how much it is correctly. ^^ Des was really happy b/c with these prices, she can definitely eat and stick to the budget. We ask them what time they close and lucky us, they never do. MUAHAHAH...We both bought gimbap and aloe juice. Des got her bottle of soju and onigiri too. I got ramen as well. The very nice young man there directed us to the hot water. I asked him if I could use it for my ramen too and then he made my dinner. How kind! I think that deserves title of Korean Angel #3.
There is a group of German university students here. They're having a bbq tomorrow and invited us. We met them just when we got in.
OMG this is a novel! I just wanted to update you, but here it is. Maybe I should print it and glue it into my journal. Who do I owe hugs for reading until the end?
*originally written: April 8th, 2006