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Sunday, January 30

First Impressions...

The airport is modern, clean, and home to ATMs that have serious issues with english and currency exchange booths where they only want to change cash, not take your plastic... In the end, I found a hidden ATM with an 'English' button, kinda like a hidden level in Mario Bros. It was stashed between levels 1 and 2 of the airport, on a little mezzanine with a sign that only indicated 'airline offices'. All those hours of Nintendo64 finally came thru for me. This airport is also on an island and far from the city, which means you're in for a choice of transportation. The hotel limo woulda cost 110,000 Won (or 110 bucks), a taxi about 80 bucks, and the bus was billed at some number mumbled by the burly man selling the tickets. It sounded like thirty, but after some gesticulation, it dawned on me that I had met a man able to pronounce twelve in such a way as to make it sound like thirty. Impressed, I tipped him 3 bucks to round it up to half-cost. Everybody wins. Probably the results of my high-level sales training last month... We sped away from the terminal, into a van Gogh scene of straw yellow hills and deep blue sky. Dry grass to the horizon, with little clumps of frozen puddles and some dark rocks adding some black and white, and night falling softly. We crossed a Golf course on the edge of the airfield, and then what I think were fallow rice paddies. At least, they looked like the paddies I've seen in Bali and Thailand, except... frozen solid. In fact, one served as a iceskating rink for a dozen kids and a few adults. We blasted by on a five lane highway which was soon crossing a succession of bridges and causeways over mudflats, and then we saw the first skyscrapers just as night was on us for good.
Saw the usual 7-11 stores, the KFCs and the McDonalds you see all over Asia now, and just like that, we were past the city center and up in the hills, where all the hotels are. From the ridge roads, the hairpin turns, and the 30° inclines, I had a beautiful view on the city, and noticed that everywhere we went, there were always several red neon christian crosses in view. Quite impressive, really. You couldn't miss them, even thou my googling indicates only 25% of the population are christian. And then, we were at the hotel, and I unpacked, connected and posted this. Sorry for the rambling post, I'm a bit knackered. TTYL Location : Hotel Shilla, Seoul, South Korea.

3 Insights :

Blogger Kitten intuited...

Hmm...whats "knackered"???

Have a safe trip!

1/30/2005 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mathieu intuited...

Brit-speak for "pooped", or more prosaically, "dead-tired", Kitten. Feeling much better now after 9 hours of sleep, and thinking perhaps I have a handle on this jetlag business.

1/30/2005 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger james intuited...

Great post Mathieu!! You have a great style in detailing what you are going through and a glimpse into the city. I am really enjoying visiting Korea through you!!

1/31/2005 01:08:00 AM  

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