Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Transit: Too Much Down Time

It's officially summer vacation and time to begin my brutal three flight journey home. Unable to sleep last night, I wake up this morning after sleeping just 3 or 4 hours. The tired feeling lasts for about half a minute until my foggy brain remembers what lays ahead. After finishing up my morning packing, you know the stuff that can't be done until you are ready for the day, I head downstairs to track down a taxi. Before I leave the building, my doorman, with a worried look, makes sure I am not leaving for good.

It must be my lucky day because there is then a taxi sitting right outside my building. The driver stuffs my heavy suitcase in his trunk. He also asks if I am returning. When I convey a positive response (our conversation was mainly made up of hand motions), he shakes my hand with endearing gratitude. It was quite sweet, actually.

If these two encounters weren't enough, I get out of the taxi at the bus station to find a co-worker of mine. She is dropping some friends off for a trip to Europe, whom which she will join in just a week. Before we part, she hands each of her friends a coffee and then one to if it were planned. I know it was for her, though, and so the gesture was just so special.

The bus ride to the airport takes about an hour since traffic is a bit slow. I don't mind because it gives me plenty of time to think and peacefully watch my surroundings. At one point, I find myself listening to Joe Purdy's "Blue Sky" from one of my many travel mixes and looking up at the white fluffy clouds hanging in front of the bright sky, then a nearby subway train passing, and finally the green bushes swaying in the wind. It seems like a dream and makes me feel very lucky to be living this life that sometimes feels like a fantasy. During the last stretch of the ride, which covers the Han River, Steve Miller Band's "Wide River" come on. It seems almost creepy.

Now I am at the Incheon Airport and it is here that I am currently waiting inside my gate and watching planes pass by. The extra time led to large quantities of Korean chocolate being purchased. So, if I see you during my trip home, be prepared for a major sugar high. :)

The plane I will be boarding is headed for Osaka. From there, I time travel backward to San Fransisco and finally up to good ol' Portland. I foresee a lot of airport downtime, so I'll keep updating this entry.

Now wish me luck because I have major airplane anxiety!


IN JAPAN! I see an adorable barefoot two year old boy running around the large open space that is our gate. Before that, I tried filling my water bottle with the bathroom tap and an older lady began speaking non-stop Japanese to me. She was clearly a sweetheart and guided me to a drinking fountain instead. Nine point five hour flight ahead of me and I'm very nervous. Bought a carry on beer to help calm my nerves. Battery on my laptop is dieing and my cord is suited for Asian outlets only. Hope I find a converter in SF!


Finally home! So effing jet lagged and seriously hating the San Francisco airport for being horrible disorganized/stressful. I thought I would love hearing English all around me, but it turns out I was wrong...everyone seems so whiny, but this could also just be my lack of sleep.

My cats remember me and I met the new family dog, Tilly. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fresh air. My lungs are very appreciative right now.

I don't know if I'd go as far to say I'm experiencing reverse culture shock, but its something along the same lines. All the people around me look familiar, like I've met them before/they all kind of look the same. It's one of the strangest feelings I've ever experienced. Everything also seems as though it's in slow motion because of how past paced everything in Korea is. Also, when waiting for my last flight, there was a group of people from Korea. I chatted with them and felt more of a connection with their group than anyone else around me. Kind of ironic since I'm constantly feeling out of place in Korea.

Super excited to see my friends and family, which will most likely start before rest. :D :D :D


  1. We're gonna miss seeing you this summer, Lana. Bethany and I just came back up to Alaska last week. Have a restful summer. Hope the transition to America isn't too disorienting.

  2. Lana! You bored plane!!!!!! wooo!!! SEE YOU IN A WEEK!!!!!!!!! p.s. Matthew come back down to Portland NOW!