I've been in Korea for just about two weeks now- and yes, I do love it. Thanks for asking.
I had never really flown prior to coming here, just one-way to Chicago from Manchester, I'm not counting that. So my first time flying was a one-way trip to Incheon National Airport in Incheon, South Korea. It couldn't have been a better decision; although sitting down for close to 20 hours straight wasn't really ideal... it had to be done. Fortunately for me my flight included an in air friend, Mr. Brian Fairbanks, who after a whirlwind tour to Australia was a veteran traveler. His presence certainly eased whatever anxiety I had been feeling about flying. That being said, I still managed to not sleep at all during the entire trip so it took me just about a week to fully recover from jet lag. Every time I managed to doze off it just happened to be right when the attendants were passing out food, of course the smell of airline bibimbap and "steak" roused me from my somnolent state. We landed in South Korea; with full bellies, at approximately 5:30pm on Wednesday, having left from Boston at 6:20am on Tuesday. There was a 13 hour time difference in there to account for the lost time. My first time on another continent- check.
ICN was a fantastic airport, by the time we got through immigration our luggage had just started coming onto the conveyor- perfect timing. Having gathered our belongings we began the search for the EPIK (English Program in Korea) stall and bus stop. We trekked to the far end of the terminal and found a congested group of foreigners with a wealth of smiling Koreans wearing EPIK shirts herding them out the door to a bus that had just arrived. We checked in at the station, they gave us numbers and we were asked to wait until our number was called- at which point we should bring our passports up, show them our visas and wait for the next bus to arrive. Whilst waiting we were interviewed and photographed- is it obvious that I hadn't slept in about 40 hours?
The bus arrived and about 20-30 of us were escorted to it, our luggage filling the bays and invading the seats. We were the 12th bus of the day- our gracious hosts almost looked more tired than I did. So ensued three more hours of traveling, although this time there were no clouds to obscure the scenery. The signs were in several languages, Korean, English, and the occasional Chinese; and the speed and distances were all metric- fascinating!
We made new friends on the bus ride to Jeonju; rather, we submitted a friend application to a wonderful couple- they responded several days later with a unanimous 'yes' for me, Brian is still trying to earn the title of friend. He might achieve this on Wednesday over some tea and bruised peaches. Finally at about 9:37pm we arrived to the front door of Jeonju University's dorm, or Star Tower- after checking in we got lost getting to our room (went into the wrong tower), managed to find our way back to the correct elevator and settled down into our spacious dormitory double. Getting into bed and lying down was the first time I had stopped moving in about 48 hours- though I hadn't the faintest idea what awaited me in the next week of training, I had no trouble getting to sleep.
*1000 Won and a sticker to the first person that can tell me the campy slogan of Jeonju University- yes, it is in English.