Sunday, February 19, 2012

We've Landed!

Well, we flew west.  Everyone had their bet on which way we'd go, west over the Pacific or east through Europe.  We flew in an arc up through Canada, across the Arctic Ocean, then down through Siberia.  Kyle excitedly explained the reason behind this route (I questioned, why north? why not just straight west?), but I'll spare you the mathematical details involving phrases like, "great circles" and "geodesic paths."

Here's a picture of us before the flight:

I thought I'd take a few more photos, but discovering it took four attempts to get a candid pre-flight picture, I didn't think we'd have enough patience for one after thirteen hours...  There wasn't much to see anyhow, just a jumbo jet with a couple hundred people trying to sleep.  We flew with Asiana Airlines and have no complaints; the flight attendants were very polite providing comforts like headphones, blankets, slippers, countless drinks, and a few good meals.  Kyle insisted on wearing his slippers during the entire flight.

Landing, picking up our luggage, and going through customs passed with no incident.  As we timidly passed through our designated exit, we were hit with forty or so South Korean voices, gestures, and signs.  Luckily, we saw the sign for "Shelly A Anderson" and "Kyle D Bednar" immediately, as it was front and center.  We struggled with our four roller-bags through the crowd to meet our sign holder, and he gestured for us to follow.  He grabbed a cart and began throwing our bags onto it.  Kyle tried to help, but the man just chuckled at him, making it clear Kyle was just slowing him down.  He waved us on and began jogging as he pushed the 200+ lb cart of luggage.  We had to power walk just to keep up.  When we arrived at the taxi, the man tossed our luggage into the trunk and hurried us into the back seat.  His driving was much like his walking, hurried and pushy.  He weaved through traffic while answering his various cell phones, one into which he spoke politely, and another for yelling.  After half an hour, we were shoved through the entrance of a hotel with our bags and left standing alone without a word.  Another man, who actually introduced himself, showed up soon after and helped get us checked into the hotel.  We hardly glanced around the hotel before passing out.

Our hotel room has a traditional entry way for removing one's shoes before entering.  Complimentary slippers were provided, and Kyle also insisted on wearing those...until his big foot busted one open.

The bathroom is arranged as we heard, with no separate showering area, just a showerhead in the wall and a drain in the middle of the tile.

The rest of the room is pretty nice, though the bed is extremely firm.  There's a nice TV and computer for our use with internet connection. Here are a couple views outside our window:

We enjoyed breakfast courtesy of the hotel this morning.  It was complete with sushi, Korean soup, cereal, fruit, salad, fried eggs, some interesting pastries, and toast.  We snuck a couple instant ramen cartons for later.

Someone from the school picks us up Monday morning for orientation, and Tuesday will be set aside for our health examinations.  We met a few other American teachers in the hotel today, and we look forward to getting to know them at orientation.  More to come!

Thanks for reading, and until next time :)

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