Allow me to start this section by listing all of my bloopers in this trip:
1. Excitedly wearing my thermal and winter wear while yet in the Phils – that I was practically sweating in the airport. Geese!!
2. Bringing three phones but only 1 one of them is CDMA capable and is working in Korea. (Am I really an engineer?? Hahaha)
3. Splurging on some flat skiing boots that will just be worn once for this trip when in fact it wasn’t of any use at all. Hay.
4. Forgetting to bring some party appropriate outfit for some post training clubbing. Tsk!!
5. Ditching my thermal wear in Everland thinking that I would brave the cold because I survived the night before in just a tank top and a coat. The aftermath?? Oh, I only got sick after taking about four rides. Duh?!?!
6. Not exchanging enough money in the airport during the 1st day thinking that I will find money exchangers in the province. IN THE PROVINCE, my goodness what was I thinking?? I wasn’t able to shop when we had a chance in the city due to again, language barrier.
7. And when I already had shedloads of money, I exchanged my one whole day of shopping for spending some time with a guy. Silly, silly me. But okay yeah I did learn some wonderful cultures. :P
Of course I didn’t realize all of these while I was on the bus en route to the airport. Instead, I focused on composing words to send to Samuel to relieve me and my asinine act just a while ago. Aaaaarrrrgghhh!!!! When I took out the phone, I had another thing to add to the list above - forgetting to charge my one and only working phone. My SGH-U700 battery indicator is already blinking by the time I produced it from my bag. Arse, arse, arse!!!
“Hi Samuel! Esther told me about the awkward beso we had a while ago. I’m so sorry it’s just that in our country we’re used to doing it only in one cheek. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay there in Seoul. Take care.:) ” I’m supposed to go for the umlaut (Ü) but unfortunately this phone doesn’t support it.
Short but sweet. There, I let my thumbs do the talking, painstakingly hitting the number keys until the letter come up and at the same time praying that the phone still has enough charge for me to read Samuel’s reply. If he would, that is. BUT HE DID!! The phone vibrated, rocketing my adrenaline levels.
“Oh I’m sorry also I forget there are only countries that do that?? Did you already leave? In that case, have a safe flight home and maybe see you in the next conference. Kisses, Samuel.”
KISSES!! He said kisses, ahahaha!!! My extremely exhausted face turned into one goofy smiling mush. Hahahaha.
Right after that my phone burst into a riot of colors signaling a signing off. Oh great!! How will I let Mam know later that I already arrived?? Aaaaaaarrrggggh!!! But ‘s ok. Samuel said kisses and it already meant so much to me - like, he’s so sweet no?? Gosh, I’m so shallow. Ahahaha!! I wasn’t even expecting a reply from him – this is just utter bliss. Ü I’m gonna keep this text forever, ahahaha!!! :D
The bus is going to drop by two more hotels and by the time the driver finished his round-up, only three of us all women will be the passengers for the trip to Incheon. Colleagues back in the Phils told me to leave early since traffic is pretty bad in Seoul. Well, even if the bus arrived 15 mins late (6:05 PM) I’m sure that with a 10PM flight, I’ve ample time to do a bit shopping later and another mistake (to be included in the list above) – fix my luggage. I haven’t really segregated my hand carry you know, I meant the liquid and all that. This morning, I was just stuffing things up into my black shiny tote all in a hurry to meet Samuel downstairs. Shheeeesh, utter crazy effects when I’m fancying a guy!! The slow movements of the bus made me realize that they were right back at home and through the thick evening traffic I felt my eyes droop and give way to slumber. ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
About 30 mins later,
We Filipinos use to joke about it saying “Maniniwala na sana ako eh kaso may sound effects pa.” Translation: Geese, you don’t really have to put some special sound effects coz I’m going to believe you. Hahaha. But really, I needed that to show how much the impact.
Aaaargghhh!! I fell from my seat with my knees on the ground when the bus abruptly halted from hitting a corner, my shopping plastic bags all scattered on the floor. Ouch, it was a hard fall!! I expect my knees to stain violet anytime later. While the driver is apologizing, I stood up clutching my shopping bags and turned around only to realize – and to my utter mortification - that the two girls are looking at me. Yes, they were awaken by the smash-up but they’re still sitting very posh in their seats (one even had an LV tote on, so classy) and seemed completely unfazed just because they’re wearing their seatbelts on. BLOODY SEATBELTS, my goodness gracious!! Haven’t I learned this lesson from INTEL??? We used to have shuttle bus inspectors checking that everybody has worn their seatbelts before leaving. As they say, safety always comes first. KC, you bananahead!!! Hehehe.
As I return to my seat and this time fasten my seatbelt, I was visited with a bad feeling – a presentiment of a disaster to come. But I was just extremely pooped to even think about it. I simply shrugged it off and in no minute I was again out like a light. Zzzzzzzz.
Finally we made it to Incheon around 7:30 PM and it was really nice seeing it again. I took the luggage handed to me by the driver and gave him a hefty tip. Nyahahaa, it was just a joke. Not in my wildest dreams. :P
Ok. First things first. I’ve got to segregate the liquids in my hand carry. I thought of doing it in the comfort rooms but when I saw the empty chairs – that row where passengers use to wait – I placed my luggage in it and unlocked it. Gosh, it was quite embarrassing to be doing it there like it’s so not refined and all but hey there were only very few people that time. And besides, I didn’t entirely open it like in a 90 degrees way for the items to be exposed. Instead, I just unzipped a few inches and stuffed my perfume, lip gloss and other liquid cosmetics through the small opening. No need to retouch after touchdown, I’m arriving about 2 AM in the morning. Besides, I’ve no boyfriend to fetch me. Phhbt!! Not that I am kvetching. :P In a whiz of a zip, I’m DONE!!
Next, check-in. I was ambling along the way to the check-in and when I decided that this is my class, stopped to show my ticket to the inspector. He frowned at me and told me that I should check in on the other station. I looked up and geese!! Why do I always get lined up in business class?? KC, do you even know how to read???????????? D’UH!!! What is wrong with me today???
I SWEAR, I SWEAR. I swear black is white that the next time I would definitely, DEFINITELY, read the class I’m going into for check-in. It’s not really that the inspector ashamed me but the last time I did the same mistake in Changi airport, I was looked up and down by a Filipina (who seemed to have married a rich guy) in a scornful way as though saying “Duh, you don’t belong here!” WHAT A PARVENU!! Hmp!!
Moving on, the class where I belong is quite far from where I lined up. Course Incheon is such a huge and wide airport but I felt no need to hurry, I was just taking my time as I schlepped my luggage, my big tote and my shopping bags to the econo class. Yeah, what with my coats and thick winter outfits, I’ve no place for my shopping bags in my luggage. I presented my e-ticket to the inspector with a flourish and waited to be acknowledged. All of a sudden, he returned the envelope to me speaking in Korean which I had zero understanding of and was motioning for me to hurry and proceed to the counter. HUH, WHA, WHY???
I scanned the ticket and it reads:
14DEC07 KOREAN AIR KE623 Airline Reservation
From: SEOUL INCHEON INT, KOREA Departs:2000 Economy/H Confirmed
To: MANILA, PHILIPPINES INTERNATIONAL Arrives: 23:05
I looked up to see the clock and to my near delirious self, it says it’s 7:45 PM!!!
“OH MY GOD. ALAS OTSO ANG FLIGHT KO!!!” (Oh my god, my flight is at 8 PM). I gasped!! The inspector watched me in fascinated horror.
I prayed with every fiber of my being, GOD PLEASE HELP ME!!!