Korea Days 1-3

So today was the day that I finally was going to Korea. Packing last-minute was hectic, and driving up from LA to leave to Korea the next day was even worse. But it was great to come home and be greeted with amazing Korean BBQ that my mother had generously cooked for me and my sister beforehand. Actually, this amazing Korean BBQ that was prepared for us was supposed to be an surprise BBQ, which was scheduled at 2:00PM and we nearly missed by 5 hours. Anyways, I was able to finally get all my stuff packed into my bags, and went off to the airport. I packed my Apple monitor, hoping that I could bring it on the carry-on, as I need it dearly for photo editing (my laptop monitor is terrible for photo editing because it is so dim and the colors are off). But anyways, once we got to the place to check in our baggage, I realized that my bags were overweight. So I had to toss out extra shoes that I was planning to bring, some books, and even had to leave my Apple monitor as well. But I didn’t mind so much, as I had hoped that my epic trip in Korea/Europe for the summer would far surpass any disappointments I had along the way.

After I finally got my bags to the proper weight, I walked towards the gates and finally waved goodbye to my loving mother and sister. I remember the first time that I went to Korea I felt scared and timid at the gates, but now I truly felt like a grown-up man, just going through the motions. After the hassle of taking off my shoes, belt, and pockets through the metal detectors, I finally approached the departure gate I was supposed to leave. At the gate, I gave my ticket to one of the Singapore Airlines employees, who fumbled with my ticket and was furiously typing away at his computer. I sensed something wrong, but didn’t say anything and just let the man do his thing. To my surprise, he told me that the flight was overbooked, but he would do me a special favor. He gave me the hush-hush sign by putting his finger to his lips and told me that he upgraded me to business class for free. Overjoyed, I graciously took the ticket and headed inside the airplane.

When I boarded, the stewardess looked quite surprised to be greeting such a young guy like me into business class. Regardless, she gave me a warm smile and greeting and guided me to my seat. When I was lead to my seat, I was amazed by how luxurious it was. It was large enough for me to lay down and sleep, while being nicely equipped with a huge television, and all the extras. Just in my five minutes of sitting there, I was offered champagne, complimentary magazines, and snacks. I looked around and saw that everyone else truly looked like business people, decked out in their fancy suits and expensive watches. As I extended out my legs and readjusted my pillows, I knew that I was going to have the best flight of my life.

During my flight, I had the most exquisite foods. The lunch and dinners were world-class, with my first dish being smoked salmon with exquisitely grilled vegetables on the side. For dinner, I had the most tender lamb ever, with this special pea sauce on the side as well. For snacks I wasn’t offered peanuts, but rather a plethora of cheeses and fresh fruit, so I treated myself like a king and ate brie and cheddar cheese, while pairing it with walnuts, strawberries, and blueberries. To wash it all down, I had a nice glass of red wine from Italy.

I also watched a great deal of movies, which ranged from “Watchman,” “Bolt,” “Gran Torino,” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” “Watchman” was great to watch in terms of cinematography and the style of the story, but the story itself was a tad dull. But I enjoyed it nevertheless. I was shocked how good “Bolt” was as well, with great CGI animation and truly adorable characters and a fantastic storyline. “Gran Torino” was definitely one of my favorite movies I have watched so far. The acting by Clint Eastwood as a sour and bitter old man was excellent, and the film did a great job portraying his transformation in being more open and selfless. And “Slumdog Millionaire” hands-down has to be the best film of the year. The concept of the movie is truly original, and the execution equally as stunning.

When I got off the plane, I was surprised how easy it was for me to find my way to my aunt’s place. I just hopped on one of the buses and before I knew it, I found myself at my aunt’s place. Her place is pretty awesome, albeit a little small. But because I have internet working there, I don’t really mind. She is also busy all the time, which makes me fully independent at her place, so I just cook my own food and take the bus anywhere I need to go.

Today I met with some of the parents I am going to tutor and so far I have this planned. For about a month, I tutor a 3 teams of kids, for a combination of 3 hours a day, getting paid 30,000 won/hour (around 26 dollars an hour). Then a month later after that, I am going to start tutoring the same kids for a combination of 5 hours a day. And another thing that is up in the air is teaching at an English institute where I could work for 3 hours a day and get paid around a thousand bucks a month… which is not that much but better than nothing.

Sorry to bore you guys with all this stuff so far, but it is this detailed for anybody who is interested. I plan on writing in this blog daily, even maybe several times a day to jot down my thoughts. I really want to improve my writing skills over the summer, and hopefully this blog will help me accomplish that.

I’ll post photos soon too!

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