The Journey Begins

So the journey has begun. I have departed my beloved homeland, and begun the voyage first to the spiritual heartland (Israel), then onwards to the fabled motherland (England).

Having begun with so flowery an introduction, I have to confess that the flight to Seoul was utterly dull. The highlights were undoubtedly the company of Bill Bryson’s comic genius (thanks David), the in-flight magazine’s article on the artistic merits of “Important Intangible Cultural Property #102” and being offered “scrub turkey” for lunch (I’m sure that’s what she said). At any rate I touched down in Seoul bored and numb from travel and was efficiently rounded up and out of the airport with all the other ‘hotel transferees’.

The generic homogeneity of multinational corporations never ceases to amaze. I may have travelled in a plane for almost an entire day and landed in a completely foreign country, but as I lie on this bed in my Korean Air paid-for hotel room I could be pretty much anywhere. And as the only other views of Seoul I had were over the head of the big haired Macedonian woman who was chewing my ear off on the bus here about her extended family she hasn’t seen in two years, I’m afraid I can’t elaborate on this city’s finer qualities.

Though I do have to admit that Incheon (the zone where the airport is) looks like one massive, rather ugly construction site. Apparently this part of the city is only a year old and growing by several skyscrapers a week! Though with all the half-built grey concrete skyscrapers, the big bare excavated bits of land everywhere and all that smoggy greyness in the air, it makes Seoul feel a little soul-less (sorry couldn’t help it!).

 

Anyway I managed to find out that heading into the city centre tomorrow takes two hours one way by subway, and is thus, not a wise idea with an afternoon long-haul flight to catch. Instead the man at reception as recommended that take the metro just three stops down the line, where there is “lovely fragrance shopping for you lady”. Well now, I never been one to douse myself with liberal applications of “stink pretty” (as my lovely man has taken to calling all perfumes), so I guess I just have to hope that there will be lovely local food shopping too, so that I can immerse myself in some traditional Korean food instead.

 

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