A minute of South Korea

Trip Start Jan 19, 2013
Trip End Feb 02, 2013

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Where I stayed
Orange Motel

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

          I sat on the bus, barely able to believe that it was finally time to go. I was headed to Seoul to pick up Carlo from the airport and to begin our vacation together.  I had a pretty intense trip planned for us and we would be moving through Asia to a different place almost every day.  But the first step was to get Carlo, who would be arriving at 9:00 pm into Incheon airport.  The bus ride was smooth and went by quickly as I watched the familiar countryside roll by outside the bus window. 

            Once I got to the Central City Express Bus terminal it was down into the subway to begin the long journey across Seoul beneath the streets.  Incheon airport is actually on a small island just outside of Seoul off the coast of South Korea.  I navigated the lines easily day dreaming of meeting up with Carlo.  First stop, before picking him up from the airport, would be to find us a hotel to stay in for the night.  I got off at the last stop before getting to the airport; I had heard that there were hotels easily within walking distance from the subway terminal there.  It took a little bit of walking around but eventually I found a cheap little place for us to stay called Orange Motel.  I didn't even think to stop to put down my luggage, I was too excited to get to the airport and see Carlo for the first time in more than four months. 

            The last stop to the airport was easy to navigate but it took me a few minutes to figure out how to get from the airport subway stop to the actual airport where the international arrivals would exit.  Finally I found where I was supposed to be and after some wandering around I found the gate Carlo would be exiting from.  Then I waited… and waited… and waited.  His flight landed early but it takes a while to get through customs and visa processing and I held my breath silently as I watched people slowly stream from the exit.

            Finally I saw him striding through the sliding glass doors and our eyes locked.  I stood there, grinning like a fool, as he walked up to me and we had our first embrace after being apart for so long.  Finally we gathered up our luggage and headed out into the cold night to begin our vacation together.

            The next morning we woke up early and checked out of the Orange Motel.  We had the morning to kill in Seoul before our flight to Bangkok in the evening.  I had made plans for us to meet up with some friends of mine to go to see the Tim Burton exhibit at the Seoul Museum of Art and that would take up the majority of our time in Seoul before we would have to leave.  I brought us back onto the subway, weaving us through the undergrounds to get us to Seoul City Hall.

            We stopped for breakfast at a place called Berry and Bean and we watched Korea wake up and start to come alive outside.  As we were finishing our bagels I noticed someone familiar standing outside the coffee shop, looking at her smart phone and glancing up and down the block.  I went to orientation with Wilamien and she was planning on coming to the museum with us today.  I went outside to flag her down and Carlo and I joined her, a girl named Tash, and a guy named Tim who I had never met before.  As we were figuring out our directions to the museum we were joined, once again, by Kenah and Michael (who had joined in with the New Years’ revelry just weeks before). 

            We figured out which way to go and made the short walk to the museum and quickly knew that we had made it to the right place when we saw the twisted wrought iron gates with the bold "TIM BURTON" above them.  We went up the cold trail and through the entrance where we were led through the gaping maw of a googly-eyed maniac. 

            To say that the exhibit was impressive would be a massive understatement.  I was hugely disappointed that there was no photography allowed inside because it is difficult to describe everything that there was to be found in the exhibit.  Much of it was made up of drawings that Burton had done at some point in his life.  It also included a number of props from some of his most popular movies like Sleepy Hollow and Batman Returns.  My favorite part was finding familiar images in many of his works.  Characters that were hidden in doodles from napkins would later be featured as main characters in movies like The Nightmare before Christmas. 

            We probably could have stayed for longer but we had places to do and things to see… mostly including getting to the airport and getting on a plane out of South Korea.  We grabbed lunch at a typical, sit-on-the-floor style Korean restaurant and then it was back on the subway with us.

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Mom on

Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with us. I loved hearing about your journey to the airport to meet Carlo after month apart. Have a wonderful vacation (and life) together!!

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