This is an entry in my **Philippines 2010 travel diary*. This travel diary is written as one, so it may be long winded at times and include references to things that are not general knowledge. Thanks for reading!*
I’m sitting in Seoul Incheon Airport waiting for my transfer flight to Cebu City, just under 3 hours to wait until we start boarding. Maybe I’ll watch a movie, but I can’t see any obvious outlets and fat chance of this little battery lasting through a movie. It is nice here though, a little humid; every once in a while I catch a scent that sends me temporarily back to Manapla, my first area as a missionary, way back in 2004. I have been feeling a little anxious about my trip and for some reason this helps calm me.
Julie dropped me off at the Salt Lake City airport on Monday around 7:15. The whole process at the SLC airport was typical, except for the small adrenaline rush I felt when I tried to check in at a Delta kiosk and was told that it was too late to check in for my flight. This small kink was straightened out as soon as I tried to check my bags and I was on my way to wait at the terminal. Waiting… waiting… waiting… That’s really what airplane travel is. As annoying as a 3 hour layover in Los Angeles and again in Seoul is, I’m glad I don’t have to take a boat, and I’m glad that I can make this trip at all!
The trip to LAX was a little interesting because there were a bunch of LDS missionaries on with me on their way to Buenos Ares. It was pretty fun talking to them and relating a bit to the unique sense of excitement filled with apprehension that they were feeling.
In LAX I found my gate pretty quickly. Sitting down at my gate I started to people watch. I noticed an Asian lady, maybe 40, by herself and holding back tears.. I don’t know what she was upset about, but it was sad to see.
As I was waiting, a gate agent announced that those with non Korean Air boarding passes should get them exchanged. As I went up and changed out my Delta boarding passes, the gate agent casually noted that they couldn’t find one of my bags, but that it would probably be found and put on the plane in time. I hope they’re both on the plane, otherwise I’ll have to spend more time in Cebu City than I previously anticipated. That’s ok though, I have 9 weeks on this trip.
I am dreading crossing the Pacific; as a missionary I was in a middle row seat, sitting next to a bunch of people (missionaries) that I had been sitting next to for 8 weeks in the MTC, and I didn’t have music or sleeping pills. This time, however, I came prepared. I brought some travel sickness pills that have the wonderful side effect of drowsiness. I chewed up a few of these and started watching The Incredible Mr. Fox. Funny film, from what I saw, but I fell asleep about an hour into it. I was able to sleep a goodly portion of my trip which was wonderful.
I had a window seat for my flight to Seoul. The seat next to me was empty, and the seat next to that had a filipino gentleman that I spoke with a bunch. I practiced my rusty Cebuano and by the end of the flight I was quite a bit better. This helped a lot with alleviating some of my apprehension.
The meals on the Korean Air flight were actually quite good. I tried some crazy Korean breakfast called bangbangbim or something like that. They also served sashimi for one of the meals. I am always impressed with how professional hostesses are of international flights and it’s depressing how poor US hostesses are.
Anyway, we landed, I went through security again, and here I am. I just chipped away 15 more minutes of my wait time by writing this. Maybe I’ll try having a sleep.
OK, well, I’m in Cebu, in my hotel room. The flight to Cebu was pretty bad – the seats were very close together and seemed much smaller. It took about 3.5 hours. Once we landed a VERY nice immigration lady set my entry date to April 21 instead of April 20 – that way, I don’t have to pay nearly $200 to extend my visa by 1 day. That was a nice surprise. Karma though (and I know I’m misusing the principles of karma but whatever) – My bag is lost, the bag containing my motorcycle equipment ended up in Japan. It should arrive tomorrow sometime, so at least it’s not lost lost. And, at least I have my clothes because I smell after traveling for 24 hours. I’m going to bed, just watching an infomercial for some Filipino diet drink. There’s some white guy (“Dr”) saying “Do you like to eat fatty foods? Before bed? That’s OK! Just drink more of xx diet drink”.