I’ve always heavily judged those people at the airport madly repacking their bags to get the weight of their bags down. It turns out moving to another country brings this out of Sarah and I.
In our studious work to get our checked baggage below the 60kg allowance, we managed to bring with us about 24 kilos of carry-on. Just a smidgen over the 14kg allowance. After a strong warning from the check-in agent, we decided to become one of ‘those people’.
So there we were madly stuffing packets of Caramello Koalas into out heavy coats and discarding the few hard copy books we brought along with us. Dashes back and forward to the bag scales were frequent. In the end, we shed about 4 extra kilos and decided to risk it. Plus we were beginning to realise how sad and desperate we looked.
Some last minute repacking after security and we were unsurprised when the people at the gate didn’t give a second look. In hindsight, we didn’t need to be so silly with our bags; though the lower weight on the carry-on was welcome after lugging it around the airport.
After a quick and pretty uneventful flight to Singapore, we set off on a three-terminal walk to Uniqlo to purchase some thermals. Fun fact you can get 22 chicken nuggets for S$9.99 from burger king at Changi. Sarah and I agreed that was very reasonable for airport prices.
The second slightly longer flight to Seoul was overnight, a little longer and definitely more exhausting. Food and the Singapore slings were good though! We arrived at Seoul to a brisk 1 degree and a couple hour wait for the first bus to orientation. We availed ourselves of the airport convenience store and met a few other English teachers.
The bus ride took about 2 hours through some rather uninspiring scenery, though the bus was fitted with psychedelic lights. On arriving in Gongju we received our room key, welcome bag, and had our temperature taken. Both of ours were normal if you were wondering.
Dinner quickly followed. I wish I captured Sarah’s face when she took a massive bite out of some cold mul kimchi (radish kimchi) thinking it was warm non-spicy potatoes. The food was not quite Korean food, it was westernised, but not in a good way.
On our return to our rooms, we were pleasantly surprised at how warm they were. The underfloor heating (ondol) chugged on through the day. Also warms the clothes up that are in our suitcases on the floor!
Tune in next episode to hear how we went with the tiny Korean bath towels and combined shower room.