Mongol Derby 2014

Checking in from Korea

I have a few hours to burn here in Korea so I thought I might update you all on how the travel has went.

Mom and Lee dropped me off at Pearson this morning… err… yesterday morning?  Ok technically yesterday because I crossed the date line, but I haven’t seen night in almost 24 hours.

Mom snapped a photo of me, zoomed in and said “i want to zoom in so you can see eat sleep ride repeat”.  I thought she said “I want to zoom in so you can see sleep deprived”  Yes I was off to a good start.  My attempts to pre-lag myself were showing.

I begged and pleaded and was able to take my saddle as carry on luggage, despite it being grossly oversize.  Everyone from Korean airlines were so kind.

(please take into account I wanted to add photos in here but couldnt figure it out because all the computer commands at this workstation are in korean)

I boarded up and got a window seat, second from the front behind prestige class, just in front of the wing.  We took off headed north, and I could just make out the chartright logo beneath us – the last flicker of my normal life – and my throat got a little tight.

Almost immediately we were served lunch – unfortunately no vegetarian options, so I had some fish in brown sauce.  It tasted ok, but wasn’t much to look at.  Eating the leftover catering from caterer demonstrations has given me unrealistic expectations of air-food.  Uhh, where are my imported premium cheeses and fresh fruit?  I guess its better than whats coming, suck it up!

I had taken my sleeping pill just before lunch and was worried I woudl pass out in hot green tea, or my mushy brown fish.  The baby in front of me peered between the seats and reached back and tried to grab the bun off my plate. No way are you getting my bun baby!

And then I waited.  I tossed and turned.  Nope, the sleeping pills werent making me sleepy – just twitchy, headache and made my mouth taste horrible.  This is going to be a long flight.

I managed to watch some reruns and play some games on my own tv, and time very slowly passed.  Dinner came, and it was pretty similar to lunch.  No thieves at least.

Somewhere around midnight Toronto time, I managed to wedge my head between my seat and the window (there was too big a gap to lean on the window to sleep) and wound myself up and slept for brief periods of time.  Another failure at preventing my jet lag.  Fortunately, there were lots of times I had to roll over and get the kinks out of my neck, so I got nothing more than a nap – there is still hope I can wake up tomorrow on a mongolian schedule.  I also got interrupted by the screaming baby chorus.  I thought I had an ideal seat – so close to the front so I was fed first, and less bumpy in front of the wing, and not close to the lav.  Nope, the front row is Stroller Boulevard.  They even had little bassinets that stuck to the wall for babies.  So I literally had every screaming baby in front of me in the plane, assuring my sleep deprivation will lead to a nice sleep in the hotel.  The other bright side is that perhaps my worry of sleeping out on the steppe is not necessary.  I am usually very princess and the pea, but a 12 hour flight broke me. I am hoping I dont have to use the sleeping pills… they dont make me feel sick, just weird. And I hate the taste they give me.

So then I enter into the Inchon airport in Seoul (where I am writing from now).  I lug my mega bag with saddle and etc through security and into the terminals.  And boy am I hungry.  Time to get Lunch!  Or whatever you want to call it (I arrived at 3pm local time, 2am toronto time).  I walk the airport for literally an hour and have only managed to find a starbucks and a juice bar.  There are LOTS of designer purse stores, cosmetics, electronics… but no food?  Is that why everyone on this side of the world is so short? They just don’t eat?  Surely this cant be true!  Eventually I found one snack stand which offered more than cookies, and got a “beef” curry.  I had to emphasize that because I am pretty sure there was no beef in it, thats ok, I am happy with lentils.  The server giggled profusely when I tried to sign my visa on their touch screen card reader.  Apparently it isn’t done that way.  I really had no idea… the instructions said “Happy Sign”  Uhhh?

I finished it off with a starbucks to keep this insomnia going until I reach Ulan.  I had a couple interesting things to pick from… mango pudding frappucino?  Green tea cream frappucino?  They all sounded wonderful, but I needed one with a big hit of coffee so I went with a good ol’ (international) standby of Java Chip.  Thankfully so too, because they were calling out the orders in Korean of course, and if I got something I didnt know inside and out, I may have walked off with someone elses order (red bean frappucino anyone?).  I am going to have fun with their menu on the way home I think (now that I sort of know what I am doing).  I also bagged a really delicious looking almond and orange muffin for the next flight – im not sure if they are going to feed me as its pretty short and not dinner time (or at least what time we eat dinner in Canada)

Some other bizzarre things about the airport – I found a place that offers free showers from 8-6.  I dont stink yet so I am going to pass, but nice offering!  Also free massage chairs, free charging stations, and loungers and beds everywhere.  I am sticking to the internet cafe as I dont want to risk passing out on the lounger but I have to say it looks soooo tempting!

I also realize now that I left my Eat Sleep Ride Repeat sweater on the plane.  Oh well, I guess its a gift to someone now.  Lets hope all my luggage with my other sweater comes through!



2 thoughts on “Checking in from Korea”

  1. You are never going to forget you did this amazing thing! When you’re eighty-five, grey and wrinkled and maybe a bit stooped, you’ll be like that lady in the Titanic movie, looking over all the pictures of her many lifetime experiences! So proud of you!!! Enjoy it as much as you can and know that all of us back here in Canada are rooting for you and sending all our best wishes to you for fast and steady horses, good camping, and a healthy, happy return to us when you’re done adventuring in Mongolia 🙂 XOXO


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s