Toms Trip to Korea December 2008
I went to Korea to work on an access control system.
On the way I stopped in San Francisco and had a five hour layover.
It was such a long layover, I was tempted to go visit my old lover's
grave. Desiring to remember her as she lived rather than mourn her as
she's dead, I decided not to do so and spent that time in the airport
I arrived at airport in Incheon at 7:00pm so I spent the
night at the Marriot Hotel which runs a shuttle from the airport. If
one was brave enough, one could walk to the hotel easily. It isn't
more than half a mile.
Fearing that I wouldn't be able to find my way to the Airbase, I
rode the Military Services Bus to the Base. This was a mistake for
two reasons. Primarily it was expensive. The services bus costs
$35.00. There is an airport express bus that runs to Songtan, the
location of the base, which costs just 1500 won or about $11. Secondly
since I do not have a military identification card, I couldn't ride
the bus inside the base and had to leave it at the base's
gate. This mistake cost me 4000 won that will not be reimbursed by my
employer as I have no receipt.
I didn't do much recreation out of fear and fatigue. I was fearful
since I couldn't read or speak Korean, it appeared that most Korean's don't
speak english, and I didn't want to be stranded far from base when it
was time for work or sleep. I was fatigued since my internal clock
was set 13 hours behind the local time. I used my tendency to awake a
two AM to prepare for the work I had to do during the day. I was
successful this trip since I was able to write the software I required
to make my access control system work as the customer required, using this
The only recreation I took during the trip was to ride the "Airport
Express" from Songtan to Incheon on Saturday. I did this to ensure
that I could make to the airport in time to make my plane when the
time came to leave. In this way I found out that there is a large
Osan Bus station which is a long way from Osan Airbase. I think if I
had taken the civilian bus when I had arrived, then I might have
gotten off at this station confused and spent some frustrating hours
trying to find the base.
On Sunday I walked around Songtan.
There were two facts that I found interesting during my trip. The
first is the apparent prosperity of the country. It certainly seems
much more proseperous than it was in 1985 when I was there last. The
second is the plethora of churches. There were steeples everywhere,
anywhere I went. This I found different from my Japenese experience.