Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For the First Time

Day 462
I woke up at 7:30 with a start, my train left in 15 minutes. There was no way I could get to the train station and thru security in that amount of time. I went into a panic that hasn't happened yet on this trip. At first it was the money and the second was that I had never missed anything like this before. The third part was visa panic, there was only one day left on my visa.

I had a very strong desire to talk to someone from home. After a lot of emailing and calls I finally got in touch with Rose. Talking to her helped me get over my panic attack. Rose assured me that this had happened for a reason. I wonder if I panic because of homesickness and not just because of the ticket. After hanging up with Rose I called my parents. I'd left them a panicky voicemail earlier and I was sure that they were worried and had to let them know that everything was fine.

Now calm and rational I called the ticket office to find out my options. There weren't any trains for another 5 days, but I could get my money back. I hopped in a cab and went right to the office. Once I was there I found out what all of my options were. I could 1. get a partial refund and fly to Mongolia in the morning, 2. overstay my Chinese via (not a hot one), or 3. fly elsewhere for a few days and change my ticket for the following week. From the begining 2 was out so it was dependent on how much 1 and 3 cost, three was the cheapest. I changed my ticket and then bought another plane ticket.

I then had to head back to the hostel to eat and get my things together. I had about 2 hours to wait until I went to the airport. At the airport I ran into the Texan school group I had met on the Great Wall. They were on a flight to Newark, I was still feeling rather homesick and was sorley tempted to get on it myself. I resisted the urge and waited for my own flight.

The flight was only 2 hours and the food was actually edible. Immigration was easy, in just minutes I was stamped in. I had randomly come to a country that I had never even thought of visiting before, I was in Seoul, Korea. After gathering up my things I waiting a bit for my bus. The guy at the bus stop made sure that I got on the right one and then the bus driver made sure that I got off at the right stop. I know that I was right next to my hostel but I couldn't find it. Finally I popped into an internet cafe and one of the men working there took me to the hostel, it was just a minutes walk away. Once there I dropped off my things and went to grab something to eat. I eat. I ended up with dumplings that were so good that they must have been sent down from heaven.

That night I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. I was still in a bit of shock over missing my train as well as my snap decision to come to Korea. I just couldn't believe that I was there.

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