When I finished reading everything that I'd brought with me (and my DS battery eventually died), at least I had this handy touchscreen for in-flight entertainment, which included blockbuster movies, TV shows, and even some games (granted it was stuff like Mine Sweeper, but a game nonetheless). Jealous that you couldn't make it to Korea? Then indulge in some schadenfreude and read some of the notes I scribbled down during the excruciating 14+ hour plane ride...
After a 30-minute delay, we get on the plane to
take off. I am sitting on the aisle directly behind my partner in
crime, Melissa, camerawoman and associate producer
extraordinaire. Meanwhile, the woman sitting next to me has apparently staked her
claim on the arm rest. Fine.
We get a serving of about seven honey-roasted peanuts. Yum.
A late lunch (or an early dinner) is served. I order some
sort of mixed vegetable and rice meal with seawood soup (I totally
forget what it's called). It comes with a tube of Korean hot pepper
paste (Gochujang), and it's actually really good for airline food.
My first bathroom break. You know that Aboriginal belief that a camera can steal your soul? I say the same thing about
airplane toilets. Gotta be careful around these.
I notice that the flight attendants look like runner-ups from the Miss South Korea
beauty pageant, wear matching
turquoise uniforms, and never ever stop smiling (even throughout the entire flight). My conclusion: these are the Stepford stewardesses of South Korea.
Lights out? The flight attendants turn off the in-cabin lighting and ask everyone to pull down the shades. I'm not sure what the purpose of this is, since it's 7:30am in Korea. Regardless, I fall into a deep sleep. We're only halfway over Canada at this point, and Canada is so big and boring.
We're over Alaska. If I had a window seat, I'd tell you about all the polar bears drinking Coca-Cola I saw. But I didn't have a window seat.
I wake up and realize how much my ass hurts. A lot. It feels like I'm sitting on a stack of plywood... with nails in it. I'm dehydrated and I think my muscles have atrophied. There's still five or six hours to go. Pass the Dramamine, please.
I am awakened to another meal. This time, I have the pasta and potato salad. I have no desire to eat, because I am delirious with pain and fatigue. But I eat anyway, shoveling pasta into my cakehole because I have nothing else to do to take my mind off my how much my ass hurts.
I don't remember too much at this point. All it says in my notes for this time is "God help me."
We land in Seoul. We wait so long for Melissa's luggage, we become afraid that it's not coming at all. But it does. About an hour-and-a-half later.
After getting through customs and cashing in dollars for some Korean currency (1 USD = about 900 won), we somehow find our way to a shuttle that will transport us to our hotel, the COEX Intercontinental. It begins to rain; the long drive and the slow traffic puts Melissa and me to sleep.
We are finally in our hotel rooms. We write a few quick e-mails to let people know we made it (can't use our phones here).
Melissa and I meet with John from GameTrailers and Pete from Game Head. We grab a quick bite to eat and a drink to discuss the weekend. We don't know exactly what to expect, but we know it's going to be big.
Okay, now it's 1:30am in Korea. Time for bed; we've got a long weekend ahead of us...