Sunset on our Korean Adventure


As we work our way into the Korean winter, the days are getting shorter. No surprise there, right? Today marked the beginning of twilight for this particular adventure, though. Let me tell you why…are you ready for this? We booked our flights out of Korea for the morning after our contract ends. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Honestly, there is not much bad to say about Korea, but it’s time for us to move on to bigger adventures (marriage) and new travels (Europe). What a ride it has been, and really there’s still four months left, but you know how it is with airfares, book early and book often.

Anyhow, we checked a few options and it came down to these three:

1) Fly directly home for about $850

2) Fly to Singapore for three or four days before flying home for $815

3) Fly to Tokyo for 3 days, then fly home for about $895

With so much of Asia that we haven’t seen, option number one wasn’t going to happen with options two and three on the table. We haven’t been to Singapore yet, and it’s a place that we must go one day. We also haven’t been to Tokyo yet, and it’s yet another place we must go someday.

Option two had a problem, though. The airline, China Eastern, has a completely bit of a dodgy reputation among expats here. Delays aren’t uncommon at all. Delays of like 36 hours. There is no electronic check in, and actually laying hands on your boarding pass is apparently a process similar to waiting in the DMV queue in hell. Went back and forth about this for most of last night. Singapore would be amazing, but flying eight hours in the wrong direction only to tack that time back onto the flight back to the U.S. combined with the possibilities of flying with broken seats and tray tables, no in-flight entertainment, and a long ass delay was a little too much.

We picked Tokyo. As much as we loved Osaka and Kyoto, I’m sure we’ve made a good choice. It’s the most populous city on the planet, the food is amazing, it’s on the way home, and did I mention the food is amazing? It should make for an interesting comparison to talk about when we finally touch down in New York on March 1st, too.

I actually gasp a little bit when I think about how much we have shrunk changed and grown as a couple and as individuals during the past couple of years here in Korea. I’m proud of it. I think that compared to the perhaps rock solid couple we were when we moved across the Pacific, we’re Hattori Hanzō steel now, cleaner, stronger, sharper edged. Yeah, that’s definitely the right metaphor. Our relationship is Hattori Hanzō steel, and the challenges before us (starting a new career, family, and such) are our Bill. Maybe they’re more like our O-ren Ishii, since Bill was killed by a five point palm exploding heart technique after the Hattori Hanzō blade cut the top of O-ren’s head clean off.

TL;DR: We’ve got our tickets home for the day after our contract ends, but we’re stopping in Tokyo on the way home, and I used a metaphor about sunsets and a bunch of references from Kill Bill.

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