A turtle travels only when it sticks its neck out ~Korean Proverb


Plane Ride

Some things I’ve learned thus far:

~It is okay to butt in front of somebody in line (in the airport boarding queue for example) if they are younger than you.

~9/10 women who work for KAL are incredibly good looking. +/- 1 woman deviation

~nodding one’s head can serve as the following on an airplane: thank you, here you go, can you turn off your incredibly bright light that is aimed more into my face than your book.

~It is important to practice restraint and know when to let go. For instance: when you fall asleep with your pillow on your lap, and wake up with no pillow present. Of course, your neighbor’s Δpillow now has a positive value.

~The word pineapple translates into orange when ordering juice.

~Wine is standard fare with dinner on the plane.

~It is not a good idea to suddenly decide to open up your window to take in the beautiful Alaskan landscape after having sat in a dimly lit airplane fuselage for more than 6 hours. One should also take into consideration that snow is highly reflective and can cause similar eye damage as when staring into the sun or poking yourself in the eye with a fork.

~In all seriousness, KAL has been awesome, and I have really enjoyed my flight thus far (I’m writing this as I approach 10 hours of constant sitting)

~It is wrong to jump to conclusions when one sees two large, well-bearded Arab men boarding a KAL flight with large square boxes in their hands accompanied by 5 foot long cylindrical cases with locks. In hindsight I suppose they were thrilled with America’s choice of curtains and decided to bring some back home…to Korea?

~It is a good idea to get a hold of headphones that plug into the seat (free if you ask)…that way you can watch the in-flight movies. The only American movie thus far has been Ms. Congeniality 2, which was subbed in Korean, and dubbed in Japanese. Good thing I can’t read lips or I may have been subjected to yet another sub par American sequel.

~In order to work for KAL you do not need to pass a spoken English proficiency test. Instead, you must have signed up for, and completed a series of classes in hand-motionography as well as universal facial expressions.

~When heading west at 500 mph one should take into consideration that the lighting situation does not change. Thus, it has been sunlight for the past 10 hours, and will be day time when I arrive in Incheon. This appears to be the ‘chink in the armor’ of my plan to get onto a Korean schedule, as outlined in my previous post.

~Rule of Korean movies: somebody must die. If somebody does not die, it is either not a Korean film or you’ve just witnessed an edited-for-tv version. Try looking for the director’s cut.

~Korea is a very far away place (hour 13).

~I have confirmed the foundation of Relativity. That is, the laws of physics apply identically in all inertial frames and it is impossible to prove motion in an inertial frame. For example, if one were to accidentally spill his/her juice out in front of their tray while in an airplane that is traveling at a constant speed of 500 mph, the juice will not have an angled displacement vector such that it will splatter safely on the tray. Instead, it will fall directly onto his/her knees.

Pictures that sum up my flight.

JFK airport with my brother

For all you Risk players out there. Ever wondered what Yakutsk and Kamchatka were like? Well, here's your answer.

Incheon Airport.

*Korea is amazingly beautiful. I will post several more times to add pictures of the city of Seoul, Ewha campus, Kwangju countryside, and Vivaldi Ski resort. I will also update again to talk all about my early trials. Previews: Being forced to dance on stage in front of 300 women after being voted most handsome (complete crap, there are way cuter Swedish guys here...they just picked on me), crazy Korean parties in the traditional style room, and eating eating eating! Patience Please!*


Four hours

I leave for the airport in about four hours. The reason I'm not sleeping is because of my ingenious plan to shift onto Seoul time during the transport. I figure that the flight is 14 hours, and when I arrive it will be around 4:00 PM (Seoul time). If I sleep on the plane for nine hours (starting in the beginning of the flight), and then wake up and am awake for the rest of the flight, I will have effectively shifted onto Seoul time. Seoul is 13 hours ahead of us, for anyone who is interested. Thus, if I wake up nine hours into the flight, that's the same as waking up around 11:30 AM in Korea. I guarantee this plan will not work and will most likely result in horrible jet lag...but I figure I probably won't be able to sleep tonight anyway, and this looks good on paper.

My best wishes to all of my great friends who go back to school and begin a new year. Best of luck in your classes and have a great semester! I can't wait to see everyone during winter break. Be sure to keep in touch. I use the handle Spatocks on AIM, MSN, and Skype.



Today was filled with packing, relaxing, and eating. I made sure to take in all the foods I probably won't be able to obtain for the next five months. This includes, but is not exclusive to: Taco Hot Pockets, Bagel with Peanut Butter and Jelly (two birds, one stone), chips and salsa, lamb, root beer, and a trip to Don Pablo's. Never before have I been so proud a glutton.

Tomorrow is the last day I will see people (other than family) and I still do not have a set departure time from my house. Hopefully I can finish up 'packing' and just hang around at home for the rest of the day. I want to be as unproductive as feasibly possible.


Two days left

Two days left until I am whisked away to the land of the morning calm. I'm arriving in the evening. Needless to say, I expect to be greeted by the incessant whining of obnoxious young women on cell phones...thus leading me to believe that Korea is only 'calm' in the morning because everyone is still asleep or hungover.



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