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Mar 9, 2013

It's a Seoul Affair

Credits, my Instagram
Editor's Note: This blog has been moved.

This blog has been dead for quite sometime - and guess what, I'll (most likely) be returning to Korea in August!!! This post is pretty useless - or should I say the blog itself is utterly nonsense since I wasn't able to journal my 3 week stay in Korea last summer (laptop died there).

Unfinished affair

  1. Check out all the cool cafes in Hong Dae and go beyond Seoul (The places I love to hop around: SinChon, Idae and HongDae
  2. Lotte World, Caribbean Bay (Ok, this is one touristy thing to do because I have never ever sat on a roller coaster before...and I'm gonna be all dorky and get pressed coins! :)
  3. MANGOSIX!!! (Thanks to Gentleman's Dignity, I totally regretted not stepping into the place when we were at Gangnam)
  4. Do some island hopping with ZIPLINE
  5. Eat all the STREET FOOD. Technically, the only thing I actually ate there were the fishcakes - so this time I'm gonna gobble them all, the dokks and all!
There's so MUCH things to do in Korea besides shopping, and truthfully homework IS important because travelling is all about being IN the place, walking along the streets with the people, living a mark there and vice versa. Travelling is NOT about watching the people live their lives in the city in order to put a FAT tick on the list of countries you aspire to take selfies at. 

And lastly, I have lots of lessons learnt from last summer - book a straight flight, preferably SIA or Korea Air; know the things you need to note for proper insurance claiming, get a local cellphone.

Drama that happened last summer 

11 hour flight from Singapore to Incheon:

  • Flight for Air China was delayed by 1.5hrs*uh-huh*
  • Landed at Beijing Int. Airport and the staff were channelling people to any bus (most likely not the right one) just to get them out of the ground crew's way.
  • Dashing across stretches of travelators (with our bagpacks) in Beijing International Airport only to be told "SORRY, you can't board the plane." -*but the plane is right THERE, that's our plane right?* -"No, but yes, that's your plane."
  • So, it's a flight misconnection. And people refused to take responsibility (Oh come on, the staff were half awake and just strolling to the counter, surely they must be blameless.)
  • Arduous security scrutiny *scanned us once, and scanned us twice*.
  • Cheap breakfast didn't really add on to our sense of disbelief.
  • Arrived at Incheon
  • The Korean staff for Air China were a little more helpful than the Chinese staff but they were less than half as helpful as they think. 
  • Claim for expenses denied (We didn't meet any big shots in the office, it was a one man show - though we did get to make a call to our guesthouse.)
  • Bag-packed (with our meager belongings) all the way to our guesthouse- it was a blessing in disguise because at night our luggage were delivered to us safely, intact, by a nice 아저씨 (Uncle).

The 3 weeks were perfect, we returned to Singapore with AirChina staff (either Korea or China HQ) paying special attention to us and giving us our living expenses USD50 only when we were checking in for the flight home. I basically kept the US note as a souvenir. Transition was smooth because the three Singaporean's on board the flight from Korea to China were given special attention.

Speed things up a little, I failed to get my rightful compensation from NTUC Income - basically, I gave them everything I had, all the nitty gritty documents - but they needed that ONE slip of receipt which that nice  아저씨 had to collect back.

Well done, and I was expected to contact AirChina myself (to find out when I collected my luggage). I did, but their website was down.

And so, I got a charitable amount of 50bucks from NTUC insurance. (My friend got at least a hundred?) It wasn't that much about the money, but I hate it when staff talk down to customers. It's not about the organisation, it's the kind of attitude people have these days when they have to entertain millions of people in a day.

So, these are the lessons learnt and I will book a direct flight next time, for the sake of my neurons. Well, but I did enjoy my 3 weeks in Seoul all the same - I met the Running Man and Idols! 


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