Sunday, September 23, 2012

Los Angeles to Incheon to Manila

Having been picked up by an airport shuttle company at about 6:30 p.m., I had plenty of time to kill at LAX before my Korean Airlines flight to Incheon leaving at 11:30. I spent the time trying to connect to the free wi-fi and it took a while to figure it out because there were two available but only one that was working, and that was only after I had to see an ad in a browser. I got hungry after awhile since my last meal was about 3 p.m. so I went around looking for some food. After entering the departure areas, there were fewer choices where you can find a decent and reasonably priced meals. I ended up eating a hotdog and diet soda (I kept the chips for later). I must say, that was the most expensive hotdog snack I’ve ever eaten.
While in line to board the plane, a Korean woman asked me to keep an eye on her carryon baggage because she forgot to pick something up from the duty free shop. Well, that’s just something the TSA tells you exactly not to do - watch somebody else's baggage because it could be a bomb. Who knows if that woman would come back? But come back she did much to my relief.
A couple of hours before leaving, I posted on Facebook that if someone acted out during the flight, at least the Koreans on board would know taekwondo and if my assistance was required, I’m trained for the Management of Assaultive Behavior, which is a requirement of my job. Oh wait, that's only if psych patients acted out in the hospital. I guess the Korean kickers would have to do without me.
When we boarded the plane, I was relieved to see two other skinny people sitting in my row. At least we would have adequate room between us. After a brief introduction, I found out that the girl in the window seat was Japanese, the guy in the middle was Chinese, both half my age, and myself a Flip. You couldn’t get any more Asian in that row. William works at Abercrombie and Fitch while Atsuko, whose brother lives in L.A.  was returning home from vacation. Throughout the flight, there was one thing I noticed about the Japanese girl. She slept most of the 12 hour flight and didn’t eat any of the meals. I found her later at Incheon waiting for her connecting flight and teased her that the sleeps like a cat and eats like a bird. I discovered something else about the girl – she used to be a flight attendant for Korean Airlines but gave it up to study tax accounting.
To entertain myself inflight, what else would I watch but a couple of running movies. First was Fast Girls about British sprinters trying to qualify for the Olympics and then the classic Chariots of fire. In between, I took naps while listening to classical music. Wait a minute! I don’t do classical music! Well whatever works to get some rest, I guess.
            After deplaning at Incheon, I went looking for my departure gate for Manila, then having found that, I still had about 3 hours to kill so I started a walking workout at about 2 a.m. while pulling my carryon luggage. The main hallway of the terminal took about 10 minutes to cover end to end and with a couple of other long hallways which I went up and back several times, I completed a 45 minute brisk walk.
            Then it was time to leave for Manila. Unfortunately, I don’t recall very much about that leg of the trip other than the flight attendant telling me that the flight wasn’t full and to feel free to move to another seat. I then asked her if that included first class.
Darn, she said no! Well, so be it, onward to the Philippines in coach class. One thing I can say about the uniform of the flight attendants: they have a pointy scarf that if you are not careful, it can poke an eye out.

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