HGC East Asia Tour: Day 8

We met up with our MNA hosts for the last time, and as we loaded the bus, we said goodbye to Taiwan and all the wonderful places and people we got to know. At the airport, we started moving everyone through the group check-in process. I got my boarding pass fairly early, so I went through security with some of the other Glee Club members and tried to organize them past the security checkpoint.

After I got to the gate, the problems started. The people waiting for the flight preceding ours were delayed for some reason, so our gate changed locations. It wasn’t very far, but some people had already left to explore the airport and get some food, leaving their luggage behind. Around the same time, our tour manager was trying to figure out how the airline lost one of our singers in its system. They didn’t have a ticket for him.

However, there all worked themselves out, albeit with a bit of stress. I was able to contact the others, and they came back to grab their luggage before returning to their food. I walked to the next gate, grabbed a sarsaparilla soda from the vending machine, and bought myself a water bottle with some of my extra NTD. Fifteen minutes before we started boarding, our tour manager showed up with the other Glee Club member who didn’t have a ticket! They had managed to get him another ticket, got through security, and put his luggage through.

The flight from Taipei to Incheon was about two hours long, and we rode on the 747-8, the third generation of the 747 class from Boeing (Wikipedia). The engines were noticeably softer, and we had a lot of extra legroom. I spent the trip watching the new Ghostbusters film and eating my noodles and beef lunch. The flight went by quickly and smoothly, and we quickly made our way through customs. The only hiccup was a forgotten passport on the plane, but we were able to recover that.

Our friends at the Korean International School (KIS) were present to greet us with a banner, and we took a group photo with them in the greeting area before getting on our buses to Seoul. It’s about an hour’s drive from Incheon to Seoul, so I used that time to prepare for a creative writing workshop I was going to teach the following afternoon, and catch up on some sleep. When I woke up, we had arrived at a Korean BBQ restaurant.

img_2811The most interesting thing about the restaurant was their use of live coals to grill the meat. They put a clay pot full of coals in a recess in the middle of the table, then set a metal grill over it. We chose cuts from a heaping plate of beef, and slapped them on the grill. When they were done, we combined them with a whole host of side dishes and a marinade, and all of that made for a very tasty dinner.

img_2812While we were at KIS, we stayed in the high school dormitories. They were nice, and even had heated floors. The only problem was that there was no wifi in the rooms. We were told that this was intentional, as the kids would otherwise stay up late doing work, playing video games, or otherwise surfing the internet. Although this was a bit of an inconvenience, it also had the somewhat nice side effect of forcing everyone to congregate in the lobby, where there was wifi. Eventually, we finished the evening by watching an episode of Sherlock before turning in for the evening.

Next post: we try to teach kids stuff!


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