Thursday, March 3, 2011

Onwards to Korea - Part 1

One fine morning, my ex-boss called me and offered me a job in Korea. I wasn't too sure how it was going to work out. Firstly it was going to be non-gaming. But then, I thought about it. I was considering taking a break from gaming to revive those creative brain cells. They were on the verge of death, me thinks ;)

My friend Praveen was already working for the same firm in Korea. I discussed with (read troubled) him and came to the conclusion to give it a try . And luckily for me, they offered a relevant role to my husband Arjun too! Yay!!  I was so happy about the fact that I won't have to stay alone! More than the staying, it was the travelling that scared me for some reason. I've never been scared to travel alone; maybe it was the unknown place, unknown language. When communication becomes a problem, it kind of scares me.

As luck would have it, the company wanted me to join early, and Arjun couldn't leave that early. So I had to start off alone...the very thing I was scared of... Sigh.
On the d-day, my entire family and a friend tagged along to drop me off at the Mumbai International Airport. The only time I have ever been away from my family was the 7 months I had spent in Bangalore. But this time it was different. It wasn't within India anymore. So sending me off did call for a good amount of tears. We are an emotional family as it is :)

My flight was Jet Airways which was taking me to HongKong and a change of flight from there. The lady at the counter informed me that they have no more tie-ups with the connecting flights and that I will have to collect my check-in luggage at HongKong and check it back in with my connecting airlines. I had checked with Jet Airways before my journey itself. So it didn't come as a surprise. In any case, she told me that she had tagged my check-in luggage destination to Seoul. (Umm..Alright :S)

My folks waited at the visitor's lounge till I proceeded to immigration. I'm not a big fan of being away from my comfort zone. With international roaming activated on my phone and slightly relieved to have cross checked with the airlines on my meal preference (Indian Veg Meal), I proceeded. It didn't feel any different than boarding a domestic flight. 

I was way early and had to kill about 3 hours! And I was hungry. So I went and grabbed a veg sandwich; which wasn't up to my liking. After throwing away the rest of it into the bin, I waited at the designated gate and read my book.  Reading a book is a great thing to do to kill time. It was time to board already. 

I was glad to see some good movies and shows listed as part of the flight entertainment. Right when I was dozing off, they served meal. I wasn't particularly happy about the food. It was a very similar sandwich.. Sigh.  Thankfully fruits were there.  After that I resumed the movie I was watching, only to wake up to breakfast service! 

And the breakfast was equally terrible. Mini Idlis soaked in tasteless sambhar and some weird Uthappa. Again, fruits saved the day. And in another hour's time, I had reached Hongkong! It was raining there then.
I spotted a help desk and approached them and asked them regarding my connecting flight and baggage. Fortunately the airport staff speaks understandable English. I did have to repeat, but the message got through :)

I headed to the Cathay Pacific counter and they gave me my boarding pass and told me they will pick up my luggage. !!! I checked with him again as Jet Airways had told me otherwise. He assured me. Instead of feeling relieved, I was tensed about whether they will pick up my luggage or not. He said I could check it at the gate, 1 hr prior to flight's takeoff. My connecting flight wasn't for another 5 hours! I finished my security check and sat at some random gate as my flight wasn't even listed then. Hongkong airport is huge. And travelators everywhere. I wanted to check about my check-in baggage and on inquiry found that the Cathay Pacific desk was on the other end. I started proceeding that way. Saw a lot of free internet stations on the way. All were occupied. I reached the other end; checked with the staff; he too assured me that my luggage will be picked up. I headed back trying to find a free internet station. I almost reached the other end without any luck only to feel hungry. Then it dawned that I saw Mc.Donalds near the airline desk.. Sigh..

The other side also had restaurants, but I wasn't sure if I will get anything veg. So, after another long walk, I headed to Mc Ds and asked for something veg. I got it too: Fries, Boiled Corn and Coke.. So disappointed. It's hard for the vegetarians. 

I grumbled to myself, thought about the delicious food back home and ate the meager meal that lay in front of me... be contd....


  1. wowowo!! You went to South Korea alone!! i had no idea. i thought Arjun was with you. By the way is it really that bad for Vegans :s

    Loved your post. You've one follower confirmed!

  2. Thankooo and Lolz...Seriously? You had not clue?
    Well, I had no clue you write a blog! or wrote is it? ;)

    And yes, it is pretty difficult :( esp when I hardly know how to cook without my spices... sigh...

  3. Food. Food and more Food. I like the way you write about it.

  4. Hehe..Thanks :) Life holds no meaning without delicious food! :D

  5. after reading this...I think I have to start eating non-veg foods. "Pata nahi Kabhi kam aajay" ;p

    Nice writing. Waiting for Part-2.

  6. Haha, sometimes i think the same... but its too hard to change preferences now..

    Thanks :)

  7. A much awaited post from you Poo. Thank you for quenching my thirst.I am charmed by your style, as always.

    Having been travelling alone for the last 12 years, I understood your jittery feelings.

    I empathize with the dilemma vegetarian travellers faces the whole world over! My colleagues always complaint of non-availability of edible (read:vegetarian) food in the US. Last time I went to US, I made myself a vegetarian...and it hurts! I suffered.So I empathize with your plight.(BIG HUG).Maggi cup noodles, MTR packets usually comes to the rescue!

    All the best on your brave move! So glad Arjun is with you.
    I am a fan.

  8. Awww... thankyou sweetz!! I know, thankfully i got some masalas and mtr mixes with me and Arj will be getting more.. hehe

    >:D< Muuuah!

  9. nice reading that.. wish you better luck with your food next time! a job that comes calling can't be bad! enjoy the experience. so whats the job profile like?

  10. Thanks Kappu :) My current job profile is application design and marketing :)


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