Continued from Shanghai Day 4.
We are leaving China today!!!! Woohoo!!!! So excited!!! Fuck the censored internet. Seriously, fuck that shit. I am going to Gmail and Google everything I can think of when I get out of here! Then I am going to read all the wikipedia pages that were censored. Then I will get on Facebook. Speaking of censorship, the Chinese do a pretty good job of it, I will say. Random web pages don’t work, and the ones that do work, there are sections discreetly missing. I could never fully trust what I was reading online while I was in China since I didn’t know if it had been censored or not. It’s a terrible way to live.
I will miss this about China though, the Taiwanese puddings. I ate both of those, and that chocolate cake roll for breakfast. I am fat. RL says that I am now getting old and I can’t eat like I use to since my metabolism isn’t what it used to be….I’ll show her!!
Number 1 of numerous rides and transfers.
Quick ride to the subway station.
Groan….groan in pleasure since I said that I won’t complain about subway stairs after Huangshan.
Not happy about all the transfers that we’ll need to make today.
Reached another station for yet another transfer.
Get some tickets.
Look!!! No rails!!!! It’s the Magnetic Levitation Train!!!! It floats!!!
Here she comes! One of three maglev trains open to public.
Oh poop, only 301 kmph. Supposedly, during other times of the day, this train will hit 431 kmph. Why it runs at different top speed during different times of the day, I have no idea.
So, how was the ride? It was actually a little bumpier than a regular high speed train. But, I guess the technology hasn’t been perfected yet. Anyhow, still fun.
FAMILYMART at the airport!!! We did not visit.
RL pointed and said, “Look at the giant boobs on that statue.” Naturally, I walked over and took a photo.
Terminal 2 of the airport. It’s massive.
Another failed experience with China. Since we’ve been in China, every time we are in an airport, we try to get our Vietnamese money exchanged. None of the currency exchange booths anywhere in China would accept Vietnamese dongs, not even Beijing or Shanghai. In fact, the money exchange workers will even look at you like they’re insulted that you even asked to exchange it. Seriously lame.
LOL!!!! I can’t believe someone thought that this was a good idea. Yes panda, you can bookmark my page with your really low hanging balls.
Arrived too early to check in, so now we wait.
Look at those enterprising Africans with their millions of luggage. I suspect that they are all filled with merchandises purchased here in China that they are hauling back to sell in Africa.
The lady in grey spills her entire glass of tea all over the table. Normally not a big deal, but this was the charging station, so it soaked tons of phones and ipads. Oops. This being China, she did not feel the need to apologize to anyone.
Checked in through a short security line, and now for some lunch. No airport that we’ve traveled to in Asia has a long security line, probably partially due to the more lax security…
Wonton soup and shrimp dumpling!! Surprisingly good for an airport restaurant.
Still hungry, so got some nuggets at Burger King. I’ve eaten more nuggets these past few weeks in China than I have for years in the US.
Ugh, gate change!! I never understood this. There are so many open gates, so why change our gates? What’s worse is that they don’t know which gate we are changed to…yet.
I guess we’ll watch an episode of Archer and check on the gate assignment again. Danger Zone!!!
The new gate info finally came up, and we had to walk a long way down to the ground level, the reject level. Here, we’ll get bussed out to the plane. Seriously, I don’t see why we can’t just have a regular gate up top? There are so many open ones.
Why can’t we have a gangway like that plane?
Hahahaha, love Archer. lana. Lana. LANA!!!! WHAT???
I wish I had an umbrella to recycle…
That’s nice and all, but would rather have a gangway connected to the airport.
Look at that grey sky as we are just taking off.
And now look, it’s blue! Then look below at that thick grey smog covering the whole country of China. Really happy to be leaving this terrible air quality behind.
In less than two hours, we’ve reached South Korea!!
The air is definitely much better here.
Then, we walked what felt like a mile.
To get on an airport tram to transfer us to baggage. Now, we wait.
Immediately, we noticed many US soldiers. The US has an Army base right here in the middle of Seoul.
That’s one cramped ride.
Picked up our bags, and I noticed that my bag has picked up it’s own hitchhiker. During the time when I checked in my bag to the time that I picked it up, this little car sticker somehow got adhered to my pack. I guess I’ll keep it around for fun.
Already loving South Korea, they changed our few hundred dollars of Vietnamese Dong that China wanted no part in. This makes us so happy that we don’t have to carry a wad of useless cash around anymore.
Another cramped elevator ride.
The airport is in a neighboring city to Seoul, we connect to the train that will take us into Seoul.
Great idea, movie theater inside the airport.
Pretty easy to use with an English menu.
Doh, just missed our train.
Now we wait for 13 minutes. We’ve already made tons of observations about the South Koreans. They are sooooo much better than the Chinese. They are polite and courteous. There isn’t yelling or pushing people like in China. No one tries to cut in line in front of you. People don’t stare at RL here, they just give her a brief glance and then move on.
Our train arrives and we have seats!
Look!!! We can look out in the distance and see buildings and mountains instead of just grey smog!
That was quite a long train ride, took us about an hour to get into Seoul.
When we exited, the machine didn’t take our card. We had to return our ticket card and get our deposit refund back via this machine.
South Koreans are known for their…well, I’ll just come out and say it, fucking vanity. Plastic surgery is super common here and with that, there are cosmetic and skin care shops EVERYWHERE. Almost every single women here also wears pounds of makeup. Sorry EK, I had to throw your peeps under the bus.
Now we need to connect to the subway, which is a short walk outside of this station.
That’s one very extensive subway system.
Love these subway trains. They are wider than all the other subways that I’ve been on. So there’s actually room to walk down the middle of the train even when people standing on both sides!
Here at our stop, finally. We are both pretty tired, and all we did was get up, sit, get up, sit, get up, sit, get up, sit, get up, sit, etc. all day.
This is very promising.
Yes, very promising indeed!
Bingo! Street food stalls at the street right next to our hotel.
Our hotel is right down this alley.
Found. This is about 1 minute walk from the subway.
The shower area is shared with the sink area. The toilet has a bidet!!!
This is what $85 a night gets you in an extremely good location in Seoul. Small bathroom and a very small room. We think this room is about 1/4 the size of our room back in Shanghai. With that said, we actually really like this room. Everything is super clean and super tidy…plus, the internet here is extremely fast!!! Gmail, Google and Facebook all work again!!! I am back to civilization!
View out of our window.
About 20 seconds outside of our door steps is a 24 hour convenience store. We are loving Seoul already. Everything we need is within super easy reach.
Haven’t had dinner yet, and it’s already 9pm, why not give the street stalls right by our hotel a try. It’s great to be in a country where they have better health standards so that I can once again have some trust in street food.
We walked up and down all the stalls, and it seems like they all sold the same things. They are almost all manned by middle aged ladies.
Super excited about eating street food on the street. Loving it.
Look!!! They have raw food and it’s on ICE!!! It’s sooo good to see that what I am about to eat isn’t already spoiled.
The lady who ran this stall was super nice to us. She offered to take a photo of us without us asking. She was super helpful with us on what to order as well. Coming from the “I don’t give a shit about you” type of service in China, the service here is heavenly. We feel more like we are having dinner at this lady’s home than we are eating at her street stall. She even threw in a couple of fried eggs for free to us! We gladly gave her a nice tip(no tips expected in South Korea) at the end since we had such a blast here.
Our food comes out and everything is delicious! Washed everything down with some soju and beer. Yum yum!
Seoul feels like a mix between Taiwan and Japan. It’s modern and orderly, but with some slight rough edges. Our table tilted straight with the help of two pieces of styrofoam.
Of course, there’s an Uniqlo right across the intersection.
Night cap. I think Seoul and us will get along just fine.
To be continued at Seoul Day 2.