Monday, March 02, 2009


(I ended last week writing about things that happened months ago. I’m afraid that's how this week will begin.) When I count off the countries I've visited so far, I do not include Thailand or the Republic of Korea since we didn't step out of their respective airports. This was a particular shame in Bangkok, where our seven-hour layover would've been better spent fussing over visa applications with surly border officials in order to step into the Thai sunshine for an hour, then turning around to press back through invasive airport security to catch our connection on to India, than what we actually did: suffer an unfortunate day in the singularly awful new Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Our layover in South Korea's Incheon International Airport was far shorter, dwindled to under two hours after threading through transit-passenger security checks and back into the international gate. But Incheon's a great airport, indicative of ultra-modern and fashionable Seoul a short commute away. Candy-colored clothing stores and cartoon candy stores line a concourse overlooked by travelers' lounges and wellbeing parlors. It was a brisk and efficient place, clean as hell, indifferently globalized, and just packed with that urban cosmopolitan glitz I don't see back home. Alighting in South Korea was tantamount to flying into the future. I'm intrigued by Korea. It shares its only border with a hostile brother at the junction of Japan and China and Russia. It occupies a gray and wintry Asia I've never experienced. Outside the airport, the Incheon landscape--a man-made span between islands--was bleak as a highland links. Inside, in that brightly-colored future, teenage girls in overtly traditional costume worked the counter at the Authentic Korean Cultural Experience Store, but I didn't take time to go in and see what they were doing in there. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

Post a Comment

<< Back to the Beginner.
<< To main Update page.