Korea Bound

Posted: June 15, 2011 in South Korea

Time of Activity:  June 8th, 2011 — 12:50PM Eastern Standard Time

At approximately 12:50PM EST on Wednesday during my flight going from Atlanta, Georgia to Seattle, Washington, or about halfway through the four-and-a-half hour voyage, I awoke to this view out my Row 21 window:

I immediately realized that passing below me at 32,000 feet was half of the United States of America that I had never seen, if you can consider what is split by the Mississippi River to be a rough “half and half.”  Based on the landscape, I assumed we were somewhere above the Great Plains, which would make sense in the time-in-air/geographical relationship.  Now to this point in my life, thanks to a number of family and friend vacations, school field trips, and my obligations to the Army, I had seen most of what is east of the Mississippi River; however, the farthest west I had been was Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for Basic Combat Training.  Somewhere tucked neatly in The Ozarks is a slice of Hell I’ll never return to unless military orders dictate as much.  Needless to say, the phrase “out west” left something of a bad taste in my mouth.  At this point, I decided to stay awake and pray for clear skies.

Clear skies did not oblige but mountains tried to peak through from time to time as we passed over The Rockies.

I flew Delta from Atlanta to Seattle, which is approximately a 4 hour, 25 minute flight according to the nice steward who claimed his computer told him how many cell phones were still powered on and in-use after the point in time FAA regulations dictated they all be powered down.  Nice try, Inspector Gadget.  Now throughout this flight, the climate control of the cabin was akin to that of my 1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport – either blazing hot or freezing cold (assuming a fresh charge of Freon in my old standby).  I consider the current generation of airplanes and airliners to be some of the most magnificent engineering humans have ever produced so forgive me if I fail to comprehend how some Boeing nerd can’t figure out how to control the climate of the interior.  Plus, it always smells like feet inside the cabin.

The fifth, and final, leg of my little adventure was Seattle, Washington to Incheon, South Korea on what was approximately an 11 hour, 20 minute flight.  Now I’m not completely terrified of flying but I’m also not its biggest fan for the simple fact that I believe that gravity is destined to win at some point simply because it’s unwavering, while the parts to the tin can I’m on are largely built by the lowest bidder.  The longer you’re in the air, the greater opportunity for the law of averages to play itself out.  I know most fans of flying will argue that “The plane wants to stay in the air!”  That argument, however, holds little weight with me simply because A) the plane is an inanimate object, it doesn’t have wants it only has needs and B) I have wanted one million dollars and a super model wife my entire adult life and we all know how that’s turned out.  I’ll largely save the safety of flight debate for another day because I know I’ll lose to stat geeks citing safety records but  forgive me if I have a hard time placing my fate in the hands of two sleezy commercial airline pilots (Why do they all look a mere technical expertise above used car salesmen?) and Sir Isaac Newton.

Needless to say, we landed at Incheon International Airport just fine (Korean Air has extremely nice and hospitable accommodations) and were bused from Incheon to Seoul, which is about a 45 minute adventure (more on that later).

The bus was decorated better than some people's houses.

We arrived at USAG Yongsan at approximately 8:00PM local time on Thursday, June 9th, and were quickly (not really) processed and assigned rooms, thus beginning my year long adventure in a place where the road signs don’t make any sense.

  1. Risner says:

    Matt “The Boss” Mowery!!! Hope all is well man. Glad to hear you landed in one piece. I have missed your random ranting, bitching, and overall bashing on people very much. I will be following your blog every step of the way!!!!! Hahahahaha stay classy

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