False start

Not off to a great start here folks! The last few weeks have been maddeningly eventful with goodbyes, hospital visits, alcohol, food, and waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time waiting at banks. But I think that everything that needed to be done in Korea is done. Unfortunately, I did not do such a good job taking care of the post-Korea details.
After a final dinner with friends in Seoul, I headed to Incheon Airport on Monday, March 7th to sleep until my departure early the next day. My first flight goes to Kuala Lumpur, where I spend eight hours until my flight to Sydney. Despite being in Incheon all night and waking up an hour before check-in, the line for AirAsia was already packed. Aparently a bus-load of tourists were all returning to Malaysia on the same flight and I missed the memo. I also missed the memo that Australia requires some paperwork (i.e., visa) to get in (note to self: hire a new personal assistant). So my morning went from being calm and ahead of the game to scrambling to make the flight. Thank goodness for Incheon, and Korea in general, for having endless access points with super-fast WiFi. I am going to sorely miss that. With boarding pass in hand, I huffed it over to gate 106(!!!!!), where I paid my final respects to a life well lived in South Korea.
My flight was blissfully uneventful. Though this trend of micro-transactions on flights is pretty frustrating. Everything you might have expected on a flight in the past, such as peanuts, a drink, and a sad little meal, were all being hawked like at a baseball game. The flight attendants turned into hot dog vendors trying to wake the passengers with louds cries of “Snacks!” Otherwise, the six hours were pleasant enough.
Kuala Lumpur has a great international airport, in my opinion. Not overwhelmingly large, plenty of small shops, a food court, and even a hotel to get showered and rested during those long layovers (though I decided against taking advantage of that, so you can imagine how fresh I was). I was also grateful to not need to go outside into the 33 degrees Celcius weather. Coming from a Korean Winter-transitioning-into-Spring day to the middle of a tropic zone would have left me in shambles. The airconditioning and food in the airport kept me comfortable throughout the eight hours, but some more outlets (because what else can I do if I can’t charge my phone, back-up battery, and keep my tablet from dying?) would have been appreciated. There were enough in the end though. The people working at the airport were also great. Even the security guards were giving thumbs up to people getting through the screening without setting off the metal detectors (haha). The visit in Kuala Lumpur, albeit brief, only added to positive experiences that I have had when meeting Malaysians while traveling. Hopefully, I can visit again on some island hopping adventure. But first on to Australia!!!


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