Thursday, August 03, 2006

a year complete

i'm home! i'm home! and it's wonderful!! in the past 24 hours i've been to nyc, seen times square, and eaten nachos, tapas, spinach and artichoke dip, and richie's pizza the way i want it: peeppers, onions, hot peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

my impressions of home and america in general? schaghticoke is smaller (read: more hick-ey) than i remember, my cat looked way too big and i was convinced over the past year my parents got one to replace him and never told me (then i realized it was, in fact, felix), it's nice and quiet, and my home looks really nice and homey. it's also funny because over the past year i've been programed to look at restaurants and businesses with names in french, italian, etc. and think "oh they just wanted to call it that to seem sophisticated, but it's the same ol' stuff with corn and mayonnaise on top," but then i realize it IS he real deal and people named pierre or mario probably own these places. it's also annoying to be able eto understand everything that goes on around you, i feel embarrassed to walk around with a cell phone (it's amazing how comfortable that got to be over the past year), and i also have to remember that not only can i understand what goes on around me, but people can also understand what i am saying.

kimchi got here with no trouble and is doing great, though my cat is twice his size and he's scared of hetty and judson, even though they don't seem to think too much of him. but i think in no time he'll be used to the two giants.

anyway, i should get some sleep. tomorrow i'm going to the GROCERY STORE!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

break on through to the other side

operation check into incheon airport has been a success. i have an hour and 9 minutes until i board for my flight, so i'm wasting time here in the internet zone. so far, so good. everything has gone over smoothly, despite a few incidences of running around.

took the 6:15 am bus from daejeon this morning. first of all, i'm glad i bought my tickets yesterday, and second of all, i'm really glad i bought two. the driver was going to make me put kimchi's kennel under the bus in the cargo area, but i said no way jose, i had two tickets, one for me and one for mr. kim.

got to the airport around 9:15, waited in line for the japan airlines ticket counter to open, and then when i finally got up to the counter they said they weren't ticketing for my flight. but it was a good thing i waited in line anyway, because they pointed me to the animal office to get the form to get kimchi into america. the lady also said i didn't have to wait in line when i came back, just stand to the side and they'd call me up. so i went and got kimchi's information all filled out and came back, checked in my suitcase, paid the excess baggage fee for kimchi (270,000 won) and then came back to the counter where i found two "higher guys" and the ticketing lady hovered around airline regulation books. figuring it had something to do with the temperature, i just waited to hear the dreaded news "i'm sorry but it's too hot for your dog to fly, we're gonna have to put him on the next flight."

but that never came. turns out they were concerned because he got a rabies shot on 7/17, although he already had one back in december, and the rabies vaccine must be done no less than 30 days before the flight. so i told them it wouldn't be a problem because he had one before and i ran back to the animal office to have them change the date on the form. thank god i never waited till the last minute to get that shot, because i don't think they would've let him through without it or even if he had gotten the first one in july, because it must be done no less than 30 days before traveling (for the record, i think it changes airline to airline, i know some people who only had to sign something saying they'd keep the dog away from wildlife for the 30 days required.) so with that all done and good, i got my ticket, took kimchi to the customs declaration where they checked his cage, said everything was good to go, and i went through immigration.

SUCH a relief to have that over with. now i get to kick back and enjoy my fright. start spreading the news, i'm leaving today.