I had intended to publish my first post at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st, but due to my hectic schedule in preparation for my trip to Korea, I failed. Here is a recap of the events that occurred after the Ball dropped:
Jan. 1, 2011 Saturday
Some bar with no cover in Atlanta, GA
"Happy New Year!!!" or something close to that was yelled. I really couldn't say for sure. My mind glitches after drinking enough alcohol to kill a preschooler.
-36 ounces of 4loko
-finishing a bottle of cheap vodka
-4 or 5 Iron Curtains (shot tequila with a beer to chase, the $5 special for the night)
-2 beers courtesy of the generous establishment where we were celebrating
-and probably some more the blackouts cause me to forget
Middle of Peachtree Road
"Ahhhh!!! Let's pick her up! Seriously, Stop the car!" I said. Right before, I jump out of the car while it's still moving. Flying over like Superman to save a Crying Latina walking down the road, all by herself. I say in a concerned tone (in reality, it was probably just creepy), "Are you okay? We'll give you a ride," as I point at the car, already packed with 5 other people.
This probably would have worked on this girl either way, but 3 of the 5 being girls saying, 'Come on sweetie, we can help you.' didn't hurt.
Middle of Peachtree Road
"Myy Ba, Ba, Bahh, Boyfrien-end left meye e eeee." whimpers Crying Latina,with mascara everywhere, but on her eyes.
The people in the car say, 'Ahhh, he's a jerk. We'll take you home, where do you live?"
Crying Latina was sad, lonely, disoriented, and in need of help...
Some road in front of a gated apartment complex
...Crying Latina was no more as Borderline Bitchy Latina exited the car. Her head held high without a thank you for the ride. Latinas... can't live with them, can't live without them jumping your border.
Some Girls' House
I've got the drunchies and I'm eating anything, and everything, I can get my hands on in these girls' kitchen.
Collier Ridge couch
I awake in a panic to my insomnia-tic friend telling me his natural alarm clock saved me from missing my flight. One man's problem is another man's solution.
Atlanta Airport Terminal E
"Now boarding rows 45 and up, now boarding rows 45 and up." I hear in a Korean accent. As I'm stepping into the plane, I am greeted by two of the most well dressed flight attendants in the history of flight. Both saying things I can't understand (just a taste of what was to come). My seat, 50E, is dead center, right between Sleepy Head Korean and Lets See If We Can Start Fire By Rubbing Our Arms Together Korean. Luckily, they were sitting beside I Don't Care American.
Jan. 2, 2011 Sunday
02:13:09 EST (16:13:09 KST)
Incheon International Airport
I arrive in South Korea after sleeping for 7 hrs, watching 4 movies (Salt, Shrek Forever After, Takers, Sorcerer's Apprentice), eating Korean Airplane food (not a good first impression of Korean cuisine), and not one time leaving my seat. I believe I can attribute this self discipline to my experience with deep stack tournies and sci-fi movie benders. I washed up in the bathroom and was within 5 minutes standing behind 2 older american couples in the immigration line. They were not together and after listening to one of the gentlemen using 'coffee' as a platform to boast about his travels to over ten different countries for 15 minutes, I wanted to tap him ever-so-softly on the shoulder and say, 'no one cares.' I didn't.
02:36:41 EST (16:36:41 KST)
Incheon International Airport Baggage Claim
First Korean voluntarily speaks to me, saying, "Are you American Military?" I reply, "No," tilting my head a little to its side, "I'm a Teacher." He smiles and after I ask him which way I should go, we part. It was the first time I had ever said I was a "Teacher."
02:49:12 EST (16:49:12 KST)
Incheon International Airport Arrival Gate
I exit the customs, after exchanging $350 for 378,000 KRW, to a man, squeezed in the middle of 30 other men, holding a sign with my name in big black letters. With eye contact, I hold my hand in the air and he was on his way to carry my 120lbs of luggage for me. He raced through the entrance cutting Koreans down at the knees, with my luggage, without saying anything, and to the Express Bus Window. I handed him 33,000 KRW and he purchased my ticket.
03:50:02 EST (17:50:02 KST)
Incheon International Airport Bus Stop #9
We put my bags under the bus and he tells me to get off at the last stop. He explains that it should take 4 hours and 20 minutes. I am thrilled to see it is a luxury bus and only sits three wide. I have a window seat all by myself. I quickly fall asleep to the tunes of Juiceboxxx, the perfect way to bring in the new country.
07:37:19 EST (21:37:19 KST)
I awake to the commotion of Koreans eager to exit the bus. It appears that everyone is getting off the bus. So, I assume it is the last stop and follow their lead (I have been doing that a lot). I walk into the Gwangju Station, which is also a mall of some sort. I see no sign with my name and begin to doubt I'm where I should be. Rather than panic, I sit.
08:10:00 EST (22:10:00 KST)
A cute Korean couple ask me, "Are you..." I smile and say, "Yes."