So we caught Jeju Air, South Korea’s low cost carrier to Seoul. But first we checked out the Korea Airlines Business Class Lounge. In airports, there are two parts, landside, or before customs, and airside, or after customs. This was the first lounge we’ve been to that was landside, or before customs. Basically an average waiting room. I had purchased a bunch of snacks to take onto the plane, but Kathryn was all waiting to get into the lounge, have a nice breakfast, and re-energise for the trip ahead.
The lounge was about two steps removed from a doctor’s waiting room. You could order instant noodles. I think Kathryn would have preferred the Hamilton National Airport Koru lounge instead. You can tell you’re fancy when you’re judging business class lounges I told Kathryn.
Jeju Air was surprisingly nice. The planes were nice and new, Kathryn had enough leg room for two hours, i.e. her knees weren’t touching the seat in front, we had a spare seat next to us, which when flying economy is like a gift from heaven, and the flight went really quickly.
In Japan, I know enough Japanese to hear words and roughly figure out a basic meaning. In Korea, I know two phrases, hello, and thanks, and I don’t even know them well. This was going to be concerning to me. Kathryn wasn’t too bothered since she doesn’t read Japanese and only speaks a little, so Korean was about the same.
We landed, and caught the A’rex train towards Hongik University, which was where our hostel was located. Once we left the station, wow, we realised it was cold. Proper cold. Coming from Okinawa where it was 24 degrees with a low of 20 degrees, to Seoul with a high of 8 degrees and a low of zero degrees, walking around was quite a shock.
We found our hostel, Chingu Guesthouse Hongdae 2, and it took ages to check in. Turns out the previous manager didn’t actually reserve a private room for us. We could stay in a dorm, and Kathryn considered it, but we really wanted a private room, so emergency Waylon kicked in, and booked a room twice the price in Gangnam. When you’re under pressure, it’s really easy to just pick the easiest option.
Living it up Gundam style, turns out, is actually quite a journey from Hongdae, about 50 minutes. So after one 50 minute train ride from the airport, we caught another 50 minute train ride to Gangnam. From here, we were exhausted, and the hotel was still far away, so we stumbled upon a taxi driver that spoke English, and finally arrived at our studio apartment which was sweet. Happy birthday to me, Osaka for breakfast, Seoul for dinner.