안녕하세요여러분- Hello everyone! Actually, I’ve been in Korea for a day and a half already, so the title is slightly misleading. It’s been a rough day and a half too, so here’s the rundown:
Thursday, Aug 23: I got to BWI (Baltimore-Washington International Airport, for those who don’t know) on time and boarded the plane. Just when I was settling into my window seat, United kicked me off the plane, along with anyone else who had to make a connection from SFO (San Francisco International Airport). My first thought: This is not okay. I was reassigned to another flight that was headed to LAX with a stop in Denver. From LAX, we stopped in Tokyo (Narita) before we finally touched down at Incheon. It was 8:50pm Friday Korea Standard Time, and I was supposed to be there 6 hours ago, still in time for me to check into the dorm before 5. I passed through customs and immigration with ease; however, I couldn’t check into Sogang’s dorm until 9am Saturday morning.
Friday, Aug 24: I had to stay somewhere before returning to the airport to be picked up by someone from Sogang. A nice pair of English teachers recommended that I stay at the Sky Hotel because it was cheap and I was only staying for one night. They asked the airport receptionist to book me a room, and within 20 minutes or so, the hotel’s shuttle came for me. When I got to the hotel, the first thing I did was call my mom from the hotel phone. You see, my cell phone hasn’t worked since I got here, even though it supposedly was unlocked for international calls and service. After she told me how she couldn’t sleep well because of how worried she was about me, she told that she had reserved a room at a nearby Hyatt for $300. I was like, 뭐라고 What?! And I had already paid for my room! My mom said that she sent me an email, but I told her that I never got it. Then she said that she sent it late, which was true- I was on my way to the Sky Hotel when she sent it.
Saturday, Aug 25: I took the hotel shuttle back to the airport at 7am and waited for the Sogang greeter to pick me up along with some other freshly arrived exchange students. We finally got to Sogang a little after nine. When I turned my laptop on to email my mom, the can’t locate hard drive sign popped up. This is not okay. I was really angry and tense, so I took a nap to relieve some tension and prayed that my computer would be back to normal when I woke up. Nope. I had to use the last remaining power I had to email my mom from my cell phone. I kind of went stir crazy, so I forced myself to walk around campus to think about things. Later on, I joined the exchange students that I met at the airport on a pillow shopping expedition (it is really hard to sleep on a folded blanket and neck pillow). We went to eat around 9:30 after the dorm orientation was over. I went back to the dorm after that because the others wanted to go out drinking, but the chicken restaurant wasn’t far from campus, so I just walked back myself. I walked into my room, and saw my roommate for the first time. She’s a Chinese graduate student who also is fluent in Korean. Her English was understandable, but I could tell that she wasn’t as confident in the language as she was in Chinese or Korean.
I think I’m alright now. Since my two non-language courses don’t require a ton of writing, I’m just going to purchase a flash drive and type on the computers in the dorm and library. I’m pretty sure that my computer just has a few screws lose, so I’ll just take it to my local Apple Store when I get back to the States in December, where I won’t have to worry about a language barrier that could harm Mackey (yes, that’s my laptop’s name) even further. I could ask someone to go with me, but I just feel more comfortable having my laptop fixed in its country of origin. My iPod still works and can be charged thanks to my adapter. As for the phone issue, I’ll just purchase one at orientation today.
Now I’m off to see if the library is open so I can study for my Korean placement test on Monday.