Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trip home and the first 24 hours

I'm home. The trip was long. Dallas helped me carry stuff to a cab, I dropped him off at his apartment and got on an 8:30 bus to Seoul. I stupidly took the express bus and when I got to Seoul semi-figured out that there wasn't a bus to the airport, or at least I couldn't find it. I dropped all my bags and wandered for a little bit trying to find a ticket counter. Then I just gave up and spend $60 on a cab directly to the airport. I think it was a good decision.

Then I wandered around the airport trying to find the Delta counter. Turns out that Delta and Air France share the same space, but it didn't become Delta until 2:30. It was kind of annoying. I had checked in on-line the night before, but I wanted to make sure everything with my bags would be ok so I waited in line. It moved pretty quick and everything worked out fine. Then I had to take a weird shuttle bus to another terminal and got to my gate with about 2 hours to spare. The airport is nice and has free wifi so I was able to skype with Dallas for about 5 minutes before my laptop battery died and then talk to him and Cindy on facebook for a bit.

The plane ride wasn't too bad. I was in a middle seat on the right side of the plane (B), next to a Korean guy who didn't speak English and another Korean guy who has lived in Canada for the last 40 years or something. Turns out he went to UGA for his masters in microbiology and then worked in the Canadian version of the CDC or something. He was very nice and kept ordering large red wines which made me laugh. The flight was 13 hours and I slept for maybe 30 minutes of it. I ended up watching about 6 or 7 movies. I had already seen all of them (except Dolphin Tale, which don't ask) but couldn't really concentrate on anything so I wanted things I already knew. The flight ended up getting delayed because of wind and we got in 45 minutes late.

This doesn't sound like a big deal except that I only had 2 hours to get to my connecting flight and this moved it down to just over an hour. We landed in Detroit and since this was the first stop in the US, this is where we went through immigration and customs. This took over an hour as well and when I finally got my bags and cleared everything, I had 10 minutes to get to my flight. They sent me to talk to another lady because my gate was on the other side of the airport. I had been awake for 24 hours at this point and just wanted to be home. She told me there was no way for me to get on that flight, that there were no more flights to Atlanta that evening, so that basically I would be stuck in Detroit for the night. This is when I started to tear up. She gave me a hotel voucher, showed me where to go and was very nice about everything. But still, it was frustrating.

So I took a shuttle to the hotel, checked in, called my mom and told her the situation, took a shower and went to sleep. I got up at 4 to catch a shuttle back to the airport for my 6 am flight. My bags had been checked the night before so thankfully I didn't have to lug them with me. I also had an entire row to myself which was awesome and I slept for maybe 30 minutes on the ride down.
Sunrise on the plane from Detroit to Atlanta

My mom met me at the airport and after the 45 minute or so car ride, I was home. Layla recognized me and has been following me around since I got home. My jet lag isn't too bad but I'm still a little off. The hardest part is that I just feel lost.

First 24 hours home:
My mom told me about her new crush on Zac Effron
I super glued my finger to a mug
My mom told me my purse made me look like a tramp (as in hobo not whore) and to throw it out
I opened Christmas presents (thanks guys!)
My mom told me my boobs looked smaller and that I needed to get pregnant so they'd be big again
I drove to the library in my pajamas
I ate steak and salad and watched Jeopardy
First dinner home

It's Thursday morning here now. I've been out of Korea for 3 days and already I feel the separation. I know I can't expect people to feel like me and have that need to be connected all the time. They have jobs and the regular activities that I was part of while I was there. I don't really know what I expected, all I know is that I feel an incredible sense of loneliness right now. It will get better, I know. I will see more of my family and my friends and I'll soon be surrounded by people again, but right now, I'm sad.

Unpacking - within 5 minutes the cat was already in the suitcase
I that's not even counting all the other crazy things going through my head, like jobs and the future and life etc.! Ok, time to get out of my head...


  1. You are crazy. I absolutely never told you to get pregnant so your boobs would be big!! As bad as Stacey- I never said anything to her about pregnancy either although accused of it! What's up with you two?

  2. Ryan, I know exactly how you're feeling, trust me. Felt the same way when I got back from Iraq. Like you said, it'll get better. I'm thinking of you :)