Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seoul Airport

Can’t believe we slept for 12 hours… I guess we were bushed. After hot showers we headed downstairs to the 24-hour restaurant here in the Incheon Guest House’s World Gate Building. But… everything shut, dark, and it’s draughty, too, in the broad corridors. Back to our room, we finish packing & try to catch the 8:50 hourly shuttle to airport. Nada. A chilly blast awaits from the B2 parking lot: brrr! No driver. Back up to the office on 9th floor where the guest house rep advises that despite what their info booklet states, the shuttle only operates on schedule if there are sufficient guests.

Helpfully, he leads us to the window, showing us where to catch the airport shuttle bus which stops across the road every 10 minutes… So off we go, remaining in the guest house’s shelter prior to dashing across the street to catch the shuttle at 9:06. Within 8 mins we’re at the airport. After using the self-serve check-in monitors to print our boarding passes, we uneventfully pass through security to try to find coffee and breakfast.

P1101930 Starbucks awaits – there is no sit-down restaurant we can find for a North American breakfast, although MacDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway are here, as are various Korean/Japanese/Italian eateries. Wax models of dishes depict not only their price but also their preparation time. Starbucks coffee tastes the same but the scones are very sweet, unlike at home.

We visit the Korean Cultural Experience where we enjoy participating in the daily Free Event which, today, is making a traditional scholar’s table called a “kyungsang”. Not only is the replica’s wooden structure supplied, also we find access to glue, red and black ink, plus two diamond-shaped gold decorations for the desk’s front.

P1101925 As we work, we are serenaded by a serene performance of traditional Korean music, given by three women in costume.

Then we’re up to the 4th floor to check out the Korean Traditional Craftworks Gallery to take in videos and exhibits of Life and Dream Through Desire, an exhibit of traditional paintings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).