Not really much to say about this, but I have to start somewhere, right? Getting to Korea from Germany is certainly not a small trip.
My trusted travel companion. Or so I thought, since he did not survive the flight. RIP, Sekimoto-san.
This was certainly an interesting experience since this was my first long-distance flight. Previous flights were only an hour or two long with no stops, and on dirt cheap airlines, so this was a nice change. But I have to say, 18 hour trips are rough, especially if you find it impossible to fall asleep. Other than that, the flight was pretty eventless and very smooth.
This was also my first experience with airplane food and I can’t help but feel that this could probably be done in a more efficient way. Every meal consisted of at least half a dozen individually wrapped components and resulted in more plastic waste than a typical household goes through in a week. Serving 100ml portions of water in what I can only describe as a pudding cup was also quite an odd choice.
The on-board entertainment system was pretty impressive and offered a bunch of recent movies and tv shows, even if the selection seemed quite random at times (3 episodes of season 10 of It’s Always Sunny and nothing else? Okay, sure, I’ll take it). Ant Man is a fun movie. Also, there were five different podcasts on there (Freakonomics, Radiolab, and some other stuff). As a big podcast nerd, this somehow felt…special.
Is this what the future looks like?
We had a layover in Dubai airport, which is preposterously large, and also incredibly invested in hyping up their duty-free shopping offerings, including this marketing gem:
After another ~8 hour flight, we finally arrived at Seoul Incheon. The personnel seems to be *very* concerned about the Zika virus, as we saw at least 15 different posters and inscriptions warning us about it on our way through the airport. The checkout also included a health check where we had to fill out a questionnaire asking for very broad illness symptoms including coughs and a runny nose. Lying on the application is apparently punishable by up to a year in prison. Then someone holds a stick-shaped thermometer up to your neck. They really take this stuff seriously it seems.
After all of that was finally done, we were welcomed by a group from our guest university and bused to the dorm. All in all, the trip took about 24 hours and I thought I would be able to beat the jetlag due to not beeing able to sleep on the plane at all, but instead I also couldn’t sleep during the first night (not a huge surprise given the lack of bedding) and was up for about 50 hours when it was all said and done. Neat!