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Out of Korea

Written June 13th.

I saw on CNN a few days before I made my flight to Bangkok that Incheon Airport, outside of Seoul, was rated the overall best airport in the world, beating out perennial front runner Singapore. It’s certainly a huge, spacious, orderly and clean facility, and the personnel are mostly friendly. However, I didn’t do much to improve one security guard’s demeanor.

Earlier, I prepared to go through the security checkpoint. I took my paper money out of my bag and put it into my pants pocket (for whatever reason), and put my loose change and other metal items into my bag. Then I walked into the security area and put my bag onto the x-ray conveyor. The security guard told me to take the coins out of my pocket. I said that I didn’t have any coins. Again he repeated his order. Again I told him I didn’t have any. He was starting to get irritated. ‘Check your pocket and take out the coins,’ he ordered. Just to humor him (and not get into trouble) I reached into my pocket and, much to my great embarrassment, I found a handful of loose change. Wow, did I get red in the face and start apologizing profusely!

Apparently, I had forgotten to check my left pants pocket earlier and the security guy had seen the outline of the coins therein. Even with my apologies he was not happy with me, but he let me through without further incident. Geez, talk about getting old and senile. 😛

My excuse has to be that I had been awake for more than 24 hours. The 11 p.m. bus from Yeosu to the airport takes about 5 1/2 hours, and I find it impossible to sleep on a bus or plane or at an airport waiting for the check-in counter to open. Moral: Double check your pockets.

Friday night was a great time to leave Yeosu, though. All day it was as hazy as could be. You could barely make out the not-so-distant hills and downtown buildings. It wasn’t the dreaded Yellow Dust, but more likely a combination of pollution and fog with an inversion layer thrown in for good measure. Anyway, Incheon was very clear, and as I sit in Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok writing this, it is mostly sunny.

I’ve got a 6 hour layover, but I don’t know what I’m going to do to pass the time waiting for the flight to Vientiane. Just walk around the terminal, I guess, and wait for something to happen. Maybe I can find a security guard to pick on. 😀

More later.

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