I have now arrived in South Korea with a day very much Sandwiched by high speed with a filling of delays in between. Either way I am here now and it has a completely different feel to China. I am not sure how yet but it definitely feels different.
The day started with the worlds fastest train, the MagLev zooming me to the station. The best bit was when the train tilts in the corners without slowing down.
Getting through immigration was a breeze as to was boarding the plane. It was at this point things started to slow up. 5 passengers were late. Rather than removing their luggage they waited, which I think is the right idea because removing the luggage would take longer. Though in the end that was what was needed. It all took an extra 2 hours to get us to our take off position. We sat on the runway and over the public address the stewardess announces that due to a technical fault the pilot is returning the plane to the gate. I was not sure what that meant, however it just meant a 1 hour wait for the issue to be fixed. We had been sat on the plane for 4 hours before it took off.
The flight itself was very quick and upon arriving in Busan the Korean Airline staff were very embarrassed by the delay and gave every passenger vouchers for discounted flights. Which I thought was very generous.
Then it was time for reacclimatising to the language, signage as well as purchasing train tickets to get to the hostel. This all went very smoothly and the people I asked for assistance from were extremely helpful. One even walked me to the shop to show me where I could purchase my travel card.
Upon arriving at the correct subway station for the hostel, I climbed the stairs towards the exit and passed a fellow traveller with her backpack. I said to her ‘I am guessing you going to the same hostel as me’. We chatted and it turned out she was at the one next door. Even more interesting than that is that she had just come back from a 10 day meditation retreat some where in South Korea. I had read a little about these the other day. I am now trying to decide if 10 days would be too much for me but I really like the idea of meditation retreat. Hers sounded extreme to the point where she could not talk for 10 days and all the participants could not even make eye contact. I am tempted because it will either love it or it will be mind bending endurance that would teach me so much about suffering and my mind. We will meet for a drink in the next day or so and I will decide from there if I will do it.
After getting settled in the hostel I was blown away by having internet that is super fast. I can not decide if it really fast in South Korea or if it is because the Great Firewall in China made the whole surfing experience so very painful. Either way I am really chuffed to be back online properly and can use google without having to battle to connect the VPN. It is brilliant.
South Korea is going to be ‘interesting / challenging’ as a vegetarian. Hardly any places around the hostel have food without meat, I ened up with a pizza tonight but I am hoping to be able to find some vegetable bibimbap korean food like I found in Shanghai tomorrow.
What I learned today:
- Acceptance truly helps reduce suffering. The plane delay in the past may driven me to distraction but today after reading so much about accepting reality exactly as it is I dealt with the whole situation in the flow.