I finally landed in Seoul last ngiht at 6:15 PM. It was 3++ hours from Manila to Seoul actually so it was relatively quick. In the plane, I got to watch 27 Dresses which I found really entertaining. I dunno, I see a bit of myself in Jane’s character but that’s a different story. :-) So, after 27 Dresses, I watched Vantage Point which I failed to finish. Ergo, I have no clue what this movie is all about other than what the first 3 points of view tell me. Maybe next time or Wikipedia.
Arriving in Seoul, I was a bit ecstatic. It is my first time in Seoul and flew alone at that. Language barrier was really an impediment and slowed things down for me. Not a lot of people speak English but they are still very willing to help which is always good in my book. The first bad thing happened — looking for the correct ATM machine to do a cash withdrawal. There were no pictures or signs of accepted credit cards in the 10 ATM machines. So, I tried some and weirldy, my card got rejected. I called AMEX and they were not too helpful because they couldn’t identify which bank I can use. Boo-hoo. I asked the Information desk and still na-da. I think I tried 8 ATM machines to no avail. The information desk did confirm that the bus tickets accept AMEX so snaps for me, right? Dejected, I walked to gate 10 and before going there, I saw an ATM machine which looked like busted but when I checked it was not. I inserted my card, and after a few presses of the button, voila! I finally got some Wons (even if the machine did not print out receipts).
Next agenda was to rent a phone. Unfortunately, my triband phone does not work here. So, that sucks. I went to SK Telecom kiosk for a phone and they were nice enough to try it out first. I think I spent around 10 minutes there. Unfortunately, still nothing. Soooo, I am connectionless in the land of Kimchi. *looks around nervously* I bought bus tickets and enjoyed the scenery as it passed by. I think the trip to Seoul is around an hour. Traffic was very light so it was good. When I arrived in the hotel, Miss Front Desk asked, “can I check your passport?“
I opened my man-purse, and no passport.
Uh-oh. That’s not good.
I checked all pockets. Still nothing.
Definitely not good.
Tried to rewind everything in my head and recalled that SK Telecoms asked for my passport. Glimmer of hope! Miss Frontdesk told me to just phone Icheon Lost and Found when I reach my room. And so I did, but they only speak Korean. *sighs* So, I called Frontdesk and they did the calling for me. No one returned a Philippine passport. *cringe*
I already sent Icheon Lost & Found an email and also the Philippine Embassy here for lost passport process flow. Then, I got informed of using the Tourist Information Center (02-1330). I called and reported the incident and they called the Airport again. After 10 minutes, they called back and informed me that it’s there. It’s freakin’ there! Woo-hoo!!! A million snaps!!!
So, that’s the start of my Korean adventure. It’s almost 7AM and that means I need to go down to meet the others. Good luck to me and my other colleagues who will go-live!