Seoul and Departure

       To John:    Hope all was OK and you enjoy the nice shoes I dumb dumb left behind in haste.  If they don’t fit, you know where to return them for a full refund. I had to leave before you returned so just wanted to thank you!  
        I managed at the airport, got on board and we arrived in Seoul about 10:45 or later…then after customs…money change I ran down to the train…no…over…bus…no over….subway…no over…taxi yes for $120000 Won!   I didn’t have it!  We accept credit…OK…what could I do?  So at 170 Kilometers per hour he drove like we were on the Autobohn…I was getting nervous when he went through the toll gate at 80 with the gate down…he had a sensor that auto charged him and the gate came up just as I thought he was going to hit it.  Now I am tightening my seatbelt and my heart is racing.  I got an adrenaline high and he is back up to 170 passing everything on the road.  We passed the Seoul boundary and he slowed down to 130 then a stop light and he couldn’t stop in time and just rear ended another taxi. Not a major deal but enough to warrant pulling over.  The passenger in the taxi bolted and I tried but had too many bags and he assured me only a minute…they both took pics of the damage and of each other’s plates then finally we were on our way.  When I did arrive at the hostel, I gave him the credit card and he ran it for  140,000 on the meter …20000 more that quoted..I argued it was because of the delay caused by the accident… If it wasn’t almost One AM,  I would have refused to sign and take a photo of his plate myself until he changed it to what he quoted…I wanted to get to the hostel so signed. 
       Thank God they had everything in order plus late check out to 3pm …good night and thanks to everyone that made this a fantastic adventure.
       I left the hostel around 2pm and caught the bus to the airport, cashed in most of my Wons for Dollars, checked in to United Air and was at the Gate just prior to boarding .  I had a sandwich with the last of my Won, boarded and sat next to a really intelligent 12 year old Korean girl bound for San Francisco.  We all survived the flight and no problem going through customs and immigration to claim my bag. 
        Now I had to recheck my bag with US Air.   I had to stand in another line to be told I needed  to go to US Air and recheck my bag.  TSA had a line a mile long just to tell us what we already knew.  To do that I had to walk about a mile.  I arrived at US Airways, which I have NO love for, and three reservationist and a line of Kiosks to get your boarding pass.  I got mine in Seoul.  I just needed to recheck my bag that already was tagged for Phoenix.  Two to the three attendants were at the VIP First Class and the other kept disappearing in the back then reappearing then disappearing with a line of irrate passengers at each Kiosk that had bags that needed checking.  I went to VIP and after about another half hour a brusque attendant grabbed my bag and said OK your set.  Not “Gate 21 ” is down the hall on your left…so I went back and waited in line again to get directions.
         Then another security check in another long line with only two TSA agents.  Take your shoes off , belt, everything in your pockets, your jacket, camera, computer, OK….I’m barefoot and my pants are falling down while I’m holding my arms up waited for the machine to scan me and I remember…I forgot to pull out my toothpaste.  Guess it doesn’t matter as I got through…Whew.  Then another 15 minutes to get dressed again and find my gate.  No country in the world makes you take your shoes off and the TSA admitted that rule should be changed…that was over 6 monthes ago.
          I’m trying to get a Global Entrance Pass so I don’t ever have to go through all that.  I haven’t got an copy of my Original Birth Certificate yet to complete the application.  I did notice that there were four Machines for people with Global Entrance Passes .  While standing in a mile long line…one of 8…I saw one person use the Machine…apparently they haven’t got their copy of their Original Birth Certificate.  You can be President without your Original Birth Certificate but not get a Global Entrance Pass.  Well I’m here at SFO awaiting my flight with my most unfavorite, next to America West, Airlines…US Airways. 
    It boarded on time, arrived on time, I picked up my bag and was outside waiting for my friend to pick me up.  I told her Thursday @ 5:50 and there I was in 100% heat with my jacket, long sleeve shirt and jeans.  Only one problem …it was Wednesday.  My itinerary said departing UA airlines in Seoul at 5:30 pm Wednesday the 19th and arriving on UA airlines in Phoenix @ 5:35 pm Wednesday the 19th. I had no phone to call and ask why she was late.  Must be at the other terminal. When I realized it was now 6:30 I called a cab and was to call her when I returned so she could stop driving around the terminals looking for me.
         I dropped off the suitcase and realized my phone was unplugged and uncharged.  I drove over to Briana’s ordered a class of wine and got the waiter to lend me his cell phone.  I called both numbers and left a message.  It was 9pm when I gave up and left for home to discover a message …today is Wednesday…not Thursday.   Welcome home david.

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