Monday, November 23, 2015

Airport Showers

Detroit was fun. Somehow, with all the flying that I do, I had managed to earn a medallion, which let me tell you, makes flying a LOT of fun. I also get special privileges for lounges. The last time I had a layover in Detroit it had been very painful. There is not a lot to do, not a lot of good places to eat, and basically I spent about three hours being bored. I skipped using the lounge privileges, even though I had them. This time, I was going to do that differently.

I looked up the lounges and realized there was one that included a shower and suddenly that seemed like a really good idea. I like showers and for some reason on my flight back I was sitting next to two people that basically never needed to move. This is all well and good, but my bladder was dying most of the flight and I didn’t want to touch myself anymore that feeling of being “unclean” was everywhere.

Having successfully navigated through security and the immigration, I found the location of the lounge and started walking that way. Lucky for me, this particular lounge was right at the end of the corridor that connected the international arrivals to the main airport. Perfect.

I went in and stated my request and was directed upstairs to talk to someone about getting a shower. The very nice lady behind the counter upstairs was only too happy to help me and before you knew it I had some luxury shower products and a nicely assorted private room to shower in.

I showered at the airport. It was glorious.

Some free booze and a little time waiting later and I was back in New York city, into the loving paws of a small dog and with an entire day off to recover from my trip.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Finally! And Finally.

Having had my genius plan thwarted I went back down the street until I found an ajoshi running a newsstand and asked him in absolute Korean desperation to help me find Dongdaemun shijang. He pointed back the way I came and I almost wanted to scream. Instead I explained to him in what was becoming increasingly choppy Korean that I had already done that and I was totally lost and could you just PLEASE write directions for a tax and I will take a taxi.

He sort of raised an eyebrow like I’d lost my mind, but after buying a water and a few more minutes of cajoling he wrote directions on a sheet of paper. I walked to the next cross street, handed it to the taxi driver and told him that I know it looks stupid, but I’d pay him 5,000 won no matter what the fare. He just shrugged and finally, four minutes later I was climbing out of a cab at my destination. My heart was still racing, a part of my was rage angry, but after climbing up the steps, finding and escalator and going up, up, up into a fabric store that spans nearly three miles I felt much better.

Four hours, and about four hundred dollars later, I found my way out again. My backpack was full of fabric, I felt much better and in general a sense of being happy that I got to come to Korea if nothing else for this exact thing. This was what I wanted, and I was happy about it.

I walked from the fabric market towards the shopping mall that is Miglaore and had a quick snack of street chicken from a cartbar before finding a coffee shop to enjoy a coffee. Thinking about lunch I realized that I had no earthly idea how to get back to my hotel, but decided that with an internet connection I could probably fix that, so I grabbed a coffee and sat to bask in the free wifi. As I was trying to get online, I pulled out the card to my hotel, thinking it might have an address that I could use to get back to my hotel, and much to my surprise and happiness the card did one better with a map to the hotel being printed right there on the back.


I finished my coffee, carted my wares back to my room and spent the rest of my day chilling before the three days of wall to wall working would hit me. The work was work, I like my job so it was not so bad. Having no free time to myself sucked, but the entire trip was over so quickly that it was hard to lament it for long. Roughly 72 hours later I was back on a 15 hour flight and landing in Detroit before heading to New York.