I started my journey. The haas from Vancouver to Seoul was on time at a stealthy 11 hours and five minutes. The plane ride from Seoul to Busan, a terse 55 minutes, was delayed by 20. My "I'm not in Kansas anymore" moment came when this little Korean fellow passed by me in the aisle on the air plane and dropped his jaw as if he saw a pasty white ghost. Not to be outdone by his buddy, who passed me a suspicious 30 seconds later, walked past me slowly then turned back in an every-so-calculated manner. If this wasn't enough, watching his face turn from persed lips to the shittiest of shit eating grins as quite priceless. These Asian kids are pretty damn cute. So I suppose if a guy was convinced he needed one, he should probably pick one of Asian decent.
My recruiter, Mary, was unable to pick me up from Busan but sent her husband, Jerry, in her absence. After I procured my luggage (isn't it always true that when you are stressed out your luggage is NEVER in the first round of bags leading you to think that it was lost) I walked out to the greetings area. There were several signs with different names, and then lastly, my name. Jerry was talking on the phone, which seems to Korea's national pastime. When he saw me acknoledge him he quickly handed me the phone after we exchanged brief bows. Mary was on the line to welcome me to Korea, apologize that she was unable to pick me up as well debrief me to the fact that Jerry didn't speak English. Jerry and I stashed my luggage into the back of his car and off we sped on the highway to Masan.
While in the car, he began to use the limited English he presumably picked up from oft encounters such as this one. "American?" he said to me. "Yes" I responded. "You very handsome" was his response. That was it. For the next hour I had that statement to hang on while I absorded the conrete jungle that is Korea.