I woke up around 5:30 to feed Mael, my parents’ golden retriever. I’d been looking after him leading for the past week or so leading up to my trip to Korea. He ate his food then headed outside to relieve himself while I busied myself in my room making all my last minute preparations for my trip.
My dad arrived at 6:15 to take me to the airport. I’d told him to arrive an hour earlier than I necessary to make sure I got to the airport in time. We drove in near silence to the airport. He was quiet from being tired and I was quiet from all the thoughts racing through my mind like the stream of consciousness of a schizophrenic.
I checked my bags in no problem and sped through security since the airport was predictably empty on a Sunday morning at 6am. I arrived with approximately an hour to kill before my flight. I checked off my usual airport to-dos: get a Naked Juice, wander aimlessly, use the bathroom more out of boredom than desperation. Finally, it was time to board. I sat three-quarters of the way back next to some ballroom dance champions from Eastern Europe. They looked to be in their late teens to early twenties. They didn’t seem to speak much English and I was tired so I put my neck pillow on and passed out for the majority of the flight.
JFK Blown Away
I woke on landing at JFK in NYC. Our flight had arrived 10 minutes early giving me a little over two hours to make it from Terminal 5 to terminal 4. I spoke with a representative from JetBlue and she directed me out of the terminal and up to a train to the international terminal. Since I’d crossed from one terminal to another I had to go through security again, a process I usually dread, but found fascinating given the circumstances. JFK’s international terminal must be one of the most culturally diverse locales on the planet. I saw Hasidic Jews flying to Israel, Africans in traditional garb flying to Kenya, and people who looked vaguely like Borat flying to Uzbekistan.
The line moved surprisingly quick and in under 20 minutes, I found myself deep in the heart of the massive terminal perusing the duty-free shops. I picked up a bag of Hershey’s sampler chocolates as a gift for my director and assorted Korean counterparts. When I arrived at my gate, I saw a man who bore a striking resemblance to Psy, the Korean pop star famous for Gangnam Style. I discretely snapped a photo and posted it on twitter. Immediately two Psy fan accounts retweeted my photo. To this day I have no idea if that actually was him, but I like to believe it was and he was flying first class NYC to Seoul, so there is a chance it was him.
After waiting for about 30 minutes, my name was called over the intercom. I got really excited for a minute thinking they may be upgrading my seat to business class. It was a foolish idea, but that didn’t stop me from pondering the idea. I got the counter only to receive a new boarding pass, for the same seat. Dreams dashed, I sat at Buffalo wild wings and enjoyed my last Thai Curry hot wings before flying to Korea.