This is an unrelated picture of me and a dragon from the parade we were in. I probably should have brought the dragon with me for this particular encounter.
The first leg of our trip back was a quick flight from Busan, Korea to Seoul/Incheon. We were then spending the day and the night there to see a few things before boarding a flight to Tokyo the next day and from there back to the United States. At least that's how it was supposed to go. But it didn't. See? Not my fault. What happened instead was that when we tried to check in for that first flight, there was a problem. Apparently if you fly from Busan to Incheon, you go through immigration in Busan, which means you must then continue on to another international destination. You aren't allowed to leave the airport in Incheon for any reason. By those rules, we'd have been stuck in Incheon's airport for about 26 hours until we flew out to Tokyo. Now I've never heard of a domestic flight that was only an option if you were continuing on internationally so I had a bit of a problem with this. Alright, I had more than a bit of a problem. It made no sense and it wasn't what I wanted. So... I got a wee bit upset. This wasn't helped by the poor gentleman who was trying to help me who spoke only limited English.
Queen: We're leaving the airport in Incheon for sight seeing. Then we're flying to Tokyo tomorrow.
Poor Man: You can not leave airport in Incheon. Travel international only. Stay in airport.
Queen: No "stay in airport." I have a hotel and a day of sight seeing planned. I'll need to leave the airport.
Poor man: You can not leave airport in Incheon. Travel international only. Stay in airport.
Queen (speaking louder now): No "stay in airport!" I have things to do. We need to fix this!
Poor man (looking more confused now): You can not leave airport in Incheon.
Queen (having had enough at this point and now starting to wave her hands wildly in the air because nothing says international communication like wild hand waving... on and speaking louder and faster too which likely sounded like gibberish to this poor guy): Look! I'm taking a domestic flight! Why can't I leave the airport! I wanted to leave 2 days ago but couldn't get a flight! I'm tired! I want this one last day and there's no way I'm spending it in the airport! So you can just get that whole "you can not leave the airport" business out of your head! It's a DOMESTIC FLIGHT!
At this point MPH decided it was time to intervene. I'm not sure if it was the panicked deer in the headlights look this guy had or the fact that I was now yelling in rapid fire English whole gesturing wildly. Frankly, it was possibly both. Regardless, he stepped in, gently grabbed both my hands, put them on the counter with his hand on top of them and said soothingly "I don't think he understands everything you just said, dear."
Queen (staring at MPH and then at the poor airport guy): But this is stupid!!! It's a domestic flight! This can't be possible! (Unfortunately about here I got my hands free once more and resumed with the flinging of my arms around just to emphasize my point.... validly, I thought!)
MPH (with a big sigh and speaking softly again): You need to go stand right over there.
MPH: You need to go stand right over there. (This time he pointed a few feet away and back some.)
Queen (scowling for a second then moving quietly off): Well then handle this.
MPH (sighing then looking back to the poor guy apologetically): Now, what do we need to do to fly to Seoul and then be able to leave the airport?
Queen (jumping back forward to help... I promise it was to help, but there might have been more gesturing... just sayin'.): Because this is the silliest thing I've ever heard! Can't leave the airport?! Who sold me these tickets?!!!
MPH (blinking and then looking around the airport before announcing cheerily): Look over there! Did you see that?! It's a STARBUCKS!!! Why don't you go over there and get a coffee? You look like you could use a coffee.
Queen (Looking around, perfectly aware that he's trying to get rid of her): I might like a coffee, but you need to deal with this. (Looking once more at the poor guy) You see, you don't understand. I DON'T EVEN WANT TO BE IN THIS COUNTRY ANYMORE!!!!
MPH (shoving money into my hand): Coffee! Now! Go!
Queen (sulkily): Fine... but I had this handled!
This is an unrelated picture from one of the Buddhist temples in Busan. Please note this guy is squashing some other poor guy under his foot. I'm not entirely certain why, but honestly, at this point, it seemed like a fine idea!
Now, apparently as soon as I walked off MPH turned and gave the guy an apologetic shrug and smile. I'm told the guy responded with one of those "I'm pretty sure that woman you're traveling with is a psycho serial killer and I'm praying you will fly away with her to anywhere but here" nervous laughs, but I wasn't around to hear it. I calmed down on the way to Starbucks which was closed... typical. MPH got us rerouted to another Seoul area airport and we had our day of sightseeing. We made it back to the Incheon airport the next day for our flight to Tokyo.... which was delayed for the entire day because an instrument on the plane had gone bad and another one had to be flown in from Tokyo to replace it. Apparently they couldn't find another instrument in the entire country of Korea to replace it with, but that's another story. Can't you just imagine my response?!
Did I mention that I'm glad to be home? Because I totally am.