Arriving at Seoul

Whilst the plane was still landing I had to rub my eyes to wake up. I was finally there! But then slowly I also realized, I knew no Korean and had no idea how to reach my hostel. Anxiety crawled within me. How am I ever going to manage that in a country where English speakers are not easy to find.

First things first, I had to get through the customs. But while waiting in line, I noticed I missed a required so-called “arrival card”. Was that the thing they handed me in the plain, which had a discount coupon…  Anyway, luckily the customs are prepared for such cases and I was able to fill it in at a table next to it. But if you think that’s the only paper you have the fill in, wrong. After collecting your luggage you had to fill in a form declaring you have no goods to declare. Looking at this procedure I noticed two things. Firstly, it seems the Koreans are strict in procedures and wish to take care of everything skillfully. However, after handing over the forms, they were barely looked up. Which made me question the purpose of it, but alas.

What is the first thing you do after exiting the secured area? Right, you try to find some money. Before going to Korea I knew that my card would not work everywhere and only certain ATM’s would accept it. But finding an ATM, with all those confusing Korean letters, was quite a challenge. But after finding one, acquiring money was no issue at all.

But now the real challenge, transport. Luckily a friend gave me a small step-for-step guide of how I’ll reach the stop near my hostel. It suggested to travel by subway. However, I could not find it… Tourist information pointed me downstairs, but I only saw Seoul Railway there. Maybe the railway was the subway? One way to find out. And yes, it somehow looked like the subway, but sadly enough for my blood pressure, it was a train! The only thing I thought I could do, let’s sit it out and get to Seoul Train Station and let’s see there how and what. Until suddenly a station was broadcasted which was in my guide! I felt so relieved. Thereafter I simply continued to follow the steps, and after 2.5 hours after leaving the plane, I found it, or did it?

Google Maps told me I was standing in front of it. But I saw nowhere my hostel. After walking a few rounds I looked up and saw the sign. Great! But how do I get there? An entrance could not be found. After some hesitation, I asked a man in suit smoking his cigarette, he pointed me to an entrance made of glass which led me to an elevator. Yes! There I saw the name of my hostel! But it seemed weird to me, why not make it clear at the entrance? And why not have your own entrance? Clearly a difference in culture.

Anyhow, I finally reached my destination and could take some rest… but not after take two great picture.

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