Do you see it? The sign says, "Good-bye Seoul". Goodbye, indeed. My trip back to America went relatively smoothly. I didn't start getting nervous till I was at the airport and had to do everything to get Tom ready. I'll post a more detailed account of how I got Tom on the plane and what you need to do.
But for now just know he made it through to the other side just fine, and is a real trooper.
When on the plane and looking out over Incheon, knowing this was my last moment in Korea, I couldn't help but feel sad. Mostly for all the times and memories I had, but because it was just that final moment. Tears did come out when I was saying goodbye to my friend and on the plane. But for the most part I focused on the tasks ahead and tried to enjoy the flight, which wasn't too bad of just 8 and a half hours.
Looking out at my plane in Korea:
I have to say Korean Air didn't really live up to my expectations or experiences in the past. Maybe cause the flight was short, but they didn't do or show me anything that was different from what I experienced on Asiana or Singapore airlines. However, they did get Tom to America well and carefully so I'll give them that. But the food was okay and everything else was pretty standard on an Asian airline.
Goodbye Korea ~
I managed to get a few winks of sleep on the flight but was kept awake with my enthusiasm for Seattle and worries for Tom. I knew he was down there under the plane and was hoping he wasn't too scared.
When we were landing in Seattle I got a glimpse of the downtown and the Space Needle. This got me really excited and so exhilarated for my future. I could see water, mountains and trees and felt such a huge relief at the sight.
The Space Needle is in the following picture, but you have to look through the clouds in the lower portion.
Going through immigration and customs wasn't as difficult as I imagined it to be, and everyone was very friendly and helpful. A staff member from the airport helped me directly with making sure I got my cat. She was waiting there at the end of the walkway with a sign. Turns out the Quarantine office is closed on Saturdays so I had to wait a little bit longer as they cleared Tom off the plane and checked his papers. I was a bit nervous during that time whether he was okay or not.
However, I was reunited with him when I went down to baggage claim. One of his towels was soaked from the water bottle but otherwise he didn't use his carrier as a bathroom. He seemed shaken up but was calm and curious. He attracted an onlooker who I spent some time chatting with as I waited for my task rabbit. She was a sculptor so it was fun to talk about arts and the city.
Task rabbit was a huge success and met me on time and helped me with everything. Actually wasn't too hard hauling my three heaving bags and Tom. Plus he was a nice guy and we talked about Seattle and local radio stations. I think this service is a great way to get things done and also fun.
On the way to my new house I saw downtown Seattle and the Space needle again. It was such a good feeling seeing this sight and I'm filled with curiosity to go out and explore it.
My new place is a three story townhouse where I and another roommate live on the second floor. My new roommates are really nice and very welcoming. They let Tom roam around and get use to the place. He seems to be settling in quite nicely with finding spots to claim as his own. But he still comes to my room and sleeps with me on my bed, or follows me around the house. I'll try to post pics of my new place.
I had a good time talking with my roommates and having a small bite to eat then headed to my new bed. I bought a bunch of Ikea furniture but was too tired to set it up so just arranged the mattress and am making do with that. There is so much I need to get done and started on in my life here in Seattle, but first is tackling jet lag and filling up the fridge with some groceries.
I do miss Korea and have that sad feeling in me knowing it is all far far away. Practically all of my Facebook is friends and things from Korea, so I am reminded of it. I hope I never forget all that happened there or the people I met along the way.
Well back to getting some shut eye and dreaming about the future. :)