Malaysia 2013 – Part 1, The Epic Journey

This is mostly going to be a text-based entry. Apologies, but airports and inside of planes aren’t really the most inspiring places to take photographs of.

So this may have been the most epic trip that I’ve ever been on. And I’m not exaggerating here; I may have set a new record for travel time. Whew.

My journey started in the Indianapolis International Airport. My wonderful and kind roommate drove me and two other friends of ours from Bloomington to the airport, where I had to endure a relatively short 2-hour wait before my flight. Thankfully, there was free wifi and Qdoba to keep me fairly well-occupied.

The flight from Indianapolis to Atlanta short. A mere 2 hours, including our slight delay when taking off! Now, I had a much longer wait time…a layover of 8 hours.

Flying always makes me peckish, so I wandered around the place, trying to get a feel for what they offered in terms of nourishment. I’d been at the airport before so I didn’t get too lost. It was hilarious listening in on this one guy’s phone conversation though. Apparently this was his first time on a plane, and he kept reiterating to the other person on the line “Dude, this airport is freakin’ HUGE. I mean it’s really big, man.” Kind of makes me sad how accustomed I’ve gotten to the wonders of aerial travel though. I don’t get to marvel at it anymore.

There was this restaurant called Ecco, and it looked pretty nice, so I decided to give it a shot. There were a lot of lone travelers, which was nice, because I didn’t feel too out of place. Unfortunately, for the price tag, the food and the service was a bit lack-luster. After my waiter’s rather long-winded and hardly comprehensible description of the dishes, I ordered the rather standard fare of spaghetti with some tomato sauce. Apparently the sauce was all made in the restaurant with gourmet this and that. What I got was a rather large plate with a small dollop of very over-cooked and sad looking pasta.
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And I don’t usually refer to foods as “sad”. The taste was alright, but the texture was really off-putting. Way too squishy, and hardly “al dente”, as advertised.

Another problem I had with the restaurant was the service. Maybe it was just my waiter (at least, I’m hoping it was, because ratings on Yelp.com are great), but he mixed up my order of sparkling water with spring water, and when I corrected him, he started getting angry at me. When he did finally bring me my water though, he had forgotten the lemons that I asked for twice. Those lemons never actually did reach my table though, I’m sad to say.

In conclusion, I would give this place a C-. The best part of the meal was the complimentary bread that they served with butter. Sad face.

Ranting aside, at least I was able to burn about 2 hours sitting at the restaurant and waiting for my food to come out. Once those 2 hours were up, I still had approximately 4 hours to meander about before boarding started for my flight.

When at long last I did board my flight, it was a 15 hour flight to the Incheon International Airport. It actually ended up being a pretty productive flight though. I got through watching all the blockbusters that I had missed, like The Hobbit, Django Unchained (which I surprisingly enjoyed), and a bunch of documentaries (I’m a huge documentary nut). I was flying on Korean Airlines, which in my opinion has one of the best services, as well as best in-flight foods. Yum yum.

We landed in Incheon at approximately 4 in the morning. Nothing was open…except for the KAL Prestige Lounge! An absolute godsend. I have never felt this much affection for my member card before, but the free food, comfortable seating with free wifi, and free shower facilities really did miracles for my travel fatigue. Really, if you’re flying through the Incheon airport, do take advantage of the shower facilities. They are the best.

Once I was done recharging, I had tons to do. Every time I’m at the Incheon airport, I use my English and Spanish fluency to convince other people that I’m a foreigner, and so far it’s worked all the time. Which is great, because if you’re a tourist, you get to do free stuff at the Cultural Center. Yay! If you aren’t too much into arts and crafts, they also have free shows and demonstrations and whatnot.
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Today’s crafty goodness decorating small wooden mirrors with abalone shell bits, a la the Korean traditional way. Since I had so much time to burn, I spent about an hour and a half doing this…and I’m pretty proud of it. 🙂 By the end, I had a bunch of Japanese tourists standing over my shoulder, saying “Sugoi, sugoi!”
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Soon, it was time to board my flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. By this time, I had been travelling for 35+ hours, so 7 more hours really wasn’t anything daunting. More movies and documentaries were watched, and before I knew it, I had run out of flight time to finish watching The Prestige. Nooooooooooo!

But now I’m in Malaysia, and it’s so good to be home with my parents again. I’ve already been pigging out on all the delicious and various cuisine here, soon to come your way via this blog.

Signing off,
Marie

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