Sunday, September 02, 2007

Smell the roses.........

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ferris Bueller

It is so good to be home. Japan, at least, seems like home. Korea- I'm not sure what it seems like, but I'm always happy to see it in the rear view mirror. At least I can read the signs over here. And I don't get narco-lepsy when a Japanese translation starts-unlike what I experienced for the last two weeks in Korea, when the Korean translations started.

I've had my first really nutritious meal in about 3 weeks.

I've finally de-toxed from all the beer I drank Thursday and Friday night.

I even played a round of golf this morning. I shot a 94-that's nothing short of a miracle for me.

On Saturday however, while coming home I took some time to explore Incheon airport. I had left the lounge on time to make my flight only to find when I got to the gate that it had been delayed an hour and a half. Now what? I could have gone back to the lounge, but instead I decided to look around a bit.

First sight I saw was a girl, sitting Indian style on a chair in front of one of those big plasma TV's. Not really a beauty but not ugly either, I was fascinated by her face and the look on it. The TV was showing what appeared to be a Chinese romantic drama-subtitled in Korean. Wearing the little square glasses that for some reason only look good on Asian women, she appeared enraptured in the show. For probably 10 minutes she did not move from her cross legged position.

Must have been good TV-the actress who was being dragged away by four mean looking men certainly looked good enough. The plot, it seemed, hinged on what appeared to be her boyfriend finding enough clues along the way-while being chased himself- to locate his girl.

Decided it was time to move on. Being down at the end of the terminal it meant a little bit of a walk back to the center and duty free world.

Past 2 moving walkways-going the opposite direction of mine. A European or American girl had decided that she needed to put her little plastic model on the moving hand rail and then raced ahead to watch it come to her. The girl looked to be about 8 years old. Why an 8 year old is roaming an airport unsupervised is one of those mysteries of life that will never be solved. But she was.

When the toy fell, a Korean couple in a coffee shop saw it. The lady got up and raced to pick up the toy. As she moved to take it to the girl, the girl raced past the woman. Not finding her toy she looked up with a look of considerable distress. It did not go away when the lady handed the toy to her-instead it seemed that she realized that the rest of the items were coming to the end of the walkway. White little sox and tennis shoes scurried into overdrive. All parts were saved as they came tumbling off the end.

Not a parent in sight.

I moved onward hoping to find a book store- but it would seem the national association of duty free cigarette, liquor, handbag and shoe stores had conspired against potential customers idling away precious buying time in any book store. So I went back to a combination coffee shop/ German beer bar. It being past 10 am and after 5pm somewhere- I ordered option 2.

As I was walking up to the empty table I had been eyeing for a seat, a group of girls came up to it. Being ever the gentleman that I am, let them have the seats. When they said thank you and then began speaking the dulcet tones of Japanese, it was music to my ears. I've had my fill of "sumi da" for a while, thank you very much. Plus they looked good in frilly skirts.

In marked contrast I might add, to the Soldiers at the bar wearing the baggiest of shorts, an over sized T-Shirt, and hats turned backwards. So much for those AFN commercials about the need to blend in.

I moved to the back and sat in a corner seat on the back row of seats. Next, it turns out, to what appeared to be some German businessmen having an animated discussion. I really need to brush up on my German.

Beer finished, I debate whether to opt for another and decide against it. No more Won in my pocket-and I did not want to spend my yen in case I needed it at Narita.

I decide to go back and see how the romance came out. Good thing I did because they were just getting to board the plane. So I never did get to find out whether the boy got the girl............

However, on the whole it was more interesting hour than some I spent during the past two weeks............


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