Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's the holiday mood once again! To Jeju-Seoul we venture!

Ever since my retirement from corporate race, it has never fail to strike me as a puzzling fact that I actually have less time to blog now that I aint working, than when I was still a corporate rat furiously engaging with mountain-load of data, as well as other corporate minions alike.

At home, there's always something to do, something to fix, something else seemingly begging for my attention. So much so that it just seemed so exhausting (picturing in my head) to just sit down and blog. Yeah I know... "exhausting".. funny right. I know.

Yet, feeling all spiked, recharged, refueled and happy from my recent girly-pally trip to S.Korea, I know I would kick my arse oneday looking back if I did not pay "homage" to my vacation from 2 weeks ago. 

To start off, the trip was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.LY Fantastic. 
No. I wont bore you with long winded details if it had been bland or boring.
Why would I. My life is never boring to start with. Ha!   

Back to what I was saying, the Jeju-Seoul trip...
Honestly, it was way way way way off more fun(ny) than I had anticipated. There were nagging doubts prior departure, not because of my companion silly, but rather of my middle back acting up, going all strange and bitchy towards me. Like a woman scorned, it was not letting up, hardly easing on the pain factor. Movement was a bitch, esp anything that requires bending over. I didnt know what I had done to her (my back that is), but apparently I must have pulled a muscle, or hit a raw nerve somehow I had been painfully aware that it might be a rather agonizing 9 days holiday with my BFF.   (*NOTE: That's "Best Frens Forever", and not "Best Female Fren" as my man had so called *deciphered*)

Packing my stuff alone was double the time. So imagine for 3 hours at wee morning, starting at 12am, hobbling around trying to get things stuffed into my luggage, mindful of the 15KG weight limit imposed by the domestic Jeju flights from Gimpo. Good thing my flight to Incheon was 4.30pm. 

Great.. .. ..
How's a grown (and mildly vain) woman gonna manage 9 days with 15kg limit. My cosmetics and skincare whatnot had already chalked up some mileage in the weight department honestly. Then I had to leave a few kg for overseas victorious conquests....that effectively meant I had about 12kg max to work with. So it was *screw u* to some pants and tops, leaving them behind, with top priority going to my skincare companions, which turned out to be both a blessing and also deserving of a smack to my head later in the story development. 

Incidentally, I thought I would just mentioned it off the cuff, in case some smart alex decides to tell me that if I had flown direct to Jeju, I would be spared the 15kg limit. Well there's a reason I forego my usual deluxe Marco Polo FF's extra baggage weight allowance.

Firstly, I wasnt departing from Jeju. 2nd-ly I felt guilty my GF had missed out on the cheaper tixs from SG to Seoul coz of some delay on my travel agent part to get my flight. 3rd-ly, my travel agent mislead me on the Jeju flight schedule info, and lastly, she forgot to book my seat or she claimed she missed my email. That very email for her to book my seat. Yeah I know, first world problems right. Anycase, it worked out fine, my gf and I decided to just spend one extra night in Incheon to meet up before we slowly waltz our way to Gimpo for our domestic flight at 1.35pm.

The beauty about travelling with E is that she's an organisor and into details like me, though I must confess I am somewhat more of a slacker when it comes to travelling plans. So mightily impressed I was when she created this whole word file framework of our general "movement" plans that I was already brimming with excitement from mere looking at a word file. It's almost sad really...getting my high from a MS word file. Then again, the source of happiness must start from somewhere right?!

The good thing was that we had both wanted to do a super lepak, rest and relaxing trip. No mad rushing around. No crazy overachiever mentality to cover as many sights as possible. No. It was all gonna be nice, slow and easy breezy. We were totally in sync, though E was initially worried that I might want to do more since I had never been to Jeju before. So it was an utter relief to her that we were on the same page.

This "SNAKE" year has been a complete bitch to me. Nasty Nasty Nasty biz from Day 1. It has been nothing but a series of unfortunate health related mishaps that I would positively swear some deity has a thing against me this year. It had been a bummer year. I needed a getaway boost to cheer myself up.

I had mooted the Jeju idea in April and by May, E had the basicframework up, and by June we had a general idea of the "must visit" sites after both sides threw in some ideas. Once again, good thing we were also in sync in general about places to go. 

It wasnt very stressful, planning the trip from scratch. 
Not on my part really.
I could afford such "wanton" proclamation only because credit goes to E for the legwork really.

I didnt bother with any guide book. I did flip thru a few blog posts for some ideas and general info but that's about it. It wasnt meant to be a major sight seeing trip so I didnt see a point in getting all riled up and armed with hardcore traveller's info.

The whole idea of free and easy... That means going in free spirited style and being easy. 
Though I must say, both of us didnt want to compromise too much on lodgings comfort. Luckily for me, E was equally concerned about good bed to get good night rest and as well, free internet. Who can leave wifi behind these days? We aint on a spiritual monastery-type trip afterall so no good reason to get cut off from civilisation is there. 

In retrospect, the Jeju hotel that I had picked was the best decision because with my bloody sore back that developed before and exponentially worse during the early part of the trip, I'm telling you, GOOD bed was Godsend. It prob helped E too with her sore body parts on some days. So yes, more bloody expensive but for me at least, it was totally worth it! I must add though, I am thankful that E trusted me with my choice and that she was financially ok to go along with my pick. When I was entrusted with picking Jeju hotels and compiling a list of choices, it was a relief for me that she had reservations about some pension houses (at really really cheap prices).

So that was how we eventually ok'ed this, but not without some weird cyber incidents too. For some only heaven-knows-why reasons, my MacPro refused to LOAD any of trip advisor pages and alot of other related hotel links. It was almost like the google server hates me or something cuz I kept getting redirected to "yp page not found" error page each time I clicked on a link with synopsis that had caught my eye. It was almost near witchcraft status that I simply had to snap a picture of the error page and watsapp it to E, just to clear any possible doubt that I wasnt pulling my weight for the trip planning and making some incredulous excuses. Who on earth will believe me if I just come up and say "Oh Trip advisor doesnt load on any of the FOUR PCs and laptops at home".  Most people will think its bullocks. Cynical me might too if its a stranger.

Of coz E never doubted me, but still, even till now, I found it awfully spooky at why every link had failed to load back then and yet worked like a charm presently when I no longer had any need to those info. Honestly, I was so pissed back then, that it was only the sky rocket price of my Mac that prevented me from lifting and smashing it to the ground in exasperation. So instead, I could only smack my glass table in complete frustration and occasionally belt out a chain of non-lady-like crude swearing.

When I was finally done with my packing at 4am in the morn, my baggage weighed 14kg. By then I was in zombified state and so I figured "Fuck it". At most, I wont buy anything from jeju since that's where the weight limit is binding. I have never bought touristy stuff on any previous trip, so I figured this wouldnt be any more different. In time to come, I would kick my own sorry arse for this decision...which u will find out in good time as the story goes.

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