My Journey to My Apartment

Programs for this blog post

Teach In South Korea Program

Authored By:

Alexis T.

Hi again! I’m currently in Sejong City, South Korea. I have just finished my first week of quarantine, and it was not what I expected. Before I talk about the week I just had, I want to talk about getting to my apartment. Where I left off in my last post, I had just landed in the airport at 7pm. I didn’t leave the airport until about 9:30pm, and got to my place at midnight. To say I was “dead” tired when I got to my apartment is an understatement. After landing in Incheon International Airport, we had to go through a Covid-19 screening, checking our temperature and what not. Then, we moved on to the next stop. There I had to download an app that would keep track of me and my symptoms while in quarantine. It was at this stop that we needed a contact in Korea to keep tabs on us. For me, my contact was the Head Instructor or Branch Manager, for my branch of the company I work for. After downloading the app, and making sure everything was explained and done. I could move on to immigration. It went by relatively fast. First, we had to go to one booth and make sure all our paperwork was in order, then wait to go to the second booth, where they checked our passports, took our picture, and scanned our index fingers. When that was done it was straight to baggage claim, and then we could exit the airport. 

When exiting the airport you need to know where you’re going and how to get there. The airport attendants check your visa and passport one last time. Then they will help with directing you on where to go and place a specific color sticker on you, so that the others can point you towards the right form of transportation. I was taking a shuttle bus to the KTX station in Gwangmyeong. Everything was moving quickly at this point so if I wanted to buy a SIM card or a bottle of water, I couldn’t. I had to put my stuff on the bus and board. We left the airport, and with that my connection to the internet and the outside world had officially stopped. From here on out, I was completely on my own. We took the bus to the KTX station, and there we had to pay for the shuttle bus and our train ride. Here, everyone no longer spoke English, and if they did it was very little. Luckily, it was easy to figure out what the ticket booth worker was saying. She just wanted to know where I was going, and she told me how much it was for both the shuttle and train ride (28,000 won). Here we had one last Covid stop, where they asked travelers where we were going, where we were from, and who would be picking us up from the station at our stop. From Gwangmyeong I would be going to Osong. I had to wait about half an hour before my train finally arrived. I took the time to use the bathroom and buy some water. I had wifi, but it was incredibly weak. I couldn’t contact anybody or use google translate. I had to pay attention to when the announcers said Osong, which was the only word I could recognize. We walked to the platform and waited for the train. It arrived and we all got on with our luggage. It was nice to take a breather on the train, but I know I still had a ways away before reaching my destination. Two stops later, and we had arrived in Osong. I got off the train, and a lovely older gentleman had helped me with my bags. My driver, who was supposed to meet me, had not yet arrived at Osong station. One of the workers on the train said he would call to let them know that I would be waiting at the platform. Ten minutes later, my driver had found me. We exited the station, and headed towards the bus that I would take to my place. I had the bus all to myself so I was able to just enjoy the peace. We got to my apartment and he pointed me towards the elevator. This is where he left, I thanked him and got on to the elevator.

I had finally reached my apartment after flying, taking a shuttle, then taking a train, and then taking a bus. However, I still couldn’t contact anyone. My place had no wifi and no bed, just a blanket and a pillow! My head instructor told me while at the airport that the wifi would start working tomorrow morning. However, I knew nothing about what would become of my bed. Although, I was so tired that I didn’t care much. All I knew was that it was so incredibly hot and humid in my apartment, I needed to cool down. I took a cold shower, turned my air conditioner on, opened my suitcases, got my sheets and laid them down. I drank some water, took a tylenol and some melatonin, and was out for the night. That’s how everything pretty much went. It was an exhausting but exciting first day. Now, things are going more smoothly and I have wifi but still no bed. I have no idea when it will come, but for now I have a futon I use. If I have any advice for you when it comes to traveling to South Korea, especially if you’re not in Incheon or Seoul but farther south. Find some way to get a SIM card. I think that was one thing I wished I had. Also more water, stay hydrated my friends. Anyways, that’s just a little update of what happened when arriving in South Korea. I will update again later!

See ya,