Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Adventures of a horror writer pretending to be a scientist

It’s always an adventure when I head for the planes...

This time I find myself in South Korea for the IODP STP meeting, via a 4 hour stopover in Hong Kong, then to Seoul, and finally to Jeju, the island down the bottom of Koea where the 3-day meeting is being held (my trip to Malaysia has been postponed til Aug 31). The airport wait wasn’t too bad; I found a luxurious sofa/bed thingie shaped like giant lips and fell asleep for about an hour.

But my flight from Seoul to Jeju was cancelled. And because they couldn’t get a hold of me, I didn't find out til I was standing at the check-in counter. So I had to take a 40 minute bus ride across Seoul to Gimpo Airport to try get onto a flight there. Not good when you’re still wearing the same undies you were two days ago.....

And Seoul is a mad place; I thought it was just sky-scrapers as far as I eye could see til I realised they were high-rise apartment buildings. We were still 18km from the city. But the pollution!! At one stage, you see this massive bridge spanning a huge bay, but it fades out into smog halfway across (damnit again! I really do need to learn to take my camera everywhere). It’s 33 degrees, pretty humid, and as smoggy as hell. And again I’m so very tired...

These high-rise apartment buildings were all the same too; 15+ stories with a giant number on one side, each one like a great big letterbox number.

It’s a pity I didn’t get to see the city of Seoul itself cos it must be something - if you like that sort of thing (millions of people, traffic jams, pollution, noise...). Personally, I'm looking forward to the field trip on Sunday afternoon up the 1,950m Mt. Hallasan to see the lava tubes, but then I'm just a geek...

Still, all the aches and tiredness faded to insignificance when I reached my hotel in Jeju. I'm staying at the Hyatt Regency, and wouldn't you just know it? My room has a pretty cool ocean view. Completely unobstructed (the view below is looking away to the left).

Plus the toilet in my room has a wild looking control panel on the side of the bowl! Some of the options are: Air Drier; Front Cleansing; Rear Cleansing; Nozzle Position; Water Temperature.

I had to give these a go, no matter how tired I was.

I pressed the Rear Cleansing button... A small nozzle, about 10mm in diameter, slowly came out from the back of the toilet bowl. When it protruded about 15cm, it stopped, then sprayed a jet of water up into my face.

After drying myself off, I did what any sensible person would do and sat on the loo. I really had to give this a go.

Boy it tickled!

I'm going to try the Front Cleansing button tonight :)


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