The next Japan adventure – or not…

As you already know, I was planning to fly from Seoul to Tokyo for spending some time there: Going to idol events, meeting Caio, going to idol events, show my sister the town, and yea, going to idol events. So what could be the worst happening: Nuclear break out in Japan? North Korea suddenly attacking South Korea? Hm, well yes. Sure. But I mean in my case. Think again.

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I help you out here: It would be missing the flight, not because of my mistake but because of terrible mismanagement of a organization responsible for the planning of the ASIAN GAMES. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Our flight was scheduled for 10:00 in the morning. Boarding starting at 9:35. As a general guide line it is said to be at the airport two hours prior. All went smooth with going there by train, arriving at Incheon Airport at 8 am. Our counter was soon found but the line there was long. And slow. And became even slower in feel when we saw the first time of the forthcoming delays:

  • An announcement over loudspeakers that because of the Asian Games extensive security checks are administered.
  • A notification on the counter screens for recommending you in getting to the security at least 50 minutes before boarding time.
  • From far we could already see the long lanes for the security gates.

And thinking how happy I was a week before when I realized at Hamburg Airport, that I wasn’t affected by strikes of Air France or the already dawning Lufthansa strike, as I booked my trip with Finn Air and the strikes only concerend pilotes, so no interference with the general airport procedures.

After an eternity in the lane for checking in we could at last make our way to the next lane – for security checks. It was shortly before 9:00 already and the lane was looong. We even stood in two rows and the situation at every security gate was the same as elsewhere. Now started the run with the clock. At 9:35, the official boarding time, we still weren’t inside the actual security zone but at least came close to the entry. Some minutes later we where inside and it was as expected – the formerly straight waiting line became now another line, this time the well known line in form of a screw (don’t know the official name for it). My plan for getting something to eat before the flight (I still had no breakfast) was therefore canceled.

Now the real fun began. Around us were hordes of chinese tourists, more concrete, older female chinese tourists and I experienced first hand what the population of Hong Kong makes despise this certain species of tourists: They rudely, obviously also in a hurry for catching a flight, queue-jumped at every given opportunity, even disregarding barricades. All accompanied by swearing, pushing and whatever. Reminded me a bit of the fan behaviour at PASSPO’s show at Smile Garden this year. Whereas me, a German tourist, world feared by all hoteliers and travel agencys for their unreasonable demands and complaints, kept my countenance, only cursing all this in my mind. The Koreans and other nations around me, Chinese included, did the same to my surprise. What does the Japanese proverb say: Don’t involve yourself.

The fun didn’t end here: Now close to the security check itself, we had before us a group of those locusts (quote), eight in count, and all either on their first flight trip or totally ignorant to its working procedure: Not only did they wear full acessorises (rings, bracelets, earrings,…) but also had each several(!) bags of bought stuff in their hands. Now honestly, if you have that much vanity to wear jewelry even during flights have at least the courtesy to put them off during security check, as YOU ARE INFORMED BEFOREHAND SEVERAL TIMES, DAMNIT!!! No, these locusts kept wearing them, which naturally resulted in a thourough security check each time, prolonging the whole process for everyone still in line even more. And those bags: Have they never heard about limited size for hand luggage? They were obviously too big and too much in count for getting it in the overhead lockers or under the seats. I would have loved to see how the flight personal would handle such extensiveness. Or if they already surrendered. After this personal experiences I would have liked to take all their handluggage and throw it away myself or even better yet, burn it *har har har*

Anyway, it was now way after 10:00, the scheduled flight time already missed. And I heard in the official announcement my name being called out: I shall go immediately to my gate, as the flight starts soon. This was kind of cool actually, my name being called, as if I am important. But as I still needed to go through security, my hopes of catching the flight were now gone. Still I tagged along with the rest. The higher security measure itself were only this: put off your shoes and checking the hand luggage more faithfully, means here: more slowly. It is also incredible that even here all the work was done by Korean young female officers and some equally young male ones. The need for a good representation of the country brought to its extreme. My sister and me went through it despite the odds and came then to the pass control, which also took its time, but I guess this was more my impression because of the state of time pressure I was currently in. After I passed I made, out of desperation, a last attempt of catching the flight and ran to the gate, which was luckily right around the corner. And what should I say – Luck was finally on my side. Already during my run I saw a man shouting for passengers for Narita. After making myself known he informed the gate via his walkie-talkie about it and me and my sisters could finally, and after much mental stress, enter the plane, now on our way to Tokyo!!! Yeah! But I don’t want to experience such incident again, ever!

And a claryfying word regarding the chinese tourists: I have nothing against Chinese, but this specific group of people, who can be found everywhere. My other sister pointed out a Korean saying just recently, which fits quite well: ‘There are three kinds of people: Men, Women, and Ahjummas.’ This based on the fact that the latter also disregard proper behaviour and for example fight their way in the subway without respect for the persons around them. That is how those tourists here behave. And sorry, but people like that deserve to made fun of.

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