One of the things about traveling is that it really reminds me how my personal comfort is ridiculously dependent on gizmos. Lime and I traveled up into Kangwon province, which is a pretty interesting place in some ways. We ended up spending most of our time in Sokcho, which is a town near the most northeastern point in South Korea.
It was interesting because people did seem somewhat more chilled out there than in other places. They seemed more relaxed, and calmer; I wonder if the weather had anything to do with that? Perhaps… it was a lot cooler there than it was in Seoul when we left for Sokcho. But since I have no camera, I can’t show you any of the neat things I saw there.
Gizmos, though. I can explain why those bring such comfort. People in Korea don’t really have much of a sense about how their cell phone noise bothers others; a majority of people seem to leave the little noises for every function on, which means every text message (and some people send dozens an hour) registers for people nearby as a series of little beeps. But this noise hardly ever bothers me when I have a working MP3 player on hand! I can just plug the earbuds in, and bang, I’m free of the beeping cell phones, or the loud conversations that people have on their phones, literally yelling into them constantly for ten minutes at a time. Or the darkness that comes from having either inefficient reading lights, or a master-switch for the reading lights under the control of bus drivers who seem always to turn them off until asked to turn them on. Having a laptop on hand means that while you can’t continue on with the wonderful novel you’re reading, you can at least be insanely productive during those hours when, to your bewilderment, people around you seem content to sit in the dark and wait, staring out of windows or sleeping their evening away.
When traveling, gadgets = comfort.
So anyway, I’m going to be doing about 32 hours of flying (or maybe more) in the next couple of weeks. I need to pick up a camera and an MP3 player. I shall have to ask Lime to help me, if I’m to order them off the Internet, since I’ll be leaving in only a few days — but she says the prices are better online. Still, I’m leaving on Friday, it looks like. The stopover will be in Bangkok or in Singapore, rather than in Sydney. Sydney, I think, would be too far along, and a stopover there would be painful.
And I just got a confirmation on Singapore Air. I’ll be going for sure!