Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: Smart Korea Move

8 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    So as usual at Mangere yesterday I glanced at my ticket (seat 9D) and just waited to be among the last called. When I got on I realised I was actually among the first beckoned: those who need assistance, have children or a rilly rilly rich and ride in comfort.

    Oh damn. I really wanted to apply for one of those grants, but because of a certainly weekly broadcast commitment, I can't go anywhere for more than a couple of days this year. I mean, I'm not complaining, but ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    only time I ever got one was the day after turning up to the Honolulu airport at 2am with 2 very tired children to discover the plane had been cancelled - turns out that those people reading their business sections take a very very dim view of small children

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2611 posts Report Reply

  • ali bramwell,

    but because of a certainly weekly broadcast commitment, I can't go anywhere for more than a couple of days this year.

    I guess that's the dark side of regular work you want to keep.

    as far as I can see the only up-side of menial work is you can quit without regrets at any time -knowing that a very similar job will still be there when you get back from the latest adventure. job security means something different...you are secure in the knowledge that there is always crap somewhere that needs cleaning up. ;-)

    Paul, I know what you mean. I got upgraded -just the once- along with a family of four into the inner sanctum...and the paying few were noticeably pissed at the influx of hoi polloi from cattle class. I guess that would be annoying, shelling out all that cash only to have the seat next to you taken by someone elses tired and restless 6 yr old or -much worse- a travel stained apparently indigent artist (who probably ponged a bit despite cat washing attempts in the public washroom sink)
    ...but I didnt let the extended frosty silence from the entitled spoil the pleasures of complimentary socks, proper cutlery and fresh fruit...and so much space ...sigh.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    ...but I didnt let the extended frosty silence from the entitled spoil the pleasures of complimentary socks, proper cutlery and fresh fruit...and so much space ...sigh.

    I was an IT journalist during the dot-com boom. I got flown places business-class most of the time.

    I liked the lounges: being able to arrive three or four hours early outbound at Hong Kong airport and relax in a comfortable booth with the latest available edition of the The Guardian and as much high-quality food and drink as I required ...

    Given that that period followed directly on from my unemployed-meets-working-poor-with-family era, it was pretty amazing.

    Those days are long gone now, of course ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    As an occasonal international culture journo, I quite concur. As Sir Bob Jones once said, the best way to cope with long haul international travel is to turn left upon entering the plane.
    And the hotels - the first time I had a luxury suite I had to ring my mother and have a little cry. The bathroom was bigger than my flat, with a telephone and TV. I took photos.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    When I was about 20, my father took me on a trip to England with him. It was, apart from going to Aussie when I was 16, my first real trip overseas, and I was beside myself with excitement - especially since we were to be travelling first class, not unusual for my father on his multitude of business trips over a period of many decades. So we get on the plane, and turn left. Fabulous. Sit down etc etc - and then a few hours along, a mate of dad comes up and so I get relegated to economy for the rest of that leg of the trip. How rude! And then to top it off, on the way back to NZ a month later, another bloody mate of dad's needed to talk turkey with him - and yes, I was relegated to a lesser place.........

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    So as usual at Mangere yesterday I glanced at my ticket (seat 9D) and just waited to be among the last called. When I got on I realised I was actually among the first beckoned: those who need assistance, have children or a rilly rilly rich and ride in comfort.

    Oh damn. I really wanted to apply for one of those grants, but because of a certainly weekly broadcast commitment, I can't go anywhere for more than a couple of days this year. I mean, I'm not complaining, but ...

    Oh god, I walked in to P ublic A ddress and end up in PA rnell with Travel writers and TV stars...

    My upgrade story is landing in Kuala Lumpur after a very long flight from Auckland, arriving at the hotel and finding they'd mixed up my booking and the only room left was the Presidential Suite - an entire floor all to myself. Of course my luggage had missed one of the many connections between Akl and KL, so it was just me and my carry-on bag in a HUGE suite....

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Graham, ask them about the "New Town" plans in Seoul.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/04/113_22549.html

    "The project is an urban redevelopment, ``beautification'' plan devised by the Seoul City government aimed at building an eco- and dweller-friendly community since 2002.

    The local government designated three districts ― Eunpyeong, Seongbuk and Seongdong ― in 2002 as pilot project sites and 12 and 11 more districts were set aside for the purpose in 2003 and 2005, respectively."

    But new Mayor Oh has said no, sorry, it will bump up house prices too much. The old mayor of Seoul has since become the President of Korea (Lee Myung Bak). My wife hates his guts. Something to do with that wee flaw most Korean politicians have called CORRUPTION. He's managed to dodge all the allegations so far.

    The most amazing thing that I have seen in terms of urban design in my travels was the Chongyecheon 'restoration' in downtown Seoul. A river basically buried under the road and elevated highways for decades was revealed again after miles of the aforementioned highway were ripped up. It looks about as natural as Mt Rushmore, but a damn sight nicer than what was there and cost a freakin fortune.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheonggyecheon

    And the 100,000 won you accidentally took out will be 1,000,000 won which is about 1,300 NZ dollars. Don't worry, I do not know a single foreigner that hasn't done that at least once while in Korea. Especially when the machines often ask you how many notes you want rather than how much money you want. Imagine an ATM in NZ asking how many twenties you would like and you want 50 dollars and so don't read the instructions properly and enter "50". It would then turn around and spit out 50 twenty dollar notes. It's like winning the pokie machines but somehow just not quite the same for some reason ;)

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

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