Sunday, 6 June 2010

Packing, repacking, packing, repacking....

So after months of looking for English teaching jobs in South Korea we finally found a couple position that will allow us to live together in the same apartment - woohoo! Unfortunately, we had less than a month from getting the positions to actually leaving the UK and going to Korea so we've been insanely busy doing TEFL courses and getting all our documents together.

So on our last day in London we were still desperately packing and repacking out bags to get them to the target weight of 20kg each - yes we were allowed to bring a grand total of 20 Kg of checked in luggage each plus one piece of hand luggage up to 12kg each. Not much for a whole year in a country that is very proud of its 'Four Distinct Seasons' and where the people are considerably shorter and smaller than your average Westerner. We flew out of London on a Thursday evening and on the same Thursday morning we were still a few kilos over the weight limit and seriously starting to panic.

In the end, we had to make some sacrifices to the Korean Airlines god including:
  • several t-shirts,
  • a couple of pairs of jeans,
  • bedsheets (as we were told we should bring bed linen as it's hard to get good bed clothes in Korea)
  • bath towels (we were also told to bring these with us as Korean towels are usually really small, like hand towels) - we brought 3 flannels instead as a compromise!
We did bring a few weird things with us:
  • an electric ukulele and mini amp plus a few books of uke tunes (for me, Sophie 'Uke Master' Hale)
  • an envelope of za'tar seasoning (for Rowan, the chef of the outfit of course)
  • one cheese making kit including rennet tablets (cheese isn't widely available in SK)
  • loads of deodorant as Koreans apparently don't really sweat so deodorant is expensive and hard to find in Korea
  • loads of painkillers and Lemsip for all the colds we will apparently catch off our students
  • a couple of nice, patterned pashminas for decorating the walls of our apartment plus some random photos and posters
We also wore our heaviest clothes including our winter coats, the pockets of which we stuffed with loads of books and a piece of cake which caused some confusion at the airport scanners! All of that stress and when we got to the airport we were still a couple of kgs over on both bags but they didn't seem to mind. Lucky considering how expensive the charges are for being overweight on your bags. Bit unfair that people flying from the US get to take 2 x 23kgs bags of checked in luggage EACH. Lucky bastards!

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