On Seoul and Mishaps (Part 3)


(SOUTH KOREA, Seoul) My luggage. (Photo taken by the battered author.)

The next day begins with my having to transfer from my motel to the hotel where my business conference is being hosted. Since I have, for reasons unfathomable, developed a strange aversion towards cabs, I decide to take the subway.
 
 And that is how I end up walking five blocks and going up and down a dozen flights of stairs, lugging a bag that weighs about the same as a tiny planet—a non-gaseous one—with an asteroid thrown in.

It doesn’t help that I get lost in the maze of Seoul’s underground at least half a dozen times.

THE LESSON: Always hang around colleagues who travel during business trips IN STYLE.

THE OTHER LESSON: If you’re not with colleagues who travel during business trips IN STYLE, never EVER trust locals when they tell you an intended destination is “near,” OR, increase the recorded distances on your local street map by a factor of at least five.

THE OTHER, OTHER LESSON: Memorize the subway map of any city you visit AND, if possible, bring your own personal bellhop.

I finally stagger into my hotel and, after kissing the buttons on the building’s lift (thank you, Mr. Otis, truly), settle into my room and switch on my laptop—which, apparently, has been jogged far too much by all my meandering in the subway and has developed a serious glitch.

THE LESSON: When carrying sensitive electronics, ALWAYS bring your personal bellhop.

It takes five international calls and four technicians later before I can get the thing to work.

THE LESSON: When carrying sensitive electronics, ALWAYS bring your personal technician.

THE FINAL LESSON: Before traveling, always check your karma.

THE OTHER, FINAL LESSON: When traveling with me, ALWAYS have insurance AND, if possible, bring your own personal deity.

[End of Part 3—the final part. At last.]

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