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January 2, 2012 | 09:25pm
Mood: tired

I am in Chicago. Well, Des Plaines.

Morning on Sunday, January 1st: I woke up at 7am. I did enough vocab reviews to last me two days. I showered. I ate breakfast. I packed. I talked to my mom. Jodi and Megan came over and helped. We went to the bus terminal, said our goodbyes, and I was on the bus at noon. The bus hit a patch of very bad traffic/weather and I arrived at the airport at 4:30pm. Fortunately the line was non-existent and I made it through check-in and security fast. I got to my gate, got some lunch, and relaxed.

Crossing the Pacific: I flew United. I don't approve. It was fine, but you had to get up to get your own drinks (so lazy - at least Korean airliners have flight attendants providing that) and there were video screens spaced on the ceilings at intervals. And my seat's speakers didn't work. Not cool. We then managed to arrive an hour late in San Francisco and I missed my connection to Chicago. I waited in line at customs/immigration for 45 minutes before I had to explain that the reason I was claiming $2000 worth of items was because I'd lived in Korea for two years and all of my belongings came from abroad, yes my family is from Des Plaines, yes I grew up in Des Plaines, no I didn't go to Maine South, I went to Maine West, where did you go?, and happy New Year!

Being too late for my connection I had to wait in line for an hour to get a new flight through Continental. I sat/slept in an obscure corner of the airport until I was surrounded my vacationers headed to Hawaii, washed my face and hands repeatedly, and boarded the new plane. They didn't have enough space for carry on luggage so I was stuck with my backpack and jacket on the floor between my legs for the entire flight. AND I was between two big guys with no concept of personal space. Not good. We also had to pay for entertainment and for food. Ridiculous. Asia does this shit right. I landed at midnight, January 2nd. Getting through O'Hare was easy enough, and my parents even met me at the baggage claim! So exciting.

I think I can honestly say that yesterday was the longest January 1st of my life. I also think I will never fly United again, nor will I let someone else book my flights for me again. An hour layover in which I need to go through immigration, customs, walk to a different terminal, go through security, and then go to my gate? Bullshit. Never flying United again.

I've slept so much today. I fell asleep at about 2am, woke up at 5:30am, then slept from 10:30-4:30. Then 7:30-8:30. Oy. I'm still tired now so hopefully I'll go to bed at, like, midnight. My goal is to wake up daily at 6am, but we'll see how that goes...

Things I like about the US: having a washing machine AND a dryer. Having a dishwasher. Central heating. Drinking water from the tap. Hundreds of TV channels, including a Korean one in which I understand much of the Korean being said :).

Today was my last day of being lazy. Tomorrow starts the studying/exercise routines. My goal of achieving success as a famous journalist/author in Korea starts.... now.

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