I was only given two nights in a hotel and a round trip plane ticket, so after my second night in the hotel in Japan, it was time for me to go back to the airport and head for Korea again. I got up early and ate breakfast at the hotel. It was a bigger breakfast than I usually eat at home. I usually just eat a bowl of cereal, but if there are scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, orange juice, hot tea, and toast with strawberry jam, and I don’t have to cook, I will eat it. There were Japanese things there to eat too, but I really don’t want fish for breakfast. After breakfast, I put my luggage together, checked out of the hotel, and headed for the subway.
I took Tanomachi 4 chom (田野町四丁目） to Tenoji （手の辞）. At Tenoji, I bought a train ticket to Kansai （関西）Airport. It is the shortest, cheapest way back to the airport, but it was still expensive. I had several hours until my plane, but I didn’t want to make any mistakes. At Tenoji, I had to sit and wait for a while, but the train eventually came. it took a little more tan an hour back to Kansai from Tanomachi 4 chom. I tried to take the elevators inside of the subway station instead of the stairs because I had a suitcase with wheels. However, at one point, I had no choice, so I was going up the stairs one at a time, and a young man came by and offered to help. He picked my suitcase up and easily carried it up a huge flight of stairs. I remembered when I traveled with my son. I have seen him do that for people in the past.
On the way, I stopped at a convenience store and bought myself some more おんににり(ongniniri) to eat for lunch. When I got to the airport, I had to find Terminal 2. To go to Terminal 2, you have to go outside and catch a bus. I have been to Osaka several times, so I knew the drill and knew exactly where the bus was. I got on the bus and rode it to Terminal 2, and then went to International Departures. It was lunch time when I arrived, so I sat down and ate my “ongniniri.”
This time, I got a special type of “ongniniri” that had to be opened in a special way or I would tear it up. Here are the steps on how to open it in case you are traveling in Korea or Japan because they both have these in their convenience stores, but be careful if you buy “ogniniri” in Korea because it may be full of kimchee. In Korea, they are called “samgatchi.” “Sam” means “three” in Korean. It means it has three sides. Here is how to open them:
You take a hold of the top part of the plastic on the triangle, and it is made so you can easily pull it down (the second picture). Next, grab the side on the bottom and slip the plastic off (the third picture). Be careful because the plastic is between the seaweed and the rice, and you will tear your seaweed if you don’t do it gently. The last picture is what it is like after you have gently removed the plastic.
After I ate lunch, I had several hours to wait until my plane came. I was too early to check in. I thought a nap would be nice, but I really didn’t want to sleep where there was a lot of people. I have a trick I know about in airports if I have to stay a long time. I learned it many years ago when I was traveling from Nigeria to America and had a long layover in Belgium. I was pregnant at the time and was traveling with just my little boy who was almost 3 and myself. I was very tired, and a stewardess took pity on me. She showed me to a room where there was a couch where I could lay and take a nap. I could shut the door and my little boy could just play. There were lots of toys and even a rocking horse that he loved. I just locked the door, let him play, and took a nap. It was more elaborate than a lot of airports, but every airport has a place like that if you look, and this one had a place like that too.
I went into the nursery. There was a couch, but it wasn’t big enough to take a nap on. There was a microwave, a sink, and changing tables. There were two small rooms in the back for nursing mothers, and there was a sign on the door that no men were allowed back there. I went back into one of those little rooms, sat down in the chair, put my feet up, and played games on my phone until I went to sleep. No one else came in at all because most people don’t even know those room are there. I heard one mother come in and change her baby in the outer room. I took a nap and didn’t worry about my baggage or if I looked silly napping out in public because I was in a small private room.
When I woke up from my nap, it wasn’t quite time to go to the plane. My daughter had told me to find a place and eat before I got on the plane because Peach Airlines doesn’t serve meals and it would be close to dinner time when I got on the plane. There were no restaurants or stores in this international terminal, so I went to the information desk. She told me that if I would go to the domestic terminal, there were restaurants and stores. It was just outside and across the way, so I went to the domestic terminal.
This was my dinner.
None of the restaurants looked good, so I went to the convenience store again. This one had sandwiches instead of “ongniniri.” I found a egg salad sandwich. I saw Calpis, and I thought “Oh, that is good, and I haven’t drunk any of it this time around, so I will get some.” Calpis is a Japanese soft drink that is completely white. I can’t quite describe it, but I think it is a kind of milk because my daughter drinks something like it here in Korea that is milk. My Japanese sister gave it to me first when I was a student in Japan, and I was really skeptical because I didn’t know what it was, but she assured me that it was as harmless as Kool-aide. It is good. I bought some Calpis to drink, but I should have looked closer because this was not the Calpis I was used to. They had tried to enhance it, but I like the original better. They made it carbonated and put peach flavor in it, so I didn’t get the stuff I was used to. I also found a cream puff.
While at the convenience store, I also saw some cherry blossom Poky Sticks. I bought several boxes to give the sticks out to friends in Korea when I got home. My daughter had told me not to bring her a souvenir because she didn’t want me spending money and she didn’t think there was anything she wanted from Japan. She already has a yukata, a kimono, etc. I gave her the yukata and my older daughter who is married to a Japanese gave her a kimono. When I got home, I was so tired I forgot about what was in my suitcase and just went to bed, so I haven’t given them to her yet because she got up early this morning and left for work before I unpacked. However, I gave one to my Korean son in law because today is his day off, and he was very happy! They are like unsalted pretzels dipped in chocolate, and these have been dipped in white cherry flavored chocolate, very uniquely Japanese. The last time I was in Japan, I brought them Kit Kat bars made with green chocolate (green from green tea), and they were good. The green tea could have made them strange, but the Japanese know how to make things taste good.
It finally became time to fly home to Korea. The people at the airport kept thinking I was limping and tired, so they insisted on getting a wheel chair, and I felt silly. (they have done that to me before.) However, when they accidentally went over a bump and dumped me out into the floor, I put my foot down and told them I would walk, so someone escorted me and carried my carry on luggage through the airport for me. I appreciated not having to carry any luggage. My daughter was waiting when I came out at Incheon, and we took the fast subway home to Bangwha dong.
My daughter showed me her new video game she had been playing all the way home. It was interesting. She is supposed to create characters that are supposed to make friends with one another, and she gets points for as many friendships as they make. She modeled one of her characters after me, one after herself, and one after her husband using our personality traits and made the other characters in her game from TV shows. For some reason, the character in the game who is supposed to be me and the character who is her husband spend all their time together. The character that is supposed to be her spends all her time with the Prince Arthur character from Camelot. She also created Rumpelstiltskin, and gave him a jail cell to live in, and the character in the game loved the jail cell! The Prince Arthur character acted like a spoiled brat jumping up and down and demanding everything. Her game was funny to watch. When we got home, it was late, so we all went on to bed.