Solo travelling

3-5th of July – Adventures at the airport – part 1

I have just started my trip to Asia visiting Vietnam and Korea for two months. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy trip but the first two days have already been challenging.

I first travelled to Vietnam to put down some of my luggage. I thought buying a return ticket from Hungary to Vietnam and then from Vietnam to Korea would be cheaper than buying one-way tickets but in reality there wasn’t much difference. However this way it was better as I could leave some of my stuff in Vietnam then simply travel in Korea. And the challenging part started here. You can read what mood swing I went through just only at the airport.

The fire

My flight from Hungary to Vietnam took 17 hours in total. It meant I stayed one night on the plane. The next day I arrived at 7:50 am to Hanoi. The moment I arrived the announcement came saying “A few minutes ago we announced that there might be a fire. Now we confirm that there is no fire.” What a good start! I would have got a panic attack if I was there when they announced the chance of fire. Luckily nothing happened.

Unnoticed box

While picking up my luggage (which were two box) I didn’t realize one was already out so I waited. The other one I got it. At the end when the conveyor stopped, I was terrified where my box was. I checked at Lost and Found Property desk just to find out my box was right there but I didn’t realize it as I only looked at how it was packed. I totally forgot how it looked like from the outside. So I wasted 40 minutes standing at the baggage claim. *sigh*

Mistaken check-in desk

My cousin came to get me and it took us more than 1 hour to get home as there was a heavy traffic jam. We arrived home at around 10 am. I stayed at my aunt’s house and spent time with my grandmother. At 10 pm I left for Korea. That meant I spent 12 hours with my relatives. I couldn’t sleep a lot so I was tired in the evening. My cousin took me to the airport again.

Looking at the board I only checked the time going to Busan. So at first I went to a totally different airline’s check-in desk (t’way airline). I had to find the other one. The one that was Vietjet’s. Arriving there, there was a huge queue. I was extremely tired and the waiting killed me. No wonder I wanted to go to the other check-in desk, because there wasn’t anyone waiting there.

Problem with the two passports

I waited and waited. Finally it was my turn. I booked my ticket to Korea with the Hungarian passport so I handed them that one. Then the receptionist girl asked me if I had a permit residence to Vietnam or a Vietnamese passport. I gave her my Vietnamese passport. It took her to confirm the validity of it then she had to take a picture of my passports. I got the boarding pass.

The next stop was passport control. There I gave them my Vietnamese passport hoping they won’t ask me anything about the Hungarian one as it only took time. But of course he asked me if I had a visa to Korea. Then I told him I had a Hungarian passport so I’m visa free to Korea. That time he had to ask another officer to confirm its validity. Then they questioned me.

  • Which passport did you book your flight ticket to Korea with?
  • With the Hungarian one.
  • Why didn’t you book with the Vietnamese one?
  • Because the Hungarians don’t need to apply for the visa to Korea.

Then they checked my arrival date to Vietnam which was right on that day. I told them I will come back to Vietnam at the end of the month. Finally they warned me that I was aware of the fact that I went to Korea with my Hungarian passport, so from the part of Vietnam they are not responsible for any problem happening to me in Korea. It meant if I have any problem I have to turn to Hungarian Embassy.

It was obvious but I felt bad because of the whole process. If the Hungarians go to Vietnam, they need to apply for a visa. Since I have Vietnamese passport of course I didn’t need it, but I had to present both passport.

On the other hand if the Vietnameses go to Korea, they have to apply for the visa, but the Hungarians don’t need a visa to enter Korea. Which would be easy if I flew from Hungary. But since I was in Vietnam I had to present both passport and wait for them until they confirm whether it was alright to travel like that. (Not that complicated… *sigh*)

When I arrived to Korea the officers checked my passport. I only presented them the Hungarian one and they were surprised like why. But everything went alright afterwards.

Same boarding gates to different places at different time

Another things that made me mad was when I finally got through the passport control and security check I looked for my gate. It was 27. But when I arrived to the gate it turned out gates 25, 26, 27 were at the same desk. I wondered how they would separate people going to different places at different times. I thought I also had to stand in the queue but when it was my turn the receptionist told me it wasn’t my flight yet. He saw my flight number was different.

I was astonished.

What if the person who checks the boarding pass didn’t realize this? There wasn’t a machine or anything. Only the guy there checked the boarding pass with his eyes. If there had been any mistake I might have ended up in Tokyo instead of Busan. I sat there waiting for my turn and couldn’t believe it. Why couldn’t they do separate desks?

I calmed down after it was my turn. I had to go downstairs where there were three different desks which confirms the boarding pass on machine. That way I realized okay, no problem. No matter what I couldn’t have ended up in Japan. 😀

Disrespectful stranger

One more case that made me really upset was a total random guy. Waiting at the queue, I was told to wait more as it wasn’t my flight yet. Another guy was also told so. He sat down next to me and suddenly asked me to take a picture of him. At the end I asked him whether they were fine. His reply:

Haizz it’s not good. You don’t know how to take picture.

I asked how he wanted me to take it. His reply was a simple “it’s okay” which meant he didn’t need me to take more. I was dumbfounded. Like who the heck was that total random guy that asked me to take a picture of him then commented on my skill?

I wasn’t mad because of my skill. I’m not a photographer. But how come that a guy could allow himself to comment on a stranger like that? This is common sense that if you ask someone to help you, you thank them and say it’s fine even though they couldn’t help.

The next time was when we had to get on the shuttle bus. He saw me. And then he asked me:

Do you go to Korea to marry a Korean guy?”

I didn’t know what to say, so I just simply said “I’m travelling.” On which his reaction was like “I was just joking.”

I guess he wanted to start a communication but failed totally. It’s a lesson that if you want to make friend you give respect first before showing coolness. There is no use to show your coolness this way because it only gives a bad first impression about you.

Praying for my life

I finally got on the plane, slept right away then I woke up with an announcement that there was turbulence so everyone had to fasten their seatbelt. In my half asleep state I was literally praying for my life as the image of the plane was falling down came to my mind.

Luckily the plane landed safe and sound and I also got my huge hiking bag. I had a 40 liter big hiking bag, one small bag and one laptop bag. By the end of the day I was exhausted and my back hurt a lot. I will let you know the details and the story about “My 30 hours without proper sleep” in my next post.

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