Friday, August 22, 2014

An American in Asia (with Ambien) in April (Part 1)

Okay, so I haven't been good at keeping my itty bitty blog going.  That isn't surprising from my perspective.  When I'm spending time writing, I like it to be in the form of novels rather than blogs.  BUT, here's an update, starting with the month of April.

My husband Mike and I spent the month of April in Asia, visiting my son, Captain Andrew O'Kane, in South Korea.  We had an inauspicious start.  At approximately 3 a.m. on April 1st, the shuttle that was the one and only thing I had my husband arrange for our trip, arrived and picked us up.  At 3:45 a.m., as we're mindlessly riding along into the bowels of Westminster, Colorado, he suddenly turns to me and asks: "Did you pack OUR passports?!" 

"Is this a joke?!" I shrieked.  When he shook his head, I said, "What on earth would make you think that I would pack YOUR passport and not mention it to you?!"  He said, "Well, you had them out," and I said that, yes, two months ago, when I was arranging our Visas in China, I had them out.  So then I asked the driver if he had any pickups in hotels and could let us out.  Unfortunately, he did not.  I asked him to drive us to a gas station, so in the middle of a hideous, icy windstorm, we were left with our luggage at a deserted gas station in the middle of a town where we had no idea where we were.  We called a cab, which we saw drive past us at 50 mph, and which took a full hour and four desperate phone calls from us to finally retrieve.  At which point, he asked us where Boulder was.  He then proceeded to drive us south when we needed to go north.  He missed three turns after we corrected him, barely averted two head-on collisions, and drove us 95 mph to our house where Mike retrieved his passport.  We rode the 50 miles to DIA in 30 minutes, somehow arrived at the gate before final boarding call, and walked straight into our plane and to our seats.  We then wasted an our in San Francisco, and arrived in Seoul, Korea, an hour late, and met our son at the bus station in Songtan. 

As I said to my husband, "Maybe we're getting the bad part of our trip over at the start."  That proved to be the case.  There's a 17 hour time difference between Boulder and Seoul, so we arrived in the evening a day after we departed.  I took an Ambien shortly before we were to be served our meals.  I remember getting my chicken kiev.  I awoke in the morning, thinking that I'd had this weird dream in which I was struggling to get the chunks of chicken on my fork and into my mouth.  I got up to use the restroom, and discovered that my lap and my seat were covered in food stains.  I made the note to myself: never take Ambien prior to eating a meal.  Otherwise, though, I have to admit that I felt refreshed and energetic when we got to Songtan.  We saw Andrew's luxury apartment, had a fabulous meal at the Korean BBQ, where we learned about their curious affection for Kimchi and sweet pickles, then got ourselves nicely situated in his guest room.  I took another Ambien and awoke in the morning, feeling well-rested.

We spent two weeks in S. Korea.  To my surprise, I could happily live in Seoul.  I adored the people.  The temples and sites were amazing.  The food is fantastic and reasonably priced.  It is an outstanding place to visit.  I will write more about it, as well as our week in Vietnam and our week in Beijing, shortly.

Leslie O'Kane

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Leslie, I hope the Korean trip went well. Just finished reading your first Molly Masters book and enjoyed it thoroughly. Only thing I could have wished is that I could see your cartoons along the way. I came to the website to see if they were posted anywhere, here, but only saw the "First Cat" cartoon. Oh, well, they live in the imagination. Looking forward to reading the rest!
    Jenny Ketcham
    Washington, DC
    PS - Glad to see that my blog (, on my obsession with films from India) isn't the only one with loomingly large holes in continuity :-) Spontaneity is key, right?