Let me preface this by stating that I'm really great at budgeting and staying on task with my expenses. I had a budget of about $400 to spend while in Japan and I stuck by it.
But apparently, I'm not so great at making my flights on time. Jar and I had an amazing time in Tokyo, but the rose-colored glasses fogged up real quickly when we missed our flight back to Seoul last night. And the ONLY flight back to Seoul was on Asiana Airlines to the tune of...**drum roll** $810 per person for a 2-hour flight.
Yes, I crapped my pants. Ok, I didn't but I think my eyes just kinda glazed over and rolled out of their sockets when she politely pushed a piece of paper towards me that said "83,000 Yen". Move that comma one place to the right and that's the rough US dollar conversion. So I thought, "Oh whew...that's not so bad! For two people, fine...I'll suck it up." Nuh uh. PER PERSON. For lack of a better term, Asiana Airlines bent us over and well...you get the idea. Jar didn't have $800 just laying around (To be clear, NEITHER DID I!!!) so I whipped out the plastic which I've been steadily paying off for 7 months and let the sodomy begin. My credit card is actually still smoking and I won't even begin to fathom what kinda international charges Chase is gonna bitch slap me with.
But God certainly does work in mysterious ways because while sitting there licking my open, hemorrhaging wounds, I met someone very, very important . I overheard a couple speaking in Spanish and my ears perked up right away. I haven't heard it spoken in a long time and definitely not in Korea. So, I wasn't eavesdropping at all. Just reveling in the familiarity of it, almost like getting reacquainted with a long-lost friend. When the husband got up to go somewhere, I sat there thinking, "Should I talk to the wife? I need to practice my Spanish but I mean, will she think I'm creepy?" But I bit the bullet and overcame my shyness to chat her up. I said, as smoothly as I could with my shaking voice, "Perdon, senora...de donde son ustedes?" She looked so surprised and in complete shock that she came right over and sat next to me! Turns out they were from South America and her husband works for the military. We chatted for about 30 mins, all in Spanish. I was amazed at myself quite honestly, but it felt good. When her husband came back, she explained who I was and blah blah blah. Before parting ways, he gave me his card and he took my information, too. But it turns out that he's not just "in the military". Oh no. This man is a military attache. (sidenote: an attache is a specialist assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission...I had to Google it myself) I think I dislocated my jaw because it was on...the...floor. He said to call or email him on Monday. He has some people he wants me to meet! And he also said that I can practice my Spanish with them now. I'm killing like 59 birds with one stone!
I usually have a fatalistic point of view on things thinking that God is pulling strings to lead me in a certain direction. While I make my own choices, the way the actual events play out always seem to be the doing of a Higher Being. And this is a wonderful case in point. Sure, I spent a ridiculous amount on those tickets but I think the non-monetary reward of that sacrifice will bear some interesting fruit. :) Ok, just wanted to get that outta the way. The next post will be a recap of our adventures!