Tue | May 26, 2020

Daegu Diary 1: Finally, we've arrived!

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM


So I'm finally in Daegu, South Korea, and trust me, I can already tell you that I have no interest in making a return to this side of the world any time soon.

You see, while South Korea strikes me to be a pretty decent place - neat, forward-thinking, a nice mixture of lush countryside and urban splendour - it quite simply is too far.

I started my 30-plus hour trip from Kingston with the best possible mental preparation; and was counting on my experience gained from having been to this side of the globe a couple times before to help me through the dreaded pan-Pacific voyage.

Well, let's just say that things didn't get off to such a great start this time around for myself and photographer Ricardo Makyn.

Besides being forced to stand in lines for over two hours because of technical glitches, and barely making one of our three connecting flights because of such delays, the lovely folks at the airline decided to leave Mr Makyn's bags and mine in the USA - of all the bags to leave behind, it was our two that they decided to sacrifice.

Lost luggage

Imagine our rage upon arrival in South Korea, exhausted and abused by the dreariness of 14-hour long flights and the poorly produced Korean films that were shown on-board, only to hear that our luggage was left behind. And to later realise that we were the only ones to have suffered this inconvenience ... bad luck really worse than obeah!

So we had to go basically two days in the same clothes like it was some sort of uniform.

Come to think of it, I should have known I was in for a torrid time when I left my house on Monday morning and arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport, only to find out that I had left my wallet behind. It's a good thing time was on my side on that occasion.

I can relate to being broke in Jamaica, but I can imagine how rough being broke in South Korea would be; the locals frown at the US dollar and much prefer to take their own unvalued currency ($1 Jamaican is equivalent to KRW $12.80). They would probably throw me in a prison somewhere if I popped out a 'Manley' or 'Nanny' here.

Despite the rough start, it has been a pleasant first day here in Daegu. The locals have been extremely helpful and friendly, oh yea, and as always, Usain Bolt is the topic of discussion. However, Mr Powell (Asafa) does seem to have a strong following here as well, and that's certainly helped by the giant billboards of both athletes, which are placed all over the city.