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Mike's Adventures in Korea 1994

Part 10: The Trip Home?

I asked the commander over there if it looked like I would be going home any time soon.  His answer was - don't count on it.

So, I got together with my friend Scott and planned a trip for the coming weekend to fly down to Chejudo Island and check out the resort area.  I planned on being there throughout the next several months.

Then, on the Thursday before we were supposed to fly down to Chejudo, the commander announced that I was going to be allowed to go home.  I could leave the next day if I wanted to.

I was torn.  I really wanted to see Chejudo, but I really, really wanted to go home.  So, I went, got my plane tickets to leave on Saturday.

That Thursday night, my friends took me out for a "brown bean," which is your final ritual before leaving Korea.  We drank an "ammo bowl" of a drink called "white dog," which is a giant quart size steel mixing bowl mixed with a drink made from soju, 7Up, and yogurt (yeah, and it is as gross as it sounds).  Everyone puts a straw into the ammo bowl and starts drinking.

Then, on Friday, Scott and I went up to Seoul to stay with my aunt and uncle.  We went out in Itaewon for one final night of partying in Korea, but I made sure not to get too drunk, as I remembered the mistake I made on my flight over.

The next day, my aunt and uncle dropped me off at Kimpo airport, and I checked in on the Northwest Airlines 747-400 that I was going home on.  Up until the plane took off, I was afraid that they would stop and make me stay in Korea even longer.

747-400
The 747-400 that took me home.

When I got home, I found out why I got of Korea so fast.  Things had cooled down in Korea, and a replacement had been sent to take my place.  My services were needed elsewhere, as things were starting to heat up in Haiti.  I was to remain ready to go in case I was needed to support any operations in Haiti.  And there was always Bosnia in Europe, who had requested my services once again after my previous trip over there.  So, they needed me home from Korea to go to Europe.

Hey, going to Europe at the same time as Oktoberfest?  I am all over that...

Continue on to Conclusion