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Bullet Sunday 350

Posted on Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Dave!Good evening, Vietnam! Please put your seat in the upright position and stow your tray tables... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

• Flight! Long-haul flights are nothing new to me but, as I mentioned yesterday, twenty hours of travel over 7,425 miles can really wear you down no matter how seasoned a traveler you are. Putting that aside, I was surprised how efficient my trip was given that I had a layover in Seoul. The total route is almost a perfect arc when plotted out by the Great Circle Mapper...

Great Circle Map SEA->SGN

• Korean! And speaking of my flight... once again had a great trip with Korean Air thanks to the wonderful crew. Asian-based airlines always go above and beyond, and Korean is a solid choice for crossing The Pacific. Leg room in economy is surprisingly decent, making for a more comfortable trip than you'd expect. And the little details... like these stickers that let the flight attendants know if they should disturb your sleep or leave you alone... are a nice consideration...

Wake Me Stickers

Food is also pretty decent... especially for an airline... though they aren't big on snacks. You get a tiny bag of peanuts with your drink service which is immediately followed by a departure dinner on the way up, or arrival dinner service on the way down. A light meal or even a bag of cookies would have been much appreciated at the half-way point...

Half-Way Point Korean Airlines

Fortunately, I never travel without my own snacks, but still. Oh well. Still an excellent airline.

• Movies! The selection of movies on my flight were pretty good, and watching a bunch of them back-to-back makes the time fly by. I re-watched Man of Steel, which is a film I downright hated (despite a fantastic cast), hoping that I would like it more on second viewing. I didn't. If anything, I hated it even more. Then I watched The Lone Ranger, which was disappointing yet entertaining, and deserves a little more credit than it got from the critics. But the highlight was finally, finally, being able to watch 42, which I had wanted badly to see in the theater but never got around to...

42 Movie Poster

What a great film! I'd recommend it, even if you're not a baseball fan. The movie focuses on Jackie Robinson's struggle for acceptance as he becomes the first African-American to play for the major leagues. In that respect, it really does the job, and the casting is flawless. Chadwick Boseman, who I've never heard of before, plays Robinson with an enthusiasm and dignity that is essential to the character, and his performance anchored the movie beautifully. The biggest surprise to me was Harrison Ford's role as Dodgers President and GM Branch Rickey, which is probably one of the best performances of his career. Maybe it's because I fully expected John Goodman to get the part, but I honestly didn't think Ford was going to work as well as he did. No less shocking to me was seeing Alan Tudyk (my favorite actor from Firefly) as racist Phillies manager, Ben Chapman, and I have to give him credit for taking on a part that is the polar opposite of the lovable roles his fans love him for. If I have one bit of criticism, I wish the film had dug even a little deeper into Robinson's life outside of the game. Yeah, I know that's not the focus of the film, but I can't help but feel it would have been a much stronger movie if they had added more dimension to Robinson's personal life. Still, a film worth seeing. And I'd be remiss if I passed up an opportunity to plug The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, which is an essential look at baseball, and a fantastic precursor to Robinson's history-making career.

• Incheon! Transfers at Incheon International at Seoul are always easy and efficient, and the airport is laid out very well. The weather was pretty good as I said farewell to the plane that had become my home for the past 11 hours...

Layover in Incheon Seoul International

A beautiful evening in Korea... which almost makes me wish I was sticking around for a while.

• Hosed! Before leaving Seattle, I used the Ask Dave! app to see if I would have a good flight...

Ask Dave! Lil' Dave says

Now, given the terrific experience I just had flying from Seattle to Seoul, I was beginning to think that Lil' Dave was dead-wrong. But then came the flight from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City... which was pretty much unbearable. There was turbulence over the Yellow Sea and again over China that was a bit rocky, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was the HIDEOUS FUCKING BITCH sitting across the aisle to the right of me who was having a conversation with a second HIDEOUS FUCKING BITCH that was behind and to the left of me. Never mind that there were TWO PEOPLE between her and the person she was talking to, she was screaming non-stop for three of the five-and-a-half hours I was stuck on the plane (stopping only to take a nap half-way through). She. Did. Not. Stop. Talking. And if there was a cabin announcement or somebody else was trying to talk... she would just screech even louder. So loud that even blasting music in my headphones at full volume was not enough to get rid of her. At one point, I think the guy behind me asked if she'd like to trade places so she could sit next to her chat buddy, but HIDEOUS FUCKING BITCH NUMBER ONE refused because she had an empty seat next to her. Or something. Holy shit was it awful. There was more than one time I had to restrain myself from telling her to shut the fuck up... or just punch her repeatedly in her stupid fucking face. I cannot fathom how incredibly fucking rude some people can be. Maybe... maybe... if this was a daytime flight, I could have overlooked it as a cultural thing... but a late night flight where people are trying to sleep? Sorry, that makes you a rude asshole in any culture. Seriously one of the most miserable flights I have ever had.

• Dong! I am part of a tour group that's arriving on different flights. This necessitated hanging around Tan Son Nhat International Airport much, much longer than I wanted. But, since I didn't want to abandon the people I'll be spending the next two weeks with, I decided to hang around waiting instead of doing a peace-out and grabbing a taxi. One of the things I did to kill time was get some Vietnamese currency from an airport cash machine so I could buy some fries from Burger King. Now, usually I am prepared for international travel and know what the exchange rate is. But this time I never looked into it, and I couldn't get data service on my iPhone to check it out. So I just rolled the dice and told the ATM that I want 50,000 dong (Vietnamese dollars) because it was the middle option of the quick-cash amounts displayed. Much to my horror, the machine spit out 200,000 dong instead of the 50,000 I wanted, and I was standing there worried that I had just stuck myself with $200 worth of money I probably wouldn't spend. But then I got to Burger King and saw that an order of fries was 33,000 dong which I hoped didn't translate to $33.00, so I thought I was probably okay. When I got to my hotel, the first thing I did was look at my bank account online and saw that the 200,000 dong amounted to $10.38 US being taken from my account. Guess I should have gotten more dong when I had the chance.

And... I am completely trashed, so I guess it's time for sleeping and no more bullets.

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Categories: Bullet Sunday 2013Click To It: Permalink


  1. “Guess I should have gotten more dong when I had the chance.” If I had a dong for every time I’ve said that! 😉

  2. Loud people on planes suck! I’m flying tomorrow, but it’s to Miami. Just an hour or so shorter than your flight.

  3. kapgar says:

    I think you should have suggested that the HIDEOUS FUCKING BITCH behind you get more Dong. Perhaps she would have been more tolerable on the flight.

  4. martymankins says:

    There is so much wrong with the phrase “Guess I should have gotten more dong when I had the chance.” if translated into English speak. Good to know 200,000 Dong is a little more than $10 USD.

    Enjoy your two weeks of vacation.

  5. vahid says:

    “I have SO much dong.” –Vietnamese Brandon

  6. Poppy says:

    I hate when people have loud conversations on public transportation. Seriously, shut the fuck up.

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