08 June 2008

The Company of Finns

At the end of a very long day and a very long week, I got back to my hotel completely exhausted. I went down to the hotel lounge expecting to grab a quick bite to eat before collapsing into a long-anticipated night of sleeping. Much to my surprise, the hotel lounge was teeming with Finns who had come to Seoul to celebrate the new Finnair route between Helsinki and Seoul...

While I was sitting at the bar having dinner, I met a couple of French journalists who were in Seoul to report the Finnair story. I got the idea that I could crash the Finnair party and spend some quality time with Westerners for the first time in 4 weeks.

All it took was a brief self-introduction and I was welcomed warmly into the Finnair celebration. After what seemed like only a few minutes basking in the positive energy of these delightful strangers, I looked at my watch and realized it was 1am.

I woke up on Friday morning (South Korean Memorial Day) dreading the work I had to get done during the holiday weekend, and feeling so exhausted I could barely pull myself out of bed. I was thankful to have had such a nice [albeit temporary] distraction from life in Asia and to sip from the energy of such a lovely group of people.

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