Miracle by the Han River
Brown leather shoes, chinos and a dark blue jacket. ‘A student’ the occasional passing flyer would have most likely thought in the Incheon Airport in Korea. ‘Oh and that oversized back-pack? ‘Definitely a student… or an overdressed tourist’.
Fortunately or not, it was neither of cases. The young fellow with the backpack among a crowd of people in the Arrival lounge from Helsinki was me – Andrius Juozapaitis. Nice to meet you too. As a recent University of Birmingham graduate from European Politics, Society and Economics, I did not longer have the ‘student’ tag with all its vices and virtues. And coming in with that jacket (you can put them on the fanciest hanger you have, they will still get wrinkled in the luggage, so wearing the best one makes sense) I was definitely no tourist.
Incheon Airport seemed buzzing on a Saturday morning. It also quite an amazing structure, with its spacious corridors, fancy touch-screens every here and there and the occasional Asian ‘neon-ad’ as well as a polite taxi driver, or rather a band of them, offering the services to anyone who passes through the exit door. One of them was kind enough to do their best and explain where the airport train station in the best English that he could. Little did I know at the time, that all the fancy touch-screens and e-tourist guides have very much to do with my purpose of coming to South Korea – the internship in the Information and Communication Technology company within the Samsung Group – Samsung SDS. But I’ll cover that later.
For now, after a 14 hour journey via two flights, both which were quite comfortable by the way, I was finally aboard a train heading to the Gangnam area of Seoul (meaning ‘south side of the river’) where the office of Samsung SDS and my accommodation was. First impressions? Civilized, spacious, and incredibly humid (the jacket was not helping with this). After exiting the station I had a short stroll to my ‘serviced accommodation’ and I passed by the Samsung SDS office which was a modern high-rising building. Yet again, little did I know that I was actually wrong when I though that’s going to be my office, but I’ve found out soon enough.
As for then, I was sound and safe. And asleep as soon as I got through the hotel door as the jetlag was quite difficult to bear. Fortunately, I’ve contacted my colleague, Leena, as we both got this amazing opportunity to intern in Samsung SDS from UoB together. So that’s that for the first entry about the arrival – if you are reading this, I promise I’ll do my best to keep it interesting, and focus more on the actual internship opportunity and less about me. Ok, well maybe a little about me.
Regards from Seoul