I am in the future. 16 hours into the future - or at least 16 hours ahead of San Francisco.
I'm in (South) Korea, Seoul to be specific. And it really is like the future here. Brand new buildings springing up fast. Technology everywhere. It's hard to describe. So far, it's a bit like living inside an in-flight magazine, all shiny surfaces and nicely-lit rooms.
My flight in was about as pleasant as a 12-hour trans-continental/trans-Pacific flight could be. Korean Air was flying a nice new plane with large (if too hard) seats in coach, and decent seat-back entertainment systems (I got to watch "Sunshine" and "The Lookout").
The flight attendants are practically androids - they have heavy make-up and are immaculately dressed, with tied scarves and matching outfits. A far cry from the dumpy shorts and polos of Southwest. Rather nice, actually. They distributed satchels with sleep masks, toothbrushes, and special sleeping socks.
They also kept the plane cold. I actually had to request a blanket, and was still cold throughout the flight (note to self: I need a new jacket/coat).
My leg was pretty well-behaved as were all the kids on the flight. Only really got unbearable for the last hour or so.
Immigration and customs were a breeze.
The weather was beautiful. I found a cab driver and set off for the hotel. 90 minutes later, we arrived. Poor cab driver looked as though he was going to have a heart attack - he was so upset about the driving conditions (lots of traffic), he was constantly putting his head in his hands. I just sat back, listened to music, and watched the sun set.
My "hotel" is actually a "serviced residence", or corporate apartment, and it is swank. Seriously. It's about 1/3 the size of my entire house. 2 HD flat screens. Comfy furniture. Refrigerator. Clothes washer. Scale. 2 showers. 2 toilets that need owner's manuals. The whole thing looks as though it was built yesterday - immaculate, tasteful. Beautiful view, too.
I had a beer and some food sent up and flipped around on the TV until about 8:30 pm or so and went to bed, waking briefly at 4 before returning to sleep. Got up at 6 and hit the gym (naturally, several colleagues were there as well).
Off to a short day of meeting folks at our Korean office. Having a good time so far.
I like the future. It's nice.