Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Got Orders - (Korea) Day 345

The start of the Seoul Lantern Festival

Work call this morning was at 0830. We had a pretty hectic morning with the usual Wednesday morning meeting in the secret conference room as well as another in the top secret conference room we had to setup for. I helped PV2 Charlie setup most of the secret conference room, then left him to finish while I helped everyone else setup the top secret conference room. Once that was all finished I went up to my office and checked my email. To my surprise I received my orders! I truly thought it would take them another couple of weeks, but I guess having our NCOIC go over yesterday helped out. I nervously checked them out to make sure they included my wife this time and the shipment of all our household goods as well as our car. Surprisingly it was all in order!

Now that I have my orders I needed to find out exactly what I needed to do and in what order I needed to get everything done, so I went to lunch with SPC Roy. We went off post to a Chinese restaurant. Chinese food is different in Korea than it is in America. Just like we alter Chinese food in America to better suit our tastes, the Korean's do the same. It was pretty good, we had sweet and sour pork and some noodles that I call "black death". They are good, but they come in this black sauce with various items in it. SPC Roy let me know what I needed to do first and so on, so it was an informative lunch. Even though I'm not technically clearing until 5 days before I leave, there are a number of things I need to get done before hand.

1st I took my orders to our company along with my leave form, a copy of my LES, and a copy of my ERB. This will start the process of getting my leave setup, because I'm doing a continuing overseas tour (COT) I get 30 days of leave that do not count towards my earned leave which is very nice.

2nd I filled out a form at the company to get the process started to get a memo that I will need to take over to our battalion in order to get the out-processing checklist. I will get an email letting me know when the memo is ready to be picked up.

3rd I took a copy of my orders to the official travel office and got my ticket back to Seattle via the Patriot Express. I then got reservations for my wife and I from Seattle to Frankfurt. It's starting to finally seem real!

There were a couple other things I wanted to do, but was unable because Special K had the office car the rest of the day. I'll get back on track next Monday since we have a four day weekend. We cleaned up the office and headed out. I went to the gym and had a good cardio workout. Later on that night our old KATUSA picked up me, PV2 Charlie and SPC Mick. We all took the subway to see the 2011 Seoul Lantern Festival. It was basically a large number of hand crafted "lanterns" all on display along a small river. These weren't just normal lanterns either. There were various characters and themes all along the river.

We then had dinner at Mr. Pizza. I've seen the signs many times, but never visited one. Pizza in Korea is a little different than pizza in America…but as I like to say…pizza is kind of like sex, even bad pizza is still pretty good. This pizza was different but tasty. We headed back to post and I spent the last part of the night doing schoolwork before turning in.

Some of the characters at the lantern festival

More of the characters at the lantern festival

A whole lotta lanterns over one of the bridges over the river

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