That phrase is as ubiquitous in my house as “What’s for dinner?” or “How are you?” I can’t tell you the number of times my father has said “Oh, Melissa” while shaking his head and giving a small laugh. “Oh, Melissa” is always a response to me doing something irresponsible. If I tell my father about it before I resolve the problem on my own, “Oh, Melissa” turns into “You think!”–said in an angry tone. “Oh, Melissa” is said in a fake-exasperated tone, almost always accompanied by some laughter. You’d think that after 22 years, my father would be used to me doing stupid things, no?

Needless to say, a lighthearted “Oh, Melissa” is probably the best reaction I’ll ever get.

That all being said, what I’m about to tell you is hopefully going to elicit an “Oh, Melissa” and not a “You don’t think!”

When Donny booked my ticket to Phuket, I was stoked to see that the flight was only four hours long, much shorter than I’d anticipated. So I left SEV at 4:30 p.m. to catch my 10 p.m. flight out of Incheon, giving myself plenty of extra time–just in case. I blame my need for extra time on my father, as well. My father is a half hour early to everything, my mother half an hour late. When my dad dropped me off at JFK to catch my flight to Prague, we were a full six hours early. I didn’t even have a gate to go to!

Got off-topic, oops. So like I said, I departed SEV more than five hours before my flight. On the 01 bus headed into Suyu to catch the limo bus to the airport, I checked my e-ticket one more time, just in case. Sure as shit, the only time (IN A YEAR) that I failed at reading military time (which is pretty standard outside of the States), was when I first looked at my e-ticket last week and saw I was leaving at 10 p.m. So imagine my shock when I checked on the bus and saw that my flight was scheduled to depart at 20:00, or 8 p.m.–three and a half hours away. I knew the bus to the airport would take at least two hours, and Saturday evening traffic would slow things down even more. I spent the entire bus ride nervously tapping my foot and watching as the clock changed from 5:15 to 6:08 to 6:45 to 7:00. At 7:10 (yes, the airport bus uses a 12-hour clock), we arrived at Incheon. I bolted to the check-in counter, made my way through security and went through customs–all in about 20 minutes. Kudos to Incheon, demonstrating yet again why it is the best airport in the world.

I slept for much of the six-hour flight, then caught a cab to the guesthouse where Jeanette’s been staying. Sleeping in the company of snails and lizards, but that’s what this is about, right?

Woke up this morning and had a hearty banana pancake breakfast, as recommended by Erin. Looking forward to indulging in pad thai and green curry in the coming days. We’re planning on staying in Phuket for at least a few more days before heading up to the northern city of Chiang Mai.

For now, just hoping the sky clears up a little bit so we can head down to the beach! So far, loving Phuket and the fact that Korea is hundreds of miles away. I can guarantee that no child will be calling me “Melissa Teacher” while I’m here.

Signing off now…let’s hope I don’t do anything to warrant an “Oh, Melissa.” Oh, and speaking of which, happy belated birthday to my sister and a happy early birthday to my father!

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