I’m taking a long, protracted route home to Portland, Maine to see family for the first time in half a decade, and my first stop led me here to Prague in the Czech Republic. I have travelled quite a bit over the past several years and there are often things that don’t quite go to plan, and this trip has definitely gotten off to an inauspicious beginning. For beginners, when I planned this trip a few months ago, I planned it for me and my Mrs. However, due to various situations and circumstances, it seems that she is actually my Mrs. no more. Then, as I got on the bus in Ilsan to head to the airport yesterday, the cord to my new headphones caught on something and stripped the wire from the headphone jack. And then there was what happened at the airport.
Korea is a Big Brother country in many ways, a land of CCTV. It is everywhere and people seem to believe in it. However, not every place is under constant surveillance, and one of those places is the KEB ATM near counter F at Incheon International Airport. I discovered this the hard way yesterday when, while using the ATM, I placed my bag between my legs and on top of my bag placed my camera. After finishing using the ATM, I looked between my legs to find my camera gone. No joke. Someone snatched it literally right out from under me, and at the airport no less where Korean security walk around with automatic weapons. It happened in the land of Big Brother. Unbelievable.
After calling the police and filing a report, the police helped me to discover that I was a standing in a 2x2m box that had no CCTV coverage and that there was nothing more they could do for me. Camera gone right before my trip. Camera gone, $1,100 body and $1,500 lens. Camera gone. After an hour of saying under my breath some of the most horrendous things that have ever entered my mind and likely frightening all those unfortunate souls standing near me, I stopped at a Canon store in the international departure terminal and bought a new Canon G1X so that I could at least have a camera a little better than my iPhone, and this morning I used it for the first time. It is small and the focus is a bit slow. It’s too light and doesn’t fit my hand well. It takes a bit too long to process the images. But hey, at least it works and the image quality is good. The truth is, I had wanted to get a G1X for a while now as a second camera to take with me when I travel, because it is so compact. I just didn’t expect that I would get one as a replacement for my DSLR, but I guess that’s life. I’m mostly over the theft at this point, but if I focus on it hard I do find I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But again, that’s life.
As I said, I went out early today and wandered around Prague. Since my internal clock is in another time zone, I was up before the sun and had the city much to myself. I wandered around for a couple hours before coming back for a nap. I made it briefly to Old Town and then crossed the Charles Bridge to Lesser Town before heading back via the river. It was a beautiful, albeit rather chilly walk, and later today I will go out to see more after linking up with my good mate British Dan who moved to Prague sometime last year. And I will go about in the expectation that the bad beginning will be the gateway to a good remainder.