Vacation, All I Ever Wanted ...

I am officially on vacation. I'll try to post now and then, including a bit more about the domestic surveillance debate and some cool posts on various other subjects written by a few fine Debaters, but for now, there's a flight to Malaysia that's waiting for me.

While I'm gone, I'll be keeping up with the Alito hearings via the Post's Campaign for the Court blog. I'd offer some more, but the plane is boarding, so gotta run.

(If you're at all interested in my trip so far -- and I have no idea why you would be -- click the link to read more.)

Greetings from Korea.

That's South Korea, not North Korea -- though we did hope to visit the Demilitarized Zone, only to be foiled by the fact that it's a Monday. Apparently, like an extra-ritzy art gallery or salon, the DMZ is closed on Mondays. At first we thought it was just that the tours didn't run on Mondays, but then the kind woman at the information booth told us that taking the train on our own on Monday was also inadvisable.

Lesson 1: Layovers in Korea are best scheduled for Tuesdays through Fridays.

I'm writing this from Gate 28 at the Incheon International Airport, about an hour outside Seoul, where I spent the day taking gorgeous pictures of Gyeongbokgung, an indescribably colorful 600-year old palace complex. I would post some of the photos here, but my digital camera is still somewhere in Seoul. Note to Debaters in the Namdaemun area: If you find a beat up old Kodak that's missing an owner, please e-mail me.

Lesson 2: Keep camera strap around wrist at all times; alternatively, never let Emily carry anything of value.

We arrived in Seoul a bit late, after an hour-long delay on the ground at JFK. I'm still not entirely clear on what happened, but here's what I pieced together: According to the stewardess, a passenger complained that she did not have four seats all to herself. When informed of the unpleasant reality that purchasing one seat on a Boeing 747 does not actually entitle the buyer to four seats, she called the police.

Our plane returned to the gate, where we were met by no less than five police cars and a paddywagon. Two unruly passengers were removed, according to the captain, their bags were offloaded, and we were finally able to start on our 15-hour voyage.

More from Malaysia or Indonesia or East Timor or wherever I happen to have Internet access next.

By Emily Messner |  January 9, 2006; 2:57 AM ET  | Category:  Misc.
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I don't know what's worse--losing your camera on the first day of a round-the world-trip before you've barely had a chance to take any pictures, or on the last day, after they're all in there so that you know exactly what you lost. I think you did it right by losing it right away rather than at the end of the trip.

Posted by: Sonny | January 9, 2006 03:18 PM

My sympathy for the 15 hours; I've done the same with far less reason. The woman took the wrong path. Tipping the stewardess is so much more effective than calling the cops. We should hear from you in Malasia for sure. Its well wired. Do avoid western style nightclubs and Western owned hotels. Our right wing is in awe at your courage. :o)

Posted by: Cayambe | January 9, 2006 05:47 PM

Our plane returned to the gate, where we were met by no less than five police cars and a paddywagon. Two unruly passengers were removed, according to the captain, their bags were offloaded, and we were finally able to start on our 15-hour voyage.
By Emily Messner | January 9, 2006; 02:57 AM ET

Who knew how Chris Ford and Silicon Doc got aboard the flight, but at least they were removed safely. Hopefully, they're still in Korean custody. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | January 9, 2006 06:35 PM

I'm with Sonny - I always find that on every international trip there's some screwup. Losing a camera is a minor one.

Posted by: Turnabout | January 10, 2006 10:14 AM

I read the sick rantings of SiliconDoc aimed at you. He has promised to never return which you can look forward to. Nothing like a little mysogany before your vacation. Have a great time.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | January 10, 2006 11:00 AM

who is silicon doc?

Posted by: Perry | January 10, 2006 12:31 PM

Who is SiliconDoc? Please advise.

Posted by: Perry | January 10, 2006 12:32 PM

After spending the better part of the last 5 yrs traveling the world I can tell you the following:
1. It is better to lose your camera at the begining of a trip.
2. Always "tip" the flight attendant for more seats.
3. 15 hours is nothing, try 25 to Madagascar.

Posted by: World Wide Dialtone | January 10, 2006 12:41 PM


Look at the bright side... you're in a good part of the world to find a state of the art replacement for your "beat up old Kodak"!!!

Posted by: tallmaleforfun | January 10, 2006 01:04 PM

Silicon Doc was/is a poster that went a little overboard in their extremist rantings recently. I don't exactly recall him/her attacking Emily so much as debaters that disagreed with him, but Emily had to intervene to tell him to 'knock it off'. Never seen Emily intercede before like that! Ha! She deserves her vacation, and I hope she is having a wonderful time.

Posted by: ErrinF | January 10, 2006 05:15 PM

Paddywagon? Please research the origin of the term.I am sure you will find it to be an ethnic slur against the Irish and consider substituting another term.

Posted by: veteranobserver | January 10, 2006 07:51 PM

Perry, ErrinF the posting of SiliconDoc was archived under "The facts Domestic Surveillance" Archive December 26/05-January 1. It was the very last posting at the bottom of the page.
His rants were disgusting and scary. He called Emily a "cunt" several times and made other deranged comments which I would rather not write. He is obviously very unstable and has a hate on for women.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | January 11, 2006 08:54 AM

Huh, "paddywagon" is an ethnic slur? Well, suppose so. What about "paddymelt"? lol.

You know, as an Italian I've always found Burger King's "whopper" to be offensive. Maybe I can sue?

I'm kidding, I'm kidding....
:)

Posted by: D. | January 11, 2006 04:32 PM

Thanks, SpeakOutForDemocracy, for the enlightenment about SiliconDoc. I didn't realize the situation got that bad. Doc needed some meds, I think.

Posted by: ErrinF | January 11, 2006 08:13 PM

Paddy is short for 'padded', I believe. It's got nothing to do with the Irish. Please, no more wars on Christmas and such.

Posted by: ErrinF | January 11, 2006 08:15 PM

As a former Singaporean-Malaysian, be wary of sex crime (rape murder)in Malaysia. It's a little out of hand. Google "New Straits Times" online news and check out a recent letter on airport scams and baggage pilferage. Malaysia is not what it used to be: idyllic, hospitable, safe, helpful. Do take care.

Posted by: Sam | January 12, 2006 12:42 AM

D and Errin...I too wondered about the origin of "paddywagon" as a racial slur since my dad was a "cop" and that's what we called it...online search holds OnlineObserver to be corriect, it was considered a slur against the Irish...Didn't know that, learn something new here every day :-)

Posted by: Becancour | January 13, 2006 11:03 AM

lololol. Thought the "vacation" would be anything but one! lololol

Blogging is addictive, it's worse than keeping up with gossip, and even thousands miles away you will still want to check in. ;)

Hope you'll get some breather time in (and have more to tell us about what you've seen -- last update was on the 9th, hint, hint!).

Happy trails, Emily.

SandyK
P.S. -- Missed out on the Chris Ford/Silicon Doc flamefest, but will go snooping. That must've been a doozy of a flamefest.

Posted by: SandyK | January 20, 2006 09:41 PM

I take issues with the talking heads that say this a loss for President Bush (when they talk about the election of Hamas). Even more I take issue with the brash talking heads that it is a loss for democracy. It is neither. It is actually is what it is. This not doom, and gloom. It is actually the greatest opportunity Peace has had to this date in the middle east. There is no more cloak and dagger crap. I will argue that the last thing Hamas wanted was to win this election. Because now they have no coat tails to hide under when they do their dirty work.
Hamas must now put up or shut up. They must either lead now or go away and die a slow death of lack of creditability. HaHaHa.... The genius of democracy. They are the heads of the state and what they do now is as a country and not as disgruntled citizens. Hell Hamas even have to sit before the U.N. If I was Bush, I would conduct business as usual, and react not act. Besides, they are elected officials now, and we have to respect that or our own form of government is also doomed. Another tibit of interesting fact: Arafat dies and then Sharon dies. The only two people in this world that make chaos out these results. Please don't say this is a bad thing. The only thing that matters now is the future. We should not be blinded by our own hatred and seek out revenge. After all we are just the helpers. In Addition, Is this not a true test of democracy. It is now time for US and the whole world to let go. See if they can handle it theirself.

Posted by: KeithC | January 28, 2006 01:22 PM

Ordinary people are being tossed between the 'Frying Pan(Neocons)and Fire(alqaida).
we have become pawns in the game of the foxes.Democracy has become 'Demandcrazy'.
Push the persons into the corner with a gun at their head and demand that persons not shoot at you.Want to serve stork soup in a plate, while you let the fox hold the legs in his jaws.If that is not enough you
want to cut the beak,to let him drink the soup.The quartet certainly knows to string.

Posted by: Khalid Rahim | January 30, 2006 09:09 PM

Dear Jim and Jonathan, 23.02.2206


U.AE being Arab country (its not a democratic country and ruled by a authoritarian sheik) is the only one of the three of the countries in the world along with Pakistan to recognize and encourage Taliban in Afghanistan and in turn supported Mulla omer ,Osama Bin Laden which eventually led to 9/11 bombing in U.S.A.

I have lived in U.AE and know that, In U.A.E,Dubai government has harbored international criminals , mafia dons and terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim and his allies chota shakeel etc(Who are living in Pakistan at present and wanted by Interpol, he is regarding and widely believed by CIA and other agencies to have connections with Al-Qaida, U.SA. termed him as terrorist).His son recently got married to an Pakistani man's daughter in Dubai(U.A.E) hotel, this is only possible with the help of Dubai(U.A.E) rulers.

Even though U.AE has handed over some terrorists to Indian and other countries to resist the international pressure, they still patronize, illegal money laundering and give shelter to some of the world's most dangerous criminals and terrorists.

This country facilitated and shipped nuclear material from Pakistan to Iran.(Even U.S authorities knows that, Pakistan and it's A.Q.Khan network is involved in this , most of the U.A.E air ports and sea pots the staff are from hardline Islamic countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh who also contributed to this WMD transfers ). its high time that U.A.E and its terror supporters should be contained and condemned by the civilised world.

I agree with free trade but in my opinion trusting this country to handle six of U.S.A ports is inviting another disaster like 9/11.This is danger sign not only to U.S.A but to all free and democratic countries all over the world.

I request you to consider my point of view and judge my argument in a fair and impartial way to allow us live in free,democratic and peaceful world.

Anil Kumar
India.

Posted by: Anil Rao | February 23, 2006 05:42 PM

Turning the US Ports over to the UAE would be like hiring Ted Kennedy as a chaufer. You just shouldn't do it.

As most of you know by now the Administration has determined that we should turn over the management of some of major ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. This sounds like a great idea! Let's walk through the logic behind this. First they take the contract away from a British company, a company from the only country that has been a real ally to the United States. Then I guess they could not find one American company that was capable of handling this job. Finally they must have searched all of the potential companies from all of the countries across the globe and determined that they should award the contract to a country home to two of the 9/11 terrorists, a country that has been alleged (and I use that term loosely) to be involved with laundering vast amounts of money used to finance the attacks of 9/11. Makes you wonder if the following aren't being planned.

Awarding the contracts for all ports on the Pacific Coast to North Korea. They don't seem like too much of a threat and they can always protect them with their nuclear arsenal.

Award the contract for the protection of our southern border to the Columbian Cartel. They seem to have limitless resources and know the area probably better than anyone.

As for our Northern borders how about finding a company from say Libya or Iran or maybe even Iraq or Afghanistan hell isn't one of our goals to support their economies.

Now I know these are ridiculous ideas but not much more ridiculous than granting this contract to the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. Makes you wonder what goes into these decisions. Well at least I know I can sleep better knowing that Mr. Chertoff has assured us that this is the right decision. Based on decisions that have been made over the past four years it's a wonder anyone can sleep peacefully at all.

Posted by: DJM01 | February 25, 2006 09:30 AM

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