RobotWorld 2013: Day Zero – Narita to Seoul
About a week ago I was really concerned about the typhoons moving in. It appeared that at least one of the typhoons would hit on Wednesday possibly delaying my flight. But, luckily the weather was perfect and my flight was on time.
It will take me a while to wrap my mind around Korean currency since it has a few more zeros than I'm used to.
At Narita airport I cruised the gift shops killing time and ran across this display of Piperoid paper robots. They sell for approximately 8 dollars a set, with each set including two robot designs.
It's a sign of the times that the balcony floor in the north wing of terminal one at Narita used to be a Bob's Big Boy restaurant, but now it's the smoking area for that wing.
Luckily, the flight from Japan to Seoul is only about two and half hours, and the woman in the seat in front of me didn't try to recline her seat.
The airport bus system in Seoul is basically the same as what I'm used to in Japan, except here I can't read most of the signs.
They sell these T-shirts on the bus on the way to the airport, obviously pitching to people that need to buy last-minute gifts.
By the time my flight landed and I was able to work my way through the bus queue, the sun was already setting as we got into the city.
The weather is beautiful, and the temperature is much milder than I expected. When I used to visit Seoul regularly in the 1980s I was often told that all of the bridges had explosive charges rigged so that if the North decided to suddenly attack the bridges could be blown up to impede their progress. I don't know whether it was true or not, but I still think about it every time I cross one of these bridges.
RobotWorld kicks off tomorrow morning with the opening ceremony scheduled for 10 AM. It will be really interesting to see how it compares with the major robot events I've covered in Japan and the US.