One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Won at Busan Immigration

All Air Busan BX 123 passengers were already standing in cabin aisle to prepare to get off the plane. After one of flight attendants coordinated with ground staffs, finally an aerobridge perfectly sticked in the fuselage and the door was safe to open. Not long , then I followed the lead of passenger line to get out of the cabin.

Throughout the aerobridge, my worries weren’t as bad as when I entered Narita International Airport a few days ago. “I’ve been to entering Japan several days ago, It isn’t possible if I can’t enter Korea,” I thought to calm myself. I continued to steadily walk through corridor after corridor at arrival hall of Gimhae International Airport Terminal 1. Continued following signboards to immigration counter. After finding it, I immediately stucked to back end of one of the queue lines. I still look relaxed and full of smiles. And didn’t think that the drama had just started

I took the leftmost queue, tourists from China seemed to dominate in front. They looked very smooth going through immigration staff. “Looks like this will be easy”, I finally came to a conclusion. I was now at the head of queue, waiting for a female Chinese tourist to finish her process at counter. The bespectacled male officer quickly approved one by one Chinese tourists from earlier.

“Neexxxttt”….He called out with his eyes still staring at computer screen

Immigration Officer : “Have you been to South Korea before?”

Me : “Not yet Sir, this is the first time”

Immigration : “Where did you visit before South Korea?”

Me : “Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan, Sir”

He started suspiciously watching me.

Immigration : “Which other countries have you visited?”, he handed me a paper and pen for me to write

I started writing one by one until I copied eleven names of countries I had been to.

But his reaction was so unexpected, he just shook his head. I didn’t lose the initiative when he behaved like that. From inside my backpack, I took out my old passport which had one of its covers cut off, “You can check it out here, Sir”.

Immigration: “I don’t need this”, he pushed my old passport with his index finger at me as a sign he didn’t want to see it

Damn…..“Dag dig dug”, my heart started beating above its usual rhythm.

Immigration : ”Please take out your wallet!”

That short snapping made me automatically crouch with my hands rummaging through all contents of my backpack with an added panic. I got my wallet in a few moments, indeed I put my wallet in the innermost part to be safe.

I started to stand up and handed over my worn out wallet….Hmmhhh, a wallet with peeling leather upholstery on some ends. Made me helpless. The immigration officer began to open my wallet and counted each sheet in it. He shook his head when he only found 120,000 Won notes.

He started to stand up and walked out of immigration counter box and started to close the queue with a standing barrier and hung the words “CLOSE” in the middle. All tourists who queued behind me were asked by him to move to a counter next to him. Every tourist regularly moved while sadly looking at my misfortune, some looked astonished and curious.

“Wow,” my voice began to wry.

The immigration officer immediately stepped back into the counter and put my wallet in front of him. He started to stare at me intently.

Immigration : “Do you bring an ATM?”

Me: “No, Sir”…. My mind refuted, “Isn’t it that I already have a Visa, why bother?”

Immigration : “Credit Card?”

Me: “No, Sir”….My mind was muttering again, “Isn’t it important that I have enough money to travel in Korea?”

Immigration : “ID Card?”

Me: “No, Sir”….I thought back to fight, “Isn’t the ID Card for tourists a passport?”

Immigration : Browsing firmly with red face, “Aiissshhhh….No ATM….No Credit Card….No ID Card….You only have a small amount of money…. You can’t stay in Korea”

“Ouch, Deportation”, I thought to myself instantly.

Immigration : “What do you do in your country?”

Me: “Marketing”

Immigration : “Show your business card!”

Me: “I don’t bring it, Sir”

Immigration : ” Aiissshhhh …”

He started rubbing his forehead and eyes, not believing he had met a tourist like me. Now he had closed my passport. He stood back up and called his friend. Quickly his friend came over and started talking seriously leaving me on the verge of being deported.

I didn’t know what they’re talking about, it was definitely about me. I noticed he kept shaking his head and his friends occasionally looked at me like a suspect….Aahhh, this situation was really uncomfortable and made me nervous. But I tried my best to put on a calm face. I even prepared to clarify before he decided anything.

OK, he had finished his dialogue with his friend and sat back at the immigration counter. Before he uttered a word, I began to make a final plea. No matter what the result….

Me : “ I have a return ticket, Air Asia 5th January, from Incheon to Jakarta. I will stay at Kimchee Guesthouse Busan and Kimchee Guesthouse Seoul….these are my itinerary and my budgeting during in Korea.”

The immigration officer was angry and put a finger to his mouth… “Shhhhhhh”, a sign he was asking me not to babble too much in front of him. But the good thing was that he was willing to read my itinerary and budgeting sheet.

Me : ”Please Sir, I am just a backpacker…..just for sightseeing Korea this time….No more….Please…..I will go home….Believe me!”, I begged begging.

The immigration officer looked back at me, this time he really looked me in the eye, maybe he was testing my honesty. He seemed to be starting to feel pity. He started flipping through each page of my new passport and my old passport which a second ago he pulled from in front of me.

Immigration : ”OK, You can….You can….But promise me to return to your country!…. Or you’re in big trouble”

Knock….The arrival stamp was clearly affixed on my passport….Oh, what a beautiful moment that was.

I was very relieved

This was a valuable lesson that in the future I would become a backpacker who was more detailed and prepared things very well. After that incident, I always carried a business card, ID card, credit card (even though its limit was small) and an ATM (even though the values were minimal) every time I traveled to another country.

Thanks to good preparation, I was greatly helped by the existence of that cards when facing similar random checking at Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore seven months after this incident.

The incident was over, I stepped out of immigration counter triumphantly.

Welcome Busan, Welcome South Korea!

Stare In Amazement: Air Busan BX 123 from Osaka (KIX) to Busan (PUS)

Air Busan BX 123 flight path (sumber:

Air Busan is the 16th airline out of 28 different airlines I’ve tasted. This Low Cost Carrier (LCC) which come from “Ginseng Country” has a main hub at Gimhae International Airport. It wasn’t my intention to visit Busan, but because of the cheap ticket price offered by Air Busan, it was what made me decided to stop by in Busan before reaching my main destination, which was Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.

I myself got this cheap ticket seven months before departure at a price of less than 69.750 Won.

This was my story of riding an airline with three branding colors, white-blue-yellow…


 “Sorry, sir….We don’t receive coins”, the KIX Currency Exchange clerk exclaimed with a smile.

“Oh, Okay…It’s no problem”, I pulled back my coins while waiting for the results of exchanging banknotes.

He nimbly pressed a few buttons on calculator then showed me a numbers in the LCD.

“Yes, Sir….”, I quickly agreed.

Successfully exchanging Yen for USD, now my mission was to spending coins to buy whatever supplies I could use for lunch, if necessary until dinner…. Was it bad?, That was a my way to saving budget.

I managed to find a FamilyMart in a hallway, entered it, hunted for onigiri and candies, paid it with my coins at cashie and saved it in my backpack. I never underestimate candy, two candies can meet 10% of the calories of an adult’s meal, that means it can hold your stomach for a while until you find a cheap food stall. This time I didn’t mince words by walking around the airport, my time was short, I decided to immediately go to check-in counter to exchange e-tickets with boarding pass. The main standard of airlines for passengers who will cross different countries is to check visas and return tickets from the destination country. But didn’t worry, my visa was perfectly attached to my passport and an Air Asia e-ticket to return from South Korea had also been ordered.

“Can you speak English, Sir,” a female check-in counter lightly asked.

“Yes, sure Ms. I Can”

“Do you want to sit in the emergency exit row?” she asked.

“Oh, yes, with pleasure”, I happily answered, when you are paying cheaper but get a row of seats which is more spacious, that is your prize.

“Ok, thank you Sir”

“You are welcome”.

I quickly got my boarding pass. Heading to immigration counter, I handed over my passport as soon as it arrived. The stage of leaving a country is what I like the most, because it’s fast and without questioning. Of course immigration officers will be happy and is helped if their country guests are disciplined to leave their country on time. After getting a departure stamp in my passport, I immediately headed to the gate to wait for Air Busan, which was about to arrive, maybe even ready. Arriving on time, indeed, the Airbus was standing proudly on the apron preparing to load all its passangers.

My boarding pass.
Well, given a coupon of 10,000 Won for gambling….Hahaha.

Towards half past eleven, boarding calls filled the airport ceiling, the queue line began to open and several ground staff started lining up at the gate to do final checking for each passenger. I steadily walked through it, showed my boarding pass and passport, then was allowed to board the plane. I walked through the aerobridge and was greeted by two flight attendants with typical faces of “Ginseng Country”.

“Annyeonghasimnika”, one of them smiled with a slight bow, asked for a boarding pass, briefly checked and then asked me to find a seat.

“Gamsahamnida”, ahhh, only a few Korean words I understand. I started looking for my seat.

I sat in the aisle seat in emergency exit row. Shortly after that three columns of seats were filled, a flight attendant came to say hello. The flight attendant explained in Korean about the regulations in emergency exit row, after knowing that the two passengers next to me were Korean nationals. After explaining to both of them, then that flight attendant explained again, this time in English, it was clear for me. While explaining that, we both looked at each other. Because of the ignorance of my heart, I never listened to the rules she said, instead I focused more on enjoying the beauty of her pure white Korean face. I understood, she felt that she was being watched by me, so she occasionally explained the rules with a smile, she got even more clumsy when I responded her with a smile while keeping my eyes on her eyes….I was really naughty.

I was in the cabin.
Well, that was the emergency door.

After half an hour of completing boarding process, the aerobridge finally started to be pulled from plane door, flight attendants started to tightly close the door, passengers began to wear seat belts, the plane began to leave the apron while exhibiting flight safety demonstrations by several cabin crew. The demo ended when the plane was already on the runway and ready to take off from Kansai International Airport.

“Flight attendants, please prepare for take off”, were last words from flight captain who broken the silence in cabin.

The plane did a brake release, the engine rotated with full power, and finally airborne went smoothly, the plane quickly drove from Osaka. I was quite impressed with this plane because this was the first time I could see the plane’s presence in a earth map at an LCD.

When it was time to serve in-flight meal, I prefered to put an packaged food and drink in a folding bag. “Just make lunch,” I muttered to myself. I prefered to carefully read the inflight magazine to find information that might be useful for my adventures in South Korea.

Here it was…. A replacement for my lunch menu.

I didn’t realize that I had flown for 1 hour 30 minutes and the pilot gave an announcement to passengers that the plane was preparing to landing at Gimhae International Airport and informed the weather conditions in Busan which were sunny. Shortly after the announcement was completed, the cabin crew immediately checked every side of cabin and passengers to ensure a safe landing. Finally the plane smoothly landed in runway. How happy I was when I arrived in South Korea for the first time

Hmmm….I couldn’t wait to explore Busan. I still couldn’t stop my smile at my face.

I still didn’t expect that inside the airport terminal building, something serious would happen to me.

Thanks to God.

Welcome Busan….Welcome South Korea.

Alternatives for airline tickets from Osaka to Busan can be found in 12Go or the following link:

JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service: Shin-imamiya Station to Kansai Airport Station

The first eight days of the new year, still tightly binding both eyes. Revenge for my frozen body last night during the New Year’s Eve celebration at Dōtonbori Canal by the warmth of Hotel Kaga blanket was something I considered draw. But in the end, only a thing was able to force my eyes not to close anymore, i.e Air Busan BX 123 flight at exactly 11:00 am, because as usual, for international flights, four hours before flight time I will start my journey to the airport.

Almost seven o’clock, I jumped up, grabbed a hotel’s white towel, bathroom amenities and immediately headed out of the room to shared bathroom at the end of corridor. Hotel Kaga’s bathroom is quite spacious for a backpacker. In the form of a two-part space, i.e a partition with glass and a sink and a bath capsule with a warm shower. Long time under a warm shower is my bad habit, because warm water is very effective in expelling fatigued leg muscles which is my main asset in every trip….Yup, especially if it’s not for walking tens of kilometers throughout the adventure.

After taking a shower, I nonchalantly crossed hotel corridor only wrapped in a towel and flip-flops. Making some passing hotel guests look surprised. “Ah, I only met once with them…. Let it go,” I thought, starting to be fun.

In the room I immediately cleaned up, put on a t-shirt with a black long john, cotton trousers to keep my body temperature, a pair of boots and started packing all my things into a blue Eiger 45L backpack which I borrowed from a friend at work (too bad, just borrow a backpack) .

I went down to the lobby using elevator and immediately handed over my room key at reception desk.

“Thank you for staying at our hotel. Have a nice trip, Sir”, a receptionist who was still the same, on duty from last night, smiled as she handed me the deposit money.

“You’re welcome. Very happy to stay at Hotel Kaga …. A good hotel”, I casually answered. “See you, Sir”.

“See you”, he waved his hand and was still smiling.

I headed back down street towards Shin-imamiya Station, the station I first landed on when I entered downtown. That’s  the only station closest to my hotel and Nankai-Kuko Line train which goes to Kansai International Airport (KIX).

The five meter wide alleys began to wriggle, leaving the remnants of last night’s New Year celebrations. I quickly walked through several alleys without enjoying the atmosphere, I’ve passed it a few times though. Taking a copy to Abiko-suji Avenue, I arrived at Shin-imamiya Station within five minutes of leaving the hotel.

Entering the station gate, my eyes immediately looking for ticketing vending machine. I got it easily. A ticket worth 1,060 Yen was finally in my hands and I immediately docked at e JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service platform.

JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service Ticket.

The airport service train arrived on time, I entered one of its carriages and shortly after sitting down, the train sped away. I returned to enjoying the trip again like when I first took the same train when I arrived in Osaka. The first sight that be presented was the atmosphere of a densely built urban area in Nishinari, Sumiyoshi and Suminoe City Districts. After crossing Yamoto River, the atmosphere changed to an area of ​​agricultural land in Kishiwada and Izumisano areas. Then the train crossed the ocean in Osaka Bay after a bit of climbing an overpass in Rinku Town. After crossing sea bridge along five kilometers, the train arrived at Kansai-Airport Station.

Urban area in Osaka.

As soon as the train stopped at platform, I immediately jumped out of the carriage to departure hall of Kansai International Airport, the winner of Skytrax’s Best Low Cost Airline Terminal in the World.

One of the first destinations upon arrival at the airport….Yes, money changer.

Sejuta Tiga Ratus Ribu di Imigrasi Busan (2nd Edition)

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Segenap penumpang Air Busan BX 123 sudah berdiri di cabin aisle demi bersiap menuruni pesawat. Setelah salah satu pramugara berkoordinasi dengan ground staff, akhirnya juluran aerobridge menempel sempurna di badan pesawat dan pintu telah aman untuk dibuka. Tak lama kemudian, aku mengikuti langkah barisan penumpang di depan untuk keluar dari kabin.

Sepanjang menapaki aerobridge, kekhawatiranku tak seburuk seperti  saat aku memasuki Narita International Airport beberapa hari lalu. “Masak iya, sudah ke Jepang, ndak bisa masuk Korea”,  pikirku menenangkan diri. Aku terus melangkah dengan mantap melewati koridor demi koridor di arrival hall Gimhae International Airport Terminal 1. Terus mengikuti tengara menuju konter imigrasi. Setelah menemukannya maka aku segera menempel di ujung belakang salah satu baris antrian. Aku masih terlihat santai dan penuh senyum. Dan tak menyangka bahwa drama itu baru saja dimulai

Aku mengambil antrian paling kiri, para turis asal Tiongkok tampak mendominasi di depan. Mereka terlihat sangat lancar melewati staf imigrasi. “Sepertinya ini akan mudah”, akhirnya aku membuat kesimpulan. Aku kini berada di kepala antrian, menunggu seorang turis wanita Tiongkok menyelesaikan prosesnya di konter. Petugas laki-laki berkacamata itu dengan cepat memasukkan satu demi satu turis asal Tiongkok sedari tadi.

Neexxxtttt”….Dia memanggil dengan mata masih menatap layar komputer

Petugas Imigrasi     :     “Have you been to South Korea before?

Aku                              :     “Not yet sir, this is the first time

Imigrasi                      :     “Where did you visit before South Korea?

Aku                              :     “Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan, Sir

Dia mulai mengawasiku dengan tatapan curiga.

Imigrasi                      :     “Which other countries have you visited?”, dia menyodorkan sebuah kertas dan pena untukku menulis

Aku mulai menulis satu-persatu hingga tersalin sebelas baris tambahan nama negara yang pernah kusinggahi.

Tapi reaksinya sungguh di luar dugaan, dia hanya geleng-geleng kepala. Aku tak kalah berinisiatif ketika dia bersikap demikian. Dari dalam backpack, kukeluarkan passport lama yang telah terpotong salah satu covernya, “You can check it out here, sir”.

Imigrasi                      :     ”I don’t need this”, dia mendorong passport lama itu dengan telunjuk jarinya ke arahku sebagai pertanda dia tidak mau melihatnya

Alamaaattttttttt….”Dag dig dug”, jantungku mulai berdetak di atas ritme biasa.

Imigrasi                      :     ”Please take out your wallet!

Gertakan ringan itu membuatku terjongkok otomatis dengan tangan mengaduk-aduk isi backpack dengan imbuhan kepanikan. Aku mendapatkan dompet yang dimaksud dalam beberapa saat, memang dompetku kuletakkan di bagian paling dalam supaya aman.

Aku mulai berdiri dan menyodorkan dompet usang itu….Hmmhhh, dompet dengan kelupasan kulit pelapis di beberapa ujungnya. Membuatku pasrah tak berdaya. Petugas imigrasi itu mulai membuka dompetku dan menghitung setiap lembar isinya. Dia bergeleng kepala  ketika hanya menemukan uang kertas sebanyak  110.000 Won (Rp. 1.378.000).

Dia mulai berdiri dan beranjak keluar dari immigration counter box dan mulai menutup antrian dengan standing barrier dan menggantungkan tuilsan “CLOSE” di tengahnya. Segenap turis yang mengantri dibelakangku dimintanya berpindah ke antrian konter di sebelahnya. Setiap turis berpindah teratur sembari melihat dengan sedih atas kemalanganku, beberapa tampak heran penuh rasa ingin tahu.

Waduuhhh”, suara hatiku mulai kecut.

Petugas imigrasi itu segera melangkan memasuki konternya kembali dan menaruh dompetku di hadapannya. Dia mulai menatapku tajam.

Imigrasi                      :     ”Do you bring an ATM?

Aku                              :     “No, Sir”….Batinku menyanggah,”bukannya aku sudah punya Visa, kok dipermasalahin sih?”

Imigrasi                      :     “Credit Card?”

Aku                              :     “No, Sir”….Batinku kembali berguman, “Bukannya yang penting uangku cukup buat mengelana di Korea?”

Imigrasi                      :     “ID Card?”

Aku                              :     “No, Sir”….Kembali batinku melakukan perlawanan,”Bukannya ID Card bagi turis adalah passport?”

Imigrasi                      :     Menggelang tegas dengan muka merah, “Aiissshhhh….No ATM….No Credit Card….No ID Card….You only have a small amount of money…. You can’t stay in Korea

Aduh, Deportasi”, batinku memvonis diri seketika.

Imigrasi                      :     ”What do you do in your country?

Aku                              :     ”Marketing

Imigrasi                      :     “Show your business card!

Aku                              :     ”I don’t bring it, Sir

Imigrasi                      :     ” Aiissshhhh ….”

Dia mulai mengusap-usap kening dan matanya, tak percaya telah bertemu turis semacamku. Kini dia telah menutup passport. Dia berdiri kembali dan memanggil temannya. Dengan cepat temannya datang menghampiri dan mulai bercakap serius meninggalkanku yang sudah diambang deportasi.

Aku tak menahu apa yang mereka bicarakan, yang jelas itu pasti tentangku. Kuperhatikan dia terus menggelengkan kepala dan temannya sesekali melihatku bak tersangka….Aahhh, suasana ini benar-benar tak mengenakkan dan membuatku gelisah. Tap aku mencoba sekuat mungkin menampilkan muka penuh ketenangan. Bahkan aku bersiap melakukan klarifikasi sebelum dia memutuskan apapun.

OK, dia telah usai berdialog dengan temannya dan duduk kembali di bangku konter imigrasi. Sebelum dia mengeluarkan sepatah katapun, aku mulai melakukan pledoi terakhir. Tak peduli apapun hasilnya….

Aku                              :     ” I have a return ticket, Air Asia 5th January, from Incheon to Jakarta. I will stay at Kimchee Guesthouse Busan and Kimchee Guesthouse Seoul….these are my itinerary and my budgeting during in Korea”, Aku memberikan lembaran itinerary dan budgeting padanya, Aku memang selalu menyusun keduanya setiap melakukan backpacking ke luar negeri.

Petugas imigrasi itu marah dan menempelkan telunjuk ke mulutnya….”Sssttttt”, pertanda dia memintaku untuk tidak banyak mengoceh di depannya. Tapi hal baiknya adalah dia mau membaca lembaran itinerary dan budgeting itu.

Aku                              :     ”Please Sir, I am just a backpacker…..just for sightseeing Korea this time….No more….Please…..I will go home….Believe me!”, aku mengemis memelas.

Petugas imigrasi itu kembali menatapku, kali ini benar-benar menatap mataku lekat-lekat, mungkin dia sedang menguji kejujuran. Sepertinya dia mulai menaruh rasa kasihan. Dia mulai membolak-balik setiap halaman passport baru dan passport lamaku yang sedetik lalu dia tarik dari hadapanku.

Imigrasi                      :     ”OK, You can….You can….But promise me to return to your country!…. Or you’re in big trouble

Cettoookkkk….Stempel arrival itu terbubuh jelas di passport….Oh, indah sekali momen itu.

Hadeeuuhhhh…Leegggaaaa banggeeetttt.

Inilah pelajaran berharga bahwa dikemudian hari nanti aku akan menjadi seorang backpacker yang lebih detail dan mempersiapkan sesuatu dengan sangat baik. Setelah insiden itu, aku selalu membawa kartu nama, KTP, Credit Card (walaupun limitnya kecil) dan ATM (meskipun isinya minim) setiap melakukan perjalanan ke negara orang.

Berkat persiapan yang baik, aku sangat terbantu dengan keberadaan kartu-kartu sakti itu ketika menghadapi random checking serupa di Woodlands Checkpoint di Singapura tujuh bulan setelah insiden ini.

Insiden telah usai, aku melangkah meninggalkan konter imigrasi dengan kemenangan.

Welcome Busan, Welcome South Korea!

Bersitatap Kagum: Air Busan BX 123 dari Osaka (KIX) ke Busan (PUS)

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Jalur penerbangan Air Busan BX 123 (sumber:

Air Busan adalah maskapai ke-16 dari 28 maskapai berbeda yang pernah kucicipi. Low Cost Carrier (LCC) dari Negeri Ginseng ini memiliki main hub di Gimhae International Airport. Bukan niatan mengunjungi Busan, tetapi karena harga tiket murah yang ditawarkan Air Busan lah yang membuatku memutuskan untuk singgah di Busan sebelum mencapai tujuan utama, yaitu Seoul, ibu kota Korea Selatan.

Aku sendiri mendapatkan tiket murah ini tujuh bulan sebelum keberangkatan dengan harga tak sampai Rp. 800.000.

Inilah kisahku menunggang maskapai dengan tiga warna branding, putih-biru-kuning…


 “Sorry, Sir….We don’t receive coin”, petugas KIX Currency Exchange berseru dengan senyum.

Oh, Okay…It’s no problem”, aku menarik kembali uang koin sembari menunggu hasil penukaran uang kertas.

Dia dengan gesit memencet beberapa tombol kalkulator kemudian menunjukkan angka di LCDnya kepadaku.

Yes, Sir….”, aku mengiyakan cepat.

Sukses menukar Yen dengan USD, kini misiku adalah menghabiskan uang koin untuk membeli bekal apapun yang bisa kujadikan sebagai makan siang, kalau perlu hingga makan malam….Parah kan?, bagaimana caraku berhemat.

Aku berhasil menemukan FamilyMart di sebuah selasar, memasukinya, berburu onigiri dan permen, menyudahinya dengan uang koin di kasir lalu membenamkannya dalam-dalam di backpack. Aku tak pernah meremehkan permen, dua butir permen bisa memenuhi 10% kalori seporsi makan orang dewasa, itu berarti bisa menahan lapar perut beberapa saat hingga menemukan warung makan yang murah. Kali ini aku tak berbasa-basi dengan berkeliling bandara, waktuku sempit, kuputuskan segera menuju konter check-in untuk bertukar e-ticket dengan boarding pass. Standar utama maskapai terhadap penumpang yang akan melintas negara berbeda adalah mengecek visa serta return ticket dari negara yang dituju. Tapi tak perlu khawatir, visaku sudah menempel sempurna di passport dan e-ticket Air Asia untuk pulang dari Korea Selatan juga telah kupesan.

Can you speak English, Sir”, petugas wanita konter check-in bertanya ringan.

Yes, sure Ms. I can

Do you want to sit in emergency exit row?”, dia meminta.

Oh, yes, with pleasure”, aku menjawabnya dengan gembira, kapan lagi bayar murah tapi dapat deretan kursi yang lebih lega.

Ok, thank you Sir

“You are welcome”.

Boarding pass dengan cepat kudapat. Menuju konter imigrasi, aku menyerahkan passport begitu tiba. Tahapan keluar dari sebuah negara adalah hal yang paling kusuka, karena cepat dan tanpa interogasi. Tentu petugas imigrasi akan senang dan terbantu jika tamu negaranya berdisiplin untuk keluar negaranya tepat waktu. Setelah mendapatkan stempel departure di passport, aku segera menuju gate untuk menunggu Air Busan yang sebentar lagi akan datang bahkan mungkin telah bersiap. Tiba tepat waktu, benar adanya, pesawat Airbus itu telah berdiri gagah di apron bersiap memasukkan segenap muatan.

Baording passku.
Nah, dikasih kupun 10.000 Won buat berjudi….”Judiii….Teeeeet….Menjanjikan Kemenangan”.

Menjelang pukul setengah sebelas, panggilan boarding memenuhi langit-langit bandara, Jalur antrian mulai dibuka dan beberapa ground staff mulai berbaris di gate untuk melakukan final checking kepada setiap penumpang. Aku melewatinya dengan mantap, menunjukkan boarding pass dan passport, kemudian diizinkan menuju ke pesawat. Aku merangsek melalui aerobridge lalu disambut dua pramugari berwajah khas Negeri Ginseng.

Annyeonghasimnika”, salah satu dari mereka bersalam senyum dengan sedikit membungkuk, meminta boarding pass, mengecek sebentar lalu mempersilahkanku mencari tempat duduk.

Gamsahamnida”, ahhh, hanya sedikit kosakata Korea yang kufaham. Aku mulai mencari bangku.

Aku duduk di aisle seat pada emergency exit row. Tak lama setelah tiga kolom bangku terisi, seorang pramugari datang menyapa. Pramugari itu menjelaskan dalam Bahsa Korea tentang peraturan di emergency exit row, maklum dua penumpang di sebelahku asli berkebangsaan Korea. Usai menjelaskan ke mereka berdua, kemudian pramugari itu kembali menjelaskan, kali ini dalam Bahasa Inggris, jelas itu untukku. Saat menjelaskan itu, kita berdua saling bersitatap. Sebab kejahilan hatiku saja, aku tak pernah mendengarkan peraturan yang diucapkannya, justru aku lebih fokus menikmati keayuan khas wajah Koreanya yang putih bersih. Aku faham, dia merasa kuperhatikan sehingga dia sesekali menjelaskan peraturan itu dengan senyum, dia semakin keki ketika aku membalasnya dengan seyuman dengan tetap bersitatap muka….Parah habis ya guwe.

I’m in the cabin.
Nah ntuh pintu daruratnya.

Setengah jam menyelesaikan boarding process, akhirnya juluran aerobridge mulai ditarik dari pintu pesawat, pramugari mulai menutup pintu rapat-rapat, penumpang mulai mengenakan sabuk pengaman, pesawat mulai meninggalkan apron sembari memamerkan demo keselamatan penerbangan oleh beberapa awak kabin. Demo itu usai ketika pesawat sudah di runaway dan bersiap take-off meninggalkan Kansai International Airport.

Flight attendants, please prepare for take off”, begitu kata terakhir dari kapten penerbangan yang memecah sunyi ruangan di kabin.

Pesawat itupun melakukan brake release, mesin berotasi dengan tenaga penuh, dan akhirnya airborne berlangsung dengan mulus, pesawat melaju dengan cepat meninggalkan Osaka. Aku cukup terkesima dengan pesawat ini karena inilah pertama kalinya bisa melihat keberadaan pesawat di atas peta bumi dalam sebidang LCD….Guwe kampungan emang.

Ketika tiba waktunya menyajikan in-flight meal, aku lebih memilih memasukkan makanan dan minuman kemasan itu ke dalam folding bag. “Buat makan siang saja lah”, gumamku dalam hati. Aku lebih memilih membaca dengan seksama inflight magazine untuk mencari informasi yang mungkin aja berguna untuk petualanganku di Korea Selatan.

Nih dia….Pengganti menu makan siang.

Tak terasa aku telah terbang selama 1 jam 30 menit dan pilot memberikan pengumunan kepada penumpang bahwa pesawat bersiap mendarat di Gimhae International Airport serta menginformasikan kondisi cuaca di Busan yang cerah. Tak berselang lama setelah pengumuman selesai, awak kabin segera memeriksa setiap sisi kabin dan penumpang untuk memastikan pendaratan berlangsung aman. Akhirnya pesawat mendarat mulus di landas pacu. Betapa bahagianya aku ketika untuk pertama kalinya tiba di Korea Selatan

Hmmhh….Aku sudah tak sabar mengeksplorasi Busan. Aku masih saja tak mampu membendung semburat senyum di wajah.

Aku masih saja tak menduga bahwa di dalam bangunan terminal bandara nanti, akan ada insiden serius yang menimpaku.


Selamat Datang Busan….Selamat Datang Korea Selatan.

Alternatif untuk tiket pesawat dari Osaka ke Busan bisa dicari di 12Go atau link berikut:

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service: Stasiun Shin-imamiya ke Kansai Airport Station

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Lelapan hari pertama tahun baru, masih membalut erat kedua mata. Membalas dendam kebekuan badan tadi malam saat perayaan malam pergantian tahun di Dōtonbori Canal dengan kehangatan selimut Hotel Kaga menjadi sesuatu yang kuanggap impas. Namun akhirnya, hanya satu hal yang mampu memaksa mata untuk tak lagi terpejam, yaitu penerbangan Air Busan BX 123 tepat pukul 11:00, karena seperti biasa, untuk penerbangan internasional, empat jam sebelum waktu terbang aku akan memulai perjalanan menuju bandara.

Hampir pukul tujuh, aku melompat bangun, menyambar handuk putih milik hotel, bathroom amenities dan segera beranjak keluar kamar menuju shared bathroom di ujung lorong. Kamar mandi Hotel Kaga cukuplah luas untuk ukuran backpacker. Berwujud ruang dua sekat, yaitu sekat dengan kaca dan wastafel serta kapsul mandi dengan shower air hangat. Berlama-lama di bawah shower air hangat adalah kebiasaan burukku, karena air hangat sangat efektif mengusir keletihan otot kaki yang merupakan aset utamaku dalam setiap perjalanan….Yups, apalagi kalau bukan untuk berjalan berpuluh-puluh kilometer sepanjang petualangan.

Usai mandi, aku dengan cueknya melintasi koridor hotel hanya dengan berbalut handuk dan sandal jepit. Menjadikan beberapa tamu hotel yang lewat melihat heran. “Ah, ketemu cuma sekali ini….Biarin saja”, batinku mulai iseng.

Di dalam kamar aku segera berbenah, memakai t-shirt berangkap long john hitam, celana panjang katun penyimpan suhu tubuh, sepasang sepatu boots dan mulai mengepak semua barang ke dalam backpack Eiger 45L berwarna biru yang kupinjam dari teman sekantor (parah, backpack aja pinjem).

Aku turun ke lobby menggunakan lift dan segera menyerahkan kunci kamar di meja resepsinonis.

Thank you for staying at our hotel. Have a nice trip, Sir”, resepsionis yang masih sama, bertugas dari semalam, melempar senyum sembari menyerahkan uang deposit padaku.

You’re welcome. Very happy to stay at Hotel Kaga …. A good hotel“, Aku menjawab sekenanya. “See you, Sir“”.

See you”, dia melambaikan tangan dan masih tersenyum.

Aku kembali turun ke jalanan menuju Stasiun Shin-imamiya, stasiun yang menjadi tempat hinggap pertama kali ketika aku memasuki pusat kota Osaka. Hanya stasiun itulah yang terdekat dari hotel dan dilewati kereta Nankai-Kuko Line menuju Kansai International Airport (KIX).

Gang-gang selebar lima meter mulai bergeliat, menyisakan sisa peryaan tahun baru semalam. Aku menyusur beberapa gang dengan cepat tanpa menikmati suasana, toh aku sudah beberapa kali melewatnya. Mengambil tembusan ke Abiko-suji Avenue, aku tiba di Stasiun Shin-imamiya dalam lima menit semenjak meninggalkan hotel.

Memasuki gerbang stasiun, mataku langsung menyisir keberadaan ticketing vending machine. Aku mendapatkannya dengan mudah. Tiket senilai 1.060 Yen (Rp. 145.000) akhirnya berada dalam genggaman dan aku segera merapat ke plafform JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service.

Tiket JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service.

Kereta layanan bandara itu tiba tepat waktu, aku memasuki salah satu gerbongnya dan tak lama setela terduduk, kereta itu melaju. Aku kembali menikmati ulang perjalanan seperti saat pertama menumpang kereta yang sama setiba di Osaka. Pemandangan pertama yang tersaji adalah suasana daerah urban padat bangunan di Distrik Kota Nishinari, Sumiyoshi dan Suminoe. Setalah melintas Yamoto River suasana berganti menjadi daerah lahan pertanian di daerah Kishiwada dan Izumisano. Kemudian kereta melintas lautan di Osaka Bay setelah sedikit mendaki jalur layang di Rinku Town. Setelah melintas jembatan laut sepanjang lima kilometer maka kereta tiba di Kansai-Airport Station.

Daerah urban di Osaka.

Begitu kereta merapat di platform, aku segera melompat keluar gerbong menuju departure hall Kansai International Airport, si pemenang Best Low Cost Airline Terminal in the World versi Skytrax.

Satu tujuan pertama setiba di bandara….Yes, money changer.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->