Two different set of airplane tickets were purchased today. The first is for a return flight on August 14th, leaving Japan at 2:50 and arriving in Denver at 2:00 on the same day.
Oh, the wonders of time travel.
The second set will take me to Jeju Island, Korea, which I've heard referred to as "the Hawaii of Korea". I've mentioned it somewhere in this post on couchsurfing, but I'll be there for a week attending a conference on Natural Language Processing (NLP) / Computational Linguistics. It's the largest, yearly convention put on by the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) and would normally cost quite a bit of money, but I've somehow tricked my way in for free.
I've agreed to work as a volunteer for the conference (two half days of work in return for free entry). In return, I get up to $700 for airplane tickets and free entry to the conference. I do not get free entry into all the workshops though, and the price is a little steep for me, so it looks like I'll have some off days to go hike and scuba dive around the island. Poor me.
Speaking of those airplane tickets, I noticed something interesting. Trying to find a way to get from Sendai to Jeju for under $700, the best I could find was 44,000 Japanese yen (~$550) for a round trip. I found that price on the Japanese expedia (.co.jp), and double checked to make sure I wasn't going to lose too much money on exchange by going to the American expedia (.com). Putting the exact same information into the American expedia gave me a cheapest flight of $1700.
I guess we can file this one under benefits to knowing a second language?