Incheon Airport recently held a special 20th anniversary essay contest with the theme of memories and time spent at Incheon Airport. The contest saw as many as 842 essay submissions!
There were a total of 11 winners who shared their honest experiences at Incheon Airport. In this post, we’ll introduce a few works by the grand prize winner as well as runner ups and honorable mentions with excerpts.
[Grand Prize] An Unforgettable Day at Incheon Airport
The first essay to be introduced is the grand prize winner “An Unforgettable Day at Incheon Airport.”
The writer planned to go on a trip to Taiwan with his friend a month before serving the military four years ago. He was planning to transfer to a university in Taiwan so he had an appointment for an interview with a person from the university. However, he came to realize that his passport passed the expiration date while he was packing before the trip. Although generally a meticulous person, he made an exceptional mistake by forgetting to properly check his passport and faced a crisis that jeopardized his trip with his friend and the scheduled appointment for the college interview. In the end, he was able to redeem his mistake thanks to the help of Incheon Airport and his father.
[Runner Up] There Is Something Special in the Nest
The second essay is the runner-up “There Is Something Special in the Nest.”
The author’s father was a civil engineer who participated in the construction of Incheon Airport. The author witnessed his father’s efforts since childhood and Incheon Airport took strong roots in the history of his family. This relationship and experience with Incheon Airport influenced the author to decide on a career path. This essay shows what kind of influence Incheon Airport has and allows readers to reflect on its significance.
[Runner Up] Incheon Airport with Memories and Longing
The third essay is also a runner up titled “Incheon Airport with Memories and Longing.”
The author’s mother, who has never been on any domestic or overseas trip, suddenly suggests going on a family trip. The family decides on visiting the not-very-far Taiwan, out of consideration for her declining health, and departs with delight. The author feels happy seeing her mother mesmerized by Incheon Airport, as it is her first international trip after all. The first family trip ends in success and the family members expect to go on another trip next year. As time passes, they discover a photo inside of the mother’s diary and burst into tears.
[Honorable Mention] Old Excitement
The fourth essay is an honorable mention titled “Old Excitement.”
On the way to Incheon Airport, the author is wrought with feelings of solitude in the chilly breeze. Incheon Airport was where the author came to meet his sibling who came to Korea while studying abroad. The airport, once crowded with tourists with excited expressions and people waiting for their beloveds, is now filled with silence. This essay arouses longing as it contrasts the silence of Incheon Airport after COVID-19 against the excitement of the past.
[Honorable Mention] Mission Impossible: Protect the Passport!
The fifth essay is also an honorable mention titled “Mission Impossible: Protect the Passport!”
The author’s family goes on an overseas trip in celebration of the mother’s birthday. While the author was leisurely looking around the recently opened Terminal 2 with his parents, his sister who was going to arrive later because of work called him and said that she arrived at the airport. She shouted, “But, I left my passport!” To make matters worse, she said she left her passport at their parents’ house in Busan, which shocked everyone. Fortunately, a passenger of KTX from Busan to Incheon Airport handed over the passport. However, it’s not over yet. The second hurdle is that the author had to arrive at Terminal 2 on time.
[Honorable Mention] Cheer Up, Jeong!
The last essay is also an honorable mentioned titled “Cheer Up, Jeong!”
The beginning of the episode was the promise of the author to his wife’s family that he, who often goes on a business trip, will plan for an overseas family trip. The father-in-law asked him to include 12 individuals, including uncles and aunts, in the family trip. Now, a twists-and-turns episode unfolds for the son-in-law Jeong who had to lead his elders going abroad for the first time in their life. Until now, they talk about the trip with laughter when they get together on holidays.