I'm at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, where contrary to what the internet would tell you, there is free wi-fi. So I caught up on email, Facebook and RSS feeds instead of swotting up on hangeul. That can wait till I board the 1.5-hour flight to Seoul.
My flight from Singapore to Shanghai was packed with a couple of tour groups from China. This was the first time I've ever heard cabin crew sternly, shrilly yell, teacher-style, in Mandarin, "Please stay in your seats!" This was prompted by passengers who were unfastening their seatbelts and getting up from their seats the moment the plane lifted off from or hit the ground.
My ineptness with Mandarin is so embarrassing. I wasn't sure of the term for bottled water when the flight attendant was coming around with the beverage trolley (she simply used the generic word for "water"), and I could not, for the life of me, remember how to say "credit card" when I was ordering drinks at a cafe in the airport. I remember how to say "Korea", but I can't remember how "Seoul" is translated in Mandarin.
However, I did manage to work my way through a six-page inflight magazine story on "the spirit of art" in Melbourne. Just don't make me take a test on that.