Tag Archives: subway

Korean Subway System

“Does Korea have a higher life expectancy than Thailand?” I asked Jasmine. 

She obviously did not know because that isn’t one of those random facts you remember. But everywhere we went in Korea, I was amazed by the number of elderly people traveling with us. It took a bit for Jasmine to figure out what was throwing me off, but then she explained…at certain times, the elderly ride the subway system for free! And since we took the subway everywhere, we inevitably went with them. 

I felt quite pleased taking the subway system because I could navigate it with little problem. There was one thing, however, that I did throw me off: Korean subways have the weirdest signs. 

Image may contain: 2 people, including Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, people standing

I don’t really know what they’re warning against except that sniffing strangers and having flames shoot out of your head top the list as generally frowned upon. 


A Tale of Transportation

It started with the pouring rain this morning. One crack of thunder and I decided a taxi sounded like a better decision than either walking or taking the public bus. I pulled up my trusty Grab app (like Uber but less awesome) and found…no taxis available. Surprised, I hit search multiple times. Nothing. 

I grabbed the bus. Unfortunately, potentially because of the rain which stopped almost as soon as I got on the bus, traffic crawled. I ended up showing up for class 30 minutes late. Of course we had a new professor today and he was on time. 

Then because I wore my rain shoes this morning, I decided to take the bus back home. Somehow I missed my stop. It took me a while to notice. I kept thinking, “Wow, this commute feels long.” But it wasn’t until I realized I did not recognize anything out my window that it dawned on me that I must have passed my stop.

Being the logical person I am, I thought to myself, “Well, I know this bus runs past my apartment in both directions, so eventually it must turn around.”

Turns out it does. And it only took 4 hours of riding the bus to get me back! In the meanwhile, I got to see the very outskirts of Bangkok and chat with a very nice 70-year-old woman who was seriously concerned by my nonchalant attitude and gave me detailed instructions to get to her house in case the bus just kicked me off somewhere. 

Obviously my prolonged bus ride threw my afternoon off a little. In order to get to Bible study in time, I dumped my stuff and ran out to call a taxi. With an hour and a half to take a 30 minute drive, I thought I gave myself plenty of time to beat rush hour. Little did I know. 

After the hour and a half passed, and then another 30 minutes after that, I finally just paid the driver, dashed out of traffic, and walked for 20 minutes on foot. I don’t think the cars budged an inch between when I left and when I arrived at my destination. I did try to run but it took all of ten seconds for me to remember I don’t run. And also even if I wanted to, people walk sooooooooo slow. 

Thankfully, the kind people at my Bible study saved me dinner and I joined a group of them walking back. We opted to take the subway/sky train. As we left, the pastor noted, “Barring anything unforeseen, you can always count on the sky train to get you places quickly.”

So obviously, guess what experienced a delay “due to high volume of traffic”? Once the the sky train got us to our destination, my friend and I boarded a bus and things went fairly smoothly for a while. I got on the bus and off at the right time. I caught my transfer bus pretty easily. And then I somehow missed the stop for my apartment. 

Not feeling like an adventure to the outskirts of town again, I immediately got out. Somehow I still managed to go over 6 blocks without noticing we passed my stop! This obviously called for a trip to the nearest convenience store to buy a myself a Snickers.

Some days demand chocolate. 

I then thought about calling a taxi, or at least a motorbike taxi, but after due reflection on my day, opted to walk. And lo and behold, I finally made it home!