Friday, March 09, 2007

Transportation Everywhere, but not a bus to ride...

Little Ninny, Big City!

OK, so when I first got here, I was staying with Lumi in Bundang (soft b kind of like a p ... poondahng) A 5 minute walk from the school...BUT I live in a place called Nagwon-dong (dong=neighborhood) which is right in downtown seoul near the shopping and far away fromthe school. I ride the bus about 45 minutes in the morning (apparently accompanied by a brief sprint TO the bus station with my coworker regan) and about 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on traffic in the evening. I don't mind the bus ride...time to study korean. Except that yesterday I had to stand the whole time. Blech! Now for some pictures of my first Korean transportation experiences...This was my entire goal for last saturday: ride the subway and take the bus by myself to work. I did it!!!

Funny shots by Lumina. The good news is that somethings never change...I still have a monsterous bag and it still has weird things in it...this time, one of my peanut butter hershey's kisses, brought over from the US of A melted on the heated wooden floor or Lumina's apartment and I was evidently hungry enough while waiting for the bus to eat it. Hmmmm...
A Bus. I ride the 5500-1 express bus from bundang into seoul. I have to flag the driver down to get him to stop. That entails standing in the middle of the road and physically forcing the bus over to the side. Once the driver has stopped, you have exactly 3.2 seconds to get on the steps of the bus before it leaves the dock. It's amazing for my abs.
Now for the subway. Please look at to understand what the subway system is like here. yeah. uh huh. easy.

Korea is MAGIC! BUT evidently, as depicted by the many caucasian looking Korean women on posters and billboards here, you are more magic if you look like whitey. Such a shame. Korean women are beautiful without crazy nose lengthening and eye crease creating surgeries.
Just let me point out that my blond hair makes me completely conspicuous here. If I get lost, I have to walk around the block a little bit so that I don't turn around and come right back down the way I kinda can't miss the waygookin blond girl wandering through your back alley 2 or three times. Especially the alley with the scarey old men and women boiling chicken parts and drunk men peeing against the wall.This picture is deceiving. This is my new friend, not just some stranger on the subway. Koreans NEVER talk to you just while you are out doing your thing. In fact, other foreigners don't acknowledge that you are there either. It's a very strange thing to get used to, but it's going ok.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

I'm mostly grateful that you still carry "our" Old Navy bag. *sniff*