Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seoul Subway

Before my Subway fiasco took place, I moseyed along the one block before going down into the station and took in a little bit of Seoul.

 This is a little flower shop that was right beside the subway entrance. It was a lot cuter in person. The weather is a little cold right now (around the 30's) so she probably has to take her plants in before nighttime.

 This is a picture I caught of Seoul's streetlife. When I was walking down the sidewalk it reminded me a lot of being in Chicago, but I suppose you could say that of any big westernized city.

And this is where my adventure begins.

The subways stations here have large underground areas which house a bunch of markets as well. Between that and a bevy of commuters rushing to and fro, the subway can get a little hectic. Needless to say I got lost. I kept asking people where I was to go -- mainly because I didn't know, but I kept asking different people because I was a little paranoid that they would send me purposefully in the wrong direction -- and still ended up going the wrong way. Twice. Simplicity became a nightmare.The simple green line to red line didn't work since I didn't know which way on the green line I needed to go on, and honestly, the pink line on the map does not look much different from the red line. 

Once I figured my mistake, continuously staring at the map, clutching onto my brown paper bag, and tears welling up in my eyes, I realized I was lost. In Seoul. I was tired. And frustrated. And honestly a little scared. I had no idea how I was getting home. And all I wanted to do was eat my food, drink my fancy drink, and sleep until I could magically learn Korean.

People kept walking past me on both sides as I aimlessly wandered from sign to sign hoping that it would somehow make sense. But in a panic, it never seems to anyway.

I decided I would take a chance on a young kid walking by (young as in my age, but Koreans always look younger than they are) and asked him if he could help me. He said he was going the same way so he would show me where I needed to transfer. Kom sa ham ni da!

After chatting with him for a bit, we got to the transfer point and gave him a huge hug. I was so thankful to be in familiar territory, and even though I had to go back to the school to do observations for the next six hours, one of the best moments was just sitting down and finally eating my chicken salad and sandwich in the faculty room.

One good thing is that now I can navigate the Seoul Subway system like a pro.

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