Each school is within walking distance and if needed, I have several bus routes to choose from.
The transit system here is phenomenal and makes getting around and living very convenient.
It feels strange being a foreigner in a foreign land but bridging the gap has been easier than expected. Last night a group of us went on a pub crawl and afterwards, I took the last train home.
Having taken the train many times before -all during he day mind you - I anticipated the ride being very much the same as before.
The name of the station closest to my home is in part English and has ALWAYS been announced as such just prior to the stop. In my mind, I could rest, close my eyes and just wait for the station to be called. To my surprise the entire announcement was made in Korean and I missed the stop. Not realising until the next station was called that I’d gone to far. Immediately, I got off the train, crossed the track and prepared to take the next train home. To my dismay, there would not be another train for another 6 hours.
My mind raced, and I was like damn! I thought, I have a couple of options here but neither really great choices. I could walk or take a taxi. Being ever so mindful of the warnings to not take a taxi alone at night, I figured I’d scope out the distance and walk. I was only one stop down from where I’d usually exit, I thought it couldn’t be so bad.
Where I live there is a giant red cross in the distance and coming out of the subway I spotted it. And what a relief if was see it. I knew then I was near my apartment and could very well walk.
The problem now was, I wasn't really sure which direction to walk and again was like damn…what now? I walked in what I thought might be the right direction in hopes of hailing a taxi.
As I was walking, I came upon a 24 hour restaurant…thank goodness. I ducked in and with my limited Korean and a few exaggerated mimed gestures explained to the ajumma on duty, what I needed.
Within minutes a taxi arrived. I showed the photo of my address and the driver gets out of the car without say one word.
I sit and think, ummm exactly what is this about? The driver goes into the 7/11, comes back, sits for a minute and then begins to wet wipe the inside of the windshield.
I have heard that Korea is really a safe place but as part of my 10 day new teacher orientation representatives from the US Embassy warned about various situations.
In my mind, I feel I have a situation…it’s about to go down and I’m planning my defense and a speedy exit. We finally take off and I’m watching the GPS and watching the driver.
I begin to recognise the surroundings and see that we are within a block of the house and I feel relieved. I could have walked if only it were not pouring rain and had I known with direction to walk in. Despite be being drenched from the rain, I made it home safely and get to continue writing of my adventures in Korea.