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64
Bus on a Roll Subway on Guard
Buses are among the largest of the
When you arrive, he glowers at you and
It seems that the subway entrance or exit
vehicles on the road here and, therefore,
yells to get on. Before you have time to
gates in Korea are designed to slam shut
are the kings. If they want to move into
catch your breath he slams the door on
at the most inconvenient moments and
a lane and you’re in a smaller vehicle,
your heels and blazes down the road.
to send previously stationary subway
you better move on out of the way
Meanwhile, you and the old lady
guards running en masse towards you.
before they crush you. They are a prime
who dove in after you are floating
You imagine this is what criminals feel
example of how size really does matter
airborne towards the back of the bus.
like when the police come after them.
… at least on the road.
As you lurch to an empty seat, if there
Only you didn’t do anything illegal. The
Yet the bus’s main function doesn’t
is one, the bus driver switches gears
machine just didn’t like your token for
seem to be transporting people from
and slams on the brakes, tossing a
some reason.
point A to point B. The goal seems to be
nearby teenager onto the floor next to
Nevertheless, it’s a total adrenalin
one of entertaining the bus driver. He
where you’re now standing. As he lies
boost and prepares you for the actual
delights in making you chase after him
there sprawled on his hands and knees,
ride, which features jostling crowds,
from the bus depot, where you thought
earbuds flapping around his ears, the
unblinking stares at you (here you are
he was supposed to stop. Instead, he
old lady elbows him out of the way and
too exotic), and an old Korean dude
stops about 100 meters ahead of you.
takes over his seat, where she sits glaring
learning against your shoulder and
So you race to the bus door, arms
at him as if he were to blame for the
barking things at you in Korean. Maybe
akimbo, 1000 won clutched in your hand.
driver’s sorry skills.
the subway is out.
That leaves hoofing it on foot. Not
unheard of and sometimes pleasurable
on a moderate evening in the brief
two weeks of fall Korea offers each
year. The only thing you have to avoid
while strolling around is pretty much
everything mentioned above plus the
millions of pedestrians who pepper the
urban landscape in any Korean city.
All in all, the transportation options
aren’t great. The good news is that
you don’t care any more. After a few
months of navigating the roads here,
your adrenal glands have hardened into
rocks and are no longer emitting stress
signals to your body, your reflexes have
improved so much that dodging away
from moving objects of any kind is
second nature, and your lingering fear of
death has disappeared.
Not bad qualities to have when you
face your own extinction on a daily basis.
avantoure
|
adrenaline rainbow
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