Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On my way to San Diego

Getting to the airport was a challenge - I made it so. I waited for the bus for what seemed like a lifetime (maybe a few minutes) in front of my apartment. I was 20 minutes earlier than my friend said the airport bus would arrive. It would provide perfect timing given the hour long ride and 2 hours to check into my flight. I was getting nervous as different colored city buses came and left. I asked a local about the airport bus and she pointed me to a map indicating that it would go the other direction to Seoul Station and would require a line change. I'd later find out that bus does run that way first, then go back to the airport. I don't know why I freaked out, but I found myself running with my luggage to the subway station. A half hour of running, scrambling, and riding the subway put me at Seoul Station, even more confused about the airport bus, and slightly behind. At this point even if I knew where to go, waiting for the bus could be a problem. I flagged down the first taxi I saw at Seoul Station and was on my way.

Korean taxi drivers are a funny bunch. "Adashi", we call them. You'd never guess that it was the polite term for "Uncle". I most often hear Americans yelling that as a cab driver cuts them off or stops in the middle of the road. The thing is, they'll break every law in the book to pick you up, then slam on the breaks for every yellow with a running meter. Adashi was playing that game with me at first. A few glances down at my watch and the occasional one at him (hopefully not too dirty a look) and he got the idea. He put 2 and 2 together and drove like the taxi drivers I've come to know and love here. This included driving fast between ticket radar cameras, making "questionable" lights, and doing a little weaving. I arrived at the airport with time to spare. Naturally, I was obligated to break Korean custom and give him a good tip.

Hopefully I find the 601 bus on the way home.

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