Sunday, September 25, 2011

bus adventure cont.

so i read about the "unification observatory" in my south korea guidebook. and it sounded pretty awesome. 50 cent binoculars that you could see north korea with! lots of statues, monuments, etc. pretty stellar if you ask me. i looked at the distance from sokcho, which was written in kilometers, and figured that it couldn't take more than a 45 minute bus ride to get there. i hustle home from work, grab my camera and make the next bus paying 1,500 won. it's about 4:30PM. pretty soon the houses and convenience stores get scarce. i see the signs that say "north ^ unification observatory" so i know I'm going the right way. 5:15PM rolls around. the bus is pretty empty. I'm in the back with maybe three people in the front. but, ah, no biggie, it's probably coming up real soon right? 5:30PM. I'm the only person on the bus. i feel it, it's just around the corner. no way i'm turning around now, I'm so close!! 5:45PM. nothing. 5:50PM it starts getting darker outside. 5:53PM i start getting nervous. the bus driver keeps looking back at me in the mirror. 6:00PM the bus driver pulls the bus over on the side of the road. my heart drops. we are deep in the forest on a two lane road, next to a little red concrete building. 6:02PM the bus driver gets up and starts asking me questions in korean (imagine law and order's ice t.) his tone is not the nicest, and i start getting nervous. is he mad because i didn't pay enough money? i know this has taken longer than i expected and i probably owe him money, but I'm sorry i didn't know!! oh no, oh no. he keeps asking me mean questions and i try to show in my best gestures that i am a dumbie, i don't know what i'm doing. while thinking, "aw hale, this man is gonna kill me. or worse, I'm gonna get arrested and stuck for decades in korean prison just like that lady gaga music video!" my broken korean trying to explain that i don't speak korean isn't working. he gets riled up and storms off the bus, swearing. i am left by myself at the back. waiting. for what, I'm not sure. another empty bus pulls up behind us. i pee my pants. the new bus driver gets off his bus and they both talk for a bit and then go into the red building. (aka: this red building.)

i sit on the bus for 10 more minutes, working up the guts to get off the bus and follow them. i finally go and quietly knock on the door. they say something in korean which i assume is "come in pretty lady!" and i open the door to the two bus drivers eating ramen and watching korean soaps. dah hale right? i have given up on the unification observatory and decide my best bet is to just get back home. "Sokcho!!! Sokcho!!!" i plead like my life depended on it. somehow, everything works out and i am passed off to bus driver number two who is headed south. (aka: this is him)

bus driver number two is handsome and funny and knows a bit of english. we sit alone together on the bus for about 20 minutes. he tells me that he has four girlfriends and he is 41 years old. i take his picture for this blog post and he gives me his email address so i can email them to him. we become friends. pretty soon, a couple of women get on the bus, and then get off a couple of stops later. he tells me that they are all his girlfriends. lady killer. he takes me all the way home and i safely make it to 809 Eujin.

epilogue: i saw lady killer bus driver number two TODAY and he totally remembered me. :)

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