Day 147

Monday | July 23rd, 2012


Adventure! Fear of boredom and fear of being poor for another semester in Gyeongju led me down the dark path of freelance English teacher. I’m off to Pohang to partake in a camp.

Like all adventures this one was not without it’s bumps and I hadn’t even made it out of the municipality of Gyeongju 시. For all the laments I’ve made of Korea’s public transportation system, I’ve never used the intracity buses alone; I’ve always been with friends and followed them from one place to the next. So adventure this was indeed.

First, I went to the wrong terminal, then followed a lost country grandmother to the right one. Then while I waited for a bus that was supposed to come “every ten minutes”, I saw a lot of other buses also going to Pohang and tried to get on those. A smarter than I bus driver shuffled me off to the right place and hurried me on the right bus when it arrived and his smarter than I compatriot asked me if I was going to Pohang just to double check.

The ride was much, much shorter than I had envisioned. I called Meow from the bus as it left Gyeongju and then played with my phone. When I looked out the window twenty minutes later we were entering Pohang.

At Pohang terminal I was already running late so I grabbed a taxi to my destination. Any expectations of speeding off on an intercity expressway and paying a less than 10,000 won tardiness penalty to the traffic gods was dashed as we sat at a standstill. I admired industrial Pohang and tried to contrast it with my memories of tourist Pohang.

Arriving at my destination (and paying exactly 10,300 won for the privilege), I discovered that I was overdressed and didn’t need to be rushing like I did. Nothing really happened until around 11.00. I spent the idle time paying games with other adults and talking with my new pals (for the next three weeks). It was a very, very low impact working day.

Gyeongju’s missing link, a large supermarket. On Mondays, Meow has to go to Pohang for training at her company headquarters. This Monday, I met up with her after my duties were finished. We met in front of Emart (pictured, left).

I ate dinner with Meow and her coworkers and then we got a ride back to Gyeongju. Again, it was another short ride (like Salem to Woodburn or Manhattan to JFK).

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