Day 147

Monday | July 23rd, 2012

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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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