Sunday, September 02, 2007

Leaving Korea: Murphy's Law (Updated)

A chronicle of things that went wrong in my attempt to leave Gejoe (updated!)

Too Much Baggage
Despite my careful planning, as I attempted to shove all of my stuff in my bags, I realized that there was no way it was going to fit. So, I walked down to the local market where I bought a larger carry-on bag. I ended up using all of the cash I had in my wallet for this bag.

Skinned Knee
As I walked home through the rain, I slipped in a puddle. It seemed to take forever for me to actually hit the ground. Along the way, I scrapped my hand, and my knee. I got a bloody knee and a pair of wet pants.

Getting to the Ferry
After successfully getting packed and ready to go, I took my backs down to the entry way to my apartment building. It was pouring rain. So, I decided to wrangle a cab to bring back to my apartment to get my things. Then, I remembered that I had no cash. I glanced at my watch. I'd have to hurry if I was to make the 2:00 ferry. I ran to the ATM, careful not to slip again.

On the way back to my apartment, I saw my new bosses in their brightly painted van. I flagged them down and asked if they could take me to ferry. They agreed. In Korea, relationships are supposed to be more important than schedules, but I think this is the first time that this has worked out in my favor. It turns out, that they were already late for a class they were supposed to be teaching. They were missing their class so they could take me to the ferry.

The Ferry
Yeah, the ferry didn't happen. It was canceled due to the weather. So I schlepped my things to bus station to find pandemonium. Two ferries had been canceled so the people had to resort to the bus to get to where they were going. They ticket offices kept selling tickets even though the buses were full. In standard Korean fashion, it was every man for himself. Teeth were gnashed, elbows were flying, and shouts rang out each time a bus pulled up bound for Busan. I finally got on one and got away.

Update... Sunday 7:00pm US Central Time
The Cabbie
I can't believe I forgot this.

After seeing the empty ferry port, I paused for a second. I was indescribably frustrated. It took so much effort to get from my place to the port. I hadn't really thought out what would happen if I couldn't take the ferry. When I went outside to wait for the crossing light to change, the swarm of taxi drivers descended on me again. I brushed all of them off except for one extremely persistent on. He kept saying, "I Busan Taxi. I Gimhae taxi. Sixteen souzand korea money."

I was very annoyed at this point and took my frustration on the cabbie. It was raining, and I had all my bags with me and this guy was bugging me. I kinda blew up at him. "No Taxi!" I shouted, "No Busan."

This only egged him on because he retorted, "Busan Taxi! Sixteen souzand Korea money." I know he meant "60,000 won " (about $65), but he kept saying W16,000. Things went downhill from there. The light was still red, and the rain wasn't relenting so we began shouting back and forth at each other.

"No Taxi! No Busan," I'd shouted, louder than I had shouted at anyone for a long time.

"Busan Taxi. Go Busan!" he'd shout back. Observers might conclude that no one really won the argument. However, I want to point out that I didn't take his damn taxi, so technically I won. We parted when another man walked up and the drivers swarmed on him.

Five weeks free from temperamental Korean cabbies. Yes!

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