Chusok Pt II: Gyeongu To & From

Spending 3 days away from Suji was exactly what the Doctor ordered. However, the doctor did not order more rain, and insane traffic but we got it anyway.

Five of us trekked out of Suji at 5am on a grey Sunday morning. The bus systems start here at 5am so we waited to take the 1550 bus to Yangdae for the subway, and then the subway to the bus stop. Well, we got a little scared about waiting for and maybe missing the bus, so we hopped in some cabs and were at the bus station in central city Seoul by 6am for a 715am bus. We bought our tickets on line at & paid extra for the tickets on the "Excellent" bus... a steep 26,000W and within four hours we were in Gyeongu, on the South Eastern side of the country, pretty close to Busan. The trip itself was great on the way down... we had four seats directly across the back, the windows on the bus open unlike at home so there was a nice breeze, and the view was incredible:

Nothing but farms and mountains as far as the eye could see.

We stopped at a rest top halfway through, and it was along side a rather large mountain and a river:

It was all wood, like a pier, and restaurants, and of course bathrooms, and it put rest stops at home to shame. Not just McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Subway like on the thruway, but you could get full on meals here. There was even carnival food all along the outside and I found something I never thought I would find here - Syracuse Salt Potatoes. Syracuse hasn't cornered the market on these, but very very few people know what these are even though the name says it all. Tiny boiled potatoes drenched in salt and butter. The koreans put their little spin on it though... they added sugar... and it was heavenly.

We had only bought our tickets one way. We were testing out the bus since many people told us it wouldn't be a good way to go, and the that train would be better. Well, since the trip down had been so nice and we realized everyone was completely wrong, the second we got to the station we bought our return tickets. It was 17,500W on the "Normal" bus, and we were scheduled to leave on Tuesday.

It rained constantly on Sunday & Monday and of course, on Tuesday it was beautiful. We kept close to the station and got on our bus at 1:40pm. Our bus had an indian theme to it, and was no where near as spacious and nice as the "Excellent" bus we had on the way down but it worked.

Unfortunately we were not home at 6pm like we thought, but rather 2am. We all went a little stir crazy around hour 8 and we had to coax each other back on the bus when we made rest stop #3. Apparently traveling on Chusock Day is 10x as bad as traveling in the US on the Tues/Wed before Thanksgiving. The rest stops which I had thought were beautiful on the way down were hell holes on the way back - swarming with thousands of people, dirty, & everyone was angry - and rightfully so. There was a TV on the bus which was cute in the beginning but 13 hours straight of korean television would be enough to make anyone go mad. You ever try watching a gameshow in another language where they have to learn Old MacDonald for an hour? I didn't think so. Also, we watched an inflight movie where a teenage Korean boy comes to terms with himself and his desire to be a woman by becoming a pro wrestler. He wins the championship, and everyone loves him at the end when he dressed up like madonna and sings Like a Virgin in drag. I kid you not. Well, 13 hours later we were at Seoul and had cabs back to Suji. I love traveling.