Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Lost in Trans...portation

I don't know which one got lost today. Me or my bus.

There were signs that this was going to happen. The change of buses and route, that is.  I meant real signs, not 'omen' signs. Signs were posted on the bus stop and on the bus door. And today was it!

So this morning on my way to work, I went down to the bus stop excited to catch the new bus. Problem was I didn't know the new number! And is it the same green color?  The bus numbers and routes on the bus stop were not yet updated!

And then it came rolling down the hilly Hannam-dong, a green bus with a different four-digit number. It's the new bus, but I wouldn't know if this one would take me to Yongsan Station. It's coming nearer...and nearer, and I hardly had the time to think if to take it or skip it. It stopped before me and the driver welcomed me, not with open arms, but with an open door. I decided to get on!

Stepping into the new bus armed with my bus card and instincts, I wished myself a lot of freakin' luck. Ha-ha-ha! 

The new bus is almost empty. I could relax, not many passengers! But when I looked around and saw the other passengers' faces, I started to panic. "Oh-oh", I hushed myself. They all looked like they weren't sure if they were on the right bus either! Ha-ha-ha!

I suddenly rose from my comfortable seat and tried to study the bus route pasted by the window. Instead of looking like a simple list of bus stops, it looked to me like the periodic table of chemical elements! All symbols and numbers! Ha-ha-ha! Luckily, with my basic hangeul, I was able to read it, but unluckily, I realized I was indeed on the wrong bus! Ha-ha-ha!

If I could only scream in Tagalog, "Ma-mรข, para!" (Driver, stop!), I would have. But....

Think! Quick! 

I decided to get off on the next stop. And it turned out, all the other passengers also got off on the next stop!  I counted: six passengers, one mistake. Ha-ha-ha!

So, there I was. Standing at an unfamiliar bus stop, somewhere between home and office. Cold and lost....and late for work! Ha-ha-ha!

I checked the bus stop pole for list of buses, and voila! A familiar! A familiar number...149! This one stops near my office!

And just after a minute, the bus with that color and number swung around the corner. I wanted to wish the other lost passengers some luck before I left them, but I realized I myself had no luck to share that morning. Ha-ha-ha!  No luck even for an empty cab.

This bus had a different route which would meander through the whole Ichon-dong, but ends up at Yongsan area just the same. 

And so I just let history repeat itself:  got on an almost empty bus, found a comfortable seat, but this time a different ending:  got off at the right bus stop!

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