Quick Reference: Seoul’s Subway [Interactive] map in English can be found here.
It was heartbreaking.
As soon as I lost it I realized how dependent I was on that phone.
Every time I looked at its abandoned charger and battery I felt a little pang on the inside.
This was December 13, 2012.
A smartphone makes life so easy for one living in a foreign country.
Firstly, I was a pseudo-wreck because I lost my phone in the cab I used to get to the Express Bus Terminal in Jeonju.
Because I was going to Seoul.
For those of you who do not know about Seoul, let me refresh you.
Apart from being the capital of Korea, it is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Some of the higher estimates put its population at 15 million (it has at least 10.5 million).
Canada has 34 million.
And even if it were not so densely populated, Seoul is huge. Every single subway station leads to each one of its little districts (*cough* *cough* a mini city).
Here is the Seoul Subway Map:
I dare specify that it is an English version of the Seoul Subway Map.
Secondly, the reason why I was going to Seoul in the first place was to pick up my Mr. Wunderbar at Incheon International Airport the next day. And I was supposed to guide him along this of a city.
I did not have an English Seoul Subway map when I stepped off my bus at the Gangnam Express Terminal.
I had a planner that had an outdated (it turned out) Hangeul version. It was so frustrating for me to read it, that, instead of getting on the subway towards the hostel I’d booked, I got on any subway that looked like it was going towards the airport.See, I’d wrote down my subway station for my hostel, the Hong GuestHouse Downtown, but at this point, I did not know the importance of writing down a subway station’s line number or color.
However, since I had tons of time to kill since I was, essentially, lost on the Seoul Subway, I looked on my wee map for the subway station of my hostel… AND FOUND IT!
I was super pleased.
I was still super pleased despite all of the drunk ajoshis peeing on the sidewalk when I made a wrong turn down a sinister street. (This is what happens when you leave the directions for the place in your phone and you lose mentioned phone.)
I literally missed every nice looking street to walk down that one or two.
I genuinely think I was thinking, “Oh! Let’s check out this dark alleyway! Because I remember the directions said something about an alleyway!
…Oh look! One of those barbershops with two poles I read about… Wow… this one’s a little obvious since it has a picture of a sexy, schmexy girl… I think I will keep walking even though I kind of want to play the ‘dumb foreigner card’ and waltz in there…”
Anyway, I eventually found the place. I realize in retrospect, that a delicious looking bread stall distracted me from the street I was supposed to use originally. See, I had not eaten in over 24 hours because of my excitement – singing, “Mr. Wuuuuuuunderbar! Mr. Wuuuuunderbar is coming to Koreeea!”
It was a good thing I decided to visit the Hong GuestHouse – they had maps on hand of the Seoul Subway System in English. I was also able to send out my panic flare across the InterNets about my phone situation.
A Korean friend’s boyfriend was able to procure for me a used iPhone 4 (a phone in better condition than the SGII I bought new!) and I payed an easy 350,000 KRW (compared to the ~700,000 KRW it would have cost me to terminate my old contract and start a new one).
Blog entries to follow detailing the adventures of Mr. Wunderbar (Jesse Romeo) and yours truly!