SCORE! One last point.

Ok, so today is my last day in Seoul and without fail, xenophobia raised its head over last time.

I am sitting on the bus back to my city and it happened. But first io needed to explain a few things.

These ‘Intercity’ buses are awesome. There are only 3 seats to a row. Two on one side, one an another.  They are comfy, spacious and not only do the recline, the leg test pops out too!

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Look at all that knee room!

There is a good amount of space between my seat and the seat beside me, and that’s saying something for a guy my size. The Koreans must feel kinda dwarfed by theses seats.

That being said, when you but your rocket, you get a seat number. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Koreans NOT sit on their assigned seat only to have the property owner of the seat tell them that it isn’t their seat. 

So today I see a got her on and by his looks/actions he bypasses his seat beside me and sits further back. 5 mins later he’s kicked out and forced to suit on his designated seat.  I still count this as a score as toss bus is usually well populated.  So there he did, looking kinda nervous. 

At least I don’t think he’s going to be one of those people that leans forward and hands onto the seat on front of them for the whole trip.

So yeah. Today plus 3 days left!

Oh goodie…..

The passengers are at the mercy of whatever the channel is set to.

Just about all the busses you travel on between cities have TVs on them.  TV is broadcast on a DMB “Digital Media Broadcast” signal.  The passengers are at the mercy of whatever the channel is set to.

Today they are playing all kinds of bus accidents and passengers freaking out.  Not terribly reassuring.

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Touchdown Seoul

Made it back to our home-away-from-home just fine.

So now we have to get a bus to get a bus terminal to get a bus to our city….

We go to an information counter to ask about an express bus to Nambu terminal.  She says its at exit 12, platform 5B.  Cool.  We go grab some food.  My wife wants to check which gate it was so we walk by that counter and check again.  Then she asks where we can get tickets and the lady says she sells them.  Umm…..one would think that people with luggage are looking to buy tickets when they ask about a bus.  Ah well.  Got our tickets.  Smooth 5 -6 hours and well be home.

Saturday night in Singapore

The bus to Singapore was interesting enough but the customs a bit of a pain.  Not that we had any troubles, just the having to get off the bus, twice (once for leaving Malaysia and once for entering Singapore) all within 10 mins of each other was a hassle.

Now that we are here, we can enjoy the sights.

We decided on a hostel to stay in this time. Never done this before, had some reservations about how “open” it might be but we lucked out (yet again) and found a place where we got our own room for about $60.  The room is nothing to really note but it’s clean and sleepable(I’m calling dibs on that word creation right there!). There are some interesting rules though:

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We did get 3 bottles of “room temperature” water for free, so not like we need any more. Love the “hire a towel” line.

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This is one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen.  Park View Square.  Don’t know the right term for the style but it is from a time where I’m sure I would have loved to have lived in a “big city”.  The building has such character.  I got a nighttime shot of it but it’s not too clear. I’ll see if I can try again tomorrow night.

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We found this kind of market area.  Lots of food, clothing and trinkets to buy.

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I heard about the electronics square where you can hey things for “10 – 20%” less than retail price.  I was seriously disappointed.  Prices weren’t all that different, and the variety was nice but eventually turned monotonous. 

Here is an example.  My wife is looking for a lighter laptop to eventually replace the one she has.  So we looked at a few and I decide to grab a shot of the price of one.

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That price is in Singapore dollars and is about $1032USD right now.  I did a search online and lookie what I found on a Canadian website:

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Which is about $200SGD less that a “non-retail” price.  If you are going to another country and considering buying something of value, you had better be prepared and go with some sort of internet-connected device to know what you can haggle for!  Coincidentally, the NewEgg one has more ram too.

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Singapore is very modern.  You won’t be wanting for much of anything from back home.  You have everything from Uni-Glo to McDonalds here.  There is always the ubiquitous 7-11 but the content varies a bit.  Occasionally you get a surprise machine showing up.

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Yeah, you saw that.  Instant mash potatoes and gravy….from a slurpy-type machine.  I am strongly conflicted on trying it.  On one hand, this just had to be gross.  On the other hand, where else can you possibly have such an experience for $0.81?  I’ll see how brave (or stupid?) I feel tomorrow.

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Now, this might seem a bit odd, for me to post a picture of a subway door here but having taken them so much, and seen all of Seoul’s styles, I was surprised to see the extravagance of stainless steel.  This was not s cheap install by any means and taking the subway is cheap here indeed (one of the few things that is so).

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So, onto the highlight of the night. The water show.  This is a display of water and light.  It is about 10 miss long (actually, closer to 12 according to the video below). It is worth the watch.

One last pic for this post. You probably heard off “photo-bombing” but in case you haven’t, that’s where you do something odd/funny/embarrassing to someone elses picture as they are taking it. I got the chance to do so and the girls got a big laugh from it. I asked for a copy and here it is :)

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Mixed bag of elation

We have been pretty spoiled with the inter-city busses in Korea.  I mean how m much more relaxed can you get than this?

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This pic was taken in 2007 when my wife cane to Korea by herself and I came for a visit. Still, the busses have reclining seats and a swing out leg support as well. How do you beat that?

When I saw “Massage bus” sticker on the bus wee were about to get onto for Singapore I was both curious and happy. These seats have massagers built in!

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They are also very comfy…

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…and bright.

I was going to be supper happy when I saw this:

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It seems they either don’t work or the bus driver hadn’t turned them on….not getting power to charge my tablet :(

In any case, it will be a nice 5hr bus ride.

Korean bus drivers

I’ve mentioned it before, the extreme conservative mentality can drive a person nuts.  We got on a 1.5hr bus drive on a day when the weather in already in the early 20’s and the driver doesn’t turn on the AC .  The driver is fine because he had a window but the rest of us suffer. Its idiotic.  It wasn’t until a mother went to ask for a bag because her daughter is feeling sick, due to the hat, that he finally turned on the AC.  Sadly, 15mins later we arrived at our destination.  They just don’t think, most of the time, outside of their own needs.

Finally on my way out of #Seoul!

Ok, my wife said to just get in the bus to Sacheon (as opposed to where she was training in Changwon), which is where I thought I was going any ways.  I refunded my ticket to Changwon (for full price surprisingly!), got back on the subway, went to the other bus terminal (Nambu), got a ticket and just made the 9:30 bus to Sacheon. 

I said it once before and I’ll say it again, Korea’s buses are awesome!  They have theses buses that are only 3 seats wide (2 on the left, 1 on the right), they recline and have a leg rest that supports your whole leg.

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Damn….forgot my towel at my buddies place…..oh well

Busses and cramped streets

It seems that once cars became affordable, the parking laws non-existent, this bus route never changed but simple became challenged driving down some side streets that is barely big enough for a bus, let along a bus and two cars parked on each side.

Then you get people like this:

Too lazy to walk a block.
Too lazy to walk a block.

 

That guy parked there on a regular basis.  He was just too lazy to talk.  The rule here is that as long as you got your phone number in the window or your blinkers on, it’s legal.  (That’s sarcasm in case you missed that).