When you move half way across the world, you find that there are some possessions you own that just don't end up fitting into your 100 pounds plus two carry-ons worth of luggage. Unfortunately, my baby car was one of them.
If you've ever spoken to me in person, you know how I feel about my baby car. On the one hand I really miss her terribly. Natalie, my 2008 silver 5-door Subaru Impreza. Gave me the independence I needed to survive college in a small town and the ability to get where I needed to go on a whim. Like Maryland for a friend's wedding over a two-day weekend. Or Chicago for the lamest job interview of my life. Or even just Walmart at 4 am for $35 worth of Post It Notes for an April Fool's Day prank. I really do miss my car.
At the same time, however, my not having a car has made me much more comfortable with the idea of public transportation. In a lot of ways, Korea is much much more eco-friendly than the U.S. (although that's a hippie rant for another day...), and I'm actually enjoying the fact that I'm getting so used to relying completely on subways, trains, and my own two legs to get me from point A to point B on a regular basis.
In particular, I'm learning to love the KTX trains. The more I think about it, the cooler they really are. For all of 43,000 won, I can hop on a train at Gwangmyeong station and it will take me to Busan at the opposite end of the country in a little over two and a half hours at speeds of about 305 km/hour. Which is crazy fast. Why they haven't started working on such a high-speed rail system in the states is still beyond me? I know they work fantastic for a country the size of Indiana, just imagine how wonderful they would be for getting around a country as large as the U.S! What's more, by taking the scenic routes through both the most rural and industrial parts of the country, you get to see the landscape from a vantage point you would never see by just driving along the major freeways. I think it's really kinda cool anyways...
This past weekend, I went down to Busan for an International fireworks festival and found myself with some time to kill waiting for my train at Gwangmyeong station. And since I know there are certain people who read this blog back in the states that share and in some cases even trump my enjoyment of trains, I decided to take some pictures of the station. And the trains. You're welcome, Dad.
- Christine -