Rant and Rave of the Week 2: The Rush

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Rant and Rave of the Week, Transport
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This week’s RoR is about public transport.

The sun is shining. Its warm rays haven’t reached my spot as I stand envious, watching the light slowly creep towards me six car lanes away. On my side, the shade gives me wind: cold and bitter. This is Nature’s other offspring, bringing temperatures below -5C.

It’s 8am on a Spring morning in Korea’s capital. As I wait for my bus to emerge around the corner the harsh wind whips my face to tears. Here there is no organisation only chaos. Around me are other eager travellers, all Korean; some standing, some sitting, some leaning, some hovering, all awaiting the next bus to take them into the heart of Seoul. I make my way to the curb ensuring that when my transport stops I will be first to enter.

As I see my bus approach adrenaline fills me and I feel my body tense.

Around me I sense movement as people make their way towards me. People emerge from the shops, apartments, cars and the street instantly comes to life, a crowd has suddenly materialised surrounding me. The bus is almost upon us and I can feel the tension within the group.

Spaces are limited and reserved only for the daring and brave. Like a pack of hyenas at the whiff of fresh meat, as the bus comes to a halt, carnage engulfs the pavement. There is no social etiquette or hierarchy as bodies collide and arms fly – everybody fighting for an exclusive place on the bus.

I push, shove and claw my way to the front. Today I am aggressive, I am the alpha and my reward is to be uncomfortably sandwiched between complete strangers. As we drive away I look back and see the disappointed faces of those left behind who bear the cold, waiting for their next battle.

© John Brownlie 2011

  1. Haha…That’s so funny! I remember the bus rides but mine usually included the subway as well since I was in a rural area, if I was going to Seoul or beyond. I was warned of the aggressive nature involved with public transport and told that I would need to be aggressive and that one usually becomes that way after a while. I think I eventually did, maybe once or twice while I was there. Your post also brought back the memories of the below freezing weather I endured from the moment I arrived there until over a month later for consecutive days. I had experienced the cold back home in the U.S. before but never like that and never below freezing for everyday for over a month. It didn’t help that I was closer to the northern part either because it was always much colder in my area than in Seoul.

    Very humorous post and definitely suspenseful writing!!!

    • elbear1 says:

      Thank you, great to hear you liked it. It’s now just second nature to try and get to the front of the queue. At times my western manners go straight out the window when it’s do or die. It sounds like hell froze over where you lived, I couldn’t imagine it being colder.

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