Friday, November 20, 2015

Yes! No. Dammit.

I was near some sort of tourist attraction, the people’s park or some such and what I did see, to my surprise was a map. So, being ever the bold and undeterred tourist, I went to the map. I stood in front of the map determined to read the map. The map was in English and Korea which made it a bit easier to figure out. The buildings all jumped out and I recognized the names and the large skyscrapers in front of me. Good, I knew where I was. On the map as big as day was the market. Good, I knew where that was. It was just a simple matter of following the map until I got to where I was going. I figured that would be no problem.

With all the pep in the step that a hobbit might take into wandering a long road, I set out with purpose to find the market. I started walking in the direction indicated by the map. I crossed the large five lane highway to get to where I was going. Yes, I was going to find it.

This euphoria lasted for only a five more minutes when I realized I not only had not found it, but that I was now completely not sure where I was except that according to that map I should have been there by now. Fuck.

It’s 9 a.m. in Seoul Korea, the Koreans are sleeping, only the early morning ajoshis are at, and an ajjuma or two looking for cardboard. I don’t know where I am, I have not net signal, and I’m very turned around. Good times.

On the backstreets I stopped one of the cardboard collecting ajjumas and asked her if she knew where Dongdaemun-shjang was. She looked at me like I was stupid. This was not a good sign. Then she started saying something about it being on the other side of a hotel and pointing back the way I came. I figured okay and headed back towards the main street. I didn’t see a hotel. I did see a subway station. I knew that I was looking for Dongdaemun exit 8, so I headed into the subway and started walking towards exit 8. At this point I felt very smug with myself. Of course, the subway. Why hadn’t I thought of that first!

After walking what was at least a mile I found exit 8 and climbed to the top. Only to find that I was no closer to finding where I wanted to go, and if anything, I was even further away. The subway sign at the top of the stairs contained a map, and the map indicated that what I really wanted was exit number 8, which I happened to be standing in front of. Of course, this was a different exit 8, like an 8A, because of course.

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