Anyong! Lindsay here.
Well it’s been an interesting Sunday for me here in Gwangju. I can now say: “I’ve been to the end of the line.” The bus line that is. That place you always wonder about, the place where all buses go to at the end of the line.
What do they do there? Do they turn around? Or do the buses go in one giant circle. Do the drivers ever have a break?
These are the questions that, in the past, have burned in my mind as I wait for Bus 45, that elusive yellow bus that always arrives one minute before I get to the bus stop. (Usually I can see it drive off as I run like a madwoman to the stop.)
But today, my questions have been answered after I made an attempt to go across town to a second-hand store my friends have been raving about.
I wasn’t sure which bus I should take, so I consulted our map. Which is in Korean. I was quite proud of myself for being able to read where I needed to start from and where I needed to stop. I walked with my head high to the bus stop, where, again, the bus zoomed off just as I was approaching. (Conspiracy? Yes, I think so.)
I got on the bus 20 minutes later, fell asleep as usual, and woke up to realize that I was the only one left on the bus. Crap. This was never a good sign. Never. It’s not even funny, like those times when my sister Jessica was the only kid on the bus, the last one to be dropped off from middle school. Kathryn and I always made it a point to be looking out the window so we could laugh when we saw the bus drop her off, her one little head the only one bouncing on the bus. We constantly wanted to know what she and the scary bus driver with bleached blonde hair talked about.
But anyway, long story short. The bus driver started talking to me in Korean. We had a conversation. Sort of. And eventually he pulled into The End of the Line, a gravel parking lot where the bus drivers sat and smoked until they felt they were ready for another go-round.
I was taken into their circle. My bus driver knew a few words of English and we talked about my job, my husband, and why I did not have children. (Always the children comments.) I could just imagine Kathryn and Jessica laughing at me as I stood nervously around the bus drivers at The End of the Line, this gravel parking lot where most riders dared not go. In fact, I have gotten close to The End of the Line before and the bus driver simply shouted out me to get off. It was obviously the last stop.
Anyway, long story longer, I eventually got on another bus, this one headed in the correct direction. Thirty minutes later I arrived at the second-hand store. It was closed.
In other news, Whit and I dressed as a “couple” last night for our friend Angie’s birthday party. In Korea, newlywed couples, honeymooners, or just adoring couples, often dress alike. I mean exactly alike. This is not a nerdy thing. This is THE thing to do in Korea. And earlier that day, I had witnessed one such couple downtown when Whit and I were out riding our bikes. So before the party, I approached Whit.
“You wanna dress as a couple tonight?”
“I most certainly do,” he responded.
And so we did. It was quite the hit at the party.