Tuesday, September 29, 2009

reason # 36 why korea sucks: buses

So i have been attempting for days to decide what i was going to do for the upcoming holiday cheosuk. so i finally decided that i was going to go and visit my friend rose up north in chuncheon. its a nice city north of Seoul that will provide me with a much needed break and a nice reunion with a great lady after 2 1/2 years!! so i decide that the bus is faster (takes about 4 hours) as opposed to the train (which takes about 5 1/2 hours) because of all the stops. i go onto the bus website all armed with my Korean phrasebook and Google translator, optimistic that it will be easy and ill be able to figure out how to book a ticket.
 I arrive on the site and figure out how to input the information for what i want; continue and pick the earliest/cheapest bus at 7am and put my bank info in and my Alien Registration Card (ARC) number. when i finish all of this i click 'ok' and come to a page that Google translator translates into a page with cancellation policy... so how do i know if my ticket is booked?! i go back and see that the seat i selected is still available, which means that either it take s little while for the server to update (Which would cause a lot of problems in my opinion) or it didn't work. through clever deduction (i.e. calling friends and getting their co's to call/calling the KTF- Korean people who help English speakers in korea) we find out it isn't, and i cant book it b.c. my bank card is not linked to my ARC # as i got the card before the ARC...
in other words, i cant book the ticket.

so now. i am stuck in a deliema. I ask my co-teacher if she can help and and she decides that she doesn't want to use her bank card to book for me... which also means... i cant get a ticket. so i ask her to call the bus station and see if i can have someone pick up a ticket there... (since im going from Daegu, i asked one of my friends there to go to the station and get it for me) no dice on this either.. apparently for this weekend the only way you can buy tickets is online....
does this make ANY sense?? seriously.
so now i am sitting at my desk. not sure what i'm going to do this weekend. watching the number of available seats on the bus slowly decrease as the day approaches to leave.
what will i do...
i have a teachers class this afternoon, and i'm hoping to try to discuss the subject of traveling for the holiday with them and possibly express my frustration with the Korean systems... i thought they were supposed to be more tech savvy over here, not more complicated....

later that day.... so the talk worked. and my co teacher who is my age and has thus been dubbed my friend used her card to buy my tickets. she even gave me her ARC card to pick up the tickets. which is kind of awesome. i hope i don't have any problems.  we will see.. im getting them to write down as much as possible for me. so here is where i am going... though im not going to Seoul im going a bit north east of it.. couldn't find a picture of a map with it on it.
im going to visit rose.
im really excited by this prospect because hopefully it will help me feel a bit of normalcy again. ive recently lost a little bit of something here... and im not quite sure what it is... a little quiet contemplation (which i have lots and lots of time for) will hopefully bring about more conclusions.
i think i just really miss home. and im starting to loose the whole brand new place feel of this place. even though it sucked. it was still new... now the daunting task of spending a year in this place that is all new is sort of.... hitting me smack in the face. i was told to cheer up today... haha. i try to smile for the students, but sometimes its hard when i don't feel like i'm doing anything for them. i really want them to learn, and to e excited about learning... but when they are running around screaming or completely ignoring me... it doesn't seem like i'm doing my job well... hopefully with time i will master some skills and the children will learn a little bit more respect for me.

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