I went to meet a friend @ Geumjeong @ around 1630 hrs and by the time I could think about coming back to my apartment, it was 2330 hrs. UGH. So I rushed to the subway station and luckily caught the last train to Sadang and I had to change the train there to Seocho. Well by the time I reached Sadang it was already quite late and I missed the train to Seocho. So I had to take the taxi. Well this post is about the taxi.
I waited a while on the road before taking a taxi to Seoch, observing the life in Seoul @ 0000hrs. Quite a few cars and the streets glow in the neon lights. Lots of people on the roads but I would have to admit most must've been the drunk trying to discover the path to their homes. After waiting for 5 mins or so, I caught a taxi and started explaining to him where I want to go. I said, "Seocho" in the best Corean accent that I could manage. I got a stare in response. Then I opened the door to the taxi and sat in the front seat. I then repeated my magic word, "Seocho". No response. Then I whipped out my elite business card and told him to read. He strictly refused it. I think he thought I was giving him my business card, I suppose. Then I repeated the magic word, "Seocho". In response I got a fatality – a question in Corean. That was it, I had nothing else to say. I just repeated "Seocho" and this time he gave up. He knew, I knew that this relation would be a troubling one. So we embarked on an adventure to discover my apartment in Seocho.
I believe he was asking me "Where in Seocho, <you moron>". There is no way to verify that though. So when we approached Seocho-dong area, he again blasted away his question. I was like white noise to me. I realised that survival in Corea means two things, avoid taxis and run around in trains, or learn Corean. I believe learning Corean is much easier. Need to hasten my learning process. So we reached Seocho-dong area and I was trying to do pattern matching on the streets, none of them registered. Then I turned to him, prayed to Sir Miyamoto and said, " Seocho-dong, Seocho subway " hoping that he recognises what I am saying. I believe it regisitered. He then proceeded to take a left and moved along to reach a subway station and said "Seocho subway station". I then started doing pattern matching rigorously and finally got my transformations right. I was on a road that I never used earlier. Man that was some intense processing. Finally I told him to take me to "Subway exit, hanna". I could see that there was something wrong with that statement because he was laughing away to glory. I immediately said "Subway exit, Il". He understood and while giggling way, he took me to the first exit. From there on it was quite easy because I was on familiar territory.
I spent 4000 Won on this trip that lasted for about 8 mins and travelling @ speeds topping 80-90kmph. There were quite a few traffic lights though. However I liked the trip. This was my hello world taxi commuting. That driver was very friendly, as much as he could be that is.
BTW to all the Indians, next time your boss says … "I bought a shiny new luxury car, Hyundai Sonata/Grandeur/Elantra", Just tell him that they are just ordinary taxis in Corea :)). That would puncture his ego for sure :P.