(photos shot while my train moving away from the track.)
Subway has been a part of my life in Seoul unlike of my previous lifestyle in NYC. I used to walk or took yellow cabs or bus. My usual subway ride is on line #2, the green line (see the map above.) Its route is shaped as a large circle that goes around the downtown Seoul city where Han river goes across in the middle… I go to Hongik University area often since my good friend Jiyeon lives in that neighborhood but, it is exactly a half circle far from Samsung station. I’ve actually measured the travel time in both direction for experimenting and both takes exactly about the same time – 45 min – 55 min. Another thing to watch out is that subway doesn’t run all night long like NYC… if I need to take subway back to the south of the Han river (let me put it this way, if I don’t want to spend about 22USD for my taxi ride) So, I’d better get into the subway before 11:10 pm unfortunately… by that time, no bus available either. I have taken the last train of the day for that reason several times 🙂
The subway in Seoul got very complicated over years… I think it’s catching up with NYC subway map. The inside of the subway trains are very clean and spacious compared to NY subway. It’s interesting that subway is wheel chair accessible. There are wheel chair lift on staircases and also elevators. I’ve actually seen a guy in a wheel chair inside the subway and understood why it’s spacious and open in the middle in the carts. Very often you could find many people sleeping or watching satelite TV stations / movies or playing games on their phones. It’s annoying sometimes a passenger sitting next to you does lean on your shoulder time to time. When I finally catch the last train of the day (as usual,) the majority of passengers are drunk…some alseep… it’s Korea, the land of drunkers.
Speaking on the phone in the subway is considered rude so you could find people covering their mouth with their hands when they speak on the phone inside of subway carts. Also, there are always vacant seats right next to crowds standing next. They are priority seats and unless passengers are pregnant or elderly, they don’t sit there. I don’t know how many times I was tempted to sit over there while like 20 people standing next to me.
Somehow, I quickly got these unwritten habit of subway riders – good or bad.