Sunday, 29 July 2012

17 April 2012 - An unforgettable experience

I walked out Herb Island and past the ticketing office once again.  I asked the young boy at the ticketing office for the bus stop to take bus no. 57.  He directed me to walk straight and turn right, which was the same as what the guy in the shop has told me. This young boy told me it would take 3 mins to reach the bus stop.  Okay, when Korean says 3 mins, I will give myself another 3 mins to reach my destination.  The red arrow indicates my route to the bus stop.  

Just before I turned right, I saw this on my left......

I turned to my right....

I followed the bus but of course, I lost sight of it very soon...

Walking straight after I turned right...
Omggg...where the heck am I??  There's not a single human being around...

Was I scared?
Of course!  You bet.
I was very uncertain of the direction given and couldn't see any bus stop after walking for 5 mins. 

Walking straight and looking to my right.  That's Herb Island up there.  
I saw a construction worker at work but I did not approach him for direction.

I walked straight for about 6 mins and reached this T-junction
I hate to choose which side to go becos....

.....this was what I saw on my left....couldn't see any bus stop nearby..

This was what I saw on my right...I couldn't see any bus stop as well.
Where should I go from here??  Left or right???

I decided to take my right and walked straight for about 3 mins until I reached a shop.  I asked the shopkeeper for bus no.57. Sign...his direction was not of much help. He directed me to retrace my steps and walk straight, which means I should turn left at the T-junction instead of turning right.

Hence, I retraced my steps back to the T junction where I should have turned left.  As shown by the red arrow, I walked straight for about 5-10 mins but there was still no sight of any bus stop.  I even look out for any poles or stands that could possibly act as a bus stop but NO!!  There wasn't any bus stop.  Where the heck am I??!!

At this point of time, a car pulled up beside me and an elderly man asked me,"어디가요??" I was a bit surprised and replied,"Pocheon". He must have realised I am not a local and told me to get on his car. There was another elderly lady beside him whom I think should be his wife. Both of them were very quiet throughout the whole journey.  Perhaps, they knew I couldn't speak Korean. How I wish I can speak Korean and conversed with them!!! 
If you asked whether I was worried about getting onto a stranger's car. Hmmm...probably becos they were elderly couple so I didn't think so much at that point of time.  I do not like to trouble people and thought of requesting the uncle to drop me at the nearest bus stop instead of going all the way to Pocheon. On second thought, I think I better keep my mouth shut and don't try to act smart.  The uncle also drive in the direction of the red arrow. As he drove on for about 3 mins, I saw a bus stop on my right!  It was a simple bus stop with shelter.  If this was the bus stop, it would be at least a 15 mins walk from the T-junction after I turned left!!!  I might have missed the correct bus stop or I could have taken the wrong direction. I might not encountered such situation if I have read the bus schedule on the brochure. Whatever it was, I thank god for sending me this kind elderly couple to my rescue!!

Finally, I saw the town again after travelling for about 15mins. The elderly man stopped at the side of the road, turned around with a big smile spreading across his wrinkled face and told me,"Pocheon City".  I will never forget the smile on his face and their kindness. His wife was also very friendly. She told me something but I couldn't remember the exact words.  All I could tell them was,"너무  너무  감사합니다."  I was deeply touched by their kindness. "Thank you very much" was not enough to express my gratitude to them.  I wish them good health and happiness always.

I had no idea where should I go from here but this was definitely much better compared to the situation 20 mins ago... 

Everywhere looked the same to me. I walked around trying to find a bus stop. I saw a young couple waiting at a bus stop and I approached the girl for the bus to take to Uijeongbu station. She understood what I asked and looked around trying to figure out where and which bus to take to Uijeongbu station. She wanted to tell me the bus number in English but had difficulties to say. She asked her boyfriend who was sitting beside her and keeping quiet all this while. Her boyfriend suddenly blurted, "One Three Eight!" The girl was taken by surprise from her boyfriend's reply. From their conversation, she was so amazed to hear her boyfriend speaking English. The morale of the story was, "Never underestimate your boyfriend!!" I asked them where to take bus no. 138 and they directed me to the bus stop.  I was grateful to meet such nice people within 30 mins.

Surprise Surprise Surprise!  한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy!  That bus stop across the road was the bus stop which I have alighted this morning. I didn't cross over becos it didn't make sense to take bus from the same bus stop to go to Uijeongbu station.  I turned to my left to see if there was any bus stop.  

Indeed, there was a bus stop opposite 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy bus stop ^^

138!!  Hmm...the destination for 138, 138-1 and 138-2 looked similar.  138-5 also goes to  Uijeongbu station but the final stop was different from 138, 138-1 and 138-2.  Anyway, I have no idea where is the final stop.

Huhh...there's also 138-7!!

Here comes 138. It was 2.12pm. I confirmed with the bus driver if the bus goes to Uijeongbu station. He replied,"예, 의정부역." This bus driver was very friendly and polite. He greeted everyone who board the bus. Again, I took the seat nearest to the bus driver. I could see that he loved English oldies becos he was tuning in to some English radio station and singing his heart out along with the songs.

He drove into a petrol station and made some announcements. Probably to tell his passengers that he needs to pump petrol?? Woww...this was my first time to come across a public bus driver to pump petrol during the bus journey. I mean it was not a long distance bus journey that travelled out of the city so I was quite surprised by that. It seemed like a normal procedure to the rest of the passengers and some of them took the opportunity to go to the toilet.

I took the opportunity to take photographs ㅋㅋㅋ  

The bus resumed its journey about 10 mins later.  This bus driver was very extraordinary.  I think he went to buy some groundnuts at the petrol station. He could crack and eat groundnuts, sing English oldies and drive cautiously at the same time. Best of all, he greets very single passengers when they board the bus. I think he really knows how to enjoy his job.  Cool!
There was a time when he stopped at the traffic light, and an old lady suddenly popped out from nowhere and knocked several times on the bus door.  The bus driver opened the door and tried to explain to the old lady that she couldn't board the bus at a traffic light.  Before he could say much, the old lady had already made her way up the bus and the bus driver did not know whether to laugh or shake his head! 

Reached the bus stop for Uijeongbu station at 3.17pm.  Announcements for each stop was made in Korean, so open your eyes big for familiar surroundings.  

I took the same route and walked back to Uijeongbu station.

Walking back to the station..

Safe and sound back to the station...
 My next destination was the neighbourhood around Anam.

Bought this to quench my thirst!
There were many different brands of tea sold in convenient stores.
I liked black beans milk so I bought this black bean tea to try.  Not bad. No sugar ^^


  1. really unforgettable... the roads look so desolate! and God sent some angels to guide you back (:

  2. Ya they are really god sent! Can never forget their kindness..
    Gal, u must make full use of ur time in busan tomoro k :p