Train to Busan

Nicholas Quirke was putting an end to his whinging about being stuck in Seoul on 17 February 2020 and moving South. He was taking the train to Busan and taking in the South Korean Scenery. With another vast breakfast inside him and another snowy day to contend with he set off for the Station. He had decided to take the subway, as arranging for a taxi to get to his location and organise where he would be picked up seemed too onerous. He still had money on his transit pass which made it a cheaper and swifter option. It was also an easy trip with only one transfer; nothing difficult, or so he thought a simple change of line took him 30 minutes to achieve as for some reason his suitcase seemed to weigh twice what it had previously and even through the station had an elevator there were still 2 flights of stairs to negotiate. It proved ridiculously hard to carry the case up the steps and he was lifting it 1 step at a time till a woman took pity on him and helped with the first flight, with second it was even more of struggle. Anywhere in the world, If he had seen anyone having a problem he would help out and it seemed extremely surprising that none of the able bodied,, fit men even gave him a glance to help. He was in a sweat and quite annoyed by the time he got to the platform. It was a smooth journey from that point and he found his train, the platform, carriage and seat without any stress, though he found it most alarming that there was no one at any point who checked his ticket. It was 3 hours into the journey before he even saw a guard. He wasn’t complaining though, for a 5 hour journey which cost him £15.00, he would just sit back and enjoy the scenery and the changing weather. He left Seoul in a snow fall, witnessed a blizzard, saw a mist settle, watched the skies clear and arrived in Busan in blazing sunshine. Ha hadn’t expected the countryside to be so mountainous. For the entire journey, as the train rattled through the valleys and plains of Korea the Mountains loomed large and once again he had the sensation of being in a Japanese Watercolour. On the journey, the dark clouds that sent snow and rain his way gathered to deliver a disappointing and frustrating piece of news. Peng had been running in the Tokyo Marathon and had invited Nicholas to join him in Tokyo. He had then made plans to get to Japan and travel through this intriguing and exciting country. The marathon was now cancelled to all general entrants and only local indigenous runners would be able to take part. This meant that he would not get to spend time with Peng and he would now be in Tokyo alone, if he should even go there, with yet another city fearful of the threat of the Virus. He would have to reschedule or go back to his original plan of flying back to Beijing from Seoul at the end of the month. Change was always unsettling and he agreed with Peng to review the itinerary. Nicholas was going to a seaside town, city, and had imagined he was headed to Korea’s, Brighton, a charming resort. but when he saw the scale of the sprawling Metropolis, another city nestling amongst mountains and peaks, he was completely astounded. He got a taxi to his hotel which had an ocean view, settled in and then went to look at the beach and go in search of something to eat. Naturally the Vegan restaurant he found was closed for two weeks and he eventually settled for a Subway vegetarian. He discussed plans with Peng who made some changes to flights for him which left him feeling extremely grateful but a little startled at how easily he was handing over responsibility for his schedule to another person. After 3 nights sleeping on a floor, he looked forward to a soft comfy bed and it was goodnight Peng, goodnight world.

7 Comments

  1. I still can’t get over the contrast of old and new! Glad you arrived with no drama, it was dark but that beach looked lovely. Must be nice to be back by the sea air xxx

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  2. Gosh, more exciting scenery and a whole new country. Shame about the marathon but :you are approaching plum blossom time – earlier further south – so Korea and Japan sound a good idea to me.Cherry blossom Sakura is the big festival but not till March/April. They have blossom forecasts each year… X

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  3. All the seasons in one journey. The beach reminds me of Benidorm with a high rise city right next to a sandy beach. That was an interesting statue on your train journey. It was like a ghoustly specture. Very nice hair cut and beard trim by the way. X

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  4. All the seasons in one journey. The beach reminds me of Benidorm with a high rise city right next to a sandy beach. That was an interesting statue on your train journey. It was like a ghoustly specture. Very nice hair cut and beard trim by the way.

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