On 16:30 hours, anxiously sitting under the shade of a small bus stop at Gijang-daero Avenue, my eyes kept turning to the left, waiting for the arrival of bus number 181. A few minutes ago I was sentenced to be lost. An amateur journey just to find Haedong Yonggungsa Temple which was located on the edge of Korea Strait.
Two and a half hours of my time wasted in the eastern streets outside Busan City. Meanwhile, another threat came, i.e delay in catching my bus to Seoul which was leaving that night. In the midst of pale faces, the bus finally arrived. I was already waving when bus still seemed to be running from a distance. “I can’t miss that bus, this is my best chance to catch my bus to Seoul”.
The blinking of bus’s turn signal signaled that driver understood that I was a potential passenger. The bus stopped right in front of me, I swiftly jumped from front door and handed over 1,200 Won in fare box. Then I acquired one of middle seat.
Now my eyes were sweeping bus interior, looking for any destination marker or clues which could monitor bus’s whereabouts. My eyes were keen to see a manual route board on a side of upper compartment, while right behind the driver, there was LCD screens which kept changing its Hangeul characters when bus passed bus stops along Gijang-daero Avenue. “Yes….”, I found it but I couldn’t read it because it was a whole Hangeul script. I kept holding my breath, trying to stay calm. “Once again lost, I will be further, my chances of catching bus to Seoul will be lost”, I lowered my eyes closed. Imagine that horror.
Now I decided to stand right under the manual route board, all passengers were amazed because I stood when the bus was never full. I ignored the stares, I was busy saving my own destiny.
Looking closely the route map. Hangeul characters were so small and I didn’t really understand. “Yes, I find it”, my mind cheered with joy. There was a Humetro logo in that route map. That means that bus stop in question was integrated with Humetro station. While a Humetro map, I always hold it along the way. It was neatly folded in a back pocket of my pants.
That means I just needed to memorize that Hangeul alphabetical sequence which composed the name of bus stop and matched it with the same alphabet sequence which would be displayed in the LCD screen behind driver. If that string of names appeared, then I would get off at the bus stop in question. Ah, it turned out that the remnants of intelligence in my brain were still there.
I continued to observe the LCD screen and continued to match each letter with the manual route board in bus’ upper compartmen. That way I would know how many bus stops again when I have to get off. Perseverance and thorough in doing that, made me manage to get off at one of bus stops located near Humetro station, Centum City Station to be exact.
Alighting at bus stop, I rushed to the basement of Centum City Station to intercept the departure of nearest Humetro. I had to hurry to Kimchee Busan Guesthouse to pick up my backpack which I had left at reception desk since check-out this morning.
I ran down the escalator after a Humetro who had stopped a few seconds ago and prepared to close its door to leave. “Yes….”, I managed to enter its carriage before Humetro’s door actually closed. Now I was a little calm, of course I would quickly arrive at my destination. “Take your backpack and hurry to Busan Central Bus Terminal, Donny!”, I thought confirming an order to myself.