The temperature was dropping….It was already below freezing.
The hour hand of round white clock in the arrival hall was starting to move closer to the first digit in its rotation.
Back to ten minutes earlier, when I rushed to fold my t-shirts and socks from bus’ seat when that white and red bus approached at the Seoul Express Bus Terminal.
Welcome to Seoul….It would be the last city in my adventure on early year.
After getting off the bus, every passenger rushed to terminal building to escaping themself from cold city air. For a moment arrival hall turned crowded, several snack and coffee shops which were still open were visited by some passengers. While some others chose to leave the terminal, relying on taxis to continue their journey to their respective end points.
I stood still, watching the location around, looking for a comfortable place to sleep. I already understood that the MRT would start operating this morning, around half past six. So I didn’t have to bother pushing myself towards station building.
The luck came, in the left corner there were two columns of long benches, each with three bulkheads without backrests with iron barriers between the bulkheads. Making it impossible for a makeshift bed on that early morning. I put my backpack in the corner of bench and I sat down to spend the rest of night.
As the clock ticked, passengers who had been enjoying hot coffee and snacks began to leave, leaving nothing but silence. Luckily all shops didn’t close themselves even though the owner must have fallen asleep on the floor in waiting for their wares. At least I didn’t feel alone.
The terminal building was truly human. Clean, bright and safe although I still complained about it because I still couldn’t stand with freezing air from outside. The air entered through glass windows, making me unable to close my eyes at all.
In the midst of silence, I got up, trying to approach food stalls. Observing a few cans of drinks which might be able to accompany me that night. I was solemnly choosing it when suddenly a crowd of passengers crammed into the terminal building. An intercity bus fleet seemed to turn on its hazard lights while getting off its entire load.
Beauty passanger: “Hello, how do I get to downtown?”
Me: “If you want to go there now, you have to take a taxi, Ms. MRT isn’t operating yet now….”. Damn, foreigner like me know better than her as a local resident.
Beauty passanger: “Oh. Is’n operating yet?”, her breath smelled of soju.
Me: “Yes absolutely, you can go by taxi or waiting here until morning”, hoping she can accompany me at the terminal….hahaha.
Beautiful Passanger: “Okay..Okay”, she looked towards the side wall of terminal….”Oppaaaa…….@#$%^&*!?><”. Ah, she even called her girlfriend. My hope had been lost.
I returned to the line of canned drinks, took one of them and redeemed it for 800 Won.
In an instant, the terminal building was quiet again. I sat down on the seat again. This time an intercity bus driver was already sitting in the next row of seats, leaning against the wall and soundly sleeping.
Meanwhile, I was very disturbed by the freezing air, trying to keep moving until morning. Luckily I took the time to sleep on the bus for two and a half hours at my journey last night.
Come on Seoul, come soon the morning sun!….