Namsan Tower Without Love Padlock

After returning from Banpo Bridge in Seocho District, I immediately rushed to bed to prepare myself for tomorrow’s adventure. Tomorrow was my last chance to enjoy Seoul because the day after tomorrow I had to leave to my homeland.

Huhuhu….Sad

—-****—-

The morning sun shone through the window in the sloping wall of hotel’s room. The hour hand had passed eight number. After morning prayer, I slipped back under blanket, refusing cold morning air which was able to penetrate window pane.

Realizing that I overslept, I jumped out of the bunk bed, grabbed a toiletries bag and an orange microfiber towel, then wet my body with a warm shower of Kimchee Guesthouse Sinchon. The other occupants were still asleep, continuing their respective dreams, faint light snoring could be heard from the inn corridor. Lucky me, that was an opportunity to linger in the shared bathroom.

Actually, my habit of lingering in the bathroom when traveling always has an excuse. That consistent warm showers hit my calf muscles is the most effective fatigue-relieving therapy. No need to look for the services of a masseuse to make the body fresh again.

After showering and fully dressed in winter equipments, I went down to the first floor and chose to sit for a while in the shared-lobby. Joined by some diligent tourists, they were the first to get up and ate their breakfast which they had prepared in the inn’s refrigerator. Several beautiful tourists from “Land of Red Bears” and a group of travelers from “Matador Country” looked solemn with their own homemade breakfast.

I? ….Yup, I was just a little busy opening the map and trying to make a visitation pattern that day. As soon as they finished their breakfast and started to leave the shared-lobby, I also left the inn. I didn’t know where they were going, but I had determined myself to go to the “Tower of Love”, especially if not Namsan Tower, a television transmitter tower as high as 237 meters and 52 years old.

Before entering Hongik University Station, I carried out my morning ritual, which was breakfast with the same menu formula, cup noodles and packaged white rice, bored but had no choice.

Can you afford to eat like this for four days?….Hahaha.

Repeating the habit of fighting boredom, I shouted “Kamsahamnida” to the cashier before exiting 7-Eleven. Usually I always waited for the cashier to wave before exiting convenience store’s door. Getting the wave I meant, I finally got out of the convenience store and fast stepped towards Seoul Metro Line 2 platform.

A few seconds after Seoul Metro stopped at the platform, I jumped in. The quiet morning atmosphere made the Seoul Metro line of carriages looked deserted. The iron snake began to exploring the underground passages. Station after station I quickly passed until finally I got off at Euljiro sam (3)-ga Station to change to Seoul Metro Line 3. Now my last destination was Chungmuro ​​Station.

It took almost thirty minutes to arrive at Chungmuro ​​Station. At the final destination, I exited the gate, then rushed to find a bus stop which would be passed by bus number two to get to Namsan Tower.

Not even five minutes of waiting, the bus arrived. I took a seat in the middle and in an instant dissolved following the groans of bus engines as I climbed the road about two kilometers from Chungmuro ​​Station.

Slowly but surely, the bus arrived at Namsan Tower courtyard. The bus stops at a long bus stop to share with other numbered buses.

The distance between Namsan Tower and bus stop, which was around 600 meters, must be taken with a swing of my steps. Finally I had to be willing to pant for the rest of path to Namsan Tower. In the middle of my step, I didn’t have time to feel the gasping because I often stopped and was fascinated by the scenery below which showed the beauty of Seoul from the height of Mount Namsan. I could imagine if the night comes….How beautiful.

In front of Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower as its official name.

Climbing Namsan Tower is indeed synonymous with lovebirds’ love. At the top of tower, lovers will buy a padlock, then naming the padlock with their names, which are then marked with a red heart. Then the couple will lock the padlock on a long display case which displays various love locks from several periods of time.

Well….What should I write when I buy a padlock?

Ups….Who’s in love?

Namsan Tower in addition to presenting an aerial landscape of Seoul, also offers several well-known restaurants which might be cheap for those who are intoxicated with romance, for me it makes no difference, restaurants are still expensive items.

Visiting Namsan Tower does feel bland if you do it alone. That’s the reason why I didn’t linger on top. I decided to get off and chose to sip coffee made by G-25 minimarket across from bus stop.

Entering the mini market, brewing a cup of hot coffee, then sipping it slowly. But I continued to be filled with curiosity with every sip. I continued to observe the passing of buses with different numbers, not just the number 2 bus like the one I was riding earlier.

“Is it possible if I can find a bus which can directly go to Namdaemun Market from here without having to return to Chungmuro ​​Station”, I critically thought with curiosity.

I decided to take a sip of black coffee while walking towards the long bus stop opposite the mini market. I was so solemn ‘combing one by one the route boards attached to the bus stop.

“Yes…I get it”, I cheerfully exclaimed when I found bus number 402 which could directly take me to Namdaemun Market from Namsan Tower.

So I just had to wait for the bus while I finish my coffee………

Hunting T-Money with Mr. Park

Brushing the teeth….

That was my main problem that morning. There wasn’t proper place to do it. In contrast to airports, which generally have five-star hotel class toilets. This was ta bus station, man!

Not having time to think about having breakfast, I immediately got up, carried my blue backpack back, continuing my identity as a backpacker. Now I was going to downtown.

Being at Seoul Express Bus Terminal meant I was at southern end of the city, stucked all night in Seocho District, waiting for the first train to operated. I rushed to Express Bus Terminal Station….Yupz, that was the station which was integrated with bus terminal where I spent the night.

Meanwhile, the residue of frozen air still lingered on my epidermis as soon as I took half a step out of terminal gate. “Crazy…”, I thought to myself. I hastened my steps by increasing the tempo of my feet towards station gate.

“Damn…”, the gate was still blocked by standing barrier.

“I can’t enter yet…”, I thought to a conclusion.

Hurry back to bus terminal. I decided to wait for an hour, more than half an hour from fist train which operated.

A hour that I took advantage of by re-opening Seoul Metro line map sheet. It had one line more than Singapore’s MRT lines.

Even sixty minutes of waiting, now I was repeating my trail before towards the gate of Express Bus Terminal Station. The standing barrier had disappeared, a sign that the station had opened itself to every guest.

Entering station building, Christmas trees were still welcoming even though it was already third day of January, the statue of Santa Claus with his nine favorite reindeer greeted me and right in the corner there was a fat security guard who always smiling. He swiftly grabbed his hat and white T-Stick and jogged toward me. It seemed that he understood that I wasn’t a resident of “Ginseng Country”, therefore, he intended to help. Although actually, I was more challenged to find for the platform in my own way. But, It was OK.

Security: “Hellooo, where wil you go?”

Me: “Hongik University Station, Sir”.

Security: “Oh, OK. Where are you coming from?”

I was Indonesian”

Security: “Hmmh, Malaysia?”

Me: “No, Sir, Indonesia. A country at the south of Malaysia”.

Security: “Oh really, follow me!…follow me!”

I stalked him from behind

“This way”, he pointed to a passageway towards one of platforms”.

“Thank you, Sir”, I ended the conversation before he returned to his post.

Down the hall to the end, I started looking for ticket vending machine. The machine was on a side. The hallway was still quiet, allowing me to exploring the machine’s screen. Diligently browsing the screen, not a single word could lead me to get One Day Pass.

I came up with an initiative to confront the station attendant. The room was clearly over there. Two uniformed staff seemed to start the day at their desk. I was already knocking at glass door and their gazes in unison headed towards me then accompanied by a wave of one of them as a sign that they invited me to enter to face him.

Me: “Good morning, Sir?”

Staff: “Yes, can I help you?”

Me: “Does Seoul Metro sell One Day Pass for passenger?”

Staff: “No No No, you must buy a regular card”

Me: “What is that?”

Having trouble to speaking English, he got up from the chair and headed for the door. He waved at me to follow him. “There!”, he pointed to a machine box.

Feeling the chances of getting a One Day Pass was running low, I gave up and closed the conversation. “Oh, Ok”

My footsteps quickly headed for the machine box. Was curious about what this tech-filled machine could sell. I paused for a moment, observing closely the appearance. I haven’t pressed anything yet until a man stood beside me, he was 40s but still looked fit, smiling and looked educated.

He: “Helloo…..Can I help you? Where are you coming from?”

Me: “Hi, Indonesia, Sirir. Yeaa, I am looking for One Day Pass in this machine, Sir”.

He: “Oh, there isn’t One Day Pass in Seoul Metro. You must buy T-Money for your journey using Metro”

Me: “Oh, yeah”

He: “OK, I will help you to get it”. He started to get closer to the screen, then nimbly pressed buttons until he arrived at the end of execution menu. “You need to insert 3,000 Won into this machine!”

Me: “Oh , Ok, I see”….I put it in and he started to press the final execute button.

The T-Money came out of the machine in neatly white packaged. The man took it and handed it to me.

T-Money packaging.
This is the form of T-Money.

“So now, you can explore Seoul by this. Come on we go to platform!. Where is your destination?”, he started to walk me

“Hongik University Station, Sir”, I tried to keep up with his pace.

“Oh, do you study there?”.

“Oh, No Sir, I am just traveling now. What is your name, Sir?”

“In Chul Park. Call me Park”, he reached out his hand

“Donny, Sir”, I shook his hand.

Now I have a friend to talk during my trip to Kimchee Guesthouse Sinchon.

Thank you very much Mr. Park….