In celebration of Elizabeth’s return to Korea today, I am posting an iPhone photo. Our happy little trio is together again.
Usually, I’m shaking my head and wondering at the fact that I live in the second largest city in the world. Today, I was marveling at the fact that I drive here! My parents were in town this week and my dad commented several times about his baby taking her car through the streets of Seoul. This was my view earlier today. There are several typically Korean things to notice about this scene … other than the obvious Hangul on the signs. First, notice the cart. Someone was lugging that thing along the road. It’s incredible what people can manage to pile in those carts and then haul them through the streets. This particular street had 6 lanes of car traffic, plus two bus lanes down the middle. All must yield to the cart. Yes, that particular point was on my driving test. Second, the truck in front of the cart was loaded with garlic. So. Much. Garlic. Third, notice the people standing in what appears to be the middle of the street. This is Seoul’s genius use of bus lanes. The bus stops are down the center of the road in many places and the two center lanes are dedicated to buses. This means that the buses don’t clog traffic and the buses avoid traffic, keeping them on more of a schedule. It takes a little close observation when driving a car to figure out how to make a left hand turn around the bus lanes, but it works! Fourth, notice the trash in the lower right hand corner. Trash in Seoul is a huge issue, as it is in any major city. The trash situation stresses me out sometimes. There are so many things to separate, but the end result is that we usually have only one bag of trash (think Wal-Mart bag size) to take out every week. The rest is food waste and recycling. In a highrise, like we live in, there is a trash room with bins for us to put everything in. That doesn’t seem to be the case in most of the city. There aren’t trash cans like we’re used to in the States, so we see a lot of trash bags laying in the streets, waiting to be picked up. Fifth, notice the car and the truck attempting to pull out onto the street. They fought for the right to cut in front of me.
I live in SEOUL. I DRIVE in Seoul. I’m crazy???
Welcome back, Elizabeth.