Lost in Seoul
Seoul, a metropolitan city with a fusion of historical and modern architecture, a high-technological subway system, and rich in developed markets. Seoul is the biggest city in South Korea, making Seoul a highly urbanized and populated city. In fact, Seoul has more than 25 million residents. Sounds like a city where you can easily get lost, doesn’t it?
I recently went exploring with my friends, Kathy and Kimza. Our destination: Myeongdong, one of Seoul’s well-known shopping areas. In Myeongdong you can find almost anything you can imagine from food vendors and restaurants to a wide variety of retail stores. During my stay in Seoul some of the apps that I use to go around all these cool places are KakaoMetro and KakaoMap. Both apps work really well and give accurate subway and bus times. From Sinchon Station, the closest station to Yonsei University, to Myeongdong it would take about 30 minutes on the subway. Yet it took us one hour to figure out how to work the subway. We were scared of going in the wrong direction and kept getting off the subway. In the end, we realized that we were right from the beginning. What an experience but that is just the beginning!
When we got to Myeongdong, my first thought was “oh I am in Korea.” For some reason, I still couldn’t believe that I was in another country, that I was finally in Korea. I had such a great time in Myeongdong, it was so much fun. I got to try Rose-Shaped Gelato Ice Cream and different types of street food, everything was so delicious. We also went to a dog cafe, it was my first time in one, it was so much fun.
Myeongdong was so much fun but then we realized that we need to take the subway back to the dorm, again. The way back was easier, we knew how to use the subway better. However, we went through the wrong exit of the station and took us to a different side of Sinchon, a different side from the one we already knew. On top of that, the internet was not working well and the GPS was given wrong directions. While walking throughout the area looking for a place or street we knew, it started raining. We ran into a store to buy umbrellas while being there we bought some other miscellaneous that we needed for our dorms. We didn’t realize that now we would be lost walking in the rain while carrying big bags full of stuff. Our thought was “let’s take a taxi,” more convenient and faster. So we got one but then we realized, we do not speak Korean! My friends can understand some Korean but I think during that time we all lost it. It was hard to communicate with the taxi driver because he couldn’t understand where we were going and we couldn’t understand what he was saying. The taxi driver drops us off at the same street where he picked us up.
We were tired and hungry. We were lost in Seoul but we has the idea that something like this could happen while visiting a new country. Later on, we kept walking and we saw two people dressed in red. I remembered that there are people in Korea dressed in red clothes to help tourists. They have badges on them that say what language they speak and one of them spoke English. She looked at us and quickly asked if we needed help, she knew from our faces that we were ready to give up. She showed us a map and gave us directions on how to get back to Yonsei University. We were in the opposite side of where Yonsei is, it was about 20 minutes away from walking. Fortunately, we got to our dorms. It was such a remarkable and fun experience. Even though being lost is not always a good experience, this time it was. I got lost in Korea and I got to see many places that I would never have to. It was quite an experience, it was a new experience.
Wish me luck,