Saturday, August 25, 2007

Daejeon's Buses


When you first come to Daejeon, one of your biggest worries is how you plan on getting anywhere. Luckily there are thousands and thousands of taxi's everywhere. But to save serious money, it is wise to learn the bus system if you don't live downtown. Buses cost 1,000 won (1 buck) for the non seating (there are some seats) and 1,500 won for the seating buses (more seats). Usually you take the non seating buses, seating buses have 0 in the middle of their 3 digit numbers. The 185 is my life line to work and downtown. But I can also take the 133 or 132 to close by areas of Daejeon. Riding one of these shaky things is equivalent to trying to standing on wagon that a two year old is dragging around at 90 mph. There are handles bars on both sides of the bus and to maintain your balance, you have to hold on for dear life. I guess Koreans have a better center of gravity than me so I might find it more difficult. Another major problem is that all buses are stick shift and have terrible transmissions so no gear change is a smooth transition.

10 Step Program to riding Bus.

1. Go to local bus stop and look for a blue sign with peeling numbers to make sure your bus line meets there. (Also make sure the bus is going the direction you want it to, otherwise you'll do a lap before you get back to your destination ((Don't Ask)).)

2. Wait and listen for the roar of the bus taking the closest corner at 60-70 mph.

3. Jut out into the street with 1,000 - 1,500 won ready while waving the bus over like a taxi so the bus driver knows to stop for you.

4. Attempt to climb on to the bus before it stops because the driver will open the door way in advance in the hopes that he doesn't fully stop to get you on his bus.

5. Dive on to bus.

6. Place 1,000-1,500 won in money receptacle and look for a seat quickly while holding tight onto handles. (If packed look for seat past mid-point because the front is saved for older men and women, its called Confucianism!)

7. If seat found don't worry, keep eyes open for your stop. If not, hold on tight as the bus driver will accelerate and stop as fast as the Hyundai made parts will allow him too, also keep eyes open for stop.

8. When your stop is close and next press red button to alert bus driver to stop (don't press too early otherwise you will get nasty stares and snickers from people and possibly some cuss words from driver).

9. Make your way towards the back of the bus to exit off while holding on tight for reasons mentioned everywhere.

10. Wait for doors to open, not bus to stop, to start getting off. Drivers close the doors when the bus stops, he keeps it open while the bus is still kind of moving.

These 10 steps are essential to riding the bus is Daejeon. They go relatively fast but taxis are a more relaxing and faster environment to get around in so if you have the cash spend it. Although the bus gives you a great chance to feel like you are a fellow member of Korean society even if they really don't want you.

1 comment:

T & A said...

I was once SAT on by an Ajuma on a Daejeon city bus!
Literally SAT on....I couldnt move to let her have the seat, cause she had to get off me first!
That was one of the strangest experiences I had in Korea!