On a rainy day, I walk through the narrow alleyways that run parallel to the main thoroughfares of Seoul, looking for a subway.
The streets are narrow and narrow in places, with only a few passing lanes to move through.
I look for an exit on the right.
Instead, a man with a large black backpack is walking towards me, carrying a box full of plastic bags and a pair of scissors.
He is trying to cut through my bag as we walk, and then stops and looks back at me.
I say hello and ask him how to reach the subway.
He tells me I can use the public transit system, which he says is only for people with valid IDs.
He then hands me the box.
“You can take this one,” he says, and I take it.
“I’m just trying to get you to take a subway,” I say.
“Well, I don’t think it’s safe for you,” he replies.
The man’s face looks serious, but he’s wearing a warm and comfortable shirt and a long, loose-fitting coat.
He walks over to me and begins cutting the plastic bag with his scissors.
“Don’t forget to take your seat!” he says.
He hands me a seat.
The next morning, I catch a subway to the city of Seongju, where I meet up with a friend from the same city.
After the first two hours, I find myself in a taxi.
I tell my friend that I need to catch a bus to get to the airport.
“We’ve got to get on a bus,” he tells me.
He says I need some kind of transportation to the hotel, and that we could try to arrange a ride there.
We ask for his taxi driver’s name.
“Lee Joon Seo,” he answers.
We get in his car, and the taxi driver starts driving us to the local airport.
After taking a taxi to the nearest taxi stand, we start talking on the phone.
The driver seems friendly and helpful.
“So what’s the plan?”
“It’s a good idea to take the subway,” he responds.
“That way, we won’t have to worry about the subway, right?”
“Okay,” he agrees.
We head to the subway station and I tell the driver I’m on the bus.
He asks if I want a seat with him.
“OK,” I confirm.
He sits on the back of the car and I sit on the front.
“Do you have any seats on the subway?” he asks.
“Yes, I have one,” I tell him.
The taxi driver pulls up beside us.
He looks at me and smiles.
“Good, you’ve made me feel good.
Do you need to take another seat?” he says as he walks towards us.
We sit down.
He puts on a pair, and when we get on the train, we walk in.
The conductor tells us to change into our seat belts.
We walk to the door, and we are all seated in our seats.
I notice the man is wearing a white hat and a white shirt.
I ask him what the name of the subway is.
“Seoul Subway,” he explains.
I explain that it’s the subway that runs between Seoul and Gwangju.
“Where is it?”
I tell Lee.
“In Gwangjang, Seoul Subway,” Lee responds.
I give him my boarding pass and ask for my seat.
“Please wait a minute,” he asks as we sit down on the next train.
“There’s a lot of people here,” he informs me.
We look at each other, and he asks me if I know where the station is.
I said that it was about 10 minutes away, and Lee asked if he could see the subway itself.
“Yeah, the subway was just in the distance,” I said.
“But how much does it cost?”
I told him I didn’t know, but Lee said, “It can be very expensive.”
I told Lee that I was not paying any money, and his reaction surprised me.
“Then why did you bring me here?”
I asked him.
He explained that I had told him the price of the ticket and that I would have to pay that too.
I explained that if I didn`t pay that, I would not be able to go on the journey.
“And if you don`t want to go, can you just get on another train?” he asked.
I was shocked, and my response was that it would be better if we didn`ll go.
Lee told me he was really sorry about this.
“Sorry, but I can’t help you,” I replied.
“Because if you go on this subway, you will end up in a police station.”
“I don’t understand,” I told the driver.
“The police will arrest you, and you will get an official notice from the police.”