Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Funny Story

I was reading someone's blog about a long ride on the subway and I thought I would write about my long ride in Seoul:

I decided this year to go back to school to get my MBA. You can see more about this decision and stuff in my other posting below. Anyways, with my love affair with Korea, I decided maybe I should apply to a couple schools in Korea. That way I can learn Korean and go to school!

Well I applied to Sungkyungkwan University (SKK) and Seoul National University (SNU), because I thought they had the best programs. Besides submitting the applications on the internet you had to sumbit some documents by mail or in person. Since I was in Africa I decided I would submit them in person on my next trip to Korea. The documents were due on May 2nd and I arrived in Korea on May 1st. So needless to say I was cutting it a little short.

Well, Mr. Hong (the family I was staying with in Seoul, Thanks Mr. Hong!) asked me if I needed any help getting around. I told him no. This was my 3rd trip to Korea, my first two trips were 4 weeks long each. So I was comfortable with the subway system, plus Im 27! Im a big boy now! I can do it on my own! Boy was I wrong!

First, I decide to go to SNU first because it was closest to Jamsil (where I was staying). I made a basic mistake, but got off at "Seoul National University of Education" stop. Went to the building and tried to turn in my application. After about 30 minutes of trying to find someone who could speak English, I was told you need to go to the University: "Seoul National University" exit, now "Seoul National University of Education"! So I get on the subway and get off at the right exit. I decide I can walk it, it shouldnt be too far. Again, another mistake! The subway exit is like 2 miles uphill away from the subway exit! So what should have taken maybe 30 minutes turned out to be aboue 2 hours!

Next onto SKK. Well I look at the subway map and find SKK right on it! So I take the subway there, boy is it a long ride! about 45 minutes and its way out of Seoul, I think 1 exit from Suwon. I get there and try to turn in my application at the school there. After about an 1.5 hours, I finally reach someone who has a clue and tells me that there is no Business School there, and what Im looking for is SKK in Seoul! The exit I need to take is Hyehwa which is on the far otherside of Seoul. The map I have attached doesnt even nearly show how far this is! Suwon is clear south of Seoul and Hyehwa is far northern reagion of Seoul!

Luckily I barely had enough time to turn all of my documents in. What should have been about a 2 hour activity turned into an entire day tour of all of Seoul!

If you look at the map, the Red is where I went, and the Purple is where I needed to go!


  1. Haha, funny... you live, you learn. One of my first subway experiences in Seoul during a vacation last year with my sis... we were on Line 2 (the green circle one) and somehow ended up going COMPLETELY AROUND it... my guess is that we mistook Sinchon for Sincheon... So you're in Africa?! Wow...

  2. That is funny. That must have taken you about 1.5 hours? I know I was smart enough to never get on an empty subway, and also to get off if everyone else is getting off. Im not certain, but Im fairly sure thats because the train is being taken out of service. Unfortunately those messages never come in you imagine pulling up the maintenance warehouse?

    Yea, I work in Africa every 4 weeks. Its cool for like the first trip..after that it gets tiring and old.