I had arranged to meet a friend in Seoul today, so I took my first trip from Pyeongtaek to Seoul.

I got up a bit too late and by the time I got to the station, it was already around 10:30am. I bought a ticket for the next train to Seoul but it was standing room only. That wasn’t the worst part, however. When it came time to board the train, I realised that I’d lost the piece of paper that served as the ticket! It wasn’t in any of my pockets. So I went up to the machine and bought a new ticket, which was credit-card sized and looked like a normal train ticket.

Next thing, the train was delayed for about 10 minutes. The previous train had been delayed too. So it was even later than scheduled that I got on the train to Seoul.

On the train, there were carriages designed for standing room only. Part of the carriage had subway-like seats. There was a small bench with a seat running along part of one wall, and the opposite part of the other wall had a table you could stand at. I got out my Korean notebook and studied it on the table on the way to Seoul.

I arrived in Seoul and eventually found a global ATM that let me take money out of my NZ bank account. I met up with my Korean friend and we had tonkatsu for lunch at a restaurant nearby. We spent the afternoon studying.

Something came up and I wanted to head back earlier than scheduled. I went to the ticket counter and the man kindly changed my train for one about half an hour earlier. I had dinner at Lotteria and loaded some money on my T Money card, which I was told I can use to pay for intercity trains on the Korail (Korean Railroad Corporation) app.

Since I boarded the train early, I was able to get a seat at one of the bench seats in the standing carriage. I tried using my tablet but it kept losing the Wi-Fi, which disappeared completely when we left Seoul station. I got off the train and bought a picture dictionary with both Korean and English words beside the pictures at the station bookstore. I boarded a bus to head home, but exited out of the route information on Naver Map. I went back in and kept waiting for the bus to turn down a road leading to one of the stops leading to my apartment, but to no avail. I eventually ended up at the bus depot in a pretty deserted area of Pyeongtaek and ended up having to walk home from there. The newly installed Kakao T (Taxi) app didn’t bring about any results.

When I got home, I found I’d left the heating on all day! I was absolutely freezing so I welcomed the heat, but the cost of heating the place made me worried.

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