Monday, August 17, 2015

sometimes longer is better

Had to meet my KMA boss in Yeouido today, so I left my place around 7:15AM, waited until about 7:25AM for the bus, rode to Madu Station, got off the bus around 7:50AM, and took the subway backward three stops to Daehwa Station, the terminus, where I then got on the subway going the opposite direction.

I jog backward like this because, when it's rush hour, getting the desired empty seat on the subway is paramount. When you're at the terminus, you're guaranteed an empty seat. Today, once I reached Daehwa, I had a choice: I could take the shortest route to Yeouido, or I could take the most comfortable route. I chose the shortest route so as not to be late for my morning meeting with my KMA boss, and it was rough. Never again.

The shortest route, time-wise and distance-wise, from Madu Station to National Assembly Station (the stop right next to Yeouido Station), takes a little over 60 minutes and requires four transfers. I find transferring to be a royal pain in the ass, and today's route, a via dolorosa of gluteal agony, looked like this:

1. 5 stops from Daehwa to Daegok. Transfer to Gyeongeui Central Line, express train.
2. 2 stops from Daegok to Digital Media City. Transfer to Line 6.
3. 4 stops from Digital Media City to Hapjeong. Transfer to Line 2.
4. 1 stop from Hapjeong to Dangsan. Transfer to Line 9.
5. 1 stop from Dangsan to National Assembly. Get off.

The Gyeongeui Central Line was jam-packed by the time I got on it. Luckily, I had to go only two stops because this was the express train, which skips three-fourths of the stops and—seemingly, at least—goes faster than the regular train, although I'm mystified as to how the express is able to leapfrog past the slow trains. Still, I had to endure the claustrophobic reality of being pressed against the train's back wall for about five or seven minutes until I could finally get off and breathe again.

I got to KMA by 9:07AM, which is much earlier than I would have arrived had I taken the longer, more comfortable route. That route would have required only two transfers at most, depending on my timing: from Line 3 to Line 9 express, and from Line 9 express to Line 9 regular. I could have slept for an hour had I gone that way, but no—today I chose to follow a path that kept me awake and on my toes.

Bleh... I'd rather sleep, so from now on, I'll take the longer, more comfortable route into town, even if it means arriving at KMA at 9:40AM.


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