a final adventure in korea


As  I waited for the bus to the airport, I anxiously checked my wallet carefully. I only had 13500KRW. I was short 1,500KRW (about $1.50) the required bus fare. I just hoped that they would take credit card, like they did on the other bus I used to take. However, I was taking a different bus route today.

I got on the bus, and asked the bus driver if he took credit card. He had me try to use my transportation(T-money) card, but I didn’t have enough money on that. Then he told me to try to use my credit card, but I knew that I had a foreign card, and it wouldn’t work on the T-money machine. I didn’t know what to do. He told me that I needed to pay. I asked if I could pay at the airport. I mean there would be an ATM machine there, but he said that I had to pay before.

Not sure what else to do,  I told him I would get off the next stop. He asked me what I would do. I said that I would have to find an ATM or something. Then, he told me to stay on and that I could get off the next stop where there’s an ATM. I thought he meant that he would kick me off, and that I would have to wait for the next bus.

I waited anxiously for the next stop, he told me that I could get off and go to the ATM and he would wait for me. Luckily, I was still the only person on this  huge bus, even after 4 stops. As we approached the stop, I got off and went to the ATM. However, I tried all 3 of my credit cards, but they didn’t accept my foreign cards. This was it, I thought. I didn’t really have any other option. I would really just have to get off the bus.

I told the bus driver that I would just get off the bus and catch a taxi. I could pay with my credit card on the taxi. He asked me if i would have enough time to catch my flight if I took the bus. I said yes. He asked me if I could use the ATM machine at the airport. I told him that those machines would work with my foreign card.

Relieved, I got back on the bus. Then, he asked me if I had any dollars. I told him I had some Singapore dollars. He had me pay the amount I was missing with my Singapore dollars. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?! However, that wasn’t the only hurdle. As I looked at my watch I realized that the bus ride was taking a lot longer than I had expected. I was getting closer to the departing time. I got to the airport about an hour before. I didn’t realize that my flight time was 20 minutes earlier than I thought!

When I got to the security line, there were more people than normal. Usually, it is very quick to get through security at Incheon airport. Nervously, I waited on the line. As I made my way to the gate, they started boarding about 5 minutes after. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do any duty free shopping, which may have a good thing on my wallet! Next time I’m in Korea, I’ll make sure to have the required bus fare and leave much earlier.

Have you had any crazy getting to the airport/almost missing your flight stories? 

Slice of life Tuesdays are hosted by the Two Writing Teachers.


5 thoughts on “a final adventure in korea

  1. elsie says:

    You had me nervous for you the entire time. Whew! What a relief that you made it. I am one of those people who will sit for hours waiting for a flight just to know that I am going to make it. What a nice bus driver! You were lucky! Glad yo finally made it home.

  2. Jane says:

    oh jeefu–so lucky that the bus driver was so understanding! i can’t help but think about my adventure when we left from paris…it was a good thing we went in separately because otherwise we would have been cutting lines and running to the gate together!

  3. Chris says:

    I was on the edge of my seat as I read your story. I’ve been the last on the plane before due to poor planning, and I remember avoiding the eyes of everyone on the plane. I’m so glad you had an understanding and patient bus driver!

  4. Jaana says:

    These are the experiences that make blog posts fun! I am remembering one of my bus trips in Taiwan. I usually took bus #220. One day the bus came, but I did not realize it was the YELLOW #220! Of course they went to very different places. When the driver finally told me to get off the bus, the only place I knew then how to say in Chinese was “train station.” I finally found taxi driver who understood me and took me to the train station. Then back to home on the WHITE $220 bus. You bet I always looked at the color after that:-)

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