Jul 27

Abandoned in Guro

Daily hotel elevator selfie, pre-abandonment.

On Friday, we took a day trip to Incheon, which is a city about an hour outside of Seoul (also where the international airport is). In order to get there, we had to make several transfers on the subway. The last transfer was already quite a bit outside of Seoul and unfamiliar to us.

Now you should know that we weren’t under any time constraints. We didn’t have any sort of appointment we needed to make.

Yet! Somehow! For whatever reason! when we made it to the platform of the last train we needed to get us to Incheon, the doors were about to shut but Henry decided it was absolutely necessary for him to ballet-bound through the doors, causing Chooch to have the knee jerk reaction to leap after him just as the doors were closing.

They turned around just in time to slowly wave goodbye to me as the train pulled away, leaving me on the platform. Me, who didn’t have “get vivisected by shutting train doors” on the itinerary for the day. Me, who didn’t understand what the hurry was.

“Get off at the next station,” Henry texted me and I was like “NO SHIT YOU ASSHOLE” and then proceeded to wait the whole whopping two minutes for the next train to arrive before calmly and orderly boarding like a normal person and not Henry the Lumbering American Oaf.

I wasn’t even angry because I’m capable of getting on a freaking train on my own; HOWEVER when I arrived at the next station, they were nowhere to be found?!?!

This is when the texting frenzy started. First I thought asshole Chooch had turned on me and managed to talk Henry into hiding from me with him like we would typically do to Henry but after a quick walk around through the station I realized this was not the case.

“We’re here, where are you?” Henry responded to my rapid-fire succession of angry WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?s.

Well, they were not there, let me tell you.

So I walked back down to the track thinking that maybe I just didn’t see them. Because let me tell you about something that I have been dealing with since the day we got here: EYEBALL MALADIES.

My right eye has been beyond agitated since the plane ride because SOMEONE forgot to pack saline solution on the carryons so I couldn’t take my contacts out which is a HUGE TRAVEL FOUL, I know this. So I believe I have a corneal abrasion now in my right eye and haven’t been wearing a contact on that side.

Well, by Friday, I decided to be a big girl and just, omg, wear my eyeglasses.

Ok so look, I haven’t had a pair of eyeglasses in YEARS but I specifically got a pair last winter in preparation for, LOL, the plane ride. Have I worn them at all in the interim? FUCK no. In fact, they didn’t even fit on my face without flopping all over and thank god I had the foresight (ugh, “sight”) to walk down to the eyeglass place on Brookline Boulevard the Saturday before we left for Korea in order to get them properly fitted.

So not only am I abandoned in a foreign country’s train station, but I’m also visually impaired because I CANNOT HARDLY WALK STRAIGHT while eyeglassed and waited until I was across the world to try out the damn things for the first time. What is: A Thing That Makes Sense In Erin’s World.

Since I wasn’t used to wearing glasses, I felt off-balance every time I looked around, plus my right eye was screaming and wanted nothing more but to be closed. So when Henry kept texting me “WHAT STATION ARE YOU AT” I wanted to fling myself onto the tracks.

You can tell I was really fuming because that’s when my Hulk Thumbs make typos and don’t bother to change them.

I felt like Brenda in Adventures in Babysitting when some homeless person steals her glasses while she’s sleeping in the bus station and replaces them with a pair that don’t work and Brenda is left stumbling around, abandoned and blurred, except that I didn’t mistake a rat for a cat and Henry and Chooch didn’t meet Thor or sing in a blues club on their way to collect me.

Some dear old man train attendant came over to me, probably noticing that I was on the verge of tears, and asked me where I was trying to go. All I could do was wail “IM LOSSSSSSTTTTTT. My family LEFT MEEEEEEE” and he was able to at least tell me what station I was in because I couldn’t see the signs through my water-filled eyes.

Not my picture, but these are the steps I clumsily walked up and down in my frantic search for my hateful family. I cannot walk on steps while wearing glasses without white-knuckling the railing and my knees knocking like a baby deer’s.

Anyway, eventually I saw them ON A DIFFERENT SET OF TRACKS so we were reunited but it didn’t feel so good because I seriously wanted to eviscerate Henry for doing that to me and he was all “OH HA HA HA YOU WERE FINE” but can you imagine if the tables had turned and Chooch and I had done that to HIM? HOOOOOO LAWDY he’d have verbally-spanked us right there in whatever small Korean town we were in.

So it turns out that the train I got on after Henry’s was the correct one, and if he hadn’t been role-playing in his head that he was the popo chasing a perp onto a departing train, he’d have maybe noticed that his train wasn’t going to Incheon and actually SWITCHED TRACKS which put him and Chooch on the other side of the station, so it was no wonder we both thought we were at “the next station” but couldn’t find each other.

It was really frustrating and I mean at the end of the day, if I’m going to be lost, let it be in South Korea BUT STILL.

Oh, we can laugh about it now. But at the time it was the worst thing in the world and I felt like a discarded puppy.

Anyway, we eventually made it and I will of course have a full Incheon post at some point when I get home but here is a picture from Fairytale Village next to Chinatown and now you know why I was wearing glasses ugh for days.

The rest of the day ended up being wonderful in spite of Henry’s jackassery.

(This Post was written on a three-hour train ride to Jeonju while eating chestnuts and admiring the guy in front of me for his nonchalant public corn-on-the-cob eating skills.)

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