The first day I was in Korea I was dropped off at a small motel. While I had some experience travelling, I’m not sure I was ready for the feeling of being left in a motel in what felt like the middle of nowhere. I was so jet lagged I spent the first 10 hours sleeping.
On a bed shaped like a heart.
The next day was a Saturday. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go. I decided I should go outside. The area I was in was full of night clubs (country side style night clubs) and motels. Lots of construction too. I walked a couple blocks a little nervous I might get lost. Eventually I saw a line of buses and some of the first English I had seen..
At this point in my Korean experience I had yet to learn that Korea was extremely safe. I figured the terminal would be an okay place to go. I’ll never forget the feeling as I walked into Iksan Terminal for the first time. It kind of felt like a movie set. What movie? I’m not sure. It looked old and Asian. It felt authentically so.
An older Korean lady came up to me and in Korean starting “yelling” at me. At first I thought she was angry, but after a while I realized she was laughing sometimes. I must have looked hungry and pitiful because she recruited an elementary school student to translate for her and explained she owned one of the shops. I explained my situation with the hotel as best I could and she gave me some oranges and told me I needed to eat them for energy, ha. She used her hands to explain that flying takes someone’s energy.
I spent much of the rest of the day in the terminal with my computer. I found a plug and a place to sit. The same woman later brought a friend and gave me some green tea in a paper cup. I realized a lot of the people in the terminal weren’t there for the buses.
Years later and I had forgotten about that time. I had forgotten about those first days in Korea. I came back to the terminal recently.
It hasn’t changed much.
The bus prices have changed, even though the place hasn’t. Still the cheapest trip to Seoul from Iksan though.
They are building a newer terminal, or so I’ve heard. Kind of sad, that.
I am glad I went back again.
Even though nowadays I’m only there for the buses.
Iksan, South Korea.