Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Do you see what I see?

Last week, on Saturday, my brother and I headed north to Seoul. On disembarking at Yeongdeungpo station (and after a doughnut or four) we proceeded to take the subway to Hongik university. One of the subways that we boarded (line 1, 6-2 gate, I think!!) had the most amazing carriage. I was in love from the minute I entered it. We were only on this subway for one stop, so I didn't take a picture (challenge issued by my brother) but I will do my best to describe it.

To the right of the door that we entered was a book case filled with books. One of the other passengers slipped one into his hand and proceeded to read just after we boarded the train. I kept staring at the bookcase hoping in vain that there would be something in English so I too could reach in and pull a book out to read.

To the immediate right of this was a seating area with two seats opposite each other with a little table. This was a mobile phone charging area. A second charging area was also available on the opposite side of the carriage. Right in front of both of these booths was somewhere where you could hang your umbrellas etc. It was nice day so no one was taking advantage of it - but because the bar wasn't too high, I was able to grab it instead of trying to keep my balance.

There was a water dispenser just beyond the phone charging area with those little paper cups. What I found most impressive was that it had both a cold and a HOT water dispenser - I would have thought that would be a bit dangerous on a subway as it lurches into a station!  Not only was there the water dispenser in the carriage but also a snack area was to the left of the door that we entered. I couldn't see past the snack area and there wasn't enough time for me to explore the carriage in it's entirety. There were probably many more things to see but my eyes were too greedy for what was in my immediate vicinity. Plus that book case was distracting!

So, you might think I'm mad to have not taken a picture and to have accepted my brother's challenge. You might think I'm mad to not be 100% sure of the subway I was on. However, I think the latter is unavoidable as I was too concentrated on the actual carriage to really care where I was going. For the former, something that I have learnt this past weekend is that a camera can't always capture exactly what you see and sometimes the entirety of what you are seeing is more important than the snapshot of a particular time and space that a photo captures. I still love taking photos but sometimes what my eye sees and my mind captures is even more picturesque.

Map courtesy of http://www.smrt.co.kr/program/cyberStation/main2.jsp?lang=e

PS This post is inspired by a fantastic subway ride and the song Do you hear what I hear?

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