I took this photo to show Seoul traffic at
rush hour. I really don't know how the drivers do
it. Sometimes they even have music or a talk show playing.
Monica prefers buses to the subway because she gets to see much
more of the city. The big advantage of the subway is that
in almost every city it is easy to figure out -- you can count
on comprehensible route maps, limited places to get off, and
usually, neighborhood maps near the exits. (Recently,
looking for a particular place, we were studying a subway map
and debating whether to walk or take the metro, a volunteer
tourist guide approached and suggested taking the subway -- "You
can walk easily but when you get off the subway you will know
where you are. Sorry. True."
Buses were once much more challenging. The biggest
problem, if one could find a schedule and routes and figure out
the fares, was knowing where to get off the bus. This
depended on knowing where one was in a foreign, unfamiliar city
-- so an eagle eye, a good map, and a landmark or two were
(And a willingness to walk when one messed up.) In the
past, we could only relax on the bus when we had driver or
fellow passenger who could understand where we wanted to get off
and was willing to tells us that the time had come.
Now, with google maps on my phone, buses are a breeze.
Google maps not only has bus schedules and routes, but tells me
where I am.
And many buses in Seoul not only announce the next stop but
display it in English. And, with a charged fare card,
there's no worries about the fare -- just touch the card to the
thingy on the way out and wait for a beep.