Ruby Ramblings

Sunday on the Subway
September 13, 2009, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Books, Korea, Travel

Actually it was what felt like most of Saturday and Sunday. One of my absolute favorite things about Korea is the subway system that connects the entire northwest quad of the country. But, I feel like I am on the thing all of the time.

Just riding along.

Just riding along.

So this is how I looked all weekend. Frazzled hair, huge bag full of books, and standing holding a subway loop. Actually I got to sit, a wonderous luxury, on a large part of the ride to go see Bybee, who lives near Asan. We had a great weekend chatting it up about books, boys…. and riding the subway.

A lot of people read on the subway. I love living in a place where reading is not just for the academics and dorks. They read on the subway so much, there are vending machines for books on the subway platforms.

I actually had enough time to read an entire book on the subway ride down to see her. In the Name of Honor, the story of a Pakastani woman who is condemned by a village court to gang rape after her brother is accused of “looking the in an unhonarable way” at another woman. She manages to get worldwide attention to her case and prosecutes her captors and several other men in the village. She uses the money she won from the case to start the first school for girls in her region.


Bybee’s house was my first experience being inside the ever-present, high-rise, apartment clusters. They are like ant colonies. Dozens of buildings all in one place, exactly the same, 20+ stories high, with hundreds of people living in them. They are very functional, very unattractive, and dominate the Korean landscape.

We ended the day with another, very long subway ride back to Itaewon for the bookswap at The Wolfhound. Plus some only semi-successful cheese shopping at the Foreign Food Mart. It was a good solid weekend, they go by so quick now…


2 Comments so far
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Wow – book vending machines are pretty cool – but it does make a statement about their system – either you are going to be waiting a long time or riding a long time! I believe NYC has some sort of upstart book giving program going in subways where they give away free books or some such thing. I like the ideas of the books on tape/CD rentals that some of the chain rest areas do along the East Coast where you rent it at the beginning of your journey, drive along and listen, and then return it at your eventual destination.

Comment by Bumbles

I have to admit that I gasped the first time I saw a book vending machine at the bus station in Gumi.

Comment by bybee

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