Archive for the ‘bus’ Category

The Party Bus

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Today I taught 2.9 (all boys, second grade), and at the end of it I told them to have a great field trip. As I had told class 2.5 that I would probably see them on their trip on Friday and they shrieked in despair (thanks guys, thanks for that) I didn’t feel the need to be shot down by more high school boys so I didn’t mention anything about seeing them there. As I packed up to leave, a student shouted out “but wait, teacher! You’re on our bus.”

“Wait. What? Bus?”
“LOOK AT THE PAPER!” The students shrieked as another student rushed forward, jabbing his finger at the bulletin board.
I looked, and yes, sandwiched between a bunch of 2.9 students is my name. They put me, heaven knows why, and my rockstar co-teacher, on the 2.9 bus. I looked at them and smiled and said “yay” and the room suddenly turned into a crazy moshpit of second grade boys screaming at the top of their lungs “EMILY TEACHER IS ON OUR BUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.”

Friday should be interesting, to say the least.

The Bus System

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

2 stops of the RER C are closed for track work, so we had to take a bus instead to get to class today.  It was my first time on the bus system in Paris, but it was not an enjoyable one.  Part of the reason was that a bus can hold a lot less people than the metro can and everyone was trying to cram into the bus.  Because of traffic, the bus was more stop and go, which caused me to constantly bump the people near me.  In a heavily populated city, such as Paris, heavy rail is necessary because of the volume of people it can hold (even if there are even more people than that during rush hours) and because it gets people off the streets which also cannot contain all of the people traveling.  It is much more reliable as well because it does not have to compete with other modes of transportation.

Near Cite Universitaire, there are lanes designated for light rail and I’ve also seen some lanes designated for buses in other parts of Paris.  These take out the unreliable nature of buses since they are separated from traffic.


Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Today I got approached by a man on the bus. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me in Korea, and it’s happened to me numerous times in America, but today it was a little different. Normally, when I’m approached on the bus, it tends to be an older, intoxicated man. He tends to get up in my face, and start slurring at me in Korean. The other passengers know that what he’s doing is inappropriate, but because he’s older they don’t say anything and thus, as a young female foreigner trapped on a moving bus, I can’t either. Normally I don’t talk, don’t make eye contact, and move, and just wait it out. Today the man that approached me was neither drunk, nor old, nor spoke to me in Korean.

I was sitting on the bus in a seat by myself hunched over my book reading when I out of the corner of my eye a black square. At this point, the bus had exited Gwangju and was on the country-side highway that leads to where I live. It was a guy who had been sitting in the seat across from me, holding out his tablet and smiling. I stared at him, not comprehending, and he shook his tablet at me, indicating that he wanted me to take it. He had typed out a message in English that read “Hello. I have seen you on this bus before (terminal) and I wanted to talk with you” and listed his phone number. I, not making eye contact, shoved the tablet back at him and hunched further over in my seat, trying to look as uncomfortable as I could. He got the hint, and didn’t press the issue. Two stops later he got off the bus, and didn’t look at me.

After returning the tablet I immediately started to feel guilty. The man had done nothing wrong, had he? He wanted to talk to me, and I ignored him. I didn’t even explain why I didn’t want to talk to him, why he made me feel uncomfortable, why it’s a bad idea to approach a girl on a bus – an enclosed area with no escape path – why the idea of giving a stranger my phone number especially when he already knows my bus route and thus has a pretty good idea of where I live.

You know what? No. As women, we’re conditioned that it’s rude to say “no.” That we have to temper all of our rejections. That it’s our lot to be approached, and men’s duty to be the one’s approaching, and we should applaud their confidence. We’re told that if we don’t indulge the people who are engaging us in conversation, that if we don’t smile, and laugh, and say “I’m sorry but I’m busy” or tack on a “thank you” to our “no” (and even this is bold) that we’re the ones who are out of line. We’re asked “what our problem is”, and “why we have to be like that.” You see, the idea of someone saying “no” immediately, of not even “giving the person a chance” is apparently ruder than approaching a woman you do not know, who obviously does not want to be approached.

This guy took his rejection, or rather my blatant refusal to  engage, with grace. However, I wish that instead of just looking down, I had looked him in the eyes and said “no.” Maybe then I wouldn’t feel guilty for not being nicer to him, and like shit for feeling guilty.

Ed vs Ing

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Korean learners of English as a foreign language tend to have trouble with the distinction between “ed” and “ing.”

“Oh teacher, I am interesting!”
“Yes, yes you are.”

Changpyeong is pretty rural. In fact, though geographically I’m pretty close to Gwangju, I can’t go out late at night because the last bus leaves from Gwangju at around 10:15, which means that if I’m downtown with friends like I was last Saturday, I have to leave around 9:30 if I want to make it back home. If I miss that bus, it’s actually cheaper to spend the night in Gwangju than to take a cab.

I didn’t particularly want to leave, but I hadn’t been feeling too well and I knew that I wouldn’t want to stay out as late as everyone else, nor did I have a place to stay, so I decided to call it quits and leave downtown right as everyone was getting in. I took the bus to 서방 시장 (Seobang Market – the transfer point that is closest to downtown) to wait for my Changpyeong bus, and then I hear-


Turns out it was one of my students, who apparently goes to Gwangju every Saturday. After she finishes supplemental classes at school she buses into the city and goes to an art academy where she paints all day, and then takes the last bus back to Changpyeong.

“Teacher, what are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m going home. I went to a birthday party but I must take the last bus back to Changpyeong, so I had to leave early.”
“Oh,” she pauses, “I think you must be very boring.”

San Rafeal

Monday, April 26th, 2010

My third weekend trip recently was to San Rafeal in province of Mendoza. We were outdoorsy adventurers and went to two different wineries.

The hotel…

…and around the hotel. We had a free morning and then went hiking that afternoon.


My dog Lizzie would not have lasted 2 minutes with these guys. They were insane.

Day 2 we went repelling!

Here you can see someone else repelling:

And my friend who has an amazing camera took this picture of me on the zip-line:

That afternoon we visited two wineries.

Delicious Cabernet grapes!

And then, look who I found beside a pile of grapes!:

And that’s when I decided I was adopting a kitten.

The next winery was more “family-oriented” than the first, which was international instead of local.

They also had more animals.

The last day we went rafting. That was quite an experience…I had no idea class 2 rapids could be INTENSE. Very early on, one of the guides from the other raft pulled up close to ours, grabbed my life jacket, and tried to pull me out! Into the water! I am seriously afraid of rocks, probably due to a previous traumatizing rafting experience, and wasn’t a huge fan of this. It was really unexpected and I didn’t know what was going on. It turns out we were in for a pirate rafting tour, so to speak, including “stealing the girls” from other rafts and capturing them. I didn’t read the pamphlet, but I don’t think that was what I signed up for. There was also a lot of yelling involved and our guide purposely leading us into the sides of cliffs. It was actually fun though, in a scary sort of way. But I would rather have had previous knowledge of the surprise. I probably wouldn’t do it again considering how I felt afterward, which was freezing cold and really tense and banged up. I still have bruises on my legs to this day!

Here is an after picture. I am happy to be alive:

This blog post is so long. My trip is almost over though. We headed back to the hotel and I took a hot shower in the middle of them serving lunch (yes the service was that slow, sorry Mom for being rude- I didn’t have that much time! It had to be done).

I was super exhausted and wanted to go to lay in bed, finally safe and warm and dry, but I knew I had to sleep as best I could on the bus ride home so I went on a trip to the dam instead. We fit 23 people into a 13 passenger van.

I’m glad I went, because this is what I saw!!

Gorgeous! The End. The bus arrived back at our University 9am the next morning.

Iguazu Falls

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Well here it is!! I kinda already talked about the Iguazu trip before so this will post will be mainly pictures…

Woke up to the sunrise after a long bus ride (15 hours maybe? I don’t remember now) to loud, obnoxious ’80s music. Also the bus driver had opened the door to the outside and our bus was infiltrated with mosquitos. Lovely.

We had stopped at San Ignacio Mini, a site of Jesuit mission ruins of the Guaraní indigenous peoples

That afternoon we went to an estancia and had an asado, swam in the pool and relaxed in hammocks!:

Mate fields

We finally checked into our hotel that night, after another bus ride that took a lot longer than it was supposed to. Apparently there was a strike and the streets were blocked on the road, but I’m not sure if that’s true. It could have been an accident too. I think it took 3 hours (or was supposed to take 3 hours). We were late for dinner at our hotel but excited to sleep and go to the falls the next day!

So it rained. A lot. All morning. Even though it looks really bright and sunny in this picture, it wasn’t until the afternoon when we were leaving. Luckily I carry a poncho with me around everywhere, so I finally got to use it! Kidding, I don’t carry it everywhere…but I have had it for a long time now

So close!

Argentine side. “Argentina is the stage, Brazil has the seats.” It would cost me $131 dollars to get into Brasil

The boat in the above picture is the boat I was on in the pictures below!

That’s the end of Day 2!

Ready to go to the Guaraní village

Really cool experience- he showed us animal traps they used to use for hunting. They don’t hunt anymore but they still teach it to the children. There is a bilingual school there too- Guaraní and Spanish.

Precious baby.

Sunset on the flight home!

Things To Do and Iguazu In Brief

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Yay I am finally writing this! I am sitting here at the computer lab at my university…yes, my computer is temporarily broken. I suppose I better make this a long one because it may not be until later in the week or next week until I am able to write again.

My dead computer has several complications: no picture updates YET, and I have to figure out a way to regrister for classes at Mary Wash tomorrow morning. Oh and tomorrow is a national holiday here in Argentina. So I won´t be able to use this computer lab or visit an internet/computer cafe. Thankfully our wonderful Study Abroad Office offered to do it for us, so I just e-mailed them although I will be very very lucky if they are able to do it on time.

I hope this is making sense, I am trying to do a lot at once! I am looking up places in the city that will fix computers (that would be an experience) and also my warranty from Dell which expires on July 14th. But it´s only for the US. I know they have international ones but I will have to look into the details. I also need to find an Apple store to buy a charger for my iPod. Yes, I can get wifi on it, but I can only charge it through my computer! Of course.

Sorry this has turned into my to do list…Enough of the boring stuff. I just had a great weekend at Iguazu Falls!!

[Actually let me again complain again for a second to be done with it. I had this weird itchy rash on my legs last week, my stomach still always hurts when traveling for a long distance and I caught a cold on the 13 hour bus ride there. I am finally feeling a lot better today though!]

So we woke up on the bus in the morning and went to old Jesuit mission ruins. We then had an asado at an estancia a half hour away. There was a pool, hammocks, and areas to play futbol and volleyball. Our hotel was still 3 hours away, but due to an accident and a protest it took us much longer to arrive…We had a late dinner (maybe even for Argentine standards) and I went to bed sick and exhausted.

It rained a lot in the morning when we got there, a lot of my pictures are of me in a lovely poncho. I just almost wrote pancho which means hot dog.

Eventually the rain stopped, and we got soaking wet on our boat ride under the waterfalls anyway. AMAZING. My pictures don´t do it justice and my words definitely won´t either. Here is where I would insert the pictures if I could…but you´ll just have to wait!

Before we left for the airport, we visited a Guaraní villiage. I really wish I could write more about it but it´s getting dark and I better go home.