|Got up early again to do my homework. Had to edit 7 pages of conference notes down to 2 pages for the conference notebook. Wasn't as hard as I thought.
Breakfast at the hotel. I'm liking the steamed eggs and rice. It looked a little warmer from the window. Optical allusion. The hairs on my legs were freezing as I walked to the subway station. It was a short trip to Seoul station. Very uneventful. Sang told me to follow the orange signs to the KTX, so that's what I did.
I tried to buy my train ticket from a machine, but it turned out to be a bigger challenge than I had planned, so I nixed that plan and got in line at a ticket counter. "You can stand on the 10 a.m. train or sit on the 10:30." Sitting is better for me, I told her. Tickets were about $50, but that didn't seem all that bad to me. It's a super-fast train, getting me all the way across the country in about 2 1/2 hours. I grabbed some water and bananas before boarding.
The train is warm and comfortable and it is awesome having a seat to sit in. I even have a little table to type on. A couple of guys were chatting as they got on. I saw them figure out that one of the guys had the seat next to mine. The other guy laughed at him, but he sat down next to me anyway. I guess in Korea I'm that guy that you don't want to have to sit next to. At least I remembered deodorant today. The guy was nice enough. He spoke decent English and was curious about this American riding a train across Korea. I guess he figured if he had to sit next to the smelly white guy, he should make the best of it.
As soon as we got out of the city, I was surprised by the snow covered pastures. This place could pass for Detroit. I snapped a couple of pictures out the window. When my seat-mate looked at me funny, I said, "We don't see much snow in California." He nodded knowingly, though he has never been to America.
Farther down the he track, the white snow gave way to brown. We are clipping past mountains, and though it doesn't look bitter cold, I'm not being taken in by that. Busan is supposed to be warmer than Seoul. One degree Celsius instead of 7 degrees below. Happy for those 8 degrees, but...that is still cold.
My seat-mate left at one of the few stops. He took time to shake my hand and tell me he was glad to meet me. I didn't see whether his humorous friend got off with him or not.
We should arrive in Busan in about another hour. Not sure how to get to my guesthouse. AirBnB. Guess I'll find a taxi. I'm enjoying the train ride. Maybe I should have taken the slow train.