Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Bus Driver from Hell

Today, I almost got in a fist-fight with a bus driver.

For the record, he started it.

Let me explain…

I finished my last class of the day, packed up my bags, and prepared to go to the bus stop with Mrs. Jeon. Instead of driving me to the Bunam Station, she suggested that I try flagging down the bus as it drove past the school. I had seen countless students do this in the past, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

Mrs. Jeon stood beside me, and we flagged down the bus together. I bid her farewell, sat down, and quickly fell asleep (this is my new tried-and-true method of overcoming the nausea that accompanies my hellish trip through the mountains). When I opened my eyes, we were in Andeok.

I stood up, handed the bus driver my ticket, and prepared to step down off the bus. He immediately turned to face me and began blasting Korean at me at the top of his lungs. He was furious about something that I did, but in the whirlwind of confusion, I couldn’t understand what was going on. I tried my best to pick out familiar words, but all I could understand was something about the “pyo” (ticket) I had just handed him. I reached into my pocket to grab another one just to shut him up, but before I could pull it out he ripped up my ticket in a fit of rage and threw it out of the door. I calmly tried to tell him that I don’t speak Korean, but this just infuriated him even more. At a loss for what to do, I politely wished him farewell and took the first step to get off the bus. His arm jetted out and he clamped onto my wrist. Instinctively, I ripped my arm free, and I stumbled backwards into the hand rail. He tried to reach for me again (with his other hand firmly clenched in a fist), and I hopped backwards out of his reach and off the bus. He continued to scream at me as he closed the door, made a series of unrecognizable gestures, and drove away.

Luckily, one of my students was on the bus and was able to explain everything to my co-teacher the next day.

As it turns out, he was pissed that I didn’t give him cash.

The students who only have tickets must make the 10 minute walk to Bunam Station. Those that don’t want to make the walk (or don’t have tickets) can simply flag down the bus as it passes the school. But when they get on board, they must pay cash (which the bus driver illegally pockets).

For all the good that this country has to offer, you can’t escape corruption.

- Ken


  1. christine(jess' mom)9 November 2009 at 18:25

    what a furious accident!:(
    the driver didn't know that you're real 'HULK' movie star... i guess your EQ is very high, Ken! if there is another incident happen in latter days(you never know, right?), be smart and be prepared... not to make Jessica worry about you...:)

  2. That's just crazy! I'm glad that you are OK. Why does everything happen to you???