Chusok is nearly upon us...
. . . and Koreans are gearing up to pile into cars, buses, trains, and the odd plane for a yearly pilgrimage back to their hometowns to celebrate the annual harvest festival.
When an entire country hits the road, expect a few traffic problems.
My wife's family home is Daegu, so we usually head there and suffer both going and returning. Last year, we went but made the mistake of taking a bus because we'd already made the mistake of trying too late to purchase a train ticket. We almost got stranded in Daegu because even the buses were filled to capacity with the tickets all sold out. Fortunately, one bus company decided to run a special late-night bus back to Seoul, and we packed onto that for what would ordinarily be a three-hour trip.
The driver must have had a hard day because in working the graveyard shift, he nearly landed us all in the graveyard as he three times nodded off and drifted into other lanes during a fourteen-hour trip.
By the grace of God and cups of coffee, we safely reached our Seoul home rather than our eternal one, but I wanted no more rides on The Celestial Omnibus and told my wife: "I will never again go to Daegu for Chusok unless we take the terrestrial train."
So, we're not going this year.
Which explains why we went to Daegu last weekend -- as you may have noticed if you were alert and not too cartographically challenged.