Friday, May 29, 2009

Lost in Seoul

I had to take an ACLS class (advanced cardiac life support) class in Seoul on Thursday and Friday. Several other people from the med group got approval to stay up at the army base where the class was being held last month so I figured I would do the same. When I turned in my papers, I was denied b/c they had spent too much money on the previous groups. I didn't think much of it and figured I would just take the bus up.

The morning of the class I arrived at the bus station at 645 ready for the 7AM bus. Much to my surprise there was no 7AM bus! So that meant I had to drive up. I stopped at the ER and got directions and I was off...

I got lost on the way to the freeway and circled around for quite a while. Then I had to sit in traffic for an hour. Finally I made it, but I was 30 minutes late. Luckily the main instructor was super nice and didn't mind that I was late.

The real problems started when I had to go home...

One wrong turn and it was over...

I realized I was going the wrong way, and tried to get off the freeway. There was a freeway exit and I figured it would lead to a street where I could turn left and get on the freeway exit on the other side....nope. Didn't happen. The off ramp was actually a link to a bridge that led across the river. Once on the other side of the river I had to choose between all kinds of other freeways that I had never heard of.

I found another bridge and took that back across the river trying to get back to the 1 freeway. Long story short, I circled the river for two hours! Going back and forth, back and forth over the river. Each time I thought it was an off ramp and took it, suddenly I was on a whole new freeway.

Frantically I called the ER to talk with one of our Korean guys. I tried to explain where I was, "I am on a freeway. There are lots of Korean people all around me. I am going under a bridge right now. I am directly under the earth's sun..." Mysteriously no one could tell me where I was, and I couldn't read any of the signs to tell them where I was.

I called Joe and had him try to look at our GPS and asked him to navigate me home. This should bring anyone who knows my husband to tears b/c Joe is the worst person at directions I have ever seen. After a few minutes of talking I realized this was a lost cause.

So it was me against the road.

I am proud to say that 2.5 hours later, running on fumes in my little Kia Avella, I eventually found my way back to the 1 highway.

In Korea they have gas stations on the side of the freeway- you don't even have to exit the freeway, just pull over to it. They are kind of positioned like rest stops. I pulled into one and got gas.

3.5 hours after I left my ACLS class on Thursday, I finally arrived at home.

By then I was fuming mad that my request to stay up at the base where the class is being held was denied. Plus, I forgot to mention, there were other people from my hospital that had their requests approved, and we were in the same class. Murderous Rage building....