This video is me getting off Line 5 (the purple line) at Yeungdeungpo-gu Office (the home of Costco) and transferring to Line 2 (the green line, one of the busiest lines). Keep an eye out on all the people marching up the stairs. My camera ran out of batteries after this clip so I was unable to film myself barging into a jam-packed subway car on Line 2.
Line 2 was even worse than Line 5. I managed to follow the crowds of people and pry my way into a full subway car. Some people were turned away because the cars were too full. Once I was standing in the subway car, I couldn't even turn around. It took me awhile to get away from the door (the worst possible spot) and grab onto a hanging handle. While all of this is going on, I am sweating profusely because a) I have my down-filled North Face jacket on and b) there are at least 200-300 people in this car, breathing at the same time with NO ventilation. Dirty and stinky air, anyone?
In the morning, there are free dailies given out so you see everyone reading them. They are also scattered all over the floors of the subway cars:
Okay, so I managed to have enough battery in my camera to take one last picture. This was the moment after stepping into the subway car at Yeungdeungpo-gu, Line 2 (green line). This man was nice enough to let me rest my arm on his upper back (I didn't ask, I just did it; he didn't seem to mind). With the car being so jam-packed, I was able to just freely lean back on the poor souls behind me--it was quite relaxing, even better than standing!
The trip to Seolleung was about 45 minutes away. People were pushing and shoving. One lady let out a yelp after some people forced themselves into an already packed car, shoving her in the process; another guy beside me had the most miserable face--he was hunched together with his free daily clutched to his chest, unable to move, almost in a vertical fetal position of some sort. I ended up standing the entire time, clutching onto the handle above me. It was like a war zone. Luckly I had my iPod to keep me occupied (although watching people push and shove is equally entertaining) for my long trip. At one point in time, someone had their hands or arms against my butt--I felt extremely violated. That's it, I'm taping tacks to my butt next time.
My tips for taking the subway during the peak times (use at your own risk):
- Be aggressive and try to get yourself into the subway car. Don't push anyone, just try to dodge your way through. If you someone shoves you, spread the love and shove someone back (don't listen to my advice)!
- Once in the car, get away from the doors. It is the worst possible place to stand. People with push and shove you to enter and leave the car. Wiggle your way to the side if possible.
- Want to sit down? Fat chance! However, if you are determined, strategically place yourself over a couple seats and mark your territory. Keep a sharp eye out when your subway car reaches any major station or transfer. You'll have the greatest chances of someone getting up and leaving--that's when you pounce on the free seat like a lion chasing a gazelle.