Everyday on my way to work, I have the good fortune of riding line 2, also fondly known as the Hell Line. This is the most used subway line in Seoul, which means that it is always crowded, especially in the morning. In my opinion, you haven’t really lived in Korea until you’ve had to fight for your subway space at least once during rush hour. Some of yall probably think that I’m just joking or exaggerating, but I’m not. The truth is, riding the Hell Line first thing in the morning is enough to make you want to smack somebody.
Let me paint this picture for you.
You’re on your way to work and you attempt to line up on the platform so you can get on the train. Although the trains come about every 3 minutes, soon there’s so many people that the line you were in has dissolved into a crowd of people. The train approaches, and everyone starts to smush together and inch closer in order to enhance their chances of getting on the train first.
The train finally arrives, and it’s already packed. Maybe 4 people get off. Damn. Now, a newbie might figure that it’s too packed for this crowd to get on, but they’d be incorrect. At least 12 more people can get on!! All you have to do is push, shove, and/or slam yourself into the packed train car, cramming yourself into any available crevice, until you’re literally smashed against the people around you.
Sounds like fun, right?? But oh, there’s more!! You still have to go through the ride on the train, where the above process repeats at each stop. Some people may assume that because you’re already smashed against someone, you should probably have all your valuables away so you don’t lose them. WRONG!! Apparently, this is the perfect time to use the shoulder of the person in front of you as an armrest so you can use your phone and OR take out your powder and make sure that your face is on fleek.
Now, you realize that your stop is next. Thank God. You’d like to begin inching towards the door but that’s impossible since the train is full and there’s absolutely nowhere that you can go. However, that won’t stop the people behind you from bumping and nudging you as they try to get closer to the door.
The train gets to your station and the door opens. Pay attention folks, because this is the best part!! Now you get to do some pushing and shoving of your own or you legitimately might not be able to get off and you’ll miss your stop. People are pushing and shoving all over the place trying to get out. You’d think that it would make sense to just follow the person in front of you, but that rarely happens. And because the train is so packed, people who are standing in front of the door can’t really move much to get out of your way.
Once you’ve fought your way out of the train, you’re now ready to have an amazing rest of your day!
No joke, this is literally my life every morning. And it definitely doesn’t help that I’m not a morning person. Some people may have different experiences with the trains in the morning if they get on/off a less popular station, but I’ve yet to witness anything different than what I have just mentioned.
If you’re lucky enough to ride the Hell Line during your morning commute, don’t worry!! I’ve got you covered! Here are some tips for surviving the Hell Line:
- Make sure to leave with enough time to ‘miss’ a train. Trains may really be packed and you might have to wait for the next one so you can get on.
- While waiting for your train to arrive, put your purse, bag, or backpack to the front of your body. That way you can secure your belongings and you won’t have to worry about them getting smashed between people when you’re trying to get off of the train.
- If the crowd pushes, it’s easier to just go with the flow instead of trying to fight against it and stay in your position. Save your energy for when it’s time for you to get off of the train.
- Put your shit away. If you can help it, try not to have your phone or transportation card in your hand because if it drops, good luck trying to find it. Last week, this girl dropped her binder and it was kicked all over the place as people were getting off of the train.
- When it is your train stop, don’t be too shy to push and shove your way out. Trust me, that’s the easiest way to miss your train stop. This doesn’t mean that you go out of your way to shove someone off of the train, but everyone else is pushing and shoving so you might as well join in.
The Hell Line is definitely not for the weak, so if this sounds like too much, then you might be better off taking the bus instead. LOL
What are some of your transportation war stories? Comment below.
Talk to you later!!