There are a few things that I see every time I ride the subway that are a bit odd to me. The first is the mirrors. There are mirrors everywhere here. Each station has at least a few 10′ tall wall mirrors in high-traffic areas. There are also several smaller mirrors here and there.
There is a serious obsession with mirrors in Korea. In each of my classes, there are boys and girls with makeup mirrors propped up on their desks. Other students carry hand mirrors and use them constantly. I have been trying to snap a picture of a Korean using a subway mirror. I see it all the time, but I’m always too slow on the draw.
The other thing that’s a bit odd to me is the fact that most subway stations are equipped with blood pressure machines. I feel like this shouldn’t seem weird because it’s a good idea…but it’s weird. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen a few people lined up to use one.
I snapped this picture in Daegu station yesterday. It took a few tries because the guy kept an eye on us as we passed. I’m sure he was a bit concerned about us shooting him for no reason, being that we’re Americans. I had to pretend like I was playing a game on my iPod until he turned around…and then I made my move.
Another odd thing that always happens in the subway is old women (Ajummas) cutting in line. This is weird, due mainly to my American respect for the sanctity of the line, but it doesn’t upset me.
I have seen a couple of westerners get pretty steamed when an ajumma slides past them as the doors open. They’re like ninjas. You never see them until they’re under your feet pushing their way to the front of the line. They remind me a bit of puppies – they don’t mean to tangle you up, but if you’re not careful, you’ll fall flat on your face trying not to smash them.
I’ll keep working on a photo of a Korean using a subway mirror. It’s only a matter of time. I’ll have the iPod ready one of these trips.
Until next time.