Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The remains of Typhoon Krosa are wending their way through our general vicinity, but it may have just been coincidence that a downpour began Sunday morning which continued almost unabated until the early hours of Tuesday. This is probably what the monsoon season would have looked like, if it had happened, which it really didn't this year - at least, not in Busan.

We had to drive to the PNU area of the city to a concert, but driving conditions were atrocious with standing water on many of the roads, which were choking with slow-moving traffic. We barely made it with time to spare. At the entrance to the venue was a plastic-bag/umbrella-cover dispenser which people would slip their umbrellas into as they walked through the doors to stop water dripping all over the carpets inside. Odd, but clever - it's a pity I didn't manage to get a photo of it.

What I did take photos and videos of was the site that greeted us a PNU Station when we were returning home afterwards. Unlike most stations on the subway network this is one of the rare ones above the surface, and the building itself is situated above a storm drain or channel which I've never seen carrying anything more than a very modest amount of water. Today the channel was transformed into a raging, and very noisy, torrent with water rushing around the building supports and down the adjacent pedestrian pathway. It certainly captivated the interest of the locals sufficiently for small crowds of people to gather on the bridge over the channel into the station to watch - despite the rain. Incredibly, as I was struggling with my camera's full memory card, a young couple walked along the pathway which is probably not six feet away from the deluge, and had overflowing water running down it, as though they hadn't a care in the world.

Our experience with the weather wasn't over however. When we got on the train it had great difficulty pulling away from the station, jerking forward to the sound of loud banging noises beneath us. The standard Busan Subway announcer's voice came over the tannoy to apologise for the rough ride - I didn't know whether the ride itself was more worrying or the fact that they had a pre-recorded announcement for it. As we staggered our way into another station two stops along, missing the train's assigned stopping point and aligning the doors with the platform barriers rather than the gaps between, the driver explained the rain was causing the train to slide on the rails. We were a few stops underground before things returned to normal.

Given the terrible state of the roads I thought there might have been some news coverage, but it appears that there wasn't, so I guess Busan just coped with what was thrown at it.

Korean tags: 날씨, , , 기차

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