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Yes Oui Si - Ye --> Dui
No Photos 14th Mar 2008 - EPIK South Korea
2 o'clock, and the country stops...

I had a bit of adventure coming home from school today. I finished early, so I was taking the bus home. Two stops past the school, I realized that I had left my cell phone in my desk, so I hopped off the bus, walked about 1km back to the school (bus stops in Korea are VERY far apart) and retrieved it from it's usual place beside the keyboard.

So back down the hill, back on the bus, and I'm almost at Youngnam university when we hear a siren. I think at first that wow, the cops and fire trucks are actually using their sirens for once, but I think that it sounds a bit strange, kinda like an air raid siren. Well, whatever. I try to look out the windows to see what the vehicle is that is making the noise, but I can't see anything. Our bus is stopped at a 4-way intersection at this point (on small back roads) and I see people with flags blocking traffic. There's a few kids waiting on the corner, and since I know there's a school nearby, I figure they're just crossing guards.

But there's a voice that is being pumped over the bus speakers as well as throughout the neighbourhood. About 10 mins has passed by this point, and nobody is going anywhere, so I'm starting to get a bit worried. Maybe North Korea has attacked. Maybe this is a new style of political campaigning (although it's also a way to piss off commuters). Maybe something big, like 911, has happened in the world.

I try to phone my friend, Allison, in Gyeongju to find out if it's happening there, and since she's still at school, to see if she can figure out what's happening. She walks out to her main street while we're talking, and the same thing is happening there - stopped traffic, fighter jets circling, and a loud announcement droning on.

It's now 2:15. The bus doors shut again (people had been leaving the bus every few minutes as they decided they didn't want to wait), and we were moving again. 15 minutes of stopping.

Allison phones me back - it was a bomb drill for the entire country. I guess with the real threat of North Korea, they have these drills every once in a while just to prepare.

I wish I'd learned Korean.



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