I'm going to focus first on what was good about my visit.
The subway system is amazing. It is by far the easiest subway system I've used and I'm including foreign and domestic.
You would have to be extremely drunk or mildly learning disabled to get lost and even then if you can identify colors you could find your way around.
Basically it was built with the English speaking tourist in mind.
All the stations have maps with English and Hangul. There are 8 different subway lines all of them with a different color.
All the transfer stations have these big, bold lines on the wall with arrows pointing you to the transfer site. I've been in so many airports and subways where you wander around looking for a little sign or they word things in a strange way with a vague arrow.
This was perfect. Giant color coating is the way to go. I never once got lost due to the subway and the tickets were easy to buy and cost about a dollar a ride.
On the trains they announce all the stops in Korean and English and some of the trains have T.Vs.
Now the annoying.
I was warned that Koreans shove and that they are a proud people.
I'm glad I was prepared for the shoving but that didn't make it any less aggravating.
In Chicago on a packed rush hour train you have to shove on to fit. That's to be expected. It was the same in Korea.
The difference is at home when navigating a tight space you maneuver around people avoid bumping into a should here or a bag there. In Korea rather that moving the couple of inches to avoid you they just throw the shoulder.
At home this happens but it's considered a little rude and the person is in a hurry or careless. Here that's just the way it is.
I couldn't help but feel the constant invasion of personal space as a rude. I felt so harassed every time I went out in a large crowd. And it's always a large crowd. I was so overwhelmed by the people everywhere. Everywhere just walls of people.
Getting to any major destination required being emerged in a giant mass of people for at least 40 minutes. There wasn't any break. No side streets that were less crowded. Just people everywhere.
Throw in the fact that I had cramps and back aches the whole time I was pretty miserable.