Wednesday night, Tab FaceTimed me and told me about it. We decided to go after work, and meet at City Hall. At work yesterday, some of my coworkers were talking about it, so I decided to go with them and meet up with Tab. When it came down to quittin' time, only 3 of us ended up going. It's still a stressful time at work, so Erin and Brian stayed to finish up some report cards.
Sean and I headed to the subway. We were meeting my other coworker, Casey, and also Tab at Exit 5. Well, when we got off the subway, I could see we were going to have an interesting time. It was bottle necked at each staircase and you literally had to throw some elbows to get to the exit stalls to scan out. Of course, Exit 5 was on the complete opposite end of the subway, so after about 15 minutes of walking, we realized that Exit 5 was actually closed. My phone had died, so I sent Sean to meet with Casey (having received one last text before my phone kicked the bucket, saying she was at a different Exit). I decided to wait for Tab since she didn't have a phone.
After about 25 minutes of using CIA-level face-detection with my eyes, I finally spotted her making her way through the crowd. When I was waiting, at first they had closed off the area to where people could only get through thru 1 tiny space, so it was easy to scan people. Then, after about 15 minutes, they opened it up again and the masses came through. It was extremely exhausting trying to take in faces, colors, and body types of each person passing by to make sure Tab didn't accidentally go past me and not see me. When I found her, I was so relieved. We made our way out the Exit which was now open, and into the crowds. It was absolute madness.
|A zoomed in shot of the screen we were near.|
Suddenly, a human wave crashed into us, sending us reeling back. Had I not grabbed Tab's hand, I think I may have lost her. We were pushed back 50 yards at least, and when I turned my head to see what was going on to push us so far with so much force, of course I saw the police. They had batons horizontally, shoving people back with them. Visions of riots in the streets and tear gas popped into my mind. Thank God this wasn't some political rally, and I didn't think we would be subject to that kind of abuse.
|Finally we had some room to breathe!|
Literally everyone around me started singing. I videoed this epic moment in my life, but it's so hard to upload videos to this blog. Suffice it to say it was awesome. As soon as the song ended, I pulled Tab toward the subway. We saw lines upon lines of police lining the streets and the subway. Everyone in yellow in the two pictures below were cops. As soon as we headed down, we saw that probably the rest of Korea had been waiting for that song too, and had decided to leave at that moment as well. Again we were shoved into the masses of people, pushed around and stepped on attempting to tunnel our way down to the subway.
Finally we parted ways and headed each to our own part of town. I ended up not ever finding Casey and Sean again, but I do think it would have been impossible had I tried. I got home around midnight, only 3 hours after getting off work. It was definitely an experience, and something I'm excited to tell people that I have done. I equate it to going to NYC and seeing LMFAO for free in Central Park or something. Definitely awesome to have done it, definitely don't want to do it again! Haha! SO many people and I'm fairly certain I've got bruises to show for it. At least all my students will think I'm awesome ;)
|Photo courtesy of Yonhap News Korea. I was even further back than you can see in the picture...|