Saturday, July 19, 2008

Visions of Seoul II

As I rode the subway from Hongdae, where I collected my recently-stamped passport, to Gangnam, the site of Sandi and my scheduled rendezvous, a young mother and her daughter walked onto the middle of my already-crowded car, child clinging to her mother's hem.

I'd previously been noticing the man next to me reading his Bible, thumbing through Judges - somewhere around chapter 11 or 12. He noticed the young girl standing in front of him and I felt him prepare to rise; I followed suit, so as to enable her mother to sit beside her.

However, upon rising, I glimpsed peripherally a well-dressed middle-aged women, who had been standing to my right, cut in behind me. From my standing vantage point, I watched her dig through her Louis Vuitton carryall and pull out a yellow-covered book, beginning to read. I peeked at the exposed page of her book: a Korean Bible. The mother stood in front of her sitting child as the car gradually filled up with teenagers, salarymen, and mothers.

My stop drawing near, I took a place near the door, anticipating our arrival. The same well-dressed woman pushed her way through the other travelers waiting to disembark, Louis bag swinging coolly from the crook of her arm. As the doors parted, mutely servile, she strutted out. High heels clacked rhythmically against the wet marble of the subway station as the woman cut her way through the crowd, where I lost sight of her.

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