Soul Train

Time to ride the rail


Reviewing the travel journal of the Mega reveals they were always fascinated by Docs subway diagram on his wall.

The Subway Map

This was identified to be a map for the Seoul Subway (Soul Train) and as the Mega suggested, their travels used the official cyber-station map for it located here:

-------- DAY 1 I started my trip in an area whose name translates to "triangular land", referring to the three roads that used to meet here. The name also fills in the blank of a famous song, "Turning Around at ___", and I passed a tribute to the singer of that song on my way into the station. Next I traveled the greatest number of stops I could on a single line without visiting a station with two or more consecutive vowels in its name (on the map) (counting y as a consonant).

I switched trains here, going to the nearest junction I could without revisiting a station I'd already been to this trip. (When I say "nearest" i always mean "fewest stops" not "shortest actual distance".)

I got out to look for a coffee shop, but everything was jam-packed with students, so I got back on the train. I went one stop (to where three lines meet), switched trains, and got off three stops later to honor the veterans.

The Mega rode the following path shaped like a B:

Samgakji (Turning around at Samgakji song) Sadang (last stop without two consecutive vowels) Seoul National Univ. of Education (students) ExpressBus Terminal (three lines meet) Dongjak (Seoul National Cemetery)

Day 1 Trip Path

-------- DAY 2 What a quick trip! Got on at “home plate” (which is what I like to call the stop that looks like it’s at that location on a baseball field) and then got off at the nearest stop that shares a 4-letter string with my starting point.

I got hungry and looked around for a hot dog – I guess baseball was on my mind – but those are pretty hard to find around here, so I gave up. Got back on the train and two stops later I was walking up the steps of the “amphitheater", thinking about all the action that took place nearby 21 years ago.

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an I:

Eungam (bottom of diamond shape) Jeungsan (contains eung) World Cup Stadium (ampitheater from 21 years ago)

Day 2 Trip Path

-------- Day 3 This one was pretty out of the way, since I had to start off at the northernmost station on the map where two odd-numbered lines meet! I got off several stops later opposite the short hypotenuse, where the station name is a portmanteau of two nearby neighborhoods.

After grabbing some local BBQ (so different from what I can get back home!) I got back on and took the train just one stop – I’d been wanting to hone my sharpshooting skills and figured I could use some more practice, so I seized the opportunity.

Even with ear protection, it’s pretty loud, so I stopped after a little while, got back on, and took the train to the nearest station with a palindromic name.

There I switched lines and took the train just one stop, noting as I disembarked how I could take away two nonconsecutive letters from the station name to get a word describing a sad or dejected expression.

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an B:

Dobongsan (Northernmost, tracks 7+1 meet) Seokgye (Seokgwan+Wolgye) Taereung (Korea National Training Center) Nowon (palindrome) Chang-dong (Hangdog)

Day 3 Trip Path

-------- Day 4 Today I began on an even-numbered line at a stop whose name is just the name of this country's largest airport minus two (nonconsecutive) letters, grabbing some chips on the way into the station. I went to the nearest junction where, if you read the numbers of the lines that meet there in ascending order, you get a perfect square.

Then I finished up at a stop that sounds like what director Lee is when his movies don't do well.

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an I:

Ichon (Incheon - ne) Dongjak (4-9 = 7^2) Sadang ("Sad Ang" Lee)

Day 4 Trip Path

-------- DAY 5 Felt like I was going back to school today, since I got on near that old Jesuit university, and then went one station north to a stop near a different institution!

I switched there, and boy was that station crowded with people going to the airport. But I went the opposite direction for two stops (passing through one of the biggest interchanges in the city, at least in terms of the number of lines), switched trains at the alliterative station and rode to the nearest stop that contains the first name of one of my favorite movie stars – she was nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in consecutive years! And great, now I want popcorn.

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an M:

Sogang Univ. (Jesuit) Hongik Univ. (one station north) Gongdeok (4 lines connect) Seoul Station (alliterative) Namyeong (O Yeong-su)

Day 5 Trip Path

-------- DAY 6 I'm a huge fan of horror webtoons, so I made sure to look for the ghost from one at my first station. (That's the older one by this author set in the subway, not the one after it.) I rode the train south until I got to a station that has a junction with a line whose number is one less than the one I had been on.

I switched trains and rode to the nearest station with a double letter in its name (well, the nearest one you can get to on a single line). It was the site of the world's first virtual supermarket.

Then I took a train one stop to the station with a name that has a repeated trigram and then took the train west to one of the “traffic light” stations – or at least that’s what I call them because of the way they look on the map!

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an B:

Oksu (The Ghost of Soksu Station) Seoul Natl Univ. of Education (Line 3 to 2) Seolleung (double L and virtual store) Seonjeongneung (2x "eon") Express Bus Terminal ("Traffic Light" station)

Day 6 Trip Path

-------- DAY 7 Musical trip today, since I started at a station whose neighborhood was immortalized in a massively popular song from 2012 (and of course, I had to listen to it as I got on!). I took the train one station south then continued to the nearest station with no vowels in common with my starting point.

After that, I went two stations in the direction of the only other station that contains the name of the station where I began today's trip.

There I switched lines one last time and went in a straight line to a station I'd already visited today.

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an O:

Gangnam (Gangnam Style by Psy) Yanjae (1 stop south) Dogok (no shared vowels with Gangnam) Seolleung (Gangnam-gu Office) Gangnam (straight line back)

Day 7 Trip Path

-------- DAY 8 Today’s trip (my final one) began at a station whose name begins with a weapon and ends with a foreign word for “yes”. I went north to the third station whose name contains a three-letter palindrome and then switched lines and rode three stops to a station whose name is an anagram of a popular brand of organic foods (I love their mac & cheese!).

I changed trains one final time and got off two stops later at a station whose name could be “Aluminum” in a cryptogram. Whew! You know what food I have a craving for now?

The Mega rode the following path shaped like an P:

Gunja (Weapon+foreign "yes") Taereung (third palindrome "ere") Sinnae (Annie's anagram) Sangbong ("aluminum" cryptogram)

Day 8 Trip Path

Collecting all the letters each day's trip makes, the Mega's final comment "You know what food I have a craving for now?" can be answered with BIBIMBOP (a Korean Rice Dish)

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