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Reality Vs. Kdrama - Are Buses Really Romantic Wingmen?

2019/02/11 | 515 views | Permalink

(Kyung Soo-jin and Kim Young-kwang in "Plus Nine Boys")

You know when you're watching a drama, and the heroine walks onto a Seoul bus after a difficult day only to discover that her crush is one of two other occupants on the bus? She panics and doesn't know where to sit. Or, the crush moves to sit next to her - cue romantic music, awkward but adorable moment, or petty fight that makes you think, "Aw, they're meant for each other. Stop fighting, and start kissing!" These situations beg the question: are buses in Seoul, and in Korea, conveniently empty and the perfect wingmen for blossoming romance in real life?

Unless it's very late at night, the likelihood of that many seats being available is slim to none. Before and after work, the buses are hellishly packed, more like you witnessed in "Answer Me 1988". However, this could mean that packed buses are the best of wingmen if you're crammed up against your crush. Men can be seen protecting their ladies from the rough-n-tumble turns and shoving masses of travelers. But if it's super packed, the reality is that buses can be uncomfortable.

("Hyeri" and Ryu Jun-yeol in "Answer Me 1988")

Romance on an empty bus does have a fighting chance in the wee hours of the morning or night, and mid-day during the work week, while people are in the office or at school. If the heroine and the hero are somehow both absent from work or school (as they are wont to do in drama) and manage to be on the same bus at the same time (as they are also wont to do in drama), then yes! Bring on the romance! There is space for them to chase each other all over the bus and sneak in a few chats, cuddles, or kisses.

Or, you know when a character is late and runs screaming after the recently departed bus, arms flapping and hair flying in the wind? Do the buses really stop? Answer: Sometimes! If there is a traffic light ahead or heavy traffic, and space on the bus, the bus will likely stop for the stragglers. And if one of those stragglers happens to be a K-drama heroine going to meet her sweetie on board, all the better.

So there you have it, folks. Buses in Seoul can very well be romantic wingmen in real life IF people manage to climb aboard at the right time of day. But, more often than not, working traffic makes it difficult. Seoul, and most certainly Korean transit in general, is well-organized, highly efficient, and the reason so many commuters use public transportation. The frequency of buses also makes them a haphazard wingman at best. But never give up hope! Romance is everywhere. Make friends with a bus, and you never know what it may deliver on its next stop.

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

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