End of an Era

Today marks the end of an era.  I’ve termed it the Age of B.S.  B.S. stands for “Before Sienna.”  (Shame on you.)  As in, the 41 days we’ve spent here in Daegu without our beloved Toyota Sienna.  With no private transportation other than the generosity of family and new friends.  Just in case you’ve forgotten, that’s a family of 6, one of whom is part pirate.  Yes, I counted the days.  You would too, my friends.

The Age of B.S. was marked by 3 distinct periods: Early, Middle and Late

Early Period: (Weeks 1-2)
Novelty.  Our family is enamored with the new sights, sounds, and smells of Daegu.  Daegu and its many taxi drivers are somewhat enamored with us, as well.  A fair-haired family of 6 is quite a sight around here.  We revel in the freedom of a taxi taking us anywhere we need to go without the maddening voice directions of a GPS or the stress of driving in a new country.  We are a little intimidated by the language but ultimately learn more Korean during our taxi rides than anywhere else.  The children are absolutely thrilled that they don’t have to get into car seats.  They sometimes get a little out-of-hand rolling down windows and kicking the driver’s seat, but they quickly learn to show more respect to the taxi drivers. Zeke adores his cozy spot on my lap most of all.  He never was a fan of the car seat.

Middle Period: (Weeks 3-4)
Mastery.  We have this taxi thing down pat.  We’ve learned how to direct a taxi driver in Korean in the instance that they don’t know exactly how to get us home or to Kevin’s work.  That simple bit of Korean comes in more handy than you would expect.  The kids are pros at hailing taxis.  They can stand on the curb with their arm parallel to the ground and taxis swerve across 3 lanes to pick us up.  We know when we can just walk outside to get one, when we need to go to an adjacent corner, and when we need to call one of the on-post taxis (Taxis that are allowed on the military base and who deal with the most Americans).  The kids are starting to complain a little bit about being squished in the back seat, but overall we are accomplished taxi travelers.

Late Period: (Weeks 5-6)
Tedium.  This taxi thing is getting old. It is hot as blazes and humid and being squished in the back of the taxi is no longer remotely appealing.  I am tired of holding Gabe on my lap while Zeke hangs out in the Ergo.  (Heaven forbid Gabe should have free reign in the taxi.  He is hemmed in at all times by the girls and me, far away from buttons, windows, and doors.)  The girls fight over where they sit and Gianna starts reminiscing fondly about how much space she had in her car seat.  The taxi drivers around Daegu are still friendly and curious about us, but the on-post taxis have had their fill of us.  I mean, what would you think if you drove up to the market and saw 2 adults, 4 kids under 6, and 5+ bags of groceries waiting to get in your car, squabble in a foreign language, all while the kids kick the back of your seat?  I can’t really blame them for wishing they were far across town when we arrive at the taxi stand.

Here we are in our very last taxi ride of the Age of B.S.

Now that you understand our timeframe, there are somethings you should know about Daegu taxis.

Taxis are an inexpensive and efficient way to get around Daegu.  (They may even be eco-friendly.  I know they run on a different fuel, but I’m not sure of the details.)  We are very lucky to have been able to utilize them.  Just by riding in the back of a taxi, I learned the layout of our neighborhood and surrounding areas, and I can now navigate myself fairly easily to the places I go most.

Sure, the drivers can get a little aggressive during rush hour.  We’ve had a handful of wild rides during our time here.  More often than not, though, the drivers are safe, kind and courteous.

What makes me so knowledgable on the subject? I would estimate that the kids and I took 3 taxi rides per day.  That totals more than 120 taxi rides since we arrived here.  We have had our fill of taxis. 

 Here she is parked in our garage.  Note the Korean plates!

Thankfully, today we picked up our trusty Toyota Sienna from the processing center.  She sure is a sight for sore eyes.  As Gianna said as she settled into her carseat, just seconds after driving out of the pick-up lot, “This. Is. Awesome.”  Yes, my love.  Yes, it is.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Poor Zeke begs to differ, though.

Comments

  1. Who knew getting into a carseat in a van would be heavenly bliss!? So glad you have your own place AND your own vehicle. I wish so much we could come visit you and see it all for ourselves!!!

  2. No kidding, Nicole! Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder in this case. 🙂