Taking the train to Cheongju made me realize an important purpose for train travel. Taking a train might be the best way to see the land around you. It may even be better than car travel, because there's always one person (the driver) who can't peer out at the surrounding world for more than a few seconds at a time. As Lein and I rested in our seats, the train took a trail that winded through the mountains, over rivers, and zoomed past towns. The tracks cut underneath huge mountains, and it made me think of those murder mysteries where the train lights go out just as the train enters the tunnel. Our lights didn't go out; in fact, they stayed on the entire trip.
I certainly wouldn't want to experience a train murder mystery. Too much to do today anyways.
Note: One fascinating thing about the train is how the ticket masters (that is what I've decided to call them. They walk about the train cars assisting people and checking tickets) bow slightly before exiting the car. When Lein and I first saw this we questioned our eyes.
"Did he just bow?" "I don't know... I think so." "Hmmm. Interesting."
Sure enough, as the train made its usual stops, the ticket master entered from one end, out the other, and before exiting, gave a slight bow to the car passengers. Lein and I looked at each other and smiled. Such a nice gesture that leaves you feeling honored to ride the train.