Alex and Chickpea Do Korea

The making of the Chilgok monorail

On my first walk to school three months ago, I noticed a kind-of beauty about the run-off ditch next to my apartment building. Sure, it wasn’t a vibrant ecosystem, but it was nice to see small egrets and people fishing next with huge apartments towering over the distance. In the morning, the sun cast a calming light on the small strip of water.

But that’s gone now. Replaced by bulldozers, dredgers, drilling machines and huge columns of cement.

Yes, this is the beginning of Daegu’s monorail line, which will run from the northern suburb of Chilgok to the outskirts of downtown Daegu, intersecting with the Seomun Market Station on subway line 2, veering southwest, intersecting with Myeongdok Station on subway line 1 and then end in Beommul-dong.

Estimated completion date: 2014. The fully-automated, unmanned monorail is the first of its kind in Korea. It will cost a cool 1.43 trillion won. (I pity the accountants working on this project. All those zeros!)

Currently it takes between 25-45 minutes to get to downtown Daegu from Chilgok by bus. Just hold out three more years English teachers!

The dredging of the stream hasn’t stopped some folks from fishing …

… or gathering clams and snails.