I got my daytime train ride today and am glad I did. The faster and more expensive KTX train had been avoided* solely to see the countryside at a fast-but-not-blinding clip and it paid off. There's something about the never ending mountains here: they're captivating. Maybe that's my flatland Midwestern upbringing talking, but even though the Korean landscape doesn't greatly vary much, all that greenery does look great. By now I've been to the northern, eastern, and western ends of the country and seen a few points in between.
The time's passing by quickly. The train's punctual and our car, save for the annoying bursts of "Kakao talk!" messages** for the first 30 minutes, was quiet but standing room only at times. More and more people got on as we got closer to Seoul. We discovered on the way to the lounge car that the train had gone standing room only everywhere. Going through the 3 cars each way proved, as Rochelle put it, "an adventure."
*this is partly true. We couldn't have gotten tickets on the KTX for the Seoul-Busan trip unless we'd gotten help. The return trip had more options for trains though.
**Kakao talk is a messaging program like AIM or Skype. Unless the user turns off the sound or puts the phone on vibrate, a verbal notification sounds every time a message gets received, so those who never turn their phone on silent subject everyone around them to an annoying small child's voice yelling "Kakao!" and "Kakao talk!" Bloody annoying stuff.
-- written en route to Seoul, 2 October 2012.