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Korean Turnstile Olympics

2008-09-23 22:03:00

Korean Turnstile Olympics
I am in training here in Korea for the “Korean Turnstile Olympics,” whether I want to join the team or not, they have recruited me.

“A turnstile, also called a baffle gate, is a form of gate which allows one person to pass at a time. It can also be made so as to enforce one-way traffic of people, and in addition, it can restrict passage to people who insert a coin, a ticket, a pass, or similar.”

Seoul, South Korea
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
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Steve Altfeder from Great Neck New York, while attending Indiana University, Bloomington taught an Indiana farm boy of 18 by the name of Andy a term he would never forget.

“Turnstile Olympics”

A street smart kids of New York, he explained first what a turnstile was, then proceeded to explain the Olympics. He had his own shirt that represented the New York City Turnstile Olympics Team and a shirt to this day I want to own.

This is a Turnstile, singular and stops you from walk in our out of a the Seoul Korea Subway or Metro, you know, the train that goes fast underground.

How does the “Korean Turnstile Olympics” work?

It is all about timing, when you are walking down the steps into the subway you can hear a train fast approaching, however there is a line of Turnstiles between you and the train. You have a choice, you can buy a ticket, or you can start running and JUMP the Turnstiles running as fast as you can you slip into the Subway car as the doors close and you are safe.

If you get caught, you lose, if you make it you win.

I have been entered into the Korean Turnstile Olympics, too weird for words, however there are two problems. I am Indiana Farm boy, it takes me awhile to figure out how this mass of people slam themselves into a turnstile and how the system works.

My first attempt to use the Korean Turnstile was the airport, I paid the ticket counter, tried to enter the little paper stub the gate to the left of me open, then closed, some women comes and show me, and it refuses to open. Hmm, I decided, I paid, I am jumping it and proceeded to jump the turnstile with a airport full of people watching this man with two large backpacks make it over successfully.

I walked up to the ticket counter, said the unpronounceable name of my destination to the Korean guy who did not care to know, he says 1100, I pay him and enter the turnstiles successfully. Good, I do not look like an Indiana Farm boy who has no reasonable need for this apparatus on a Farm.

However, when was ready to leave the subway, I put my ticket in the turnstile the same as everyone else and it start to buzz… hmm, not again, what is up with these turnstiles. I look at it, say what the hell, and jumped it again, not to be delayed by some machine.

I asked the person with me what the problem was and she said,
“I guess you did not pay for the right stop.”

I realized, I had cheated the Korean Subway system out of some money, the true goal of the “Turnstile Olympics.”

I miss my friend Steve, wish he was around to enjoy this good fun.

I can imagine myself in New York as a boy running to truly hurdle the turnstiles as would have been a lot easier a teenager.

Ok Korea, the USA has successful competed in the Korean Turnstile Olympics and won, we will not be stopped by machine or need of tokens of a few rules that need to be broke.

Here is a Video below, if you cannot see it please go to the online version of this blog of some boys jumping the turnstiles.

'Messing With Their Turnstiles' - New York Times
How Things Work What I Learned in Jail Last Night
I fought the law and the law won - a set on Flickr
NationMaster - Encyclopedia Turnstile jumping
NYC; If Turnstile Balks, Who Is Fare Swiping - New York Times
Turnstile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
YouTube - New York City Subway Turnstile Jumping

Korean Turnstile Olympics