May 5, 2010

Ten quirky things about life in Korea

In no particular order:

1.) A sidewalk in the western world is reserved for pedestrians. Here they are a free for all and rather dangerous if you are not alert. Scooters and motorcycles will fly by you. Bicycles will crash at any time. The skill of a typical bike rider here is suprisingly poor given the obstacles they must face. In Iksan cars are a danger too. If no parking place is available a sidewalk is perfectly appropriate.

2.) Pink is a gender nuetral color.

3.) Holding hands amongst men is common. This is still extremely uncomfortable for me. I am far from a homophobe but I still feel queasy when a Korean man grasps my hand.

4.) Personal space is not respected. The best example I can give of this happened a short while back. I was walking down a low traffic sidewalk. A woman burst out of a building and bumped into me with force. Then she proceeded to open her umbrella which struck me in the chin as it expanded. She looked at me like I was in her way and hastily trodded off.

5.) Windows and doors will remain open in the dead of winter or the heat of summer regardless of heating or airconditioning units running.

6.) Right of way rules do not apply in traffic or on foot. If you are there first that is all that seems to matter.

7.) It really doesn't even matter if you are there first. A line is an arbitrary concept. If you are brazen enough to cut to the front no one will question you. That is if you are Korean. I have never attempted the feat. I suppose I am just weak.

8.) High heels and short skirts must be worn weather permitting or when the weather is only slightly permitting.

9.) Being so drunk that you cannot walk: A-OK.

10.) A church, a brothel, a bar, and a school will exist in the same three story building. The brothel will be in the basement.


Miss Footloose said...

I just stumbled onto your blog and loved this list of quirky things about life in Korea.

Oddly enough, it sounds like it could be Ghana, W. Africa, you're describing (except for the indoor heating - only outdoor equatorial sun in Ghana).

Post a Comment