Two things that drive me crazy here

Two things that drive me crazy here:

1.) The complete disregard Koreans have for those they don’t know. I understand that this is a cultural difference, but it’s really easy to mistake for rudeness. This is most apparent when one is trying to get on or off a subway train. On a subway in London or France or NYC, the train doors slide open and you wait for the people to get off the train before you get on. In Seoul, the train doors slide open and (more often than not) everyone moves at the same time, which expectedly results in lots of people running into other people and pushing others out of the way. It’s almost absurd to watch sometimes, and it makes me angry when I am in the middle of it. This disregard for strangers also manifests itself in lots of haphazard cutting in line — the banks and movie theatres have a “take a number” system, but it is often broken by someone who just walks up to the counter without even taking a number. I’m not one to tolerate cutting, so I’ve been known to step in front of a Korean if they try to cut in front of me — they don’t like this, but it is effective.

2.) The public hacking and spitting. For some reason, Koreans have collectively decided that it’s ok to hack up the contents of one’s throat and spit it out into the street. I’m not just talking about clearing one’s throat, I’m talking about drawn out hacking (of “hacking a lugie” fame) and then a loud spit into the street. I can’t tell you how often I hear this sound while just sitting in my apartment, let alone while walking down the street, or how often I can look at the sidewalks and see spit remnants drying in the sun. Once again, I understand that this is a cultural difference, but it’s still disgusting.

1 comment to Two things that drive me crazy here

  • Bill

    I live in Chicago. A lot of Koreans live here along Lawrence Avenue. Whenever I take the number 81 bus through the Korean enclave I am amazed by the kind of behavior you have described. I just don’t get it. Keep up the good work.

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