Big steps, usually in the wrong direction

Seen recently on the subway stairs in Seoul are arrows to and from the subway train. The poster states “for safe and convenient travel, use the right side.” The poster is so far estranged from reality it’s pathetic. On closer examination, I see a Victorian gent, a businessman, a musketeer, even Albert Einstein on his way to the patent office. But no stereo-typical Asian characters. Maybe Koreans are afraid of seeing themselves on a poster.

Everyone moving in sync would be great, but given the culture it might be considered a sign of a fascist state or like in the novel, The Wave, which I read in High school. If the Koreans think it as that way (as being bad), then they’ll definitely reject it. Korea was more or less, under military rule for over twenty years since the end of the Korean war, getting democracy around 1980.

I’m not convinced that people read or care to take heed of the advice, for lots of reasons. But usually it’s the culture first (meaning me first and fuck the rest) mindset. It is supposed to be the same side as the road as when they drive. summarily almost anything that the Government says is ignored as being benign, or if it intrudes into their lifestyle too much, they protest with almost no sway in the opinion of the government.

I suppose that this sort of thing will make dashing for the train easier, providing that you have well-ordered lines that is. Whenever I see people running for the train, I make a note of steering clear. Smiling as I do. I’ve done it before too.

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6 Responses

  1. I dunno, is it stick to the left or stick to the right on the escalators? Japon go left like others, not like the rest of the world! Dae Hanmingook 🙂

  2. In Korea it’s stick to the left on the esculators. The left side is deemed the ‘express lane’. Will have to check is the Japanese ‘go left’ or ‘go right’.Well, those 한 국인 do walk to a different beat.

    Update: I used the subway today and did see that people were using the right side when they could. Obviously if there were too many people then both sides were used.

    Will post a photo at a later date.

  3. Whether confusion on the rules may be a colonial hangover?! Japanese driving on the left in Korea then the switcheroo post 1945. Of course if Americans, French etc subway escalator rules are the same as UK Japan Aus NZ re movement to the left or the right ie everyone not moving stands on the left and those who want to ascend go past on the right then…
    My colonial hangover theory on Korean road rules and subway/underground esclator movement is completely wrong!

    • I suspect but cannot confirm that the Japanese stand on the esculators on the left. Giving way to only bicycle bells(!)

  4. […] to follow up on the previous blog, “Big steps, usually in the wrong direction“. The promised shot of people going up the stairs on the right side. Taken on the number 4 […]

  5. […] people in different ways as the poster eludes to, is a black and white difference to the ‘keep to the right‘ drive in Seoul, Korea. Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

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