Broken down, deplorable behaviour

What a bunch of losers. A car had broken down at an intersection.  Hazard lights blinking. A woman sat behind the wheel, telephoning for assistance. I’ve always known that Koreans can be ego-centric, but this was the worst display of “me first, fuck everyone else” I’ve seen in a long time. Honking, looking back with aggressive stares as they drove past, and all the while no-one thought to help he push her car out of the way. Sometimes she would step out of the car an usher people on. If it as obvious to me that the car had broken down, how obvious was it to other people and other drivers?

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Making a comparison for the worst, people in New Zealand would have helped her, if only to get the car out of the flow of traffic. Sometimes you’d have someone that could actually get your car going so that you could get to a garage..

When the repair vehicle arrived with so much blaring of it’s sirens and horns, all it took was a man to lift the bonnet and one minute to get the car started. It’s at times like this, I’m proud to be a Kiwi. God help these guys if there’s a genuine emergency and you have to think.

Driving test manual, gets the car tart?

Not so much blatant advertising but a flirty book cover for the driving education manual. Theory and mock questions and the other requisite street signs too. Since most of the learners are teenages, the incentives are there. Get your license, get a car tart. For such a weighty document, it serves absolutely of no use at all. Drivers on the road breaking every rule, taxi drivers ignoring red lights, bus drivers doing whatever they want. For me, I’ve stayed away from the drivers seat. Too dangerous. What has four wheels and handles?! Looks ridiculous. Parked where-ever he pleases, it’s parked by the bus stop. I can only imagine a 4 tonne bus hitting it, there wouldn’t be much left at all. (Nothing would send a stronger message than having a bus ride up, and over your ass). Don’t park there!  The police force here must have an incredibly difficult job at times.

Four wheels and a seat, not a car?

So goes the old joke about anything having handles and wheels being carry-on luggage but, so do cars. Though this fact hasn’t stopped enormous bags being taken into the cabin.

This visual example of Korean tunnel-vision isn’t the only one I’ve shot.  Off to one side, she’s not bad as the old-boy on the tractor. Mobility scooters are becoming more and more common. I’ve seen them on the subway trains in Seoul, and thankfully with no problems occurring. One such news report of Korean angst and almost instant karma features one such mobility scooter and it’s not so cool rider.

A bus ticket, a pet hate

I’m a regular rider of intercity buses the arrangements are different to than on an internal bus. For one, you’re allocated a comfortable, reclinable seat on the bus.

But this is where the trouble starts. Working towards my seat number there is almost always a ‘spanner in the works’ in the form of some other individual that has already sat down, in my seat. I can’t find another seat because this would displace yet another person. The reason why they do sit down in a seat that is not theirs is probably a little beyond my cultural comprehension.

To classify the wayward sitters, they’re mostly older. But  male or female are both copable.  It seems the older they are, the lazier it seems they are, when by their own culture they should be setting an example for all those following and younger. Culturally lazy?! Can’t read the digits, which are in English but are in common usage. For whatever reason it’s annoying, not as annoying as having a seat reclined into your face and onto your knees. Grrrr. Some of the spacing  between rows of seats isn’t big at all, and leaves a lot to be desired. Double grrr.

Driven egos, UNparallel parking

Seen this time, in my town, in the void. I admit, with a bit of style this time, but still the arogance and self-mindeness of a driver who thinks he’s alone. Someone must have parked, I mean just driven into a space and in the ensuing hours everyone else must have followed suit.

No-one else on the street (the main street actually) had parallel parked, but this bunch of twerps. Driven, but lacking in skill. Or perhaps just lazy.

Cough and wheeze, advisory never heeded

Koreans just do not get public notices. Walking up subway stairs, and now ‘cover your cough’. This was seen in Hallym hospital in Pyeongcheon, in the chest clinic area.

Surrounded by old people on all sides, a chorus of coughs rang out like no tomorrow as I sat in the waiting lounge at the clinic. Self-absorbed b*stards. Hospitals bring out the worst in Korean society. Sick people, need caring, not only from the medicos but from their fellow patients. An elderly woman stood reading off the symbols and letters on the eye chart across the room, while people wandered to and fro in front of her. Have some respect is what I muttered, not under my breath. I was disgusted by the behaviour of supposedly mature adults. It was a sad day.

But Koreans will stand up for themselves, even if it’s against their own good. Jiang and I had gone to Yeouido park, next to the Han river. There was some sort of protest rally on, replet with the police in attendance. This was a protest against the raising of student fees that they pay per semester. This is sizable, and in up to 3-4 million won per half year. Ouch. But I say that is what parents are for. There in goes the (long) caption to go with the picture. I can rightly say that all of the attendees at the protest rally, ignored the senior policeman waving the people to stop for the lights. It was the guy behind him urging the rest of the folk on. In every Korean lies a revolutionary.

Ran the rats maze, ended in a gay-pride parade

I had in tow, my newly acquired snooper lens. My walking companion hefted it, trying to ascertain a weighting without the camera body attached.

I would say, looking at the pictures later on my laptop it was a good investment. It yielded pictures that were nicely saturated, and in focus.

The rats maze was Olympic park, up by Jamsil by the Han river. Old stomping grounds for Ben and I. We’d strode this ground before, and had return by cause of a dice roll. The park is laid out in such a way that there are no direct exits. And we, the rats, were invariably lend in the wrong direction.

Walking by the olympic flame one particular group of children looked at the flame. Kids being kids, one of them tried to put it out by spitting on it. They were all class, as I’d expected Korean children to be. The glass shield wasn’t just to guard against the wind afterall.

The walk ended on a rather sour note. Tired and sore, Ben and I were so sweaty, that our clothing was adhering to our bodies in unnatural ways.

We are proud

We’d only just settled for a minute in the train carriage, when along came some cyclists. It was a procession of 5 or 6 cyclists, replet with their cycles. They also had, all of their kit on, sunglasses and helmets included. The bright colours on their cycling costumes lent to an impression that it was a gay pride parade.  They were rude and presumptious. We were in their spot. We moved on, with not much to say but thinking a whole lot more. Opinions of Korean cyclists dropped to an all new low that day.