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Author Topic: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.  (Read 40527 times)

Offline johnny russian

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2016, 05:55:57 PM »
I get what you're saying man. I'm actually an escalator walker myself.

but that article on walking vs standing does make some good points, that i didn't think of. if there's a huge bottleneck at the bottom of the escalator it's going to delay the time it takes to get on the thing, which may cancel out any benefit you get from walking up it anyway.

unless the way up is really long, i usually just take the stairs anyway these days. too many people pissing me off on the escalators and getting in my way if i wanna walk.

Offline mrc45

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2016, 07:52:18 PM »
It all comes back to people being considerate of others. If you're in a crowded subway station, taking the escalator going up only a single flight of stairs, you can't really expect people to walk as it does create that bottleneck. And you can easily take the stairs. On the other hand, if you're in a station with quite long escalators like Daerim Station or Edae Station in Seoul, it's unreasonable to expect people not to walk.


Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2016, 08:10:35 PM »
i think it's because the Seoul city govt or someone was claiming that everyone standing on one side so that people could walk on the other side was putting undue strain on the escalators, causing them to break down more frequently.

apparently if people stand on both sides it also allows more people to get on the escalator per minute: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/01/22/standing_on_escalators_faster_than_walking_according_to_transport_for_london.html
i've never noticed broken escalators in london or anywhere else where people stand to one side. source?

also, even if that article is correct- surely the people standing don't give a shit and aren't in a hurry anyway, and the people that walk are trying to get somewhere.

been digging around now for a source for the broken escalators thing, can't really find one, but sure i read it in a korean paper somewhere. i personally don't believe standing on one side causes escalators to break down more often, just what i read.

as for the people standing to the side thing, it's not really to do with the people standing not being in a hurry/caring. it's to do more with the fact that since only 25% of people walk, you have the remaining 75% trying to get on one side of the escalator. so if everyone stands - using both sides to stand on - more people per minute can board the escalator, which can reduce bottlenecks at the bottom.

I think it was London Underground that did some trials where they asked people to stand side-by-side and it showed that more people overall could get on at crowded periods than if there was one row of standers and one row of walkers. People were threatening violence against the Tube staff naturally, for not letting them walk up.

But you'd think Koreans would like the whole walking up to feel like you're going faster thing, but the problem for them is that for it requires unspoken urban manners, something Koreans just don't have.

So instead you get off a subway train or KTX train and there's a giant blob of people slowly getting on the escalator because nobody here knows how to get in line, a lot of people ride public transit, and there aren't enough escalators.

Either that or you get two ajusshis absent-mindedly sucking on toothpicks and blocking up the entire escalator.

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2016, 08:14:18 PM »
I still find it disturbing how some people don't walk on the whatever-you-call-it flat escalator walk paths. You know... the ones that are there to help you get to your destination faster because the pathway is long... people somehow think that those things are there for you to just stand on and wait patiently for it to take you to the other side like some magical carpet ride...

Moving walkways.


They have inclined ones at certain Home Pluses and Emarts and Costcos...I always walk on them but sometimes at Home Plus they play a hilarious safety video of a Korean woman tripping and falling on one because she is apparently incapable of walking on a flat surface...

The apparent leading causes of death in South Korea:

- walking on a moving escalator
- ice skating without a helmet
- wading in a shallow stream
- exposure to sunlight
- FAN DEATH!!!

Offline Horus

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #64 on: March 22, 2016, 11:51:44 AM »
The thing is, it's not just that they can't walk. They can't even stand properly. It takes a real skill to just stand there doing nothing and still be a nuisance.

Take, for example, the clown standing directly inside the subway car blocking people trying to enter and exit the car. He stands right in front of the friggin' door, eyes glued to his phone, with absolutely no intention of budging for anyone. It's rush hour, the subway car is completely packed, but he's found his spot right in front of the door and he ain't budging for anyone. Total dickhead.

Then there's the idiots who, while not standing directly in front of the door, are standing to the left and right of the door with their smartphone in their outstretched hands. When crowds of people are trying to get on and off a train put your damned phone aside for a few seconds. Believe me, there's nothing in your stupid drama that you'll be missing.

The same goes for the clowns who insist on watching their damned show on the subway when people are crammed in like sardines. They have no reservations about pushing back further against you because they need space in front of them to watch their damned phone. (And at rush hour, take off your damned backpack so as not to take up the room of two people).

And quit your damned snorting!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 12:04:36 PM by Horus »

Offline Pecan

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2016, 12:14:12 PM »
+1

Horus, I hear you.

I have actually resorted to walking home, rather than taking the subway home to cut down on my stress levels and for my health.

My commute home was around 25-30 minutes, while walking home is roughly 50-60 minutes.

Taking an extra 25 minutes to walk home would always be worth it, if not for the "autobikes", smokers, and "wall" walkers I encounter on my way home.

Having misophonia makes riding the subway a real chore.  The incessant snorting and gum snapping grinds away at what is left of my soul.

Offline Horus

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2016, 01:16:56 PM »
+1

Having misophonia makes riding the subway a real chore.  The incessant snorting and gum snapping grinds away at what is left of my soul.

It's even worse when you're trapped on an inter-city bus. Your trip is well over an hour and you've a bus full of snorters. You're trapped. I had some young guy sit next to me last week and immediately did a loud, disgusting snort. I called him on it right away and quite sternly told him that there was to be no repetition. We had a long journey ahead of us. There was no friggin' way I was going to have him snort mere inches from my ear for the entire trip.

For a country that supposedly has the "world's best mothers" they seem to have raised an awful lot of coarse, ill-mannered and uncouth offspring.

Offline Horus

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2016, 01:35:06 PM »
The city thing is relevant in that I have always thought that all Koreans are at heart inhabitants of a small tranquil village who have had some some of large scale, cruel joke played on them. I get the feeling modernity was thrust upon them in the late 20th century and they have been  passively resisting since.

Busy thoroughfare at rush hour? Still going to idly zig zag along like I am checking my fields for crop damage. Bottom of escalator in a crowded shopping mall? Perfect place to talk to my friends like we are at a village market. Isn't this sidewalk narrow for our group? Quickly let us all spread out like we are flushing game towards hunters.

That made me chuckle. Yeah, it's like part of their collective psyche is fighting against the modern world with all its might.

At other times it seems like Korea fell asleep in the 14th century then awakened to a world with roads, buildings, cars, elevators and food and was completely baffled by it all. "Hey, what do you imagine those white stripes on the road are for?" Either way, the culture drags waaaaay behind its economic development. As you say, it does seem that they're trapped in an earlier peasant era. From their walking culture all the way to their table manners (and a thousand other things besides) they seem to still be very far from being moderns.

 :-[
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 01:38:00 PM by Horus »

Offline Pecan

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2016, 01:40:45 PM »
Many Koreans suffer from sinus related issues due to their physiology.

I know they would like to clear their sinuses.  Sure, they could simply take cetirizine or other to address this issue and refrain from making such disturbing sounds.

Perhaps that is asking too much.

Their ability to see, smell, and hear are also different.

Ever wondered why loud noises don't bother them or terrible smells?

They can't see what you see, hear what you hear, and they don't have the same sensitivity to smell that you do.

Please understand.




« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 01:44:22 PM by Pecan »

Offline ThulsaDoom

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2016, 01:44:06 PM »
I was in Seoul last weekend wondering if it was just me or if Koreans really suck at walking. Then I was wondering if it was like this in every big city...

It's a city thing and Seoul is one of the most densely packed, highly populated cities in the world.

As a New Yorker, I can definitely tell you it's NOT a "city thing".  If you behaved like the OP mentioned in NYC, you would get beat, sliced, or left with a verbal slashing (if not all).  It's called common courtesy.  I get it, people bump into each other all the time but it's a matter of saying "Excuse me or I'm sorry".

Also, I lived in the country side here in Korea and it was the same thing!

I stand corrected, lol.  Maybe I've just been here too long or maybe it's my weirdly high tolerance for some annoying behaviors.  I loathe .  As a matter of fact today, I was cut-off by multiple diagonal walkers and this topic immediately sprung to mind.

It isn't the 70s so drop The Warriors version of NYC.  New Yorkers are already somewhat insufferable so the potential threat of violence for a minor disturbance or rudeness?  I'll make sure to never visit (LA's better anyways  :P) and that shows how truly fucked and stupid America is nowadays.  Don't like what someone has done, mess them up or shoot them!

Offline mrc45

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2016, 01:45:59 PM »
The thing is, it's not just that they can't walk. They can't even stand properly. It takes a real skill to just stand there doing nothing and still be a nuisance.

Take, for example, the clown standing directly inside the subway car blocking people trying to enter and exit the car. He stands right in front of the friggin' door, eyes glued to his phone, with absolutely no intention of budging for anyone. It's rush hour, the subway car is completely packed, but he's found his spot right in front of the door and he ain't budging for anyone. Total dickhead.

Then there's the idiots who, while not standing directly in front of the door, are standing to the left and right of the door with their smartphone in their outstretched hands. When crowds of people are trying to get on and off a train put your damned phone aside for a few seconds. Believe me, there's nothing in your stupid drama that you'll be missing.

The same goes for the clowns who insist on watching their damned show on the subway when people are crammed in like sardines. They have no reservations about pushing back further against you because they need space in front of them to watch their damned phone. (And at rush hour, take off your damned backpack so as not to take up the room of two people).

And quit your damned snorting!

I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by this behavior. I have to take the subway every day for work and the total lack of consideration for anyone else drives me insane.

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2016, 07:00:00 PM »
The city thing is relevant in that I have always thought that all Koreans are at heart inhabitants of a small tranquil village who have had some some of large scale, cruel joke played on them. I get the feeling modernity was thrust upon them in the late 20th century and they have been  passively resisting since.

Busy thoroughfare at rush hour? Still going to idly zig zag along like I am checking my fields for crop damage. Bottom of escalator in a crowded shopping mall? Perfect place to talk to my friends like we are at a village market. Isn't this sidewalk narrow for our group? Quickly let us all spread out like we are flushing game towards hunters.

That made me chuckle. Yeah, it's like part of their collective psyche is fighting against the modern world with all its might.

At other times it seems like Korea fell asleep in the 14th century then awakened to a world with roads, buildings, cars, elevators and food and was completely baffled by it all. "Hey, what do you imagine those white stripes on the road are for?" Either way, the culture drags waaaaay behind its economic development. As you say, it does seem that they're trapped in an earlier peasant era. From their walking culture all the way to their table manners (and a thousand other things besides) they seem to still be very far from being moderns.

 :-[

I was just reading this last night, Koreans and foreigners alike really need to understand just how late South Korea was to the urbanization party. Koreans like to act like Korean urban life is a totally normal phenomenon, and a lot of foreigners buy into it, but until very recently Korean culture was poor rural culture.

Please excuse the poor anglicization of Korean city names...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_South_Korea#Urbanization

Quote
Like other newly industrializing economies, South Korea experienced rapid growth of urban areas caused by the migration of large numbers of people from the countryside. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Seoul, by far the largest urban settlement, had a population of about 190,000 people. There was a striking contrast with Japan, where Edo (Tokyo) had as many as 1 million inhabitants and the urban population comprised as much as 10% to 15% of the total during the Tokugawa Period (16001868). During the closing years of the Choson Dynasty and the first years of Japanese colonial rule, the urban population of Korea was no more than 3% of the total. After 1930, when the Japanese began industrial development on the Korean Peninsula, particularly in the northern provinces adjacent to Manchuria, the urban portion of the population began to grow, reaching 11.6% for all of Korea in 1940.

Between 1945 and 1985, the urban population of South Korea grew from 14.5% to 65.4% of the total population. In 1988 the Economic Planning Board estimated that the urban portion of the population will reach 78.3% by the end of the twentieth century. Most of this urban increase was attributable to migration rather than to natural growth of the urban population.


In 1985 the largest cities were Seoul (9,645,932 inhabitants), Busan (3,516,807), Daegu (2,030,672), Incheon (1,387,491), Gwangju (906,129), and Daejeon (866,695). According to government statistics, the population of Seoul, one of the world's largest cities, surpassed 10 million people in late 1988. Seoul's average annual population growth rate during the late 1980s was more than 3%. Two-thirds of this growth was attributable to migration rather than to natural increase. Surveys revealed that "new employment or seeking a new job," "job transfer," and "business" were major reasons given by new immigrants for coming to the capital. Other factors cited by immigrants included "education" and "a more convenient area to live."

In 1985 the population of Seoul constituted 23.8% of the national total. Provincial cities, however, experienced equal and, in many cases, greater expansion than the capital. Growth was particularly spectacular in the southeastern coastal region, which encompasses the port cities of Pusan, Masan, Yosu, Chinhae, Ulsan, and Pohang. Census figures show that Ulsan's population increased eighteenfold, growing from 30,000 to 551,300 inhabitants between 1960 and 1985. With the exception of Yosu, all of these cities are in South Kyongsang Province, a region that has been an especially favored recipient of government development projects. By comparison, the population of Kwangju, capital of South Cholla Province, increased less than threefold between 1960 and 1985, growing from 315,000 to 906,129 inhabitants.

Offline mrc45

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #72 on: March 22, 2016, 08:50:44 PM »
I was just reading this last night, Koreans and foreigners alike really need to understand just how late South Korea was to the urbanization party. Koreans like to act like Korean urban life is a totally normal phenomenon, and a lot of foreigners buy into it, but until very recently Korean culture was poor rural culture.

I think everyone but the bitterest among us would be willing to cut Koreans some slack if only Koreans showed an ounce of empathy towards others (their own countrymen included). Instead, we're pushed and shoved and ignored. Then we're told how much Koreans always think about others; how they always think about "the group," unlike selfish Westerners. It's that hypocrisy mixed with a passive-aggressive insult that causes so many issues.

Offline Horus

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2016, 12:34:18 PM »
It's baffling how the ajumma at the ATM can make her transaction, take her card and receipt and just continues friggin' standing there. 'Think I'll check my text messages and reorganize my purse now." They know there's people waiting behind her but they don't give a damn. It's particularly annoying when you're waiting in line to buy a bus ticket to another city. Your bus is leaving soon but ajumma, having gotten her ticket, thinks that's all the universe cares about. She's got her ticket, and that's enough. Time to count the pennies in her purse and apply lipstick. Honestly, I can't count how many times I've asked them "Are you finished yet, lady? If so, if you don't mind..."

Then there's the clown who, once you get to the ticket counter, decides that he's tired of waiting and moves up directly beside you and tries ordering his ticket while you're still ordering yours - pushing his money forward in front of you, of course. >:(

Then there's the....oh, never mind.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 12:36:19 PM by Horus »

Online CO2

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #74 on: March 24, 2016, 12:46:38 PM »
It's baffling how the ajumma at the ATM can make her transaction, take her card and receipt and just continues friggin' standing there. 'Think I'll check my text messages and reorganize my purse now." They know there's people waiting behind her but they don't give a damn. It's particularly annoying when you're waiting in line to buy a bus ticket to another city. Your bus is leaving soon but ajumma, having gotten her ticket, thinks that's all the universe cares about. She's got her ticket, and that's enough. Time to count the pennies in her purse and apply lipstick. Honestly, I can't count how many times I've asked them "Are you finished yet, lady? If so, if you don't mind..."

Then there's the clown who, once you get to the ticket counter, decides that he's tired of waiting and moves up directly beside you and tries ordering his ticket while you're still ordering yours - pushing his money forward in front of you, of course. >:(

Then there's the....oh, never mind.

*stands in line for 4 mins at Mcd*

*Gets to front of line*

"What would you like today, Sir?"

"Hmmmmm, great question, let's see......................."


Offline Stephensalz

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2016, 01:23:19 PM »
does anyone know why there are signs that state 'no walking on the escalators'? am i missing something?

what's the difference between walking on an escalator or up some stairs?

My wife saw a news report about this shortly after it was enacted. 

Back in the days, there used to be a rule that standing people be on the left, walkers on the right.  The problem with that is it was never enforced adequately, Then walkers would try to walk, and the older people would be blocking the route.  Most subway confrontations were between more elderly passengers and walkers, for this very reason.  So, as Confucius would have wanted, the elderly patrons complained and complained, until the rule was changed to the exact opposite. 

As of January (I believe?)  you can actually be given a ticket for walking on an escalator in the Seoul subway system grounds (though they did say on the news report it will mostly be ignored).  And if you are running, you will get 1 warning, entering your info into a database, and a 2nd time will get you a ticket, and further possible jail time.  (ONLY FOR RUNNING) 

Older generation wins. 

As for the moving walkways, I love them.  After I get off a long flight, and want to get to immigration before the huge mass of people, all i have to do is not walk on the moving walkways.  I can pass most people by not going on them and not using the restroom/ using my phone to check messages.

Offline bakeaus2

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #76 on: March 24, 2016, 01:36:39 PM »
In my experience, I would say it is largely just case of Korean not giving a **** about anyone or anything else around them. I can't tell you how many times my dog or I have been almost hit by a old man a bike who literally is looking at the sky or other random shit whilst driving cross-ways through a crowded drinking area, completely ignoring anything else obstructing his path. Or how many times I have seen people continue walking slowly across the crosswalk and chatting/looking at their phones despite the walk light long since having gone red. It's amazing to me how more accidents don't happen in Seoul. Korean = "Nunchi eopsa!"

Offline gaelsano

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #77 on: March 27, 2016, 10:41:24 PM »
There was a book by a Chinese sociologist (in China) writing in the 1980s or 1990s. A lot of what was in the book corresponds to my experience in Korea.

Generally, manners and sacrifice are nice, but they're not expected or demanded in situations among strangers. For an American equivalent, people appreciate you working in a volunteer fire department in America, but no one gets insulted if you don't do it. Manners are like that here. I'm grossly oversimplifying, of course. Using 반말 with strangers is even when upset is deeply disrespectful and frowned upon, for example. Whereas in America where there is an understanding of civil and unselfish behavior to all (holding doors open, etc.).*

The gist is this: if Confucian hierarchy dictates politeness then you basically take a bullet for your older brother or your king or your boss at work. But if a stranger on the street isn't older than you or superior or isn't from your hometown, you don't owe him squat and you may amorally shove him out of the way if you want to walk in a perfectly straight path to your destination and he is in the way.

Times change. Social revolutions happen. But this is the background that Confucian societies are coming from and have been living until very very recently.

The myth people have that East Asians are more polite people is completely misinformed. On the whole it's a wash. Americans respect their parents and address their bosses politely, but they don't let parents or bosses control as much. They draw the line before a Korean would. But on the other hand, Americans are usually more polite to strangers and respectful of personal space and public spitting/public urination/smoking in building entrances. (My university banned smoking in front of doors and the only people to puff away in building entrances were Koreans. Not all Koreans did it, but nearly all who did it were Korean.)

Koreans are nice and generous, but not always polite in the same way we may think of it. If Korean friends were to crack open a watermelon and blast songs on their phone on the inter-city bus at 11:00pm, they would warmly offer you watermelon. But if you said no thank you and to please use headphones, you would see a puzzled look on their faces. Turning down the volumes on their phone would be anathema. That's my take. And it extends to walking. If you approached an old man in a small town and asked for directions and said you were lost, he may just grab your hand and take you into a restaurant and treat you to a large meal and give you a map and hail a taxi for you and explain where you're going to the driver. But the same old man could be standing in the entrance to a bathroom idly sucking his teeth. You walk right up to him to go into the bathroom. Wait. Then clear your throat. Then say, 잠시만요. Then he moves one leg six inches closer to the other. Then you have to shove your way through to get into the bathroom. Or he tries to shake your hand when his obviously unwashed.

Again, I'm oversimplifying things and using hyperbole (but not really hyperbole since these experiences are real).

* Not to be an America-apologist here. The dark side of America is that if you violate norms or wrong someone, the gloves come off and physical violence is not shunned as much as it should be and standing your ground is taken to absurd extremes. I always hate the gun talk. Oz and Norway have guns. Canada has guns. Britain has few guns but more gun crime. The problem isn't just Americans shooting each other, it's the violent society of killer neighbours, killer/racist cops, militarism, etc. Americans kill each other in huge numbers with knives. You take away guns (not that I'm against regulating gun sales, I'm for it) and Americans will keep killing each other. The attitude extends to reporting on wars. Well, one of their soldiers went rogue and took launched a guerilla strike in violation of the cease-fire. The other side gave peace a chance. Now time to resume carpet bombing these cities.

There's the micro-violence everyday. There are the deadly car accidents here that occur so much you'd think it was sub-saharan Africa, not an OECD country. But physical retaliation against those who violate norms or hurt others is less here. Christ, last time I was in the states I told a guy in the theatre to put away his phone and to knock off the constant texting and he tried to fight me. So that was a double-whammy of selfishness and good old American dick-waving "I'll take you on, c'mon, you want some, I'll f you up!" Idiot didn't realize I had a foot of height on him because I'm disproportionately longer in the limbs.

I think we each just need to decide for ourselves if the trade-offs are worth it. So yeah, they really usually don't "giv[e] a **** about anyone or anything else around them[selves]." There's a reason. There are good and bad points here.

I think the frustration in this thread is because this is something that affects us everyday and the anger builds. And it clashes with what we'd been led to believe: that East Asians are bowing, respectful, mild-mannered.

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #78 on: March 28, 2016, 10:19:50 AM »
There was a book by a Chinese sociologist (in China) writing in the 1980s or 1990s. A lot of what was in the book corresponds to my experience in Korea.

Generally, manners and sacrifice are nice, but they're not expected or demanded in situations among strangers. For an American equivalent, people appreciate you working in a volunteer fire department in America, but no one gets insulted if you don't do it. Manners are like that here. I'm grossly oversimplifying, of course. Using 반말 with strangers is even when upset is deeply disrespectful and frowned upon, for example. Whereas in America where there is an understanding of civil and unselfish behavior to all (holding doors open, etc.).*

The gist is this: if Confucian hierarchy dictates politeness then you basically take a bullet for your older brother or your king or your boss at work. But if a stranger on the street isn't older than you or superior or isn't from your hometown, you don't owe him squat and you may amorally shove him out of the way if you want to walk in a perfectly straight path to your destination and he is in the way.

Times change. Social revolutions happen. But this is the background that Confucian societies are coming from and have been living until very very recently.

The myth people have that East Asians are more polite people is completely misinformed. On the whole it's a wash. Americans respect their parents and address their bosses politely, but they don't let parents or bosses control as much. They draw the line before a Korean would. But on the other hand, Americans are usually more polite to strangers and respectful of personal space and public spitting/public urination/smoking in building entrances. (My university banned smoking in front of doors and the only people to puff away in building entrances were Koreans. Not all Koreans did it, but nearly all who did it were Korean.)

Koreans are nice and generous, but not always polite in the same way we may think of it. If Korean friends were to crack open a watermelon and blast songs on their phone on the inter-city bus at 11:00pm, they would warmly offer you watermelon. But if you said no thank you and to please use headphones, you would see a puzzled look on their faces. Turning down the volumes on their phone would be anathema. That's my take. And it extends to walking. If you approached an old man in a small town and asked for directions and said you were lost, he may just grab your hand and take you into a restaurant and treat you to a large meal and give you a map and hail a taxi for you and explain where you're going to the driver. But the same old man could be standing in the entrance to a bathroom idly sucking his teeth. You walk right up to him to go into the bathroom. Wait. Then clear your throat. Then say, 잠시만요. Then he moves one leg six inches closer to the other. Then you have to shove your way through to get into the bathroom. Or he tries to shake your hand when his obviously unwashed.

Again, I'm oversimplifying things and using hyperbole (but not really hyperbole since these experiences are real).

* Not to be an America-apologist here. The dark side of America is that if you violate norms or wrong someone, the gloves come off and physical violence is not shunned as much as it should be and standing your ground is taken to absurd extremes. I always hate the gun talk. Oz and Norway have guns. Canada has guns. Britain has few guns but more gun crime. The problem isn't just Americans shooting each other, it's the violent society of killer neighbours, killer/racist cops, militarism, etc. Americans kill each other in huge numbers with knives. You take away guns (not that I'm against regulating gun sales, I'm for it) and Americans will keep killing each other. The attitude extends to reporting on wars. Well, one of their soldiers went rogue and took launched a guerilla strike in violation of the cease-fire. The other side gave peace a chance. Now time to resume carpet bombing these cities.

There's the micro-violence everyday. There are the deadly car accidents here that occur so much you'd think it was sub-saharan Africa, not an OECD country. But physical retaliation against those who violate norms or hurt others is less here. Christ, last time I was in the states I told a guy in the theatre to put away his phone and to knock off the constant texting and he tried to fight me. So that was a double-whammy of selfishness and good old American dick-waving "I'll take you on, c'mon, you want some, I'll f you up!" Idiot didn't realize I had a foot of height on him because I'm disproportionately longer in the limbs.

I think we each just need to decide for ourselves if the trade-offs are worth it. So yeah, they really usually don't "giv[e] a **** about anyone or anything else around them[selves]." There's a reason. There are good and bad points here.

I think the frustration in this thread is because this is something that affects us everyday and the anger builds. And it clashes with what we'd been led to believe: that East Asians are bowing, respectful, mild-mannered.

I pretty much agree with this. I hate that Koreans can't walk straight and bump into me. But it's a relief knowing that if I accidentally bump someone, it won't result in a violent altercation and the person doesn't take it as a massive insult.

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Koreans really need to take walking lessons.
« Reply #79 on: March 28, 2016, 02:38:16 PM »
I pretty much agree with this. I hate that Koreans can't walk straight and bump into me. But it's a relief knowing that if I accidentally bump someone, it won't result in a violent altercation and the person doesn't take it as a massive insult.

This has literally never happened to me. If I ever bumped into anyone in the states it goes me: oh sorry! them: no problem!

Could be more of a guy thing. Most of the time it goes that way too. But there's been a couple times where I've seen it come nearly to blows.