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How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« on: June 14, 2020, 02:46:59 pm »
So for those of you who often take the KTX, Mugunghwa, or other trains in Korea, how often have you experienced something this? I've started taking the Mugunghwa train on a somewhat regular basis and the last two time out of three times when I've gone to my seat, there's been an ajeossi sitting in my seat. Of course, I check to make sure I'm on the right train, the right car, and have the right seat, and all that. Both times, I ask the man to move and he starts arguing with me that I should just sit in another seat and that he isn't going to move. I show the seat number on my ticket and say that he's in my seat and that the other seats are reserved for other people, but I still have to argue for a couple of minutes before they got up and moved. Is this common?


  • VanIslander
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 02:54:50 pm »
I just sit on another seat.

And no one has ever asked me to move.


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 03:39:29 pm »
So for those of you who often take the KTX, Mugunghwa, or other trains in Korea, how often have you experienced something this? I've started taking the Mugunghwa train on a somewhat regular basis and the last two time out of three times when I've gone to my seat, there's been an ajeossi sitting in my seat. Of course, I check to make sure I'm on the right train, the right car, and have the right seat, and all that. Both times, I ask the man to move and he starts arguing with me that I should just sit in another seat and that he isn't going to move. I show the seat number on my ticket and say that he's in my seat and that the other seats are reserved for other people, but I still have to argue for a couple of minutes before they got up and moved. Is this common?

The Mugunghwa's tickets are the cheapest and is likely were you'll find all the rif-raff.

Another Waygook user put it well when they mentioned that ajjushis, in particular, are unable to distinguish social norms from a legal issue. In his mind, he can sit where he wants, park where he wants, talk as loud as he wants, say what he wants and push in front of the line if he wants because he's older and a Korean male. Furthermore, making him leave the seat he's in will be a massive loss of face, so he'll stay put.

It's an absolutely detestable mindset. You'd see so much arguing and confusion as to who sits where, when the train gets full because some people decided to sit wherever, nobody confronts them and they go on to sit in a spot designated for someone else and chaos ensues. 

I've never seen it happen on the KTX as people are far less tolerant to let some ajjushi sit in a seat they paid 30 bucks for.


  • pkjh
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2020, 03:41:02 pm »
Encountered it many times, but I've never had an argument, usually the person in question is apologetic and leaves the seat promptly.

If there is an issue, find the train attendant, they'll sort it out.

A useful phrases in this situation:
"(죄송한데 여기가) 제 자리인데요..."

Being a guy, I can get away without saying the bracketed parts without much of an issue.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 03:49:56 pm by pkjh »


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2020, 04:01:32 pm »
It's an absolutely detestable mindset.

It's just downright childish, the idea that they think it's OK to take something that they didn't pay for or that doesn't belong to them. You'd expect a three-year old to act like this, not a grown adult. For all the talk I hear about Koreans being super group oriented and what not, this attitude and behavior is horribly selfish and self-centered.


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2020, 04:12:43 pm »
I've only ridden the Mugunghwa a couple of times, and I haven't experienced it, but I've heard that it's common, especially during busy periods.

I HAVE experienced people taking my seat on the KTX several times over the years, though. Most times they apologize and move, usually because they read their ticket wrong and sat in the wrong seat or car OR they'd purchased a standing ticket and had hoped that my seat would remain available, but I've had two people argue with me. One was an ahjeossi who told me to sit somewhere else, but I stared him down without responding to a word he said until he finally begrudgingly gave up my seat and moved.

The other time was an ahjumma who'd claimed it was her seat, and she even presented a fake ticket showing the same exact car and seat number. I played dumb to her game and told her we should call over an attendant to sort out the problem because it seems that the company had double booked the same seat somehow, at which point she graciously gave up "her" seat so that she could sort out the problem herself. She left the train and never came back, even though over half the car was still empty by the time we left.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 04:14:57 pm by Chinguetti »


  • Cyanea
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2020, 05:56:55 pm »
So for those of you who often take the KTX, Mugunghwa, or other trains in Korea, how often have you experienced something this? I've started taking the Mugunghwa train on a somewhat regular basis and the last two time out of three times when I've gone to my seat, there's been an ajeossi sitting in my seat. Of course, I check to make sure I'm on the right train, the right car, and have the right seat, and all that. Both times, I ask the man to move and he starts arguing with me that I should just sit in another seat and that he isn't going to move. I show the seat number on my ticket and say that he's in my seat and that the other seats are reserved for other people, but I still have to argue for a couple of minutes before they got up and moved. Is this common?

Yes, its common, particularly by entitled ajosshis who always seem to think the rules don't apply to them.

People who did not reserve a seat for whatever reason tend to want to hold onto one for as long as possible. They want to delay that moment of having to move. If the compartment is half empty, they will try and make you look like the unreasonable one.

However, I have to say that sometimes the train is underbooked and there may be many spare seats for the whole journey. In such cases I often sit in a seat i prefer (by the wndow perhaps) rather than limiting myself to the seat on my ticket.
Catch my drift?


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2020, 06:12:44 pm »
However, I have to say that sometimes the train is underbooked and there may be many spare seats for the whole journey. In such cases I often sit in a seat i prefer (by the wndow perhaps) rather than limiting myself to the seat on my ticket.

When I buy my ticket online, I always try to buy it early enough and make sure I'm getting a window seat, because that's what I prefer as well. I know what I want and responsibly plan ahead, so being told by someone to just take this or that aisle seat just because it's empty is actually pretty annoying to me.


  • JNM
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2020, 07:36:25 pm »
Yeah, selling both “seats” and “standing” tickets on a multi-stop route leads to this every time.

The standing ticket-holder shouldn’t get too comfortable if they claim a seat!


  • confusedsafferinkorea
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 05:38:08 am »
Yeah, selling both “seats” and “standing” tickets on a multi-stop route leads to this every time.

The standing ticket-holder shouldn’t get too comfortable if they claim a seat!

Can you buy standing tickets for all train cars? Here they get sell unreserved seats in 4 cars of the 12. What that means is that first come, first served for seats for those cars and if you don't get a seat, then you stand. In rush hour you do get some coming in the reserved seats car but they wait till the train is in motion then sit. If at the next stop, the rightful owner gets on, then they always get up, no fuss or bother.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • Colburnnn
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2020, 07:26:12 am »
Yeah happens pretty regularly. Like Chinguetti said, stare them down, make a scene if you have to until the attendant comes.

Absolutely DO NOT sit in another seat as it reinforces the bs buy a ticket and sit where you want nonsense that leads to a complete s*it show once it gets busy.

The poor guy/girl has to lose face? Oh dear, terrible shame. MOVE.
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.


  • CO2
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2020, 07:43:44 am »
The poor guy/girl has to lose face? Oh dear, terrible shame. MOVE.
1) Guy purposefully breaks the rules
2) Doesn't give a shit
3) proceeds to pout and tell you off when you clearly show him he's wrong (and there's money involved, too, these aren't niceties. You PAID for your seat)

But, god forbid, YOU embarrass him.
The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2020, 07:54:48 am »
But, god forbid, YOU embarrass him.

The fundamental flaw in the "face saving" culture. "Making" someone lose face is not the same as them putting themselves in the position to lose face. 


  • AvecPommesFrites
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2020, 08:22:55 am »
Long haul KTX journeys: almost never and on the odd occasion it was a mistaken seat or car number with the person moving and apologizing.

Mugunghwa: Almost always. This is a train filled with the lowest end of society. Most of the time people get on, see the carriage half empty and just sit wherever they like. That leads to the mindset off "just sit somewhere else", when you confront or reason with them. Same exact thing happens to me in half empty cinemas.

I almost never talk to these peasants directly other than the one chance they get to move when I show them they are in my seat. If they don't move then it's straight to the train warden to handle it.  I have the same strategy on airplanes.  If the person is leaning back on their chair during the meal service I never directly ask them to sit up straight, I call the flight attendant over and ask them to tell them to adjust their seat. Works 100% of the time.
Soggy undergarments


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2020, 09:06:03 am »
For all the talk I hear about Koreans being super group oriented and what not, this attitude and behavior is horribly selfish and self-centered.

"Asian culture is communal and group oriented, as opposed to selfish Western individualism" is the biggest red herring in the universe. So many Westerners repeat it without understanding Asian culture, and Asians love encouraging it even though they know it's a lie.

Asian culture is in-group/out-group. If you are in someone's group (family, work, church, etc) then you treat them like royalty and you are very close to them. But if you are a stranger, you basically don't exist to them. A lot of Westerners come to Korea and think that they are experiencing racism when they get pushed around in the subway or get honked at by Koreans, when actually Koreans are just treating them like they treat one another.

Westerners love thinking of themselves as independent and individualist, and love flagellating themselves for not being "communal" enough, yet Westerners automatically treat strangers with deference and politeness in ways that would be alien to Koreans.  It doesn't always happen and plenty of people are rude as hell, but Westerners constantly think about how their actions will be seen by others, whether they're strangers or not. Koreans just don't give a shit, if you're a stranger then you're dead to them.
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2020, 12:03:06 pm »
Mugunghwa: Almost always. This is a train filled with the lowest end of society. Most of the time people get on, see the carriage half empty and just sit wherever they like. That leads to the mindset off "just sit somewhere else", when you confront or reason with them.

I find that if they refuse to move, I press on that foot pedal that spins the seats around and start to spin them around repeatedly until they move or puke.  Which ever comes first.  And then while they're still disorientated and stupid, I go to the buffet car and buy one of those stinky garlic microwave sausages that are disproportionately smelly for their size, and then come back and beat them with it until the stinky sausage falls off, and then I wipe down the sausage stick with a wet wipe like an assassin wiping prints off a gun and then exit the train to gasps and adoration.

After that, I never get any more problems. 


  • fka
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2020, 12:53:48 pm »
I once tried to kick an older lady (rather calm and well-mannered, not a visored nightmare ajumma) out of a KTX seat, got into a mild argument about it, then realized I'd boarded the wrong train car. I was in the right place on the platform but the train didn't actually stop at its designated spot. First time that's ever happened that I can remember. Anyway, the loss of face was all mine, believe me. 


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2020, 12:57:35 pm »
So for those of you who often take the KTX, Mugunghwa, or other trains in Korea, how often have you experienced something this? I've started taking the Mugunghwa train on a somewhat regular basis and the last two time out of three times when I've gone to my seat, there's been an ajeossi sitting in my seat. Of course, I check to make sure I'm on the right train, the right car, and have the right seat, and all that. Both times, I ask the man to move and he starts arguing with me that I should just sit in another seat and that he isn't going to move. I show the seat number on my ticket and say that he's in my seat and that the other seats are reserved for other people, but I still have to argue for a couple of minutes before they got up and moved. Is this common?

I've had it happen but each time they quickly got out of the seat. I'm curious, are you female? Perhaps jerk Ajussis feel they can get their way more easily if you are a girl.


  • tylerthegloob
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Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2020, 01:02:20 pm »
I once tried to kick an older lady
what a place to start your parenthesis


Re: How often does this happen on KTX/Mugunghwa, etc?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2020, 01:05:09 pm »
what a place to start your parenthesis
Hahaha