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  • Sagi Keun
  • Super Waygook

    • 385

    • May 10, 2018, 11:47:23 am
    • Los Angeles

Especially at night.

They walk toward you, head down staring into their phone.

Or walking with their head turned around talking to someone behind them. Totally oblivious.

They get within a few feet and i have to call out HEY! to awaken them to their surroundings.


The lack of awareness of their surroundings is really quite incredible.


  • Savant
  • The Legend

    • 3472

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm

The lack of awareness of their surroundings is really quite incredible.

Just arrived here?


Yes, it does happen fairly frequently.  Sometimes I am more annoyed about it than other times - depends on how I am feeling.  However I am also aware that often the person I am with is not aware of other people themselves so I try to cut some slack and not get irritated (too much) by it.

However, I don't like yelling/calling out 'Hey' etc.

Instead I just say 'Hello'.  It does the same thing and sounds friendlier - making me feel less stressed out by it all. 

Alternatively, I just start talking louder/loudly to the person I am with - often nothing very exciting eg 'Yes, I think that is good' - just drivel really but it lets them know I am there. 


  • SPQR
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1372

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Sierra Leone
Especially at night.

They walk toward you, head down staring into their phone.

Or walking with their head turned around talking to someone behind them. Totally oblivious.

They get within a few feet and i have to call out HEY! to awaken them to their surroundings.


The lack of awareness of their surroundings is really quite incredible.

Never, I'm not a psychotic, twitchy freak.


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3675

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
This isn't a Korean only thing.

I read a few years ago about cities in Germany putting the pedestrian light signals in the sidewalk, because people were always looking down at their phones. 


  • 745sticky
  • The Legend

    • 2235

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
This isn't a Korean only thing.

I read a few years ago about cities in Germany putting the pedestrian light signals in the sidewalk, because people were always looking down at their phones.

we have those at the crosswalks near my school lol


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5492

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Asians have traditionally had much less spatial awareness.  Other people don't exist.  China, Korea, etc.  It has gotten better here though due to massive etiquette and advertising, etc.  IE  People no longer butt in front you in line.  This happens more with lower educated / class people of course.  Another example cycling on the path and dinging your bell and the ajosshi in front you not moving.  A neighbor moving furniture and banging and clanging at 3 AM because other people don't exist.  Like I said, higher class people are less likely to behave that way and Korea is improving a lot in this regard.  But, some folks still don't think of others.  It's why, you often can't "hint" and hope someone gets it.  You have to be more forceful here sometimes.  You can't be too timid in Asia.  Sometimes, instead of hinting, you just have to ask others to get out of the way.
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are losers who are blocked.  Good riddance to them. They will still be in Korea 10 years from now unless they are retired.  Either way, they will be poor since all they know how to do is troll rather than work for something more


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5492

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Let me add the one dangerous thing.  Kids especially but some other Koreans will look at the green walk light at a crosswalk and just walk straight across.  No looking left or right.  That is really dumb.  I try to tell kids to look both ways repeatedly while crossing even if they have the light.  You can't trust drivers or cars.  Never trust them even if you can.  But, no spatial awareness. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are losers who are blocked.  Good riddance to them. They will still be in Korea 10 years from now unless they are retired.  Either way, they will be poor since all they know how to do is troll rather than work for something more


  • Liechtenstein
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1941

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
I used to walk around like Jax from "Sons of Anarchy". They got outta my way. If they didn't I would stop and let them bump into me, then get mouthy.


  • Savant
  • The Legend

    • 3472

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Let me add the one dangerous thing.  Kids especially but some other Koreans will look at the green walk light at a crosswalk and just walk straight across.  No looking left or right.  That is really dumb.  I try to tell kids to look both ways repeatedly while crossing even if they have the light.  You can't trust drivers or cars.  Never trust them even if you can.  But, no spatial awareness. 

It is a rare sight to see any Korean looking 2 ways before crossing a road or river path. Even looking one way is a hard task.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5492

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
It is a rare sight to see any Korean looking 2 ways before crossing a road or river path. Even looking one way is a hard task.

A public service announcement campaign should be in order.  I always look before crossing even if I have the light.  I never trust local drivers, ever. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are losers who are blocked.  Good riddance to them. They will still be in Korea 10 years from now unless they are retired.  Either way, they will be poor since all they know how to do is troll rather than work for something more


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 3675

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
we have those at the crosswalks near my school lol

Cool.  Pictures please ....


  • Augustiner
  • Expert Waygook

    • 523

    • December 06, 2021, 01:18:06 pm
    • Anyang
Cool.  Pictures please ....

They've done it an intersection near my place as well.  Really bright. If you're just staring down when they go on you you'll be seeing red or green spots for a few minutes. 

On a somewhat related note, have you noticed that people often take their cue for when to cross from the people around them, rather than the light changing?  So many times I've started crossing on a red because I don't want to wait and I can get safely across just to to trigger some Korean to start walking.  Then they look up and see the light is red and hurriedly jump back.  This herd mentality may be common elsewhere but because you can wait so long for the lights to change I cross on red much more often here. Maybe that's why I notice it more. 


You should see them driving, talk about oblivious.


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • I am a geek!!

    • March 02, 2027, 11:00:00 pm
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Things in my neck of the woods have improved *dramatically* over the last decade.
Many of the zebras now have traffic lights and cameras, so the drivers take them seriously. The kids in my primary schools all get road safety lessons, so I rarely see young kids attempting suicide by car anymore.
I've also noticed, especially with younger drivers, that Koreans are adhering to traffic laws a lot more: I think the new (and far more stringent) driving license requirements have made  a big difference in how people think about driving.
It's been a long time coming, but I think that driving safety has come a very long way in a very short period of time.

Of course, on the other hand, there are still those bongo trucks driven by 60 year old dudes who treat everything on asphalt as part of their own personal fiefdoms.  >:(


Bus Driver: Stop is coming up.

SCCRREEECHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH H



  • pkjh
  • The Legend

    • 2312

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
    • Asia
Things in my neck of the woods have improved *dramatically* over the last decade.
Many of the zebras now have traffic lights and cameras, so the drivers take them seriously. The kids in my primary schools all get road safety lessons, so I rarely see young kids attempting suicide by car anymore.
I've also noticed, especially with younger drivers, that Koreans are adhering to traffic laws a lot more: I think the new (and far more stringent) driving license requirements have made  a big difference in how people think about driving.
It's been a long time coming, but I think that driving safety has come a very long way in a very short period of time.

Of course, on the other hand, there are still those bongo trucks driven by 60 year old dudes who treat everything on asphalt as part of their own personal fiefdoms.  >:(
Remember cars used be on the horn if you weren't starting to roll like 5 seconds before the lights turned green. Trying to cross the even on a green-man light was difficult cause the cars turning right would give little thought about the pedestrians already in the crosswalk.

Driving courtesy as for sure improved, and still has a way to go. At least physical road-rage is pretty rare here, just words mostly.


I've started driving here in the last few months and I HATE kakao navigation. It's so fukking intrusive.

"A CAMERA IS COMNG UP THAT MEASURES AND READS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS."

OK? How does that affect me?

"IT DOESN'T"

STFU then. It tells me so many useless things. If it's dangerous or a change in route, tell me. Other than that, STFU.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 09:56:47 am by CO2 »


  • Swervy
  • Adventurer

    • 52

    • March 09, 2021, 12:56:54 pm
    • Incheon, SK
    more
I really, really, really try to stay away from people on sidewalks when I ride my bike. And it makes me so annoyed when they make a startled sound every time I pass them. But I swear, not a single person can look forward and see anything, and I swear, no matter what way I go, they walk straight towards where I am going. I care less and less about scaring people who are on their phones and have no idea what is happening around them. I don't slow down anymore.
I don't get in shape. I bring the gym to my house and I throw it around.


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • I am a geek!!

    • March 02, 2027, 11:00:00 pm
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
I really, really, really try to stay away from people on sidewalks when I ride my bike. And it makes me so annoyed when they make a startled sound every time I pass them. But I swear, not a single person can look forward and see anything, and I swear, no matter what way I go, they walk straight towards where I am going. I care less and less about scaring people who are on their phones and have no idea what is happening around them. I don't slow down anymore.
So you're constantly... swerving out of their way?  8)