Monday, July 15, 2013

Korea's Unique Please Understand My Driving Culture

"Run you over, or run you over town, it makes no difference to me."    
I saw a guy get hit and killed in the time it was Pucheon. The Koreans fucked that up, too. is on the line #1 to Incheon.

There is a big main street that is perpendicular to the Pucheon subway station. Four lanes going towards the station  and four lanes going away. I was just hanging around the area, as I had lived in Won-mi dong years before. I walked through the main shijang, looked at the old apartment. I was walking back to the subway station at the time of the accident.

This ajosshi sees a break in the traffic and he decides to run across all eight lanes of the street. So, he's running across the barren street, but waaaaayyyyyy down the street on the other side in a far lane is one of those little blue vans they have, the kind that you'd just love to write "FREE CANDY" or "FREE (SHITTY KPOP BAND OF THE MONTH") TICKETS on the side then start hanging out in front of schools.

Ajosshi keeps a steady run across the street, and a blue minivan Komurderist (Korean + Motorist) keeps jamming down his side. Standing in front of it all were 30 to 40 people, maybe, waiting for various buses at a bus stop. We all collectively watched as the ajosshi ran directly into the path of his speeding death. The blue minivan Komurderist never slowed down, never deviated from his path; he just ran into that poor ajoshhi, who flew up two meters in the air before slamming down to the pavement on his back, one of his arms reaching to the sky like you see boxers who get knocked out do, before dying in front of us all.

Some people screamed. Some people cried. But this gave way to a general rage at those who had seen this guy mowed down and killed. The common people all began screaming and yelling at the driver who had given us all a refresher course on please understand my driving culture.

I don't know what happened after that. Being a person of a sensitive nature, I didn't want to be amongst the Korea horde at this time. Those in the crowd fell within three different types of Koreans: those filled with the rage of 3000 years of Please Understand My Japanese Culture on Your Peninsula...and Women; those who just wanted to look at the death and car damage, not feeling at all for the poor dead ajosshi or his wife and 1.3 kids; and girls crying, grapping their oppas and pathologically repeating "Awe toe kay!" 

If I can give all my readers one piece of advice and they would follow it, it is this:
Never be the first or the last person in the crosswalk....ever.

And never jaywalk. You just give some komurderist a free pass to introduce you to their please understand my driving culture, then probably send a bill to your family before your corpse can be repatriated.

Be safe, dear safe.


  1. I've often marveled at the complete disregard that Korean drivers have for human life. I've come to think that this utter lack for humanity comes from their mistaken understanding of Korean (yes, their own law) and their Confucian culture.

    Koreans believe, and I have heard them say this, that "In Korea, the car is king." Basically, those with cars are above pedestrians in the Confucian order. Korean law, however, at least as written, gets it right. In theory, if you hit a pedestrian, you're screwed. In practice, much like everything else in Korea....

  2. You're right on all points. And 90% of the accidents in the three videos on Expat Hell I think I could have foreseen and avoided (flying cars from across the road are exceedingly hard to dodge).

    If you can understand Korean, you can hear something really sick in one of the videos. It is the car, maybe minivan, that wouldn't let the other car in front of him in the lane. You can hear a woman pleading with the man driving: "Ha ji ma," which means "don't do it (that)." This probably means don't speed up so as not to let him in. The other car veers in, sending the happy family over the embankment, and rolling the vehicle. A small child, or children, can be heard crying after the crash, as well as the woman.