Saturday, September 20, 2008

빨이빨이 (faster faster)

There's so much competition going on in this country. Why? You all know asians, and you know they all want to be the best. Put 50 million of them in a country 1/3rd the size of California, and that's what you get. (California has only 40 million people)

So everything needs to be done faster, better, and smarter with respect to each citizen personally, not the country as a whole.

Because of this hurried atmosphere, there are some things I've noticed that cater to that culture.
1. the baseball games (or any sports in general) on tv are not shown in full, they fast forward to the good parts that are exciting. They still show a lot of the game, there's just no dead time between innings while players are running in and out of the field and there's also no dead time shown where the coaches are talking to eachother for no particular reason and spitting out tobacco or sunflower seeds all over the dugout
2. there's a small supermarket, optometrist, and doctor's office within walking distance of every apartment complex
3. driving and parking laws are very flexible. You probably will never get a ticket for speeding or turning a 5 lane freeway into 10 lanes. This doesn't mean you can speed though, because there's so much traffic it would probably get you killed. You won't get a parking ticket in a no parking area unless the specific location has high visibility or someone across the street complained about it. You can run red lights if it looks really empty (such as in the middle of the night at a dead intersection). Sometimes on a T intersection, the cars going straight on the top side of the T will just jump the red if there's no cars coming from the side. Bus drivers will jump red lights to get ahead of cars if there's something in the way of their lane on the other side of the intersection.
4. There are cameras on the road that detect speeders and ticket them automatically using pictures, but the funny part is that every camera is labeled deliberately and unless you're just blind, you will know where every camera is about 200 meters before it sees you. So, if you're smart you can control your speed across all of them and still speed the rest of the way to your destination. Every GPS system that you can buy gives you a warning whenever you're entering a camera zone as well.

Come to think of it, Bangkok and Seoul driving are pretty similar in a lot of ways, but I think Bangkok was worse. Tailgating isn't as bad (or good) in Korea.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"빨리 빨리" 가 맏는다.

Originally, when I read the old Korean history, Koreans are peaceful, calm, wise and honest people. Sunbee(kind of top class schlor group of people) was the typical charactor of Koreans.

With all that difficult times, since 19 century, Japanese colony, WWI & II, Korean war, the environment of Korea had been almost broken down like ruins.
To survive from that, to win from the competition, I think, they have to rush everything.
Just today, I read in the paper that now Korean kids run at least 3 languages, English, Chinese and of course Korean. Piano lesson, Taekwon-do, swiming, some golf, are also very popular. Kids are doing at least 4-5 extra jobs.
So, they have to be busy. Their parents too.
They know they have to change it and give them more free time, but it is just a thinking and talk.

Always rushing means rush to die too.

September 24, 2008 at 4:26 PM  

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