How to be a jerk on Korea

First I need to reiterate, I love Korea.  I have experienced a kindness here that had been sorely missing from our society for over 30 years.  I remember going to a local bakery when I was extremely young, and the baker giving me a free donut.  That no longer happens.  Just a few years ago a worker was fired from a Tim Hortons donut shop for giving a kid a TimBit (a ten cent item) and yet a Korean baker did just that for me when I first visited Korea in 2007. Still, out seems some significant of humanity is lost in these massively populated cities. Here are some fun examples.

– Put you bag on an empty seat on a subway/in a busy Starbucks
– Complain to your friend on the phone about that rude foreigner who made you remove said bag, in Korean, and think he can’t understand you ;)
– Stop at the top/bottom of an entrance/exit to a subway station with 100s right behind you
– Stand in front of an elevator door and never expect anyone to be getting off
– Be the last person on an elevator, causing the overweight alarm to go off and look around surprised and wonder what you should do/who is going to get off
– Piss in the corner of a subway station
– Walk into someone while you are using your cell phone and be surprised when it happens
– Sit on a subway beside someone, while wearing winter gear and cross your arms
– Rush to a lineup at a subway just so you can be second in line
– Rush to the lineup at the bottom of an escalator just so you don’t have to be behind the big baf waygook
– Rush to get IN the subway car while having a child strapped to your body and use it as a cushion against someone weighing twice as much trying to get off the subway

Westerners becoming Korean

There I am, standing by the subway door waiting for it to open. As the train approaches a foreign couple, say late 20s, walk up as well. I spy an end seat that has 3 spots open. Now everyone wants the end seat to have one less person sitting beside them so as I am technically closer to it, I should get it just fine. But wait….he pulls a Korean. By that I mean he starts pushing his way onto the train before everyone is off.

In a big city it seems the manners are tossed aside for the sake of a “me first” attitude. So here people push, shove, run just so they get there before anyone else.

So back to the seating.

As buddy rushes in he grabs the obvious end seat. His girlfriend whispers “good job” as if me being 12″ inches away won’t hear her.

I don’t buy the excuse that living in a big city is reason to ignore common decency. So let them be rude. It only hurts them. As for me, I’ll take comfort that Karma is a bitch and they’ll wonder why bad things happen to them.