Korea does not know moderation

It is one of the most bizarre aspects to this culture I have noticed. It is either full out forward or nothing with them.

Transportation:

When you are on the bus, you WILL get car sick.  I’ve been driving for a very long time, consider myself to be better than most yet the bus drivers here are something! There is no light slow stopping. No, it’s a series of quick jabs to the brakes.  Most time it’s emergency braking because every single one of them tailgate.  Every one! 

It doubly sucks of you live in the country side and have to take those twisty back roads at the speed limit! Seriously, you are flung around, back and forth. I was on an intercity bus once where I was literally holding for dear life or else I would be dangling from the seatbelt sideways. The most fucking annoying ride ever but I’d take that over feeling sick any day.

Now, while on the buses, there is the matter of temp control. The vast majority of drivers are like FULL BLAST then nothing. This for for heat of cold. My ride today is a prime example. There is snow on the ground and I have to strip down to a tee-shirt because I’m sweating on the bus. Stupid drivers is their window to keep cool while the rest of us are hot as hell.

I can also say the same for drinking.  Soju is the world’s best selling spirit and not by a small amount either. Were talking by a factor of 2 versus second place!  With the cost being around $1 per bottle and averaging 15% to 19% abv), even the homeless can get wasted with ease.  It’s a real problem here.

Like I said. No moderation here. Not when 12% of your population is your main source of income. (See article linked and the reference to 6,000,000 consumers every day).

Welcome back to Korea!

Two weeks back home was nice but I definitely won’t do it during the winter time again methinks. Glad I missed the nasty ice storm but still hit this ‘polar vortex‘ buzz word the media seemed to jump on too much. Well, that is all done, I’m looking forward to my double-digit temps that we are getting now. And here we go, I got my typical Korean experiences back.

So, rough start to my morning. First, the hotel driver doesn’t pick me up at 10am like he said. So I grab a taxi at 1015 and will bitch at them for that cost. Not that I suspect it’ll do much….things are that much more difficult for us foreigners here.

Then I find out that my 10:30 bus is sold out. Ugh. Ok, I ask for the next one, 1:20pm. She says it goes to some place in the city I need but not either of the two bus terminals. I hand her my tablet with map and ask where. She is confused and just repeats the name. Ohhh, I am so back home now…..

Ok, so I now need someone who can speak Korean better than me. I Call the free translation help line…..on hold forever. I try one of my Korean friends….no answer, I try one of my foreigner friends who speaks Korean pretty well, no answer. I try my Korean friend who looked after my cat while I was away….no answer. Dafuq is this? No one answering?? I try another foreigner friend who is really good at Korean…..success! He’s home. I hand the phone over to the agent. They speak, I hear her repeat the area again and after a few mins she hands me the phone. My friend tells me she can’t tell him where it is, just repeats the area. I say thanks and try something else.

I hand her my tablet but I already have the map open and the city name typed, I then ask her to type the name she keeps repeating. Map opens up and I know where it is, just didn’t know the name. Geeze. I get my ticket and head to the Starbucks to kill a couple of hours till the bus leaves.

So good to be home again….mostly.

Oh this aught to be an entertaining bus ride

Oh this aught to be an entertaining bus ride

The bus driver I currently have seems to like commenting and complaining while he drives.  There is a festival going on, traffic is a bit heavier but he’s just one of those complainers.  Even honking at drivers at red lights.  Oh yes, a fun ride indeed.

Seems I might be able to have a few updates along the way.

Dude, if you weren’t doing 80km/h(50mph) in thecity, I would have to experience a -3G effect when you come to a stop! I pity the poor maintenance guys (not like seems to always be a top priority with many local city busses…).

Oh and liberal useof the horn is sure to alieviate your anger. Please continue.

Sample video