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Street Walking Korea Style

June 25, 2010

June 25, 2010

Look at the picture above.

Really look at it.

What’s the first thing you notice in this shot?

Is it the lady who is walking right down the middle of the street?

If so, you’re a winner!

That’s the first thing I notice, too. In fact, I notice it every single day when I drive down this street. I notice that people here in Korea walk in the friggin’ road. I don’t know why. I just don’t understand. There are sidewalks on both sides of most streets. Some sidewalks are wider than the actual road. But Koreans STILL walk right in the street.

Finally, today I decided I just had to take a photo of this lady and vent my frustration here.

Now before you start to think, “Oh my, isn’t taking a photograph while you are driving a little dangerous,” I want to reassure you that, in fact, it is NOT dangerous when you are driving slower than an old woman can walk down the middle of the street. I followed her at a snail’s pace for about three minutes, afraid to beep my horn because she might fall over from fright. Finally, a car came up behind ME and got tired of me driving too slowly. He beeped and she moved.

So you don’t think this is just a random, once-in-a-while sort of thing, here’s a whole family walking down the middle of the street!

And, here’s one more. These kids are waking home from high school in Korea. The reason they walk in the street is that the sidewalk is being used by cars as parking spaces. Parking in Seoul is about finding a place to put your car. Sometimes that means you just park right in the street, making a normal two-lane street a single-lane street. Cars then take turns driving on the single, two-way street. It’s quite annoying, actually.


From → Korea, Quirky Korea, Seoul

  1. Kelli O'Loughlin permalink

    Well said – I really like when someone walks right at my car up the middle of street – can’t they see my heap of metal is much bigger than them? This is especially annoying (and frightening) when I am trying to navigate an “ally/road” you know the type, not really big enough for your van to fit through, but the only way to go, it’s lined with shops and people open doors and step into the street at random – at times, I feel I am in a video game and I would like all those pedestrians to know I am NO GOOD at video games

    • jenonymously permalink

      You said it, Kelli. It’s like playing “Dodge The Pedestrian.” We should make up a point system and start keeping track of high scores. 🙂

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