Go Premium
Facebook Twitter Google Plus

Crazy Driving and Line Butting

June 23, 2011

Comments

Share Post

So the top rated question for this week is “What are some of the aspects of the culture that you STILL can’t get used to.” Oh boy. This is going to be a difficult issue to discuss, because we’re worried that people might get offended. But, ah well! What we said here has to be said. People are really scary drivers in Korea, and they butt us in line a lot.

With the first point, we don’t want this to deteriorate into simply stereotyping Asian people as bad drivers, which is what we’re worried we’ll be accused of. Let’s say off the bat that we’re not accusing Korean people of being bad drivers. We’re accusing them of being recklessly aggressive. Allow us to tell a few stories: driving the scooter home today, right after filming this week’s TLDR segment, and a car pulled into my lane, into INCOMING TRAFFIC, because the driver he was behind was going too slowly. I leaned on my horn, and the driver that was coming right at me pulled off to the sidewalk (where people were walking) and I drove between his car and that of the slow driver. It’s crazy. I could have been hit today.

Two weeks ago we witnessed two different scooter accidents within the span of five days. In one of them we had to lift the car off the scooter driver. While everyone stood around and gawked from the sidewalk, we ran to the convenience store, grabbed some water and tissues, and cleaned the blood off his face to see where he was bleeding. We had to stop other people from trying to get him to sit up. What if he broke his neck!? Don’t move his head until the ambulance comes! The ambulance came and we walked away, while everyone still stood and stared. Five days later we were eating dinner and watched a scooter T-Bone a taxi and flip over the taxi. He was fine, somehow (must be the inner ninja in him) but the taxi’s window was shattered and passenger door crumpled.

Last winter we got into a taxi during a snowstorm. Bad idea. This guy wanted to drive as fast as he could, fishtailed around a corner, and lost control of the car and we spun out in the middle of the street. When the taxi finally stopped spinning we saw a bus barreling down at us, and we thought that this was it: we were going to die, because some jackass doesn’t know how to drive in the snow. The bus narrowly swerved away and we weren’t hit. The taxi driver straightened out his car and started driving us back home, only this time again just as freaking insanely as before. We feared for our life, genuinely, and got out of the taxi and walked home for an hour in the snowstorm instead.

It’s terrifying. Really. We have friends who have been hit by cars, and friends of friends who’ve been hit so hard that they were put into comas. We’ve almost been hit many times. We’ve been in taxis that have almost hit people many times. Buses have almost hit people many times. Seriously: Korea is an exceptionally safe country. We don’t worry about ever being mugged or attacked. We can leave the keys in our scooter and nobody will steal it. No vandalism, no drug related crimes (that we’re aware of). We’re shocked at how well behaved people are, and so we’re never worried about the people we meet on the street. Put them in cars, though, and we’re seriously scared of the damage they can do to us.

But these are just a few examples of bad scenarios we have been in. The vast majority of our experiences are decent, safe, and nothing to write about. So it would be totally unjustified to say that all Korean people are bad drivers. Our problem is, really, that some of the worst driving we’ve ever experienced was in the three years we’ve been here in Korea. Or maybe Canada is just the greatest driving country in the world, and all other countries pale in comparison (doubt that). We just know that the stuff we see here we’re totally unused to, and it really freaks us out. Red lights in Canada mean stop, not “ehh, creep forward a bit to see if you can make it through the lights before getting smoked.”

The butting in line issue is also one that peeves us off a bit, but at least it doesn’t endanger our lives. We just seem to, majority of the time, have someone butt in line when we’re waiting for either the bus or the subway. I swear, we’ll wait for the bus to Seoul for like, ten minutes. The bus will pull up, and people who just got there will rush to the front to get in front of us. No apologies, no nothing.

This is so painful to us, because it’s something that was heavily instilled in us as children. You cannot get back into the classroom after recess unless you are all in an orderly line. More than that, we were taught to demonize all butters of lines. Doesn’t matter if your friend was there, or that you put your hat down in line and that marked your spot in line. NO! YOU CANNOT BUTT IN LINE!! ARRGHH! Why isn’t it the same in Korea? Or is it? Maybe we’ve just had a string of bad luck? We’ve even had this happen to us in coffee shops. We’ll wait in line, and someone will walk off the street and try to order a latte right away. That’s where we use our broken Korean and let them know that there’s a lineup, to which they’ll politely defer. But, still! What the heck!

We really hope this isn’t taken out of proportion. Every time we say something remotely negative about Korea we get a backlash from netizens who say “If you don’t like it then leave you dirty Americans!” even though we’re Canadian. We’ll say it again: Korea, we love you, and we think you’re a fantastic country. You’re not perfect, and, really, if our two biggest complaints about you are how you drive and cut in line, then that’s a good thing! Oh well!

Comments

141

Share Post

TL;DR

HIDE COMMENTS

Crazy Driving and Line Butting

141 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

  1. When I was in India, lines didn’t really matter, they just kind of assume that if you aren’t pushing, you don’t want it… and I mean EVERY line, bathroom lines, movie lines, train ticket lines, everything. But if someone cuts and you just tap them on the shoulder and politely say “excuse me, but there is a line” they get extremely apologetic and move to the back. They just don’t realize that there could be a line. I think its just so ingrained in western culture that we just assume that there IS a line, even when sometimes there isn’t. Those moments when you don’t see anybody but that one person standing to the side and you feel compelled to ask “I’m sorry, are you in line?” and they look at you like an idiot with some response like “um, no. I’m just posting a flyer on this bulletin board here….”

    Or maybe its only me who has those awkward moments… *sigh*

    4 years ago
  2. I was in vietnam on holidays and they have this crazy driving problems too. But If you want to cross the road however the scooters will most likely just drive around you there aren’t a lot of crossings in vietnam and traffic lights

    4 years ago
  3. i’m with u guys 100% on this one. driving manners are soooo bad in korea. but if you got like a million ppl in one small area where the traffic is always bad, you gotta no choice but ignore every traffic rule to go to your destination otherwise you will be stuck in one spot forever.

    4 years ago
  4. i know this guy that does that all the time! the rest of us have been waiting for like 30 min and he just shows up and stands in front of all of us and gets on the bus! we’re like wtf! I wonder if he’s korean lol : )

    5 years ago
  5. I’m Korean-American and the invasion of my personal space here in Seoul drives me absolutely crazy! There are really only a handful of countries in the world that queue up: UK and Commonwealth, US, and Japan. I also hate when cars come very close to me as I cross the street within a crosswalk. It probably doesn’t help that I look like one of their own, but in fact I am quite foreign.

    5 years ago
  6. I hate that!!!!!!! last week i took the subway….there were some boys like 9 or 10 years old…line up? Don’t think about it!!!…anyways… there were some blind people wanting to get outside the subway..AND THEY DIDN’T CARE!!! they just kicked their way inside!!!!!!! i mean wtf????!!!!!!!!!!! And that was not in Asia it was in the middle of europe!!!

    5 years ago
  7. When I went to Seoul in 2007, I was propelled into the aisle since I was sitting in the middle of the top level seats in the bus…oh, and one time this ahjussi slam dunked into me in the subway station and didn’t even apologize! I was so ticked that I swore at him…just to get a long lecture from my parents :/

    5 years ago
  8. i think this is an asian problem lol. same thing happen to me in vietnam. n my friend who was in china had similar experience. goodness!

    6 years ago
  9. i think this is an asian problem lol. same thing happen to me in vietnam. n my friend who was in china had similar experience. goodness!

    6 years ago
  10. i think this is an asian problem lol. same thing happen to me in vietnam. n my friend who was in china had similar experience. goodness!

    6 years ago
  11. i think this is an asian problem lol. same thing happen to me in vietnam. n my friend who was in china had similar experience. goodness!

    6 years ago
  12. I was just in Hong Kong for 3 weeks and had these same exact experiences! Being born and raised in Vancouver I wasn’t used to the scary traffic, and line butting. The first time I got into my boyfriend’s car I quite literally started squirming every time a car got near his. His explanation of it was that if you leave a gap you basically let anyone and everyone who’s trying to get into your lane in and you’ll never make it anywhere. So when everyone was trying to merge out of an ending lane you basically just have to get your front end right up against the bumper of the car in front of you. Line butting was horrendous, we went to Disneyland and I have never felt like knocking out so many people all at the same time before. They would cut you off like it’s a Nascar race every time there was a corner at the line up. Me and my boyfriend basically had to stand far apart from each other holding hands so people wouldn’t walk in front of us! But I guess it’s something you have to get used to if you live in Asia. 

    6 years ago
  13. LOL I thought these were problems only in China! The line-butting is just ridiculous there, especially because it is so crowded, and a lot of people live in the countryside, where there isn’t a need for lines. However, some people will actually learn to cheat up lines. This one guy (at the Korea Pavillion at the world expo in Shanghai…which took us more than three hours to get into) was actually telling his kid to push up the line and say that his dad was there, and a few minutes later, he would push up the line, saying that his kid was further up on the line. He even ended up yelling at his other kid (both kids were only six to eight years old) for not cheating up the line!

    I don’t think that Koreans (and Chinese) are BAD at driving…but perhaps a little too good. They’re better enforcing the red light thing, but not so much the actual driving. Lanes? What’s that? If your car is small enough to fit between two cars, between two lanes, you do it. I don’t think any Canadian driver can pull that off, even if they wouldn’t get into trouble with it (even my dad was amazed, and he’s every bit angry, crazy Asian driver lol).

    I guess it really has to do with how crowded the country (or city) is, because sometimes, if there’s too many people and you’re the last one in the line, you might not be able to get what you want, so people get really anxious and just cut in line like it’s nothing.

    6 years ago
  14. You know, though, our Korean friends have told us that they also hate it when people cut in front of them?  It seems like it’s just the older generation that are butters.  Hopefully butting will soon not be as rampant…

    6 years ago
  15. THEY ARE SUCH BUTTERS…..  lol.  I was happy when I found out you had to get a ticket number when going to the movies to buy a ticket.  However, some people STILL BUTT.  They don’t even get a ticket and just stroll up there when there are like a good dozen or so people just hanging out and waiting for their number to be called.

    The driving thing….. I agree….. geez.  No comment…. 

    6 years ago
  16. wow… i’ve experienced some horrifying driving too, it was when our class went for a trip to russia, and we were allowed to go to a store on ourselves, so yeah, we are going to the store (four 12-13 year old girls), we go accross the street and this HUGE jeep like comes out of nowhere and almost hits us, i swear i felt the cars wind in my hair O_O that moment i was really like, cmon, you cant drive like this when there are CHILDREN CROSSING THE STREET?

    6 years ago
  17.  I am a Korean but I am also annoyed so much by the bad driving and butting.. I can totally see what you would feel.. Honestly, I hope it gets better in Korea.

    6 years ago
  18. Just to balance out, I experienced a crazy drive in Paris no less.  My wife and I were coming back from a trip to Europe and I guess the taxi driver who picked us up from the hotel was running late.  He was going REALLY fast on the highway.  I could feel it and was afraid to look at the speedometer. 

    Someone I know in Seoul mentioned drivers in Busan are worse than ones in Seoul.  I guess he thinks Busan drivers don’t yield while Seoul ones do.

    Again 2 sides to all stories and that’s why I like simonandmartina.  :)

    6 years ago
    • Actually, the speed limits are REALLY high in Parisian highways. In Toronto, the fastest speed limit for highways I’ve ever seen is 100km/h, but in France, it was around 120km/h. The highways also aren’t as wide as ours, so it FEELS a lot faster, too.

      6 years ago
  19. I can totally agree with this, cuz I just had a vacation at Seoul for 5 days and I always took the taxi or the bus, I can compare the drivers in Korea with the drivers in Hongkong, on both ride you really need to hold on to your seat, but they have great balance, you know the peeps standing inside the bus, wow! even in heels they can keep their balance. But I still love Korea it’s such a beautiful place, I will definitely come back ^^

    6 years ago
  20. OMG! That explains why I am always reading articles about kpop idols getting into car accidents. I am gonna have to warn my friend when we go to Korea because she does not pay attention on the roads lol

    6 years ago
  21. definitely agree. even some bus drivers here (mostly i mean) are reaaaalllly rude :'( 

    6 years ago
  22. Oh, man, I’m so taking a poll of all koreans to figure out why they butt in line.  It makes me want to freak out every time it happens.  Like, why I am I standing here?  Just for fun?  No, I want to buy some coke light.  

    6 years ago
  23. Do they not have polices or are they just not doing their job?

    6 years ago
  24. Wow. I will prepare myself and practicing my basket squats for Korea! Thank you!

    6 years ago
  25. mmm I was in korea for one month! *sob* we were only trying to get to cosco*sob* they…they wouldn’t let us in! We just wanted cheese…..*sob* never should have drove there…..
    and went to Soraksan (yay)……….so much traffic…..took us 8 hours!

    6 years ago
  26. Lol……NZ drivers sometime drive like that…..

    6 years ago
  27. I agree 100% that drivers in Korea are the worst part of being here.  I love driving and miss it soooooo much, but not enough to risk getting a scooter and trying to drive myself.  It’s bad enough that I bike on these streets!

    6 years ago
  28. The update implies that you guys are okay xD

    6 years ago
  29. I’m going to Korea on SUNDAY!!!! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!

    6 years ago
  30. thats funny, because korean women in america are known to be bad drivers in general.

    “ahhh, wth is that person doing??!?!??!!?! does she not know how to drive?!?!??!””oh…she’s a korean lady……….” 

    6 years ago
  31. yeh, sadly, it is true. as a korean, I am ashamed of it 

    6 years ago
  32. I don’t know why you think Korea is so safe in general. For women it’s definitely not. I got attacked and harassed by random men so many times there. Some guy even followed me home from work and broke into my apartment. I didn’t have my scooter stolen, but someone did steal the keys out of it (I guess with the intention of coming back to take it later), and they liked to knock it over and stuff trash in the hand protectors. Anyway, I lived in Korea for four years and I have to say it’s one of the most dangerous places for women I’ve visited, based on my experiences and those of friends. And yeah, absolutely insane drivers.

    6 years ago
    • Reading this is super surprising to me. I experienced Korea (specifically, Seoul) as one of the safest countries I’ve ever been to. Never once was I harrassed, attacked or generally felt unsafe in any way, no matter what time of the day or night it was. 

      6 years ago
      • Weird, I’ve heard some people say that and others say the opposite. Maybe it’s just bad luck or the fact that I went walking or jogging alone a lot, but I was in some really dangerous situations and am lucky to be alive. It just worries me when people say Korea is so safe and you can walk the streets alone at night, because I know what happened to me and don’t want it to happen to other women. I’m very glad you didn’t have any negative experiences!

        6 years ago
        • I agree Kya. It’s pretty safe for groups or single guys, but I know many occasions where single girls or two girls were harassed on the streets and followed home by drunk men, trying to get into their apartments. I’m not trying to say Korea is a haven for crime because it’s not. I loved my time in Korea. But it’s not that much safer than places in Canada and the U.S. especially for women.

          6 years ago
  33. And did Martina just say “Taxes” instead of “Taxis”? xD

    6 years ago
  34. At first I was like “Butter? The thing you cook with?” LOL. I like ‘Butter’ more than ‘Cutter’ (American) xD

    6 years ago
    • Yeah… Butter threw me off at first too… i’m like,”butter… like.. margarine?? ohhhh…. a cutter :p” Cutter could sound weird to others too I guess… like those people that cut themselves?

      6 years ago
    • Yeah… Butter threw me off at first too… i’m like,”butter… like.. margarine?? ohhhh…. a cutter :p” Cutter could sound weird to others too I guess… like those people that cut themselves?

      6 years ago
    • Yeah… Butter threw me off at first too… i’m like,”butter… like.. margarine?? ohhhh…. a cutter :p” Cutter could sound weird to others too I guess… like those people that cut themselves?

      6 years ago
  35. HOLY CRAP! I LOVE BUTTER! Butter on my pancakes. Butter on my cornbread. Butter on my popcorn…

    Wait. You weren’t talking about that kind of butter were you? (Mouth getting Martina-small)

    Anyways, yeah. I hate cutters (< that's the American word for it). I will do the same thing when I'm in line for the train. Somebody cuts and my arm goes out like WATAH! "Sorry buddy! See the long line of people behind me? Yeah."

    But, I do wanna see an addendum to this video where you 1) Just take a two minute video at an intersection. No commentary. Just so we foreigners can see the danger we're getting ourselves into, and 2) A setup in a cafe where you're chillin' in line and do the fence when somebody tries to cut. I'm curious what other people's reactions are when they see you two do that in public.

    Great video y'all. Keep it up.

    6 years ago
    • well, I have to correct y’all: I’m American and I have heard people use butter and cutter.

      5 years ago
    • I too would like to see an intersection video. In dramas and movies, everything looks so safe, with giant crosswalks and what-nots. I totally believe you guys, I would just like to see firsthand what it’s really like. :) (without spending $2k to go there lol)

      6 years ago
  36. Geez. I thought driving in my area was bad. All I have to deal with is traffic and people ignoring the green lights because they’re too busy eating/texting/doing makeup/contemplating serious world issues. I’d much rather sit behind an inattentive moron than fear for my life. And I don’t think I’d be able to contain my rage if someone cut in front of me in line. There are politics and rules involved, man. That’s important stuff you learn when you’re in elementary school that stays with you for the rest of your life.

    6 years ago
  37. Geez. I thought driving in my area was bad. All I have to deal with is traffic and people ignoring the green lights because they’re too busy eating/texting/doing makeup/contemplating serious world issues. I’d much rather sit behind an inattentive moron than fear for my life. And I don’t think I’d be able to contain my rage if someone cut in front of me in line. There are politics and rules involved, man. That’s important stuff you learn when you’re in elementary school that stays with you for the rest of your life.

    6 years ago
  38. I thought the same thing when they were saying “butter butter” lol, it’s always been cutter for me, so maybe it is an American thing.
    Some of the worst times I remember dealing with this I was actually in Walt Disney World! We were in line for a ride that was getting ready to open back up because it had been raining earlier in the day. As soon as they started letting people in, there was a rush of people pushing from the back, grown adults pushing kids!
    And another time we had stayed to watch one of the light shows they have at night. As we were leaving it was so crowded my family walked in a single file line, holding onto each others hands so no one got lost. A lady in an electric wheelchair/scooter, (don’t quite know what to call it, its the kind you can get at a grocery store, at least where I live you can), was trying to push her way through the crowd that was already slow moving. As she headed around my family she ran over my sister’s foot and bumped into me! Cutting/butting/pushing is just not worth it!

    6 years ago
  39. interesting i have a phobia of like dying from avehicle related death so i may rethinkn lving in korea lol

    6 years ago
  40. What do you guys think of Daesung’s car accident?

    6 years ago
  41. Sounds like it will be an extremely good idea to stay away from the road as much as possible when I am walking along the streets of Korea! Not to mention, staying away from the curves as much as possible as I wait to cross the street. I will let others go first, look both ways, and leave the house earlier than needed when I am meeting people :p As for line butting, it happens back at home, too (fellow Ontarian here!). I hate it when people will push their way past you, or stand directly in front of you when the bus or subway comes.. it is even more annoying when they bump into you and glare at you for it –; But unless they step out of the line, I ignore them (because there are just way too many psychos out there these days!).

    6 years ago
  42. im going to use the boxout everywhere!! thanks simon and martina!!

    even in public bathrooms im going to boxout all the bathroom doors muahahahaha

    6 years ago
  43. This is something I knew, and it is something that I dont like about korea,( I have never been there, but many people say the same thing and also there are always many news about car accidents there)

    Anyways, here( Puerto Rico) people drive a little crazy too, not that much, but I really prefer not to buy a car and use public transportation or walk, and I know that doing so in korea is not safe, but I love so many things about Korea, that I just thing that it is not perfect, but there are so many good things that this kind of things dont turn down my wish of move there!!!

    I think that what we can do, is run at the intersection, forget about personal space( if we dont, we will get angry everyday XD), and have more than two eyes( just be really careful and always be alert)

    I always love your videos!!!

    6 years ago
  44. PLEASEE consider getting rid of ur scooter and buying a car!! I’ve seen a bus in Korea collide at full speed with a scooter, and my heart would break, as I am a huge fan of your videos, if something even remotely similar to that happened to you guys (sorry if I sound a bit stalkerish). 

    2. I know a lot of Koreans cut lines, but that doesn’t mean that we’re mean-spirited (not that you suggested it in your video). Schools here don’t emphasize the importance of public manners to students as much as they do in the Western Hemisphere… A lot of people here do stuff (spit, cut lines, smoke inside buildings, etc) without realizing that it would piss off other ppl. In other words, we Koreans are not intentionally sneaking in in front of you guys to annoy you. LOVE

    6 years ago
  45. Hehehe.. Loved the rage guy meme in this video :D It must be tough with such crazy road conditions… Ive only started driving recently and I already panic at the idea of driving in suburban rush hours. I think the problem is not so much that Korea has a lot of bad drivers or lower standards of driving, I think it has more to do with the fact that the more people driving in a city/country, the less likely it is for drivers to be patient when there are s, so many other cars and people on the road. 

    In Canada, Ive never had to deal with such conditions because in my city our roads are wide and our population is definitely lower than an average Korean city. In addition, we have houses rather than officetels, so the general population is more spread out, thus less traffic per road versus Korean roads. At least, this is what I think is going on.

    6 years ago
  46. oh my god this is crazy! >< oh now I'm a little scary about my wish to live in Korea..keke ^^

    6 years ago
  47. SO Accurate!  I drive in Korea, which is so convenient compared to taking the death buses you mentioned.  However, I arrive at my destination COMPLETELY pissed off no matter how far I’ve driven.  Everyone passing you on the left or the buses forcing you into oncoming traffic.  Scooters who edge you out because you’re trying not to kill them.  It’s all ridiculous.  I swear I will not remember how to drive properly when I get back home.  Thanks for sharing this hilarious video.  I love Korea, but I do not love its drivers!

    6 years ago
  48. Awesome video guys!!!  These two things frustrate me to no end every single week in Korea!  Thanks for sharing in you always humorous and fun way.

    Sorry to hear that the bus drivers drive like race car drivers to the detriment of grandmothers everywhere in Korea.  We had hoped it was a hardship only Ulsan’s Grandmothers had to cope with.

    6 years ago
  49. Oh well hates gonna hate.
    It’s like this almost everywhere.
    There’s gonna be these people that act like that.

    6 years ago
  50. Hawaii is TOTALLY LIKE THIS! Maybe it’s because we imported it with the huge Asian population/tourists? Anyway, I’m ashamed to admit that I totally act like this now, too. I don’t even realize I’m doing it, though, and whenever I go back to the mainland people look like they want to shoot me when I drive or stand in line. I agree with the comment that the best way to stop people from cutting is to practically hump the person standing in front of you, though. It’s all that works here!!!

    6 years ago
  51. While I freely admit to not having lived in Korea (yet)… I have lived in Kuwait.  Lets just say the roads are deathtraps …. even more so AFTER the war than during it I think.  They have this lovely little term in Islam –  “inshallah” (as God wills it) – and they use this in their driving everyday.  The great thing is that the government, when there is a fatal accident, will sometimes leave the managled car by the side of the road as some morbid “example” …. “ok people, don’t drive like this bozo did or you’ll meet Allah a little earlier than you probably thought”.  Well, some people also told me it was because of some other traffic or insurance laws … but I’m buying the “example” explination.  Leading cause of death among Kuwaiti’s under 40 …. take a wild guess.  Oh, and don’t get me started about watching a car go by at 90 mph with a young mom in the front seat holding her baby on her lap ……Inshallah everyone !!!

    6 years ago
  52. i got sooooo annoyed by the people who sat on disabled/elderly/injured/pregnant seats and refused to stand up for someone who actually needed it. 

    6 years ago
  53. I have never been to Korea so I did not make a comparison between the 2, just sharing my experience while in Toronto. I remembered clearly that people jaywalked everywhere and drivers step on gas when the lights turn yellow.  
    I’ve been to Bangkok and Jakarta, so I know for sure that Toronto is not as horrible as those 2 cities are.
    ps: I live in Vancouver

    6 years ago
  54. I totally know what you are talking about. Its so crazy. I’m from Las Cruces, NM and they also do that here but not as much (thank god). It happens mainly in the morning when they’re all out and about. It makes me want to flip a table. 

    6 years ago
  55. I’ve been told that the butting in line thing is because of Korean’s significantly smaller personal bubble. Any space around you? Well, you’re not in line. (obviously) Where Americans and Canadians at least, really like our 3 ft bubble and respect it in others, Korean’s bubble is like 2 inches. Probably because they don’t sweat…. because they don’t drink water…. so they don’t smell… it’s a vicious cycle!!!!!!

    Anyways, this happens to us everywhere…. grocery store, ticket counters, waiting for anything…. We found out that if they line butt, you can immediately step in front of them and kind of use your elbows to show them that you’re there. Nobody has seemed offended by this yet, I’ll let you know if we ever get into a fist fight over it!

    Do you guys get gently pushed too? Another case of invading my space. Anytime I’m in someones way, they don’t say excuse me, they just gently move me aside. Don’t come inside my bubble!http://kimskorea.blogspot.com

    6 years ago
    • Oh god, the pushing is even worse. This is when I start to “box out”. I have pretty good balance, so any old woman trying to push me out of the way to the door just kinda… bounces off. But oh it drives me INSANE. Especially when on the bus/subway and I’m obviously getting ready to get off the bus too. We’re all getting off the bus, there is no major rush!

      6 years ago
  56. I love love love your videos simon and martina! i’ve been watching them nonstop for the last couple of days and it makes me so excited to go to korea this summer! :) :) i hope i can run into you if i ever go by bucheon (lol, this makes me sound so creepy)

    6 years ago
  57. I’m planning on driving a motorcycle in Korea.

    I think I have a death wish.

    6 years ago
  58. I think the way we cue is a cultural thing in North America. I lived in Switzerland and the Europeans butt in line all the time. I think people who are raised in North America (regardless of ethnicity) are the only ones who understand the term “personal space.”

    6 years ago
  59. THIS is why I am 16 and without a permit or a license 
    I DON’T WANT TO DIE!

    6 years ago
  60. Korean celebrities are always getting into car accidents (sometimes fatal) and I always assumed it was because they were constantly rushing around at weird/late hours or getting mobbed by reckless fans. But I guess that’s not the case if you guys see it on a daily basis…talk about scary.

    6 years ago
  61. hahahahaha… Thank God you haven’t come to Venezuela, because in here is by far worst than in Korea… XD

    6 years ago
  62. I would have to say may be you’ve been living outside of Canada for too long because there has been a huge increase in line butters and horrible drivers going the wrong way in a one way lane. But thankfully we’re still good with the stopping at red lights..except for the usually rushing when its yellow.

    6 years ago
    • I was in Toronto last summer, and unless things have changed hyperdramatically in the last 10 months, it’s still nothing compared to South Korea. I have students with broken arms (and one boy who was in the hospital for 3 weeks and now wears a hat in class to cover the giant bandage over his head) because they were hit by busses. As crazy as the busses are in Toronto, I’ve never thought to myself “Wow, this is it, I’m going to die right now” like I have taken a bus in Korea.

      6 years ago
    • I agree with you, Faxa. Sorry Simon and Martina.  I visited Toronto bout 2 weeks ago and I must say that Torontonians are among the worst and reckless drivers in North America. My bus almost got involved in 3 different accidents during the travel from Kingston to Toronto. In addition, nobody lined up at Kipling station. Sorry, but Toronto did not leave me a good impression.

      6 years ago
      • Question: have you been to both Korea and Toronto?  How would you compare the two?  We haven’t driven in Toronto for over three years now, so maybe things have changed.  I do remember people obeying the streetlights, though.  Has that changed?

        6 years ago
  63. Bus drivers, taxis and delivery motorcyclists in Korea are under tremendous pressure to meet their target. Some taxi drivers may not be paid or even pay penalty out of their pocket if they fail to bring enough cash receipts. Bus drivers have to make a certain number of trips per day or penalized. Delivery men are paid per delivery. This is why they drive like crazy. I find bus drivers who run according to preset schedule, such as airport buses and school buses drive cautiously: No reason to hurry. So it will be difficult to change their behavior under current working condition. Running red lights can be and will be reduced by ticketing offenders caught on surveillance video installed at various cross-sections.

    6 years ago
    • I agree. It’s simply true…… you pointed it out exactly. They have to meet the time, customers, an amount of money……. I already confessed to S&M that crazy driving is true in Kor below, but now I’d rather say this is the big excuse. Anyway, we’d better correct this unreasonable system in a whole society.

      6 years ago
  64. LMAO wow I had no idea that the drivers were like that, well not every place is perfect their are cons and pros in any place people may live in. I just moved to Westchester this year which is a suburban county in New York, being a city girl who is use to corner stores and quick transportation this place has been kinda dull. Anyway I’m use to living here already and I love going to the mall that isn’t too far and waking up to birds chirping instead of police sirens and city people is much better! :D haha  

    6 years ago
  65. That whole red lights are suggestions things and the buss gunning it and making people fall happen a lot in Mexico too….I’m glad you told me so that when I come to Korea someday I will know what to expect.

    6 years ago
  66. Koreans are lovey wonderful people…until you put them behind the wheel, then they (for the most part) turn into crazy gotta be first monsters.  In order to get to work I have to cross a four lane road even when the crosswalk light is green I wait a few seconds before crossing and even then I have a near miss every morning.  After nearly 10 years of living in Korea I still can’t get used to the crazy driving…and don’t get me started on the cutting in line business….sigh…but other then that the people are lovely and the food is good..so I’ll look both ways many times before crossing the street and pray..a lot…LOL.

    6 years ago
  67. did you guys use a new editing system?

    6 years ago
    • Yeah, we upgraded to the new Final Cut Pro.  Don’t like it :(  There are some things missing from the old one that we really miss.  

      6 years ago
  68. Korea and Brazil have more things in commom than I thought kkkkkk Come to São Paulo, the biggest brazilan city and you’ll will taste what is living a huge urban city adventure just like Korea haha

    6 years ago
  69. Friends of mine who’ve traveled a lot say that US and Canadian drivers are by far the most law-abiding in the world. So I think we’re the exceptions, really, while Korea’s drivers are more typical of drivers around the world. That said, they scare the heck out of me, too, and I would be terrified to drive a car in Korea. In fact, I’m a bit reluctant to even bicycle here! And yeah, it’s dangerous even being a pedestrian–I learned that “look both ways no matter what” and “don’t expect cars to stop at red lights or stop signs” thing pretty early in my stay in Korea.

    6 years ago
  70. Then I should be grateful of the traffic laws in my country. Here people are very respectful and if you had an accident you have to pay for everything (I mean everyything) or go to jail. Red lights are law and you even can step on a side of the street and cars will stop to let you cross the street. But I wish the worst we could see were a few people playing badminton in the middle of the night xD I think here in Chile is the extremely opposite of Korea xD

    6 years ago
  71. oh guys, you seem so cute and innocent on this video to me HAHAHA because I seriously understand that coming from a country like Canada, that is like the Heaven on Earth, you get scared and find crazy all those things you just mentioned here HAHAHA I think I would be able to survive well in Korea since here in Mexico is the same with the driving thingie HAHAHA buses drive like crazy and also you better look on both sides of the street because yeah sometimes some cars can drive in the opposite side they’re supposed to, oh and also, don’t cross the streets even if the red light is on because some cars just don’t stop when they have to HAHAHA

    So yeah, I found it funny, I wouldn’t be so amazed about those things you just talked about (:

    6 years ago
    • That is so true I lived in Canada for 5 months and I can honestly tell that Canadians are one of the most peaceful people whaen it comes to driving ~ I was surprised that in Canada drivers actually stop and calmly wait pedestrians pass :) 

      6 years ago
  72. Every country has it’s good side and it’s bad side. :)

    6 years ago
  73. This story was just released about an expat in Seoul hit by a taxi: http://t.co/c. I never realized just how much more on my guard I’ve been crossing streets and rushing to sit down on buses, but you’re right. Didn’t notice butting in line until my first trip to Busan, when an ajumma just walked dead in front of me waiting for the bus tickets.

    6 years ago
  74. The only time I was able to take my time and sit down on a bus (actually several buses over a few days) was when I had crutches, I also was given seats and people held doors and carried stuff for me.  Koreans are lovely people, but driving and pushing (butting) in are some of the worst things in this country.

    6 years ago
  75. di

    NY taxi drivers are scary!!

    6 years ago
  76. After reading the comments, I’m thankful to be living in the U.S. where there is, for the most part, an actual concept of a line.  I’m a big believer in something called personal space…I dont want other people breathing on me.  Most people here are outspoken as well, so that if you cut in line, you will get an earful from them too.  One exception that I’ve experienced, is at the Asian supermarkets in places where a lot of Asians live.  Bad driving plus rude people, and I can say that because I’m Asian myself.  I’ve experienced some crazy driving before both here and in other countries…dont people know that car accidents can cost them their lives?   

    6 years ago
  77. Well, you guys haven’t seen anything. China is horrible, at least in Beijing . I didn’t see any accidents but the traffic was heavy and scary. I had never seen anything like it.

    6 years ago
  78. I’m also from Canada, but here at the bus stops, we NEVER line up :p No matter if it’s at the transit centre or Jr. High bus stops, everyone will just be hanging around, wandering around, and as soon as the bus comes, we patiently wait for people to get off the bus, then BAM!!! It’s like a mob to get on the bus. I’ve been pushed around a lot too : /

    6 years ago
  79. looks like the description that i heard of lebanon and egypt….

    6 years ago
  80. omg im planning on teaching in korea, and im kinda a pushover im the nice girl that lets ppl in front of her if they do butt in line and what not i dont think ill survive there lol

    6 years ago
  81. I came back from Korea a few weeks ago. I was shocked by the reckless driving! My first night there, I was at a stop light and a taxi drove over the curb and sidewalk to turn right. 

    Then they like to drive really fast. My boyfriend explained that the police do not worry or keep an eye out for speeding cars. Instead there are cameras that will take photos, but then, there will be signs or GPS systems in the car will warn the driver when a camera is coming up. 

    It is crazy! My boyfriend even admits it is insane. 

    6 years ago
  82. When I visited Korea last Winter Break (I went there in 10 years so things changed a lot, I guess), I was also freaking scared for my life. There’s whole bunch of little short cuts in Korea and they’re literally crowded and jammed. I took a  taxi and he started just zoom around it! There were old people walking on side, and there was even a car coming towards us from the other side! Somehow (it blew my mind) my taxi and the other car front of us managed to pass each other in that tiny path.. People drive SO recklessly in Korea.. and I hated how people didn’t politely say “excuse me” whenever they hit you on on the shoulder or something when you walk. BAHHH Other than that, I enjoyed Korea. lol I just don’t remember Korea being so aggressive when I lived there.. and bam. 10 years later my own related people started to look like foreigners to me. SMH. 

    6 years ago
  83. I can totally see you two trying to block people from budding at the subway with your arms spread out wide rofl now I can’t stop laughing ã… ã…  lol

    6 years ago
  84. kt

    went to taiwan and they had to put out public service announcements telling bus drivers to not run over the elderly when they cross the street. if public service announcements are for common problems in an area….then thats pretty sad…

    6 years ago
  85. Lol! When I go to India to visit my relatives its like that too! People drive wherever they want and people walk wherever they want. It’s scarry being a driver there too cause you might hit a person….or a cow… The cutting lines thing is pretty apparent there too, but I kinda like it :P maybe its cause im usually the one that cuts, or when i do get cut i just cut the person back…(O_O sounds like im emo) I guess all Asian people have recklessness in our blood…probs cause we study too much xD

    6 years ago
  86. being the fact that i’m korean, i am completely not offended. in fact i am laughing so hard!

    6 years ago
  87. haha when I heard Simon say ‘boxing out’ I immediately thought ‘that’s what they do in basketball!!” But I feel awkward doing that even when I play, so no way could I do that in the middle of the street waiting for a bus lol.

    6 years ago
  88. In my country, Argentina, there’s no line on the bus stop :(Kids push you off, no matter you age are, to get into the bus.I feel like I’m living in the dark age compared with Korea, and in the ancient egypt compared with Canada.:S

    6 years ago
  89. HAHAHA! this is SO TRUE! i remember when i visited korea and we commented how red lights do not mean to stop, but slow down and go through anyways especially taxi drivers. definitely crazy driving that we were so shocked by~

    6 years ago
  90. I agree with you Sannah about the subways/buses here BUT the line butting in Korea for places like Starbucks or stores is nothing like I’ve ever seen in Canada.

    6 years ago
  91. You should add the video footage that Mark got of that girl trying to butt in front of me at the food court at the Hyundai mall. I showed her!!! Muahahahahahahaha!

    6 years ago
  92. A driving ajumma… or a ajumma driving a taxi without security belts at the back -_- 

    6 years ago
  93. Omg its sooo true. i go there every summer and its sooo scary :(

    6 years ago
  94. Sadly, I have to agree with you guys. I came back to Korea from Canada a month ago, and I know where the gentlest people live in the world. ;) But, I also saw some drivers who drive exceedingly aggressive with their convertable cars(sports car) in Canada. I think we should know these things and surely correct.
    In my opinion, cutting in a line is slowly disappearing but still some ladies like ‘ajumma’ or old women.. grandma ;) halmuni (haha) do that.. I rarely see youngsters do that. Only some people who don’t consider others act like that :/ I hate that kind of behaviors, either -_-
     
    BTW, I’m glad you guys say ‘we love Korea’. Before I went to Can, I didn’t care about ‘foreigners’ at all. But after I came back here, I rather want to ask them ‘why did you come(stay) here’. Of course, this is my country so I love it so much but while I was staying in Toronto and traveling many cities in Canada and the US, I realized Korea is a bit difficult country to live as a non-Korean. Even though I just stayed there for 8 months, but right after I got back, I wasn’t really adapted myself to the circumstance first. (I perfectly got my rhythm back now) Everything is fast, busy, changes a lot… I’d like to say it’s very attractive for me, but I just want to know how you think about here. I guess maybe you came here to teach English. (Surely Martina)
     
    Anyway, good postings and video, thanks! :D

    6 years ago
  95. Sadly, I have to agree with you guys. I came back to Korea from Canada a month ago, and I know where the gentlest people live in the world. ;) But, I also saw some drivers who drive exceedingly aggressive with their convertable cars(sports car) in Canada. I think we should know these things and surely correct.
    In my opinion, cutting in a line is slowly disappearing but still some ladies like ‘ajumma’ or old women.. grandma ;) halmuni (haha) do that.. I rarely see youngsters do that. Only some people who don’t consider others act like that :/ I hate that kind of behaviors, either -_-
     
    BTW, I’m glad you guys say ‘we love Korea’. Before I went to Can, I didn’t care about ‘foreigners’ at all. But after I came back here, I rather want to ask them ‘why did you come(stay) here’. Of course, this is my country so I love it so much but while I was staying in Toronto and traveling many cities in Canada and the US, I realized Korea is a bit difficult country to live as a non-Korean. Even though I just stayed there for 8 months, but right after I got back, I wasn’t really adapted myself to the circumstance first. (I perfectly got my rhythm back now) Everything is fast, busy, changes a lot… I’d like to say it’s very attractive for me, but I just want to know how you think about here. I guess maybe you came here to teach English. (Surely Martina)
     
    Anyway, good postings and video, thanks! :D

    6 years ago
  96. AHAAHA! the bus and driving thing is so true. The “Village” buses are crazy~! I had the misfortune of standing (more like flying around inside) in one of those before. Dont forget those crazy taxi drivers too!!

    6 years ago
  97. So did you guys actually save a scotter driver?  Good on you guys for acting quickly while everyone else was just looking. 

    6 years ago
    • We didn’t save him, really.  He was going to be alright.  His lip was cut open badly, but it wasn’t life threatening.  The ambulance came and took him away.

      6 years ago
  98. Omg, the driving situation is like EXACTLY the same in China! When I went back to visit my relatives a few years ago, I was scared for my life every time I went into a taxi XD. But I don’t know if this is similar to in Korea: my parents told me the rule is generally not pedestrians are responsible for avoiding cars, but cars are responsible for avoiding pedestrians. Like random people will just try and jaywalk across the street, so you have to watch out. Nevertheless, I’m content to just driving in the US.

    6 years ago
  99. HA HA HA! LOL!! i think that was like one of tyour funniest videos!

    6 years ago
  100. XD OMG!!! I think is exactly the same in the city I live now (Puebla, Mexico),
    well… if I go to Korea Im going to be used to that ^^
    Thanks for the video!

    6 years ago
  101. I have to say that for me they totally don’t take security as a serious matter. For me (France) when you’re in the car you must put you selt belt, but I take a taxi and didn’t even find it. (i was scared aha) Futhermore event in a normal car the sit behind the driver I couldn’t attache it. The kids keep going to the driver seat and back to me while his parents were driving. The bus, well you can get used it. but the first time or after I nearly fall down. >..< I love korea as well, but please, try to drive safter it's scary TT.TT

    6 years ago
  102. i am living in Korea and i must say its ALL true! though i must say Simon and Martina have elaborated this 2 issues as gentle as they can. Especially about the line butting. One thing scares me is when some random ajumma just randomly walks up to the front of the line as if there was no line to begin with… Oh and i must say Simon, riding the bus is like surfing. All about the balance and focus! Though i never surfed before but feels like i am when i am on a korean bus. Whooosh!!!

    6 years ago
    • I used to ride a bus that would go up, up, up but… then it would go down, down, down. All this with curves and high speed. I’m an expert at bus surfing.

      4 years ago
  103. Ohhh I had similar experiences! It was especially irritating when people don’t wait until you get off the subways:(

    6 years ago
  104. agreed, I was visiting Korea a few weeks ago and thought that if there one way that I would die here, it would be from a motor vehicle accident

    6 years ago
  105. well, maybe you guys want to try the traffic in Indonesia
    It’s even more interesting… :D

    6 years ago
  106. i completely agree! i just came to korea for 3 weeks and seriously, the way taxi drivers drive here IS FREAKING SCARY. they barely slow down during turns (even sharp ones) and we always fear for our lives when crossing the pedestrian crossings here because the cars would NEVER stop for you (very much opposite in Singapore, where it’s a MUST for a car to stop when pedestrians are crossing). :( i hope you guys will be safe!

    6 years ago
  107. The cutting in line I’ve experienced has only been from older people, who, I’m guessing, feel that they’re older and therefore have the privilege not to wait in line. Like, I’ve waited in a 10-minute queue for the port-a-potty, and out of nowhere an ajumma will step right in front of me while I’m reaching for the door and go in instead. I’ve learned that when the line is long enough, you have to stand directly in front of the stall door and risk getting smacked in the face when it opens to prevent an ajumma from sliding into the space in front of you. Even better is when I’m at the bank or post office, and I will be IN THE MIDDLE of a transaction, like paying a bill or posting a letter, and an ajeosshi will slide right up next to me, stick his arm out in front of me, and demand that the teller or postal worker take care of his business. That’s not even cutting, it’s absurd! Every time, at least, the teller or postal worker has apologized to him and asked him to kindly wait a moment.

    But you know, most Koreans find this pretty frustrating as well, haha. (>_<)

    6 years ago
  108. I actually heard that “bad driving” is somehow connected to how young/old the driving culture in a country is. In Europe and USA people generally drive well and take heed of the rules because we’ve had cars for a long time. But in countries where cars have only started appearing since after WWII or later it’s different. (not a 100% sure on this though, feel free to correct me)
    I’ve certainly experienced the bad driving and butting in line in Shanghai as well, and in China’s case I can attribute those to the aforementioned reason, but I don’t know about South Korea?

    6 years ago
    •  

      Bad driving
      has nothing to do with the “In Europe and USA people generally drive well and
      take heed of the rules because we’ve had cars for a long time”, it’s more a question
      of social awareness about driving. You can have bad experiences with bad driving anywhere in
      the world, I live in a European country and I sometimes see people that shouldn’t
      be allowed to have cars -.-.

      6 years ago
  109. hahaha.. as for the situation in getting on buses and trains.. the same is true for us in the Philippines. I used to really hate that when we came home from Australia and NZ, but there’s absolutely no way to avoid it. If you wanna get on the bus/train, you have to squeeze through everyone. BOX ‘EM OUT. LIKE A BOSS. lol

    6 years ago
  110. I think most of Asia is like that, except maybe for Singapore. In Malaysia there are road rules, but motorcycles weave in and out of traffic and even drive on the sidewalks on the wrong side of the street. Cars have the right of way. In Indonesia there are no rules, traffic just slowly merges together. No one ever stops. 

    6 years ago
  111. I’d like to think I have experience handling fast bus drivers cause I live in San Francisco & rely solely on Muni buses… I guess I’ll find out soon enough! haha

    6 years ago
  112. i guess its not just korea, we have drivers here in Singapore, what ive encounter is a bus driver actually rush through before the red light comes up. you never know if the other junction’s car would just do the same.

    6 years ago
  113. Hello from Toronto *yay* (sorry thought I’d just throw that in there~)
    No kidding about the busses! Ahahah, I couldn’t keep my balance in any of the busses in Seoul/Daegu because the bus drivers drove SUPER fast! Anyways love your videos and I’m excited to be going back to Korea again ^___^

    6 years ago
  114. I remember hearing somewhere that drivers in Asia in general (ie. China, India, etc…) were not very good drivers simply because many of them were 1st generation drivers and had not necessarily grown up using/driving cars, whereas many westerners are familiar with cars from infancy, and thus it is essentially now a part of the culture…..I guess I’m thinking more of India, but the road systems are also not as developed as they are in countries like North America, only because the road systems there have been around since the early 1900’s. 
    That’s what i’ve heard anyway…..I would love to hear another viewpoint :) 

    6 years ago
    • I’ve never heard about that, but I do think your opinion is pretty reasonable :)

      6 years ago