Time for us to say bad things about Korea! Oh, this is so worrisome. I know some netizen who has never seen the rest of our videos will stumble on this one only, and then think that we’re American pigs who hate Korea and should go back home if we hate it so much!!! (we get called American pigs a lot by angry Korean netizens, by the way…especially when we didn’t like some Korean traditional beverages). So, if you’re a Korean Netizen seeing us for the first time, let us say this:

Hello Korean Netizen! We do not hate Korea! We say lots of nice things about Korea and we like it here a lot! We just don’t like how you drive. That’s all! Please don’t be angry at us for thinking this, because we know you think this way too. Come on. Admit it. Loooveee youuu…Border

Ok, now that that’s off our chest, back to talking about driving in Korea. Now, we’ve talked a lot about it in the video, but I think this blog post might be best served with some diagrams of cool stuff we saw Korean drivers do. Check these out:

Figure 1: Bus driver wants to turn right, but the lane has other cars in it, so the bus drives around everyone by going to the left hand turn lane, then turning right, LIKE A BOSS! **Please note: I don’t think this is legal**

Bus turns right

Figure 2: Car wants to turn right, but there’s a car in the way, so he honks at the car in front of him. The car in front of him kindly gets out of the way, by pulling out in front of everyone at the intersection. Sucks if you’re trying to cross the street.


I don’t think you need any drawings for the rest of these, you can just picture them in your head.

3: Car driver wants a coffee, really bad. Decides to park on either the sideway or hazard on the road in front of the coffee shop, because, well, HE REALLY WANTS A COFFEE. There are TONS of side streets to hazard in, but that would be too far away, so it blocks up the whole intersection because people turing right can’t get buy him. Also, we’ve seen people stop RIGHT after they turn right and just hazard to let someone out, or pick someone up, and the cars behind are just leaning on their horns. Really inconsiderate.

4: Cars are stopped at the red light, but there aren’t a lot of cars driving the other way, so why not creep forward a whole lot, until you’re sticking out right on the crosswalk. They’ll just keep on creepin’ till they finally say “screw it! I’m already half way there!” and they just run the red at a slow speed.

5: There’s a red light in front of the driver, but slowing down sucks, so forget slowing down. Just blow through the red. Really, I almost got smoked by a van like this before. Whizzed right in front of me, just a few feet away from destroying me. No honking, no slowing down, no apology. Just near death experience, I was really shaken up.

Sure, driving isn’t like this for EVERYONE. There are drivers who obey the law and don’t try to run you over. If you’re Korean and one of those drivers, then bless your soul! Otherwise, we’ve experienced so much bad driving that we’re really extra cautious every time we cross the streets in Korea now. Seriously, when people talk about safety in Korea, we’re not worried about crime, and we’re not in the least bit worried about North Korea. Our only fear: drivers trying to murder us.

We asked our Korean friends about what getting a driver’s license is like here, and they’re like, “you just fill out a paper test and then you get your license.” WAHHHAT?? !! THAT’S IT!!! I really REALLY hope this has changed over the past four years we’ve lived here, because that would seriously explain a lot about the driving. A car is a HUGE METAL WEAPON! You have to learn how to wield it! In Ontario (where we are from in Canada) you have to take first take Driver’s Education which doesn’t even involve a car, it’s just being lectured about driving. Then you have three levels (G1, G2, G) you have to go through just to get your final license, and all those require six months to one year of practice before you can even apply for the next level. AND you’re not allowed to drive without a real license holder (who had it for at least four years) in the car with you, AND you’re not allowed on the highways until you’re at the next level! Most people fail their very first driver’s test to get to the first level because there is so much pressure to do everything perfectly. They test your basic driving, parking uphill, downhill, and parallel parking, looking around and checking all your mirrors, how to drive on a one way street, and so on. Once you want to apply for your next level, you have another test where they see how you drive on the highway, can you merge, do you pick up enough speed, and so on. And if you want to drive a motorcycle or scooter, there are completely different licenses and tests you have to take, including a safety class on how to fall properly if you wipe out! I really think Korea needs to start applying more serious tests for their driving or start handing out really expensive tickets and dock points off someone’s license so that they can lose it and start taking running over pedestrians seriously. How about in your country? What is the driving like and do you feel safe as a pedestrian?

  1. As a Korean-American who’s lived in Los Angeles and Seattle, and is currently living in Mexico, I can say with a lot of confidence: KOREAN DRIVING IS RELATIVELY MILD. NO REALLY.


    Sure, there are a lot of aggressive drivers in Korea; but compared to some parts of the world (e.g. Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Egypt, etc.) driving in Korea is a lot safer than other parts of the world. As a 14-year old, I can’t say much about actually driving; but as an attentive passenger, driving in Korea is a lot more standardized and better enforced than other parts of the world.

    My mom is a pure ethical Korean, and her driving is very tame. When we went to Korea last summer, a lot of cars whizzed past us on the road; still better than the driving conditions in Mexico, where the main goal of driving is to race all the cars around you. Also, some of the scenarios you mentioned above happen exactly the same way in Mexico, which I found a bit surprising; I knew Korean drivers could get dangerous sometimes (based on my drama experience), but didn’t realize it was almost identical to Mexican driving.

    I hope the drivers license thingy about signing a piece of paper is old information, because that’s the driving test in Mexico as well. My cousin recently got a drivers license in Seoul, and he commented how similar it was to an American driving test (not like when my parents got their licenses and it was a very rigorous exam).

    Hope you read this!


  2. I’m korean. This is so true. We need to do something about it. Seriously.

  3. Hey! Nice video and I definitely agree. If you are anywhere in close proximity to the road in Korea, you are more or less in a danger zone. I just wrote an article on my blog “Five things To Watch Out For In Korea” and the first topic I wrote about was cars. I put a link to your video about driving in Korea there so people can get a better idea of how crazy it is! :) http://www.apshawaya.com/1/post/2014/03/what-to-watch-out-for-in-korea.html

  4. Umm have yall ever been to Cairo? You haven’t seen anything … Lol

  5. I can say, that in my country is not the best driving situation (Ukraine,Kyiv), but when we was in Seoul we almost always tried to use underpasses. Because passing on zebra crosswalk (without light) was like suicide, cars just did not stop =/ , especially on Yeouido (our hotel was there).

  6. I just started driving the other day, and in New Hampshire, there are like… NO laws that people follow. I mean, it’s not as bad as South Korea, but people blow through red lights and stop signs and turn without signals all the time. And I’ve seen many people driving at 95 mph on a 35mph road with almost no one on it. As if that’s safe! It happens more often on highways though. And to drive, all you need is to be over 15 and a half (I started late). As a pedestrian, though, I see more people jaywalk on busy streets… I don’t know which are worse: pedestrians or drivers. My boyfriend is from Korea though, and it seems scary to him, and he has grown up there (other than being half-Irish and living in America from his birth until he was 4). Also, some of my friends who live in China are like “Oh my God, never drive there!” But others from less busy parts of China see no problem.

  7. No lie. My friend described driving in Korea as “bumper cars.”

  8. Hey there Simon and Martina I was wondering if you would tell us what you think on foreigners in Kpop? Do you think they could ever get in and if so would you like that or would it make you sad?

  9. Hey Simon and Martina!
    I was wondering which cities in Korea are the most fun to go to and why?
    -Fellow Canadian ;)

  10. Your pet peeve with the Korean taxis and the palli sumth, everyone who knows how to drive in my country learns to do it, a lot, after/within their first year of driving often.

  11. Having lived in both Thailand and South Korea, I can say that Yes, Thailand is 100% worse than Korea. In Thailand, pedestrians do not have legal right of way. You walk across the street at your own risk in Thailand.

  12. In texas it seems like the pedestrian is like the real owner of the street. when im walking across the street i feel totally safe, but when im the one driving i get like, super duper paranoid that someone might walk in front of me. parking lots are especially annoying because parents will just let their kids run in the way of like twelve cars trying to park and they glare at you if you get too close. i seriously almost ran over a kid whose parent didnt even notice i was there. im starting to think you should need a license to be a pedestrian…

  13. @simonandmartina:disqus the scooter problems and the crazy bus driver isn’t just a Korean problem. I lived 6 years in Rome, Italy and I guarantee you that all the questions you asked about how to cross the street you have to learn to do that in Rome. I have even learned how to hate scooters, because the sidewalks are their own personal parking spaces, I even got honked once because I was walking on the sidewalk and the scooter driver wanted to park on that place.

  14. Martina I LOVE ur t-shirt :)

  15. I disagree ;3;~
    1) Always in a rush to get somewhere }check
    2) Yellow light means speed up, red means go if you don’t want to wait }check
    3) Pedestrians = road kill }check

    Have you guys never been to Boston? D: I think us Bostonians would fit in perfectly in Korea. Except most of us suck at parking. You have no idea how much people suck at parking here. Of course, there is one thing that’s different. Since we each believe in our twisted little minds that we’re wicked awesome drivers, we have no idea why we have one of the highest car insurance rates in the country. Nor why all the tickets are insanely expensive. Maybe Massachusetts needs to chill and start letting us off the hook with these prices like in Korea.
    Of course, the magic and wonder of double and triple parking and the legal usage of the “breakdown” lane as a “High-Speed” lane during rush hour is our state’s way of making it up to us ^^~

  16. Here in São Paulo, Brazil is totally crazy, drivers just don’t follow any rule, sign here for turning streets just don’t exist, crosswalks and red lights are ignored , I have lived in other citys in Brazil and no one is like this. So I can’t say Brazillian drivers are horrendous but the ones from São Paulo sure are!

  17. you have’nt been to Shang Hai
    it’s like 10 times worse! XD

  18. Singapore is like…
    when u cross the road
    1) look left
    2) look right
    3) look left
    4) then cross
    This is drilled into our Minds!

  19. How about what it’s like being a forgeiner with the Korean election going on and what you feel about it?

  20. Hey Simon and Martina! Can you tell us a little about holidays/seasonal celebrations in Korea, and how they’re celebrated?

  21. Hey Simon and Martina! Could you tell us a little about holidays and seasonal celebrations in Korea, and how they differ from those common in North America?

  22. I’m a French who girl who lived in China for several years and I’m now travelling very often there. China is really worst for the driving. I remember when I flew from China to spend few days in Seoul, I was so happy to have the impression of being in a more civilised country just by seeing the way people were driving. But it seems that driving in Asia is a real matter for everycountry.

  23. One of the reasons the delivery scooter people drive crazy is because you don’t need a license for scooters under a certain CC (cubic centimeters, aka: engine size). No license, no enforcement or citation from the police, bali-bali culture…it all adds up.

    The scooters still scare the heck out of us. :DDD

  24. I was wondering if Simon and Martina have an opinion on how teenagers become saesang fan since you were both teachers in Korea. And have you two come across saesangs when going to music shows or doing meet ups for idol interviews?

  25. Hi Simon and Martina!
    Will the two of you ever plan a trip to Japan?

  26. soo true about Thailand.. even if the light is red there will still go raging through the lights on there scooters or cars at u.. vrrrrrroooooooom death by crazy scooter driver…

  27. im from Venezuela and we kinda have a reputation for crazy driving here but even THEN, I remember when I went to France, I saw my life flash in front of my eyes several times when we were taking taxis. hahahaa.

  28. Im a Swedish seventeen year old who just returned home from a ten day trip to Korea, and here in Sweden I’m practicing to take my licence which you can apply for at eighteen, so I’ll try to compare for you guys!
    So basically in Korea I expreienced the same stuff as you did; crazy maneuvers, wierd parking and especially the red-light-creeping… But here in Sweden you have both a theorethical and a practical test which are supposed to be quite hard, and if you don’t drive PERFECTLY the first two years after you got your licence it will be taken away immidiently.
    My sister who just recently took her licence said the theorethical test was not only signs and stuff bur also questions like “Why do young men drive worse than other age/gender groups?” and the answers you could pick was like “Because they like to show off” and stuff – here they want the licence-takers to know general knowledge like that too.
    And here in Sweden, I just walk out in the road and I expect the cars to see me and stop. I stopped doing that in Korea quite quickly… XD
    (Please ignore any strange English)

  29. Dear Simon and Martina,

    I have a question not about Koreans living in Korea, but about Koreans abroad.

    My boyfriend is a student in London and he has become friends with a south Korean guy. I also met him and he is super friendly, but almost too friendly (yes it is possible). Even though he had never seen me, he had bought me a small gift. He also constantly treats my boyfriend with coffee or lunch (and NO, neither of them is gay. That would have explained a lot though…). But my boyfriend feels almost guilty and he wants to pay him back or give something in return. The thing is, we don’t know what exactly and we don’t want to be rude or accidently offend him. I already gave him some Belgian chocolates when I visited London.

    What can we do in order to repay his kindness?
    And would it be weird if we bought him a small christmas present, him being Korean and all?

  30. Oh I know exactly what you mean. The driving in Vietnam is a lot like this :D Even if there’s a red light in front of the drivers they’re just like “NAAAAH! Who cares!” … you could think they don’t even know that something like traffic lights exist XDDD
    (don’t want to offend anyone… as a Vietnamese myself I’ve to admit: my parents, aunts, counsins etc. are one of those crazy drivers, too. not always BUT every time when I ride the pillion I’m so freaking out :D)

  31. great illustrations huh. . . .specially the doodles!

  32. Jajajajaja guys I really can understand what your saying, but, while you were in Mexico ¿Didnt you saw haw we drive? Not me but ITS CRAZY, so…. If you drive some time in here i bet you will say that you were Freakinly scared to.

  33. How do you get the opportunity to meet/interview groups, like Block B?

  34. My best friend has been in Seoul for a month, last year, and she told me exactly the same thing: Korean drivers are dangerous.

    Concerning driving lessons, I am from Quebec, Canada and though Ontario and Quebec are neighbors, driving lessons and tests are very different! When I took my classes, the lecture part was optional so I didn’t take it (now it is obligatory), but I still had to take the theoretical exam. With that, I can drive with a real licence holder and decide if I either take the driving class or not (driving class: 6 months before taking the exam, with your parent as your teacher: 1 year before taking the exam, although now you must absolutely take driving class and wait for a complete year before trying the exam). To pass the driving test, you had to have more than 70% and that’s it. You can drive where ever you want, when ever you want. But still, people fail a lot at both tests, even if the first is easy.

    By the way, I really like your videos! You both are very funny :D!

  35. I just wonder: How do you guys translate when you do interviews? I meet do you translate it to English by your self or do you have someone who helps you? (sorry the English I’m a French Nastie) :D

  36. I have a question for TL:DR

    I recently got home from an school exchange in Japan. While there I encountered many hilarious stereotypes and misconceptions about North America. (Such as all Americans own gun) I was wondering if you had ever encountered any funny misconceptions about North American Culture?

  37. The law in Korea doesn’t state that you have to wait for a green light to turn right. Even if it’s red, you’re allowed to turn right. So…that might have given you a little bit of heart-attack.

  38. I loved this TL:DR ♥ At it was surprising for me to notices that corean driving is as dangerous as in Peru (yes I live in Peru :3 ) I mean It’s insane all cars want to murder u no matter what and the buses those are the worst they run like the car was on fire and comete against eache other YES THEY FRIKIN COMPETE ! ITS A CONTEST THE BUS WITH MORE PEOPLE STUFFED INSIDE WINS! And when u have to get down to your destination u better be careful cuz they are gonna throw u out and maybe u will fall on your feet only if u are lucky enough or a pro gimnast :3

  39. What type of music is played in Korean radios? Is it just Korean music or do they occasionally have something in English? And do any Korean people know of any North American singers?

    I do know for sure that on rare occasions I will hear Gangnam Style, but aside from Spanish radios that’s the only thing in another language I’ve heard.

  40. Actually, I’m not sure how an adult can get a drivers license but in my state you have to take drivers ed. Then you have to have a certain amount of time driving with a preliminary type of card. But during this time you can’t have anyone other than one family member in the car with you. Then you have to take some kind of test to see if you get your real license. But that’s from what I’ve heard from other people who’ve gotten one. I don’t have a license yet.

  41. As a pedestrian in the UK I feel somewhat more safer than you after watching this video. Cars do generally follow the road rules. Obviously you get the odd twit not driving properly. Usually they don’t indicate or indicate that they’re turning one way and end up turning the other. Also when I’m walking along a pavement, I must have a giant target on my back or something because there’s always a car pulling up on the pavement behind me or turning into the driveway that I’m just about to walk across. Also at zebra crossings I’ve had some cars that don’t bother to stop >_< but we do stop at red lights. I think you get fined an awful lot if you run a red light. Especially if it's a pedestrian crossing.

    For learning to drive you just take a couple of lessons and when you're ready you take a theory and practical test. I've taken some lessons but haven't taken a test yet. We don't have any classroom lessons though, just jump straight into the driving, which I was a bit aprehensive about at first. You can do advance driving after the standard test but it's not mandatory.

  42. Wowie, it’s really neat to see how different the driving regulations are even from just Ontario :O! I’m from BC, and here we have like, you take a test for your Learners [L] and you have to use that for a full year [in which you can only drive if you have someone in your car with a full license], and then take another test [which is an actual road test I believe where the L test is an online thing] where you get your New [N], and you use that for TWO years [where you can only drive with a licensed driver and one other person I think cuz I remember driving with my older brother when he had his N] and then after that you can apply for your full license! But wowie, I’m a pretty oblivious person when I walk about on the streets and I’ve almost gotten hit several times, I can’t even imagine walking around in Korea O – O Anyway, thanks for your TL;DRs, I love learning about Korea from you guys! :D

  43. It’s a pretty serious problem: driving in Korea but I can’t say my country’s driving (Romania, Bucharest) is the best either… it’s pretty dangerous…we also have what you call ‘Driver’s Education’ and driving tests but they don’t take that long (about one to two months). Here most of the drivers stop at red lights but there are exceptions… for example there’s a crosswalk I take almost daily and the traffic lights are a bit far away so I’ve encountered situations where, the car is just caught inbetween the green traffic light and red light so …because they don’t want to wait they just go through taking the risk of running over people (I’ve uploaded a small drawing :)) )…. and at crosswalks where there isn’t a traffic light you have to look both ways because you don’t know if the drivers want to stop or not… some of them do some don’t; I was crossing one once and I stood there for like 5 minutes waiting. The most dangerous drivers are the ones ‘in the field’ that try to interject your direction of driving when you’re speeding or changing lanes… oh and taxi drivers… I think they’re ‘special’ everywhere…they’re the cars that get into accidents more often… So yeah every country has its good and bad sides… The point is that no matter in what country you live/ what country you visit, you must ALWAYS look both directions and make sure the cars are slowing down for you to cross because you never know!(and an advice for drivers… don’t get cocky because someone cut your path and try to cross theirs … just let them slide… your life is more important!… and if you’re running out of time well you can always use a phone and let people know)

    Btw love your pedestrians Martina! :)

  44. I’m sorry I am from Brooklyn, NY and we also have the same problems. Stop signs and red lights are suggestions not commons silly. One way does not always follow the arrow sings if its in convent to the driver. If you are walking by a drive away just run or get hit. So there are places in America you have very careful drivers if you don’t want to die.

  45. Financially, how is life for a a foreign english teacher in South Korea?

  46. Hahaha! You say that cause you haven’t gone to Greece yet! Here, not only the car drivers are dangerous, the pedestrians are too! And I’m speaking honestly as a Greek citizen. You can cross the street with a red light and cars coming at you. And cars do not care about a red light about….50% of the time. They call it “deep orange”, if you get what I mean. They speed up at the orange light too. And it’s completely normal. I didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to b like that until a couple from England came to live with us for a few weeks and whenever we crossed the street they would start shouting “we’re gonna die! we’re gonna die!”
    Of course, I might be wrong, and things in korea could be way worse than here, but I hope it’s not, since I’m planning on living there for a big period of my life. But I guess then I could use all the “training” from Greece! :D

  47. hehehe you should come to India…there was a Discovery channel program called Travelers a while ago and the team did have a minor accident on the road. that’s where they learnt the Three G’s of driving in India: Good Horn, Good Brakes and Good Luck…guess it can be applied there too…

    and yah…pedestrians are dispensable! mwahahahahah…ur not safe even if you do use the pedestrian crossing…

  48. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eurr9aPmuOc&feature=channel&list=UL found a video of an Australian trying to deal with shitty Korean driving. I’m even getting frustrated just watching the video!!

    • I feel so much safer in America after watching this. I now know why my friend from Hong Kong got so worried everytime I jaywalked in Philly; she’s used to cars trying to kill people that cross. Love that pedestrians have the right of way in the US!

  49. In Australia we have a theory test then once we’ve passed that we have to drive with a professional for 2 years while they teach us the road rules. Thats called being on your Learners and if you screw up any road rules you lose your licence Then after 2 years you do another test for your P’s (provisional licence) and have to stay on that for another 2 years. If you screw up while your on your P’s you lose your licence OHHH! I used to hate all those rules but sounds better then Korea. They need to learn their road rules, sick of all these car accidents.

  50. Okay I know this is really random and definitely isn’t a TL;DR question because it’s way too short, but I hear the exclamation “AISH!” (not sure what the Hangul spelling would be) used a ton in K-Dramas. I know it’s a way of expressing frustration, but is it a swear word? I mean is it more like “Crap!” or more like dropping the F-bomb? haha I don’t want to move to Korea and start using that term not knowing that it’s something inappropriate! Like is it appropriate enough that it wouldn’t be bad if I said it in front of a child for instance?

  51. Where I live (Orlando, FL); you have to take a test to get a driver’s permit (if you’re younger than 18 you have to wait a year before getting a license and can only drive with a licensed person in the car) and if 18 and older after taking taking lessons you take a driving test on basic things such as stopping, 3 point turns, parking and etc.

    Now.. thats not to say there aren’t terrible drivers here. Drivers are okay in Orlando; but in another part central FL, its terrible. You see there are a lot of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in this area who drive like their still in Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic or New York (some of my Puerto Rican friends have told me of the horrific driving in Puerto Rico). I admit I”m not the best driver either but when I’m around that area I have to be more defensive and careful because people are crazy and don’t care about others just as long as they reach their destination.

  52. i feel your guys pain. I’m in india right now and omg the driving here is atrocious. when i first came here i used to pray to god that i’d make it across alive before crossing. I swear that cars, buses, scooters, etc all speed up when they see you instead of slowing down. it’s like an endless game of chicken. Honestly i still can’t believe that haven’t gotten hit yet. *knock on wood* that it never happens. and omg those delivery boys are insane! my classmate got into a terrible motorcycle accident and ended up in a hospital for a month because of a delivery boy. a couple years ago a family friend’s son died because the bus driver wasn’t paying attention and ran him over when he had the right of way. The same thing happened with my uncle. Truck driver came out of nowhere and crashed into his car, causing it to flip over and killing everyone in the car. A lot of people here don’t have licenses. I just wish people would actually understand that there’s a reason for driving laws and that it’s for their own protection instead of seeing it as an inconvenience. Plus i totally agree with you guys about how north american drivers should not be complaining about driving. I get annoyed when i’m home (omaha nebraska u.s.a) and my friends complain about driving there. like seriously? they have no idea how bad it is in other places. anyways i enjoyed your guys videos. stay safe! Fighting!

  53. i feel your guys pain. I’m in india right now and omg the driving here is atrocious. when i first came here i used to pray to god that i’d make it across alive before crossing. I swear that cars, buses, scooters, etc all speed up when they see you instead of slowing down. it’s like an endless game of chicken. Honestly i still can’t believe that haven’t gotten hit yet. *knock on wood* that it never happens. and omg those delivery boys are insane! my classmate got into a terrible motorcycle accident and ended up in a hospital for a month because of a delivery boy. a couple years ago a family friend’s son died because the bus driver wasn’t paying attention and ran him over when he had the right of way. The same thing happened with my uncle. Truck driver came out of nowhere and crashed into his car, causing it to flip over and killing everyone in the car. A lot of people here don’t have licenses. I just wish people would actually understand that there’s a reason for driving laws and that it’s for their own protection instead of seeing it as an inconvenience. Plus i totally agree with you guys about how north american drivers should not be complaining about driving. I get annoyed when i’m home (nebraska, u.s.a) and my friends complain about driving there. like seriously? they have no idea how bad it is in other places. anyways i enjoyed your guys videos. stay safe! Fighting!

  54. I’m not sure if this was ever asked, (if it was I’m sorry TT TT)
    But how did you guys get into kpop?

  55. Martina, are you a Katamari fan?! The reference just made my day. In my opinion, Katamari is the best, most beautiful and silly video game ever invented… and the only one I will assent to play with my video game-loving husband. Also the soundtrack is amazing. Yay! Ah, I remember almost getting hit by cars from multiple directions in Korea. *nostalgic sniffle* Actually, I think taking a nice little ride home in a Seoul taxi after the subway closes is probably a more thrilling and death-defying experience than you can have on any given amusement park ride in the world. Because it’s so real… all too real…

  56. When I lived in Bupyeong-gu I had near death experiences almost daily too. Once, I was so pissed off, I hit the car with my fist and stood in front of it giving him angry teacher eyes for a few seconds. Afterwards, in my hagwon class I told the kids…. they nodded understandingly … so I said, “How many of you have been hit by a car?” and 3 of them put up their hand and more had stories of someone in their family being hit. How many places in the world would a class of kids have three children (out of 14) who have been hit by a car??? Madness.


  58. Simon and Martina! How do Koreans view men with facial hair? Considering that Korean men seem to often be very clean cut, is facial hair present in Korea and how is it viewed in Korean society?

  59. Jacksonville drivers are pretty much the same as Korean drivers. So, I think I’m prepared.

  60. I agree sooooo much with everything that is said in this video!! xP The only point you forgot is that Korean are amazing when it comes to drive in little streets around parked cars, people walking ang cars coming on the other way in a one way street. Koreans don’t drive, thay make there way in the city! ^.^

  61. I thought it’s already bad here in Manila. Filipino drivers vs. Korean drivers–it’s gotta be a match made in hell!

  62. “4: Cars are stopped at the red light, but there aren’t a lot of cars
    driving the other way, so why not creep forward a whole lot, until
    you’re sticking out right on the crosswalk. They’ll just keep on
    creepin’ till they finally say “screw it! I’m already half way there!”
    and they just run the red at a slow speed.”
    LOL!!! I have to admit. I actually liked when my taxi drivers did this at night …mainly when I’m the one paying for the taxi :P haha saves on the cost! Got so used to it that when they don’t I get disappointed hahahaha oh how I miss living there…I’ll just have to live vicariously through Simon and Martina ;)

  63. Although I live in a small country with little to no traffic, the thing about the taxi drivers and the delivery kids, is true. Especially in the capital.

  64. funny that martina mentions buses knocking over old women. the bus i was in last week literally hit a woman on a scooter and everyone on the bus was panicking. the old woman was on the ground not moving for a while……… thankfully it happened LITERALLY right in front of a small hospital

  65. my home country sound like korean driving. but know where i live now long island new york its pretty much what your describe in the blog its intense to get that damn license but i did it after the second try and already have a ticket for going 10 mph the speed limit damn oh well and i do feel safe here in long island they are really good drivers and are nice to pedestrians now when new yorkers city people come to the east end is another deal they are horrible thats being nice they are stupid we call the cidiots lol bc they are so bad. but everything else in long island drivers are pretty good and safe to be a pedestrian.

  66. I love your shirt Martina! I wouldn’t doubt it about the driving. I visited France and was scared for my life. They suck at driving!

  67. After watching this, I think I would be too scared to drive if I was in Korea…most drivers here in Germany obey the rules (most of the times). It is also not easy to pass the practical test to get your driver’s license here. I was lucky enough to make it at the first try, but many people don’t. My boyfriend needed 4 tries to pass! ^^;
    The only thing I don’t like about driving in Germany is the speed….really, not having a speed limit whatsoever on the highway can be so dangerous! I hate it when my tiny little car almost gets blown off the street because someone decided to drive past me at 200km/h T__T Imagine a country where everyone drives like a madman without a speed limit – that would be scary! O_O

  68. I just have to watch out for hitting loose cows in the road, being clobbered by manure trucks that won’t stay on their side of the road and getting stuck in traffic jams behind tractors hauling grain here in Wisconsin…oh, and Minnesotan drivers… I s’pose I can’t complain (but those manure trucks are pretty scary!) :D

  69. I don’t think getting a driver’s license in Korea is as easy as you’ve described. I’m sure there’s a driving portion of the test, which I hear is notoriously difficult to pass. But unlike North America, where we actually drive on real streets and roads for the test, Korea has a test course adjacent to a “DMV.” And it’s like an obstacle course! I think there was an episode of “We Got Married” with Nichkun and Victoria at such a course.

  70. I am korean but i’m born and raised in Germany, and when I went to Korea with my parents last year, they decided that we won’t rent a car because my parents also think that driving in korea is terrible, so we used the subway instead

  71. Dear simon and martina

    can you make a WANK about comic world convention happening in seoul once a month

  72. I was just reading some of the comments on youtube and saw things that are ignorant, aggressive and just plain mean. Even I feel hurt and sad seeing them and they’re not directed towards me.
    So I have to ask; How do you endure it? Are you superheroes?

    • uh… care to extrapolate or are we supposed to divine what you mean? Maybe you’d be less hurt on the Internet of all places if you actually addressed your concerns.

  73. While I have only spent a week in Seoul, I found it much better in relation to driving and drivers than many countries in the Middle East, where I have spent a lot of time living and working (I’m originally from Australia). Don’t get me wrong, there are sooo many things I love about Arab countries (the people of course, the yummy food, beautiful language and so many other things). In fact, the only people I have found to be more hospitable and welcoming than so many of the Arab people I have met in different Arab countries are actually the Korean people.

    In relation to driving, by far my craziest experience has been in Lebanon, especially in Beirut where the traffic is really heavy. While drivers tend to stop at stop lights, they completely ignore road lane markings. So for example, if you have a 3 lane highway, you will basically end up with 5 lanes of traffic. Drivers will make up their own lanes and also weave in and out of these made up lanes and the real lanes – often at high speeds. The same thing happens on smaller city streets, drivers attempt to form multiple lanes where there really is only room for one lane. Getting picked up or dropped off in a taxi is also a bit crazy, as the traffic is so heavy if the car stops for more than 10 seconds, you have dozens of cars blowing horns – so its often dangerous getting in and out of taxis as they want to move off as fast as they can. There are also loads and loads of scooters and no-one wears helmets and similar to South Korea, they weave in and out of the traffic and will try and find short cuts often not looking to the safety of the riders, other drivers or pedestrians. I also witnessed one time, motor cycle riders (not scooters) doing wheelies on the highways where drivers create their own lanes while driving at high speed as mentioned above. I was travelling on a bus and it was terrifying to watch (actually most of the time, I couldn’t watch as I was sure someone was going to die).

    Amman in Jordan and Cairo are also really heavy with traffic and while drivers tend to drive fast, they do at least stick to the laneways that are marked. Although in quite a few Arabic countries I have visited, car drivers and taxi drivers will think you are quite strange if you put the seatbelt on, even if they are driving at vert high speeds (in Australia its complusory to wear seatbelts, so its just second nature to Australians to put them on).

  74. OKAY GUISE…..I am from the Chi- and I love Thailand (I am Thai American, and most of my family live in Thailand) but I can also vouch for how bad and unsafe driving in Thailand can be…From your explanation, driving in Korea sounds pretty similar :)

    Taxi drivers weave and speed everywhere too!! MY mother begged one taxi driver to just drive normally, she said she didn’t care about the meter she cared more about her safety and that we would pay more if he would just slow the F- down!

    TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE there are also no seatbelts in taxis….none.. there may be some in the front seats but there are NO SEATBELTS in the back seat. (I can only vouch for the taxi’s i have been in though, so if there is a taxi driver out there that has seatbelts in the back of his car, BRAVO.

    I have also been in a taxi that is decked out with monitors…one in the front so taxi drivers and passengers can watch thai look toong music videos while driving…..

    Drivers have no respect for each other in trafficked up areas…people just stick bumper to bumper, not letting anyone pass, trying to get their way every time…and it fricking makes the traffic jam worse than necessary….

    The most dangerous driving I see is from motorcyclists and the peeps on scooters. This is totally normal here:

    -I’ve seen as young as high school kids drive 3 or 4 to a scooter, and none are wearing helmets.

    - I’ve witnessed an entire family on one motorcycle (a mom, a dad, a child and a toddler) , and again, none are wearing helmets.

    - Motorcyclists and scooters get on the highway without helmets and weave through traffic and between cars, trucks, other bikes….It is really hard to see them coming from inside a car. (If you sit side saddle on the back of a scooter, your knees get bruised and battered from hitting the sides of cars.)

    -I’ve seen scooters run red lights, turn across lanes, turn left at red lights, etc. ALL the things you especially wouldn’t do because you aren’t sitting inside a GIANT METAL WEAPON….Motorcyclists and scooters will do (Without wearing a helmet too)

    I’ve seen this happen ALL around Thailand (Phuket, Phang Nga, Bangkok) but I think the scariest stuff I’ve seen was definitely in Bangkok (there is just a lot of traffic and a lot of cars & cyclists on the road)

    UGH and don’t get me started on those TUK TUKS. They are HELLA fun to ride but also can be HELLA scary.

  75. AAAAWWWW you guys take care of yourselves :(

  76. I have a TLDR question. What kind of girls do Korean guys like and what is their concept of beauty. I know that being fairer is better. In Japan a lot of girls act cutesy and childish and think that guys like that but some Japanese guys like older women for this very reason. Are there many Korean guys datin foreign women?

  77. I totally agree with S&M’s comments about bad driving habits in Korea. Driving and walking across the street in Korea are seriously dangerous and need to change immediately. I almost got hit by a car, rolled down like a bowling pin in a bus and lost someone close to me in a car accident. But if you got highly dense population, millions of cars with no parking space, narrow lanes, selling stuff from lines of trucks occupying the whole lane and ppl going to the same busy area to socialize and make money, driving crazy is inevitable. Not that it justifies total madness on the streests of Korea.

  78. oh guys that’s nothing compared to Venezuela… We have all of the above, plus a gazillion motorcycles that drive anywhere they feel like, crazy traffic cause there’s way too many cars, no pedestrian lights and a lot more…. people here actually honk at you to move when the light is still red -.- …. yep, we have a lot of car accidents by the way

  79. In Poland driving exams are really depressing.

    ours are similar to canadian however we don’t have tests for highway driving.

    but there are a lot of categories – A, A1, B1, B, C, D.

    A – for motorbike, B for a car, C for a lorry and D for tractors, I think. A1, B1 are for teenagers [not less than 16 year olds with a parental allowance].
    and you have to pass exams and take lessons for every category.

    First, we have driving lectures we have to pass. then we have practical driving lessons we have to pass –> there are lots of things there [parallel parking, uphill, downhill, fast forwarding and stopping, driving on one way streets, streets with many lanes, on rondos and so on].

    Next step are test – first, theoretical, then practical.

    I passed mine during second time. and it is considered to be well-done. My friends had to take 8 ro 10 exams to pass it. :(

    now I do understand many scenes from dramas – main lead teaching main heroine how to drive…. no lecturer! and she can drive!
    - main lead changing lanes without any lightning info for the other drivers.
    - main or second lead speeding in a city!

    I do not say that polish drivers are better, but our tests are so hard that many bad drivers can’t pass them – for the sake of others! :)
    and I think that even after passing the tests we are really bad at driving for some time till we bacome more experienced.
    of course we are not allowed to drive without even one of many documents we should have with us – driving licence, car specifications, infromation about good technical state of the car and so on.

    that saying, off to watch your video :)

  80. Wow! Canada has a lot of rules for driving! I mean in the US we still have to take a written test, and do a driving test on a close coarse, but some states have a test on the road in real life situations.

    Oh and in Korea do people drive on the sidewalks to make right hand turns in their cars and vans? They do in Philadelphia.

    Plus I am pretty sure I would get hit by a car in Korea. I have such a pushy attitude about crossing streets from living in Philadelphia. But then again, some of the things you have mentioned I have seen in NJ or Philadelphia. Probably not nearly as common as you experience. I have almost been in a head on collision because someone tried to turn down a one way road (in the wrong direction) I’ve seen people ignore turn lanes, motorcyclists weaving through highway traffic (or highway traffic jams), cards driving on bike lanes, double parking, people driving on the shoulder to drive past traffic, etc. I think there at two differences in your crazy driving and US/NJ crazy driving

    1) New Jersey/New York/Philadelphia drivers are afraid of being sued, so they are a little more considerate for pedestrians. Also there are fatter people in the US, so the target it a little easier to see. Yes, I am saying that Simon and Martina are not nearly fat enough, and people can’t see them.

    2) There aren’t that many cities in the US. Which means less scooters, less congestion, and which means less to hit. Most accidents in the US are cars hitting cars, not cars hitting people. Not to say I haven’t almost had a car hit me (taxis mostly) And when you are in a very congested area, it is easy to see who is from the suburbs (nice a docile) and who is from the city (they’ll creep up next pedestrians to make that right on red that they aren’t suppose to make)

    Don’t get me wrong. I am sure Korea is bad driving, and is worse than the US.

    Which leaves me wondering: How is insurance in Korea? In the US you must have car insurance, is that the same with Korea? Dramas tend to have plots where a family goes into debt to pay off medical bills, do most jobs not offer health insurance?

    • I agree: Philly drivers are a lot more considerate than most US drivers of pedestrians. It does help to look like you don’t care if you get hit; people in Philly wait for people like that to cross. (I lived in Philly for a month and I probably pissed so many drivers off by jaywalking into the middle of traffic. I’m from NJ so its been hammered into me that I always have the right of way no matter where I cross). If you look timid and scared of crossing, drivers will take advantage of your cautiousness and ignore you. Also in NJ, pedestrians by law ALWAYS have the right of way (my dad does insurance law as a lawyer; he’s told me this countless times) so NJ drivers are really careful around pedestrians so they won’t get sued. Around other drivers? Not so much.

  81. In my country (north europe) they drive by the law most of the time and I feel safe as a pedestrian. You need to be 18 years old to get a license and take driver’s education and and a drivers test. If I step on a crosswalk I don’t have to be scared for my life. I’ve seen driving in Bangkok and it was kinda shocking the first time :P I was in Belgium with a friend a few weeks ago and she thought that even honking was so rude lol since it almost never happens here. And the bus drivers and taxi drivers are the ones who are usually polite enough to stop and wait for me the cross the street. So I’ll probably get hit by a bus in Korea then lol since I trust them too much. But seriously, good to know. The only problem I know is drunk driving and that’s worse than anything.

  82. I used to live in SG and boy the streets when its the time for pedestrians to cross only you can go are so fricking clear and if your crossing where there are zebra lines the cars have to wait for you to cross then only they can go

  83. From reading the comments, driving in China sounds a lot like driving in Nigeria, except no traffic lights, police “directing traffic” and Okada (which are small motorbikes that serve as taxis where driver and customer do not wear helmets due to belief of bad jujuu and drive a lot like the Korean Delivery people)

  84. Go to vietnam and see it for yourself

  85. One of the reasons Korean driving (and driving in other parts of Asia) is so bad is because Koreans haven’t been driving for very long. Of course there were cars in Korea for a long time, but an average person couldn’t afford it. It’s only in the past couple of decades that a normal person could afford a car.

    Korea is absolutely amazing in their resiliency – 60 years ago it was a poor, war ravaged country, and now it has amazing technology, and a good standard of living, but that has only been the case for a short period of time. I’ve met a lot of Koreans who are first generation drivers, and they didn’t get their licenses or their first car until well into their adulthood. I know I was a bad driver when I first started to drive, because I didn’t have experience. The same is true of most new drivers. It just happens that there were a LOT of people (in the millions) becoming new drivers at the same time, in a smaller space, establishing bad habits and bad protocols.

    • It’s not so much the wealth anymore as it is the incredible public transportation. I’ve met “ritchie riches” who I’ve had drinks with… in a restaurant…. that didn’t close until 1 a.m. with most of the waiters and waitresses still there for no other reason than that he hasn’t left… and I kinda implied he was spoiled cause he spent $100K a year on his gf/my oldest friend, now his wife, and he said.. well, I was told you had your high school grad part at the Hilton and you drove around to which I replied, “Yeah, a 97 camry and a $200/night room, for one night.” Most parents won’t buy their kids cars until after college graduation cause that’s just the contemporary culture.

    • You make a good point about car culture. For example in Australia there has been a car culture for a very long time, it’s normal to own a car and respect for driving and cars is ingrained in the culture. We learn from our parents and people genuinely love driving. I’m sure it’s similar in the U.S. too.

      Whereas in South Korea, it’s only been comparatively recently that they’ve become a first world country and that love and respect for cars hasn’t been passed down from the previous generation. So not only is there not the emphasis on good driving and respect, but also the reasons you listed like… smaller space, many new drivers etc.

  86. I will only watch the video if someone can reassure me that a reason is given for the sunglasses indoors. Perhaps pink eye or some other type of eye/facial deformity. It’s not even I’ve gone outside and decided to keep my sunglasses on when I enter this reastaurant/bar/cafe it’s I’m in my own house and choosing to wear sunglasses.

    I watch every video and have for a couple years now but this is a bridge too far for me. After all if Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm have taught us anything it’s this: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4gluy6LpL1qhnavvo1_500.gif

  87. Dear, Simon and Martina

    I have a question for TL;DR.
    I know like in Japan and some other country’s they don’t talk about there emotions or how they are feeling; They keep it all bottled up and are told handle it later, that has led to some depression problems and high suicide rates.
    So my question is; In Korea do people talk about there emotions and feeling?

    • No, we don’t typically bottle in our emotions, nowhere near the level of Japanese people anyway. However, the social pressure one receives in Korea is much much greater than in Japan, believe it or not. Hence, our suicide rate is even higher than Japan’s. The world’s second I believe. In my opinion, Korea’s the most perfectionist society in the world, and adequately encompasses the “ASIAN DAD MEME” who not too ironically is actually a Korean actor. Males and fathers are expected to bottle their frustrations more than most, but it’s mostly just the thought of “failure” and “shame” that leads to suicide.

  88. I wonder how many people get injured in traffic situations :(

  89. My favorite are the motorcycles that drive ON THE SIDEWALK and then honk at pedestrians to get out of the way.

    • lolol… i actually like it though. How else do you think Korea has the most awesome food delivery culture in the world bar none. Price well paid I say. Never seen or heard anyone getting hit by one of those motorbikes too.

  90. Wow I didn’t know that the Canadian system of getting
    your license is pretty much the same as in Hungary. I thought that it’s more
    similar to the American system. Anyway here in Hungary is also hard to
    get your license and pretty expensive too! However I kind of feel safe crossing
    the street LOL! I mean the chance of a car crossing a red light is less than
    5%. I think it has to do with the huge fines though as opposed to driving

  91. Ahem. *cough*

    So. I was hesitant to comment on this page, because I have something to confess.

    I am one of those crazy Asian drivers m(_ _)m

    I’ve driven in Thailand, including Bangkok, and yes, I’d say it’s the ‘worst’ I’ve ever seen in the world. I’ve attached a picture of how I do U-turns – by holding up all the traffic on a 4-lane highway. lulz :p

    And yes, all that crap about doing the wrong way down one way roads, sneaking around corners for red lights, hitting the accelerator when the light goes yellow, parking anywhere I like, reversing on the main road when I miss a turn, cutting 5 lanes at once, and butting into lanes shamelessly. Speed limit? Pfft. I think the only time I stuck to the speed limit was during my driving test. Not to mention I didn’t even have an international license when I was in Thailand, so….it was technically illegal for me to drive at all ^^;;

    I’ve also driven in Japan, and I would agree that they stick to the law a lot more over there. However, the roads are sooo incredibly narrow, the corners are all sharp, blind corners that need mirrors, and the cars are of all shapes and sizes, so it requires a lot of skill just to go down the street without scraping your car on someone’s fence. I was driving in the snow too, which made it even more fun. Hee hee. But when it comes to breaking the speed limit – they’ll go as fast as they possibly can. On those narrow roads. 200km/hr? No biggie~ Also, they’ll reverse a few hundred metres at full speed if there’s noone behind them. I saw an old lady do it. Good on her :p Actually, it was in Japan that I first got scolded for stopping at a red light. They were all like ‘you could have totally made that~ D:’ And I got my parking skills in Japan. Have you seen their parking lots? There’s like 2 inches of space on each side of the car, so that they have to fold in the side mirrors every time. And reverse. ALWAYS reverse.

    Indonesia….oh them were good times. Driving up on the sidewalk or the grass strip, turning at red lights + uturn + turn again to continue past the lights, and of course anyone can get a license. I few of my friends were driving cars to school in Year 7 (those that could afford cars). I think scooters are often driven by kids since they’re 8 or something. Over 5 of my friends have died in scooter/motorbike accidents, and counting.

    So….where was I. Ah yes. I went through all that rigourous driving training. Did 120 hours of driving practice with my dad next to me, over two years, in Australia. Passed my test with flying colours. Have never had an accident to date. And while I’m here, I obey the law – at least when there are no police around :p

    Once I go do a different country, I just ‘do as the Romans do’. If I stubbornly stuck to my Australian driving methods, I’d never get to my destinations. Ever.

    Lastly, funny story. In Indonesia they actually have zebra crossings, although noone cares about them. My dad saw some people trying to cross, so he stopped. The people were so shocked, that they just stared without moving an inch, wondering what the hell was wrong with this guy. lol. In the end, only after my dad moved on, they finally crossed the road behind us. xD

    • Wow, no offence, but you really need to be safe wherever you drive. Especially in Australia when theres “no police around” and in other countrys to maybe encourage other reckless drivers to drive safe. Car accidents are horrible, please try to prevent them.

  92. I totally agree, about the scary buses. I was on a bus from Pusan to the city where my bf lives, and the bus driver suddenly stops the bus and crosses over six lanes to make a u turn. I should mention that this was on a busy highway too. I was just like well at least I’m with one person I wanna be with if I gotta go out >.<

  93. I have a question for Simon and Martina,

    Regarding the use of ‘Noona’,’Hyung’, ‘Unni’ and ‘Oppa’, how do you feel about using these terms to call someone by, or be called by?

  94. In Malaysia, you only need 10 hours of practical to sit for the exam and just a lecture… that shocks a lot of my foreign friends. I hear that other countries go up to 100 hours. I’ve lived in China for 5 years and the traffic there is horrendous, but I never really noticed bad driving. Maybe because I was young?

  95. It’s funny (in a dark, twisted way) that the thing that would make me most scared to go outside late at night (or any time) in South Korea would not be muggings but getting run over. Someone once started turning left while I was STILL legally in the crosswalk. Actually hit me, but more like a tap, thank goodness. This is why I hate cars or, really, what happens when you put people behind the wheel.

  96. I took the official Korean driver’s license test last year. We do have actual driving test. It’s a 3 step test: the traffic law test on computer, the basic driving skill test +the actual driving test on the street. The problem is that the whole process is too easy and quick. You can get your licence at least in a week if you wish to. From this month, street test becomes more complex than before since the authority insisted that we do have lots of problems. LOL Basically your source was quiet right. In Korea, driving test exists in a simple way, but not quiet successful in terms of safety. Hugh~

  97. Susan Foerst

    I remember seeing an accident (horribly tragic) while riding in a taxi, when my mum and I were visiting family (decades ago – I was in elementary school). It involved one of those flat-nosed vans where the driver and front passenger sit high and the windshield was huge, both of the people were hanging out. Bus rides were an adventure, just because they would start moving before letting you get to a rail or seat. Crossing intersections/streets were scary cause the traffic was relentless, wouldn’t yield to a pedestrian.

  98. lol XD sounds like mexico XD i love my country but ppl here suck at driving.. yes i admitt it even i suck sometimes XD LOL i got my licence without taking any test LOL

  99. Where do typical Koreans live? Do all of them live in apartments same as yours or in houses such as in dramas?

  100. Oh yea, Chinese driving. My first day in Beijing, my friends and I were walking to the supermarket outside of campus for water and breakfast foods. On the way back, with a case of water on my shoulder we stopped in a narrow, horizontally single filed line, in the middle of the intersection, with buses passing continuously to our front and back. All the meanwhile it was most certainly 10 seconds past the pedestrian green walk sign. +_+

  101. Oh!, here in Mexico I got my driving license when I was 17, and I just took a driving course of a week, here is not that troublesome to get a driving license. But in my city almost all the people drive while calling someone in the cellphone, is really crazy; so sometimes I get really scared

  102. In Victoria, Australia we have “Learners” for people above 16 years of age, which is where you have to do a ridiculous amount of driving (something like 120 hours!) with a fully licensed driver as the passenger. Then you go on to two types of “P’s” when you get your “license” at 18, (Green and Red). 4 years later, you can get your full license. Whoopie~ :)

  103. im taking the subway. always :)

  104. Idk if all of California does this but in my city we call it a California Roll (not the sushi) when the driver does not stop at a stop sign,but drives right through at the same time looking both ways.

    • We call that the “California stop” here in Texas, but it’s basically the same thing. The driver doesn’t stop, but they slow down a little and look both ways. Although, some lady almost ran me over because she didn’t look, didn’t stop, and didn’t even slow down. I almost died. D’:

  105. Driving in s. korea sounds scary. In the U.S first you need to take a written test and once you pass the written test is when you can take driving lessons. After you complete x number of hours can you take a the actual driving test.

  106. Simon!! Martina!!! I realized that (not only Koreans) add a year to the age while (not only Americans) do not.
    And I wonder if ya’ll do add a year or keep your age while living over there.
    That is my question :)

  107. The driving gets even more deadly when you go down to 부산 and all around 경상도..

  108. Here in the states, there are some slight variations in each state but generally you get your permit fist which is a written test and then after 6 months to a year you can apply and take your actual driving test. They test you on parking, speed, stops, etc. But there are still various categories depending on the type of vehicle you drive. So motorcycles are different from cars, commercial trucks are different from basic vehicles and there is even a chauffeur’s license you can get for limo’s.

    Do you guys know if they make you declare eye problems in Korea? Like my license says that I have to wear eye glasses/contacts so that if I’m stopped by a cop they can verify it.

  109. Your experience with scooter drivers sounds a lot like bike messengers here in New York City. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been nearly run over by a delivery biker or a bike messenger as I attempt to cross the street for which *I* have the right of way. When I ride my bike it makes me more cautious to be sure that I don’t do that. Yet here in NYC it goes both ways–I can’t tell you how many pedestrians just walk right out into the bike lane and stand there, or who use the bike lane as another sidewalk. I’ve taken to yelling at people as I speed toward them to get the frick out of the bike lane.

  110. i remember going to korea with my mom and the super scary taxi incident. we were in myong dong and it was night time so we decided to grab a taxi to grandma’s house. the taxi driver’s driving was jerky and really fast. i was so scared that i grabbed the handle at the roof of the taxi. the reason why he was drivng so bad was because it was friday and those were his family days. i arrived safely tho.

  111. OMG its true driving in Thailand is really really bad…its pretty safe here in Australia..even if you cross when the light is green the cars stop.. :) but i really want to know if the accident rates are high in Korea?

  112. I am in Vietnam right now and basically all those things are happening all the time. Never has crossing a street successfully been cause for celebration and life-affirming high fives… Yikes.

  113. So do they really make illegal u-turns and park in random non-parking spots in front of hospitals and restaurants like you see in kdramas?! I always thought that was just something done in “tv land”…damn, no wonder they keep having people get into car accidents on their shows. It’s something everyone can relate to, eh?

  114. It sounds worse than Belgian drivers in the 1980s. You couldn’t drive until 18, but you just went to the post office and paid the fee and got your license back then – no real test. Crossing the street was like playing Frogger. I witnessed kids being hit, old ladies, pets – driving on the sidewalk – I stuck to the underground metro – it was safer!

    Get better soon, you guise! I feel so bad for you and your misery…

  115. You guys should try to go to any south american contry to see the driving there ITS CRAZY !! In Sweden people really suck at parking their car in a huge space !

  116. “you just fill out a paper test and then you get your license.” i dont think so. i remember wathching an episode of khuntoria where it showed the couple trying to get their license. not only they need to sit for the test but they also need to undergo driving test using lorry.!

  117. When do we get to see the Block b’s interview?????

  118. I’m super careful at crosswalks because I was hit by a car crossing the street last year…I feel like I’d have a nervous break down trying to cross the road in Korean O.O

  119. I’m American but spent a lot of time in Jordan, and while not as bad as Korea, they don’t give pedestrians the right of way either. I seriously saw some guy get hit by a bus when he was trying to cross. But also, the people are used to it and walk across LIKE A BOSS somehow managing not to get hit, stopping in between lanes in the road waiting for the next car to pass…like Frogger. Jordanians have mad skillz, no lie.

  120. Here in Uruguay it isn’t that difficult to get a license, you do have tests and they give away different categories depending on your skills and age, plus we’re always taught from very little to pay attention to traffic because, you never know, an ambulance with a great urgency might come by like a flash and wipe you out the street. Still, it’s not as insane as that.

  121. I think the driving problems are common to a lot of Asian countries. I was just in Vietnam last year and…well, I seriously clung to my mother like a two year old when we crossed the road. In Saigon it wasn’t so bad; there were at least crosswalks. But the city I was staying in…o m g. There’s cars and motorcycles going both directions on every street, and NO CROSSWALKS. Lines on the road? Suggestions. Speed limits? Nonexistent. Seat belts? Decoration.

    My relatives all say that when it comes to crossing the road, you just pace yourself and trust that the drivers will be able to weave around you. And they all do seem skilled because whether I was in a car or on a motorcycle, there were times I could seriously just stretch out my arm a bit and I’d be touching someone, but I never saw a single accident the three weeks I was there. However, I was still like, “FORGET THAT.” I mean, I remember seeing a family of four squished on ONE motorcycle: the dad in the front, a child, the mother, and another kid *that was standing up on the back, only holding on to his mom’s shoulders*. I’m not going to trust any of them when it comes to safety.

    I think that this whole crazy driving thing might be the reason for the stereotype that Asians are bad drivers. They’re not…bad at driving as much as immigrants aren’t used to all the rules here.

  122. I’m a Korean and I’m ashamed of the hateful Korean netizens. I love you guys because you always talk with such clarity and have solid basis for it. Hope they don’t get in the way of your works.:)

    • I think a hateful Korean netizen has come on here and voted down like almost every single post haha.

    • Thanks for your support! Don’t worry, I think some people don’t understand how much we do love Korea and they just see one video that was put up on a Korean site and think we’re just complaining. We have so many awesome people leaving great comments (like you) that it fuels our work! :D

  123. Wow there are quite a few Aussies here on this page I see. Obtaining a full license here in Australia takes yearsss.

    The minimum age to start is 16 where you have a sit a multiple choice test out of 45 and get a minimum of 12/15 in the first section and 29/30 in the second. If you pass, you obtain a Learners (L) licence and can only drive under the supervision of someone with a full licence – you are not allowed to drive alone. Those who are under 25 must keep a log book and show that they have practised for a minimum of 120 hours which includes a minimum of 20 hours at night and must have had their L licence for at least 1 year.

    Then you sit a Driving test to obtain a P1 licence. This Driving Test is really particular and many fail on their first try. If you are lucky enough to pass, you obtain a P1 licence and allowed to drive alone. This is only issued for 18 months so if you don’t sit the next test before then, you’ll have to sit the P1 test again. You must have had your P1 licence for a minimum of 1 year to go onto the next exam.

    Afterwards you sit the final text called the Hazard Perception Test. Once you pass this, you obtain a P2 licence which is issued for 30 months. After a minimum of 24 months, you can sit the Driver Qualification Test and if you pass that, you have your full licence.

    Wow, that took longer than expected.

    TLDR: It will take you a minimum of 4 years to obtain a full licence in Australia if you are under 25 or 3 years if you are over 25.

    • My wife tried explaining about the P plates – I was 16, took a written test I got 87/100 on, took the driving test and poof – legal. No required school education, just some practise time when I could talk my dad into letting me drive. Scary, isn’t it? :D

    • Awesome to see fellow aussies on this page. It does take ages, but years ago (about 10 year or more) that was not the case, if I’m not wrong there were only the L and red P plates before obtaining a full license. I’m ashamed to mention it but I’ve been on my learners (L- Plates) for four years because I’m scared of failing the P1 test as many of my friends and family had failed it :( . But then again I do love the public transport in Australia, so getting around is no problem :)

  124. Hi Simon & Martina! I have a question regarding this TL;DR
    Since bus drivers are going so fast, do they actually stick to their schedule? Or you have to get to the bus stop in advance to make sure not to miss it?

  125. Hareem Siddiqi

    I can imagine how it is, sounds like my parents country, Pakistan. There is like no concept of indicators, and separate car lanes! Like there’s a road, and as many cars that can fit in there trying to squeeze in, and then there motorcyclists (which usually have a frickin’ five people on them) trying to squeeze in., it looks like a puzzle. I also thought that when I heard about Nichkhun and Daesung’s car accidents, cause I know how motorcyclists are around that area.

  126. I was in a Korean taxi once…never again I shall take one…

    • Yeah, I only visited Busan, which doesn’t sound this bad, but I swore off Korean roads and took the subway EVERYWHERE and only crossed the road if it was absolutely necessary.

  127. Hey Simon and Martina. :D
    That’s crazy insane that they just have to take a paper test and then receive their licenses!! Here in California, we have to take drivers education. Once we’ve completed drivers education, then we can take the written test for our permit. Once we have our permit, we have to take at least 3 drivers training classes, drive a a minimum amount of hours, and then we can take our driving test. However, if you’re 18: you don’t have to worry about drivers ed or training…you can just take your permit test, and then if you pass you can start practicing how to drive before you take your driving test. And if you want to drive a scooter, a motorcycle, or a semi-truck: there are other classes you have to go to and take tests for. As a pedestrian: I feel mostly safe. As a driver: people need to get off their phones and pay attention!! We even have a “hands-free” law where we aren’t allowed to be on our phones, and yet people still do it anyways.
    Sorry for talking so much. Thanks for listening. Keep up the amazing work!! :D

  128. thisisjustforfunval

    I saw this video the other day and thought about you guys, and tada it is the topic of today’s TL:DR


  129. when you lay it out like that, it really does sound hard! Just got my G license! YAY and i never failed any of the tests :D

  130. I love Martina’s shirt :D <3

  131. Just a paper test??! Here in Australia you have to drive 120 hours (and that’s only day time hours) before you can go sit a test to get your actual license. There’s rumours that it might even increase to 240 hours TT

    If those crazy drivers drove in Australia, they would be completely bankrupt from all the fines..

    • I’m on my L’s right now and really it’s just money for petrol giants OTL. I feel that drivers suddenly get bad when they become P-platers and just hate everyone haha.

      Australian fining is just too easy to get away with though! Where there are speed cameras, THERE ARE SIGNS SAYING THEY’RE THERE. I just thing it defeats the purpose of having speed cameras and everyone slowing down just at them and speeding before/after them. :/ How I love this upside down country dearly.

      • Haha, quite true actually x)
        I’m also on my Ls and I get heaps of hate from others when I drive the speed limit == (hence why I have to admit that I do speed at times)

        Though I think that the fact that jaywalking is somewhat safe (in that the probability of surviving is significantly higher than in Korea) to do here kinda shows that our roads, and I guess our speeding, aren’t that bad :)

  132. Do Koreans celebrate Halloween? If not do they celebrate anything like it?

  133. I’ve lived in Korea for two years and trust me, this video was too nice. The kind of driving that goes on in Korea is incredibly dangerous and I have had way too many near-death experiences; especially when we consider that I don’t own a car in Korea. So this means I’ve been either a passenger or a pedestrian in every case!

    Last weekend I saw a pretty terrible scooter accident. Luckily, the guy was wearing a helmet and I really hope he was okay but I wasn’t wrong in assuming that it was his. He pulled on to the street going the wrong direction, without lights on, at night. WTFFFF?! I just want to scream and pull my hair out.

    I agree with what Martina said; it’s like nothing is sacred. I’ve seen elderly people as well as obviously pregnant women (sometimes with toddlers in tow) go flying down the bus aisles because the driver (who saw them get on!) guns it as soon as the door is shut.

    It just shouldn’t be happening. There are laws in Korea… in fact, they’re very similar to laws in North America, but the difference is nobody seems to care and there is nobody enforcing them. A scooter blew past my elementary school doing no less than 80 mph, I looked around and sure enough there is a police officer, on a motorcycle, still chilling at the light. I will never understand. Sorry about the rant but I just couldn’t agree more. I love Korea, I love my Korean friends and co-workers but this is the #1 worst thing about living here.

  134. in the Philippines, we have the same problem (I think its worse)

    • Oh yea, our buses would also weave through traffic (like scooters) and if they hit someone or something, the bus driver would escape. Its common knowledge that buses who’ve hit people would make sure that their dead as its cheaper to pay the small compensation to the bereaved family than pay the hospital bills if the victim survives. Buses here are also notorious in gunning it (I have personally experienced body slamming the front panel of the bus when it suddenly hit the breaks…and apparently, it was my fault) T_T. Light signals, pedestrian lanes and foot bridges are merely suggestions, just cross when you feel like it (Fear Factor!). Commuters would hail and alight anywhere, buses and taxis would let you off in the middle of the road, motorbikes/scooters would also weave through stop lights. We have a high mortality rate due to bus and/or scooter accidents. We also have bikes and motorbikes with a side car (they are used for commuting in the alleyways/side streets); they are notorious in going the opposite direction in a 1 way street and they will run you over for sure (and it will be the pedestrian’s fault).

      I really hate to think that this is a cultural thing…but…arrrrgh! T_T

  135. The US’s steps to getting a driver’s lisence are pretty much the same as in Canada. We also needed 50 hours of driving experience with an experienced driver in the passenger seat. You could opt out of driver’s ed, but then you needed 100 hours of driving experience before they would let you anywhere near the actual test. Then there’s a written test and finally the actual driving test.

    But oh man, I know what you mean about those bus drivers and scooter drivers! One of my friends told me that the other day, she saw a bus hit a scooter driver and then drive off! He didn’t even slow down like “Oh God, I just hit a human being!” So the guy was laying in the middle of the road, injured and unable to move and behind the bus was a taxi driver, who sat there honking at the guy for not moving. I cannot believe the lack of respect for human life in Korea, when it comes to driving! D:

  136. hmmm i am a bit confused when you say that your friends say “you just fill out a paper test and then you get your license.” I don’t know but maybe it is different in different areas in Korea cause in Chuncheon …which is where my husband is from so i mostly only know about that area(yummy 닭갈비 my favorite!!)…you have to do 3 different tests. I remember one time i was visiting there and his sister was trying to get her license and failed a few times and it was only the 2nd test. If i remember right the first test was only a written test, then the 2nd was a driving test on a fake course …i even saw the course when we dropped her off…it looked like a real roads with lots of things to be tested on. And then last test you actually get to go on the real road. Even after she got her license she still doesn’t drive though so not sure why she even went through it.

    Every time you guys talk about the driving in Korea I am so there with you yelling “I know i know it is insane!!” When i first visited Korea back in 2004 that was one of the first things I talked about…after the “how am i suppose to use the bathroom with this thing and where is my real toilet!!” I always have this saying that i don’t know if Korean drivers are the worst or the best cause they manage to park or drive a big car in the smallest of spaces. The tiniest road where there are already cars parked on both sides of the road making it even smaller…you think “NO WAY 2 cars could fit” but some how here they come 2 cars going in different direction manage to do it without hitting anything or getting stuck some how….AMAZING!!!! How do they do it!!!

  137. I remember you saying how bad driving is in Korea so I was prepared for havoc when I went this summer. Maybe it was because I had gone into Korea from China but I was wondering what you guys were saying since I felt like Korean driving wasn’t bad at all x3 The only thing was that there’s traffic like ALL THE TIME. O____O (But yea, here’s a fun story of driving in China. When I was there this summer we hadn’t reserved a place to stay since we know our way around china, but there are like these people who stand around in the airport advertising their hotels and stuff [which isn't all that safe... following strangers when you think about it, but ehh] and then we basically fit like 14 people into a minivan without seats and the driver also going insanely fast weaving through the lanes, sometimes going on the opposite lane, and also going into the sidewalk when there was traffic both ways >.>) So if you guys have such a problem with the driving in Korea… I don’t think you guys would be able to enjoy china if you ever decided to visit.

  138. I live in Ohio. Here, if you’re under 18, you have to take a written test to get your learners permit (you can do this at 15). Once you have your learner’s permit you have to take a driver’s ed course with instructor driving time. Once you have the paperwork from that and have been driving for a certain amount of time, you can take the driving portion. Here the driving portion consists of a maneuverability test http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/img/bmv_maneuv_diagram.jpg and then the street portion. Where I am that meant driving around the block, but the DMV is on the corner of two of busiest streets for us, so it isn’t super easy, no traffic driving. For those over 18, you aren’t required to have any drivers education. You only have to have had your learners permit for a certain amount of time before you take the driving test. I had to take drivers ed anyway… because I needed the instructor time in order to pass the freaking maneuverability test…

    as for the learners permit and who could be in the car with you, the passenger just has to be a licensed driver 18 years or older.

  139. About the thingy majigger that said that China is worse at driving than Korea- 100% true! I went to Korea this summer and I just thought it was bad. We actually accidentally hit a girl (not hard. We were going like 5 miles an hour. Enough to shock her a bit). Then I went to China thinking it would be the same. Goodness… While we were there, we repeating went to this food stand chain thing. Not because the food was good or that the prices were reasonable, but because there was no way cars could drive between our hotel and the food! (It was blocked off) lots of people had the same idea, because that place was crowded!! I had to shield my mother, who despite being Vietnamese and living in an Asian country for many years, walked the streets of China without a care it the world. And she tells me I walk to carelessly >.>

    Thoughts? Haha

  140. I remember traffic in China, whenever we crossed the street, we went over these land bridges that crossed to the other side of the street, seemed much safer than traffic lights. Seat belts seemed to be a nuisance to people too.
    I also remember not being able to find a seat on a bus, and having to hold on super tight to the bars, not that I really went anywhere on the bus since it was so packed.
    Ahhh, fun times.

  141. irritablevowel

    So what you’re saying is, when it comes to driving, Korea and North America do a Freaky Friday style switch where the Koreans are all, “Meh, good enough.” and the North Americans are all, “You must be perfect!”

    • actually… yeah, it really is. “Freaky Friday,” that’s a perfect analogy actually, lol. I think I already commented somewhere else that I think Simon and Martina’s statement exaggerates a tad bit, but at the same time, I refuse to drive in Korea, whereas I’ve had 5 cars so far in the States, so take from that what you will. However, I didn’t notice the rampant ignorance of “red lights” from pedestrians that S&M did. I mean… have you been to China? You could be in the ritziest, most cultured place, and “not a single fuck was given that day,” lol.

  142. omg. I visited Cambodia over the summer and discovered that there is indeed a place that has worse driving than in Korea. The previous year I lived in Seoul for six months and thought I would never experience such terror on the streets.. but the driving in Cambodia makes Korean driving look perfect. >.< now that I'm back in the states, I glare at anyone that complains about bad drivers. wha~? bad drivers here? pssha!

  143. In Pakistan, they just started using lights, and people just take them as suggestions. My uncle told me that the government had just passed a law that required the driver to wear a seat belt (this was about 3-4 years ago). Some of the old cars don’t even have seat belts! I discovered that when I visited when I was 12 and my brother and I knew that your always supposed to wear a seat belt (since we were raised in the US). But when we climbed into our uncle’s car, we asked him and our cousins where they were, and they just looked surprised and said that nobody wore seatbelts. It seemed completely normal to ride along without anything strapping you in safely. I remember one time we went to McDonald’s, and my cousins’ cousins were also going, so we all piled into one car. There were about 6-9 kids in the backseat (by the way this is a 4 x 4 car) and about 2-3 people in the passenger’s seat. Only the driver get’s his own seat, sometimes with a kid in their lap as well. The only way we could all fit was because we were little. I was only 12. But I’ve always been physically bigger than my cousins so I always had people sit on me. My cousins are very skinny and frail-looking and short while I actually have some meat on my bones and don’t look like I can be snapped in half by a breeze. Of course they eat fine, so I guess it’s got to do with the nutrition we grew up eating, along with the difference in location in environment. Now, I have to say MOST of my family obeys the traffic laws, but some people they have to deal with on the street don’t. For example, in a busy intersection during a traffic jam, by aunt gave the left signal so she could move in on a open spot in the next lane, a driver from SOMEWHERE sees this and quickly jerks his car into the spot, scratching along my aunt’s completely brand new car that she got a few months earlier.Now, after he gets into the spot, he gets out and looks at his car to check for damages. Of course, HIS car is fine while my aunt’s car’s paint gets sheared off. She says that he would have come out and tried to fight if his car got damaged even if it was all his fault. He didn’t even give any signal and just squished is car into that spot. I think I was more angry than my aunt cause I know I might’ve socked him in the face if he did that to me.

  144. New Zealand driving rules are so strict compared to the Korean rules. It takes almost 3 years to get a full driving license here (if you don’t fail any tests.) The government decided to make it more difficult last year too! Now >50% fail the tests regularly… And our driving isn’t that bad relative to your view of Korean driving… I’ve never seen anything like you guys have seen.

  145. Found it funny how surprised you were by drivers in Korea. Ignoring red lights? Driving on sidewalks? It’s a daily routine in Russia. People don’t even pay attention to this here anymore. It’s smth children are tought before they can walk: eat you vegies, look out for crazy drivers! If there’s 100% that it’s safe to cross the road – means there’s 200% a car or a bus will appear out of nowhere!

  146. I want to know your impressions of K-dramas for the next TL:DR. How did you get to know them in the first place? Why do you like them? What does Simon thinks of them? Have you guys recommended some to your non-Koreans friends?

    Greetings from Canada!

  147. as today is Halloween, i want to ask what are the big holidays in Korea? i mean Halloween is my favorite holiday but it doesn’t seem to be as big there, and Christmas has been portrayed as a lovers holiday but here its a family holiday what are the differences?

  148. Once a friend and i wanted to go to Paju, to visit a friend and another friend offered to drive us there. I’ve never been this scared in my whole life. also there were a few occasions when we where almost knocked over by those stupid scooters…agreed, Korea is dangerous, traffic-wise

  149. Sometimes, there are idiots who try to kill you, but generally I ALWAYS run across the street if I see a car coming. I was almost run over by an ambulance that came speeding down a residential street WITHOUT their light or siren on. One more thing, oh my goodness it is so complicated to get your license in Canadia, here in the US…PA to be specific…you need a learners permit for 6 months to a year if you are under 18. If you are older than 18 you need your learners permit then you can test for your license 24 hours later I believe. I’m 21 and I need to get my permit to get my license by the end of Sept. 2013. The driving manual make learning how to drive sound like performing brain surgery, it makes to sound like the tiniest mistake is the end of the world. Sorry I rambled for a bit.

  150. How old do you have to be to get a driving license in Korea?

  151. I also live in America the States to be exact, the law is to take a written exam and driving exam you have three chances to pass the driving exam if you fail you must wait 6moths maybe a year to once again start the process all over again. That is if you are an adult. As for 16 year olds you also have a written exam if you pass you get a permit. The permit allows you to drive a car along with license holder (experience driver 4 years min). You must complete a certain amount of driving time to qualify to take the driving exam. License to minors come with restrictions. And like in Canada if you want to drive another type of vehicle it means you have other classes to take before getting your license.

    • Oh as for my neighbor to south, Mexico. My mother land, well it’s pretty much sink or swim situation like S.Korea. You better get out of their way if you want to survive. Whenever I visit my sisters in Mexico City my brother-in-laws always insist that I take the car. If I do I never make it past the parking lot. I rather use public trans and run from the cars.

  152. Australian (Queensland) drivers licenses take forever

    You have to be sixteen and a half to get your learners which consists of a written test of twenty questions and ten. You’re allowed to get three wrong in total (2 on twenty and 1 on 10) otherwise you have to return the next day.
    When you finally have your learners you have to have it for a year and clock up 100 hundred hours of all condition driving (of which you have to record in a booklet) and also three drive school lessons. Your learners takes two years to expire.
    Then to get your P’s (provisionals) you do a practical test. If you pass that you’re on P plates for three years (two for the red and one for the green? or vice versa).
    After all that you go onto your full license.

    The above process annoys me to no end because when my dad got his license 48 years ago the police tested you and the that tested my dad told him to drive around the block. When he came back *BAM!* license.

    I’m still on my learners although I only went for them last year.

  153. OH BOY! I have been waiting to rant about this for the longest time! :P

    So, to starts off, California driving. Now, when people think California driving, they think horrible traffic, speeding cars that cut in front of you. Thats Los Angeles driving, and you know what, its not that bad :D haha. Its funny to have friends come from San Diego or Northern California and say that driving in Los Angeles is really scary for them, which, compared to San Diego and Northern Cali, it is. But………its NOTHING, let me repeat, NOTHING! compared to China. Going to China made me understand why Chinese drive so bad lol (I am chinese, so, there is no racism intended for other asians out there)
    Seriously, as a passenger and as a pedestrian, I thought I was going to die.

    Scenario number 1: I am walking down the street, and I know that pedestrians do not have the right of way, so I don’t act like it. So I carefully walk across the street, but even before the cross, a PARKED car, in the PARKING ONLY SECTION drives to get out of traffic and nearly kills me…because, in your head, you’re thinking “okay, I don’t want to get killed by moving cars, so walking carefully across the street” but no, who knew that a parked car would also try to kill me! LOL

    Scenario 2: A family friend of ours is driving us to a national park and the drive is roughly 8 hours. It is in Si Chuan where the big earthquake occurred so a lot of the streets are still in construction….so of course, there is a lot of traffic. Our driver has been driving for 5 hours already and he is tired. So…he doesnt want to wait in traffic so he decides to drive on the other side of the road….which is okay, but its not okay when the other side of the road also has traffic and he is driving in the center of the road to cut everybody off….and what happens when there isnt enough room in the center?…well, He simply honks his horn like a maniac to tell the people on the other side of the road to move over. LOL…..where is a Martina doodle when I need one…


    • I live in San Diego and it’s only the interstate/highway driving that terrifies me. A lot of the drivers are careless and have lead feet regarding speed D:!But I’ll take that over the just plain rude driving of Philly/NYC. The east coast is notorious for road rage and general suckinees. I’m glad I got away from that before I started to learn how to drive :P

      • My sister lives in Philadelphia. She told me drivers will honk if you don’t accelerate the moment the light turns green. Very rude. After living in Los Angeles for over 20 years we’ve been taught to pause for 3-5 seconds and look both ways to avoid being hit by a car blowing through a red light.

        I agree people in Philadelphia, New York, and I would also include the Washington, D.C. area drive very aggressive.

        • I think that the reason why Philly, NY and DC drivers are so aggressive is because of where the cities are located…they surround NJ. And we New Jersey pedestrians are really good at jaywalking in cities, even cities not in our state. And that mentality kinda transfers; my friends from other countries at the beginning of my summer camp in Philly freaked out every time I jaywalked, and I was like “Eh. They have to stop for me. I’ve from NJ. I have the right of way”, and by the end of the summer camp, they were doing the same thing.
          And we’re rude about it too, because in our state we have the right of way at all times, so you know, NJ thought process – “Oh we have the right of way in NJ cities? That must apply for all cities, not just the ones in our state, never mind that there are different traffic laws for each state. Let’s jaywalk in the middle of rush hour traffic; no one can hit us, cause we’re from NJ.” I live in NJ. I do this a lot. Sorry all you drivers in NY, Philly and DC.

  154. Well that explains a lot…
    And I thought drivers here in South Florida were bad… I’m counting my blessings now.
    u_u No driving test?! You have no idea how much that horrifies me…..

  155. Traffic signs are merely a suggestion in this country not law. I nearly get hit every morning walking to school. I cross at cross walks but cars still have the right of away apparently along with everything else…

  156. I don’t know if anyone has said in the US, but I had to take Driver’s Ed and that was a regular class I took at my high school. We had an instructor and it was a 1 hour class five days a week for a semester. You did bookwork (like the signs on a highway, rules for town driving, any random stuff) but you also had to do actual driving lessons with you behind the wheel, your partner person in the back and your instructor in the passenger’s seat (you would switch off with your partner like halfway through) and you did something like that for a 2 hour block and at least like 3 or 4 times in the semester. Once you pass the class, you can go get your license but depending on your age, you might have restrictions but that’s mostly for people who are under 18 (child labor laws). Everywhere in the US is different too depending on state. I’m from DE but MD you have to take classes plus you have to put in a certain amount of hours of driving with adult supervision, but I think that’s because they don’t have as much one-on-one instruction as DE has. But everything changes! Who knows. I got my license like 8 years ago so it could be totally different now.

    Oh, and the illustrations are awesome. LIKE A BOSS!! Though I can imagine that would be a moment where you stop and are like… did that just happen??

  157. I guess from the sunglasses that Martina is doing better than Simon… ^__^

  158. Sounds like driving is pretty bad in Korea, but I’m pretty sure it’s MUUUCH worse in India! Indian drivers can boast of having done all that you have mentioned above and MOOOORE. Plus, on Indian roads, you have the dreaded scooters, as well as even-more dreaded three wheelers (or auto-rikshaws) which are great for a relatively cheaper means of transport than taxis, but will creep into the tiniest space imaginable on the road such that they might as well get into the backseat of one of the cars. And along with all this, in quite a few places, you will also have the pleasure of having to dodge all kinds of animals on the road, cows and stray dogs mostly, but other varieties of species may also pop up to surprise you depending on the area!

    Hehe, just thought I’d give you a fair warning in case you were planning to go to India any time soon (Hopefully I haven’t scared you away,,,). Besides the driving, India is really a wonderful and fascinating place to visit!

  159. Sounds scary! I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I visit!

    I have a question about Korea! So I know that Korean men have to be enlisted to the army, even celebrities like Leeteuk, so I was wondering if you guys could talk about why Koreans HAVE TO get enlisted and what happens if they refuse to go — like maybe because their religion does not support it or so..? What happens? Do they have the option to do something to else to serve the Korean community or will they be imprisoned or something crazy like that?

    Got curious because I was thinking about how a lot of my favorite celebrities have been enlisted to the army and then everyone is sad about it… :(

    Anyways THANKS IN ADVANCE! :)

    • You HAVE to go sans any medical reasons. What major religions hasn’t killed millions? You’ll be laughed out of any court, then branded as a coward by the whole of society. You HAVE to go. And Korea is the second deadliest military to go to after Israel’s, so yeah, it’s pretty hardcore.

  160. Hey a looong time ago you said that you were going to do a separate video on manners and the way you are supposed to behave while eating and drinking with others. Howe about doing that now ? :D

  161. In YouTube the user MrRoadWorrier (not warrior) has left 7 videos full of examples about how drivers drive in South Korea… in the case you’re curious


  162. Dear Simon and Martina,
    With the presidential election coming up, do majority of Koreans pay attention to American politics? Or do they just don’t care like how they are with red lights? If they do which candidate (or political parties) do you see them supporting? Have your political views changed by living in Korea?

  163. I guess Korea has a lot in common with Poland :D And I thought Polish drivers are the worst hehe :D

  164. I am glad to come from a Central American country where, like Thailand and China, you have to fight your way through traffic :) As little kids, we grew up crossing the streets in between buses and cars, so going to Korea would be like going back home! XD – Police are also non-existence and you can very easily bribe yourself out of a ticket, we can ride anywhere on a car and babies can ‘drive’ on mom/dad’s lap. Now, I know how unsafe it is, but there is SO MUCH FREEEEEDOMMMMM! I miss it all now that I live in the US. It astounds me to see 10, yes, 10 years olds NOT move when they see me pulling into the driveway >> they even run infront of the car back and forth like nothing. Pisses me off, Ive had to save my little cousin from death a few times as well, little shit always runs in parking lots..and shes 11 >>. FREAK!- Its TOO easy in America.Thats for sure :)

  165. As if it were about Russian driving habits, no difference at all!!! Only those how are scooter drivers in Korea are bus drivers here!

  166. I didn’t have any problems in Japan when crossing the road or inside cars. They seem to obey traffic laws at all times.

    When I visited Japan for the first time our tour group used a large bus to get us around Tokyo. On one outing, the traffic light suddenly turned red and our bus driver stopped in time, but ended up on the crosswalk. Unfortunately this particular intersection had a police officer stationed at its koubansho or “police box”. So what did the police officer do? He got out a stick and start walking around our tour bus hitting it. I could hear the police officer cursing in Japanese. And our bus driver in response looked very embarrassed and kept bowing.

  167. So guys, you never have been driving in other Asian countries. Well since I live in the Philippines, and I drive through the city every time, whatever you described as some of the worse things in Korea, is just a typical thing here, especially in Manila. That thing the bus did, I see it every day here. Though here if you want to have a driver’s license you take a written and a practical test, you can “weave” through it. So I hope you survive it there! You’ll learn how to do “defensive” driving in time. Haha. =)

  168. Sooooo, S&M, you can change “eat your kimchi” to “eat your feijoada”, because driving in Brazil is not so different hahaha
    We even joke saying that if you can drive in Brazil, you can drive anywheeere in the world, because not only people don’t respect laws, but our streets are so neglected, there are TONS of holes… cars made here are “better” than the imported ones because of the shock absorbers hahahaha

  169. After watching playful kiss, i wondered how in the world did she get a license when all she can do is drive straight, now i know.

  170. Hah! So driving in Korea is like… kinda like the driving in Lebanon lol

  171. I was in Korea two weeks ago and OMG I was so nervous in the bus, It was like a rollercoaster. Our guide explained us that in Korea it’s possible to obtain your driving license in one week! you have a theoretical part and then you learn to drive on a circuit . They don’t drive in real conditions and… they don’t learn how to check their mirrors. But what really shocked me was that they don’t fasten their seatbelt.

  172. I am also in Australia, but I am from Canada, and I can tell you that Australians are the best drivers I’ve seen so far. Been to 4 different countries and I have to say I’m impressed. Australians do take rules seriously. Probably because the fines are so freakingly expensive I don’t know, but I found them courteous, barely honking and really, truly respecting pedestrian crossings. I <3 my new country!

    • I’m Australian, but I grew up travelling Europe, and I agree with you. It is definitely a combination of the massive fines, and the fact it takes YEARS to be on a full license. One year as a Learner with a licensed driver after a written test, one year on P1 with curfews and vehicle restrictions after a driving exam, two years on P2 with just vehicle restrictions. And THEN you get to have a full license. It’s a bit crazy.

  173. It’s kinda the same here in the Philippines, but public transportation (Buses, taxis, tricycles, jeepneys) drivers do that often. They counter-flow a one-way street, cross the street even it’s red light, stop right in the middle of the street to pick up passengers (bus/jeepney stops doesn’t exist here). I think they really lack proper education about the rules and proper manners on the road. Private vehicles are somewhat good in obeying traffic rules, well except for some rowdy and arrogant ones.

  174. Yeah, remember earlier in the year when a truck driver in Korea took out almost an entire pro cycling team? How in the world can a driver not see a whole cycling team and coach car, you might ask. He eventually admitted he was watching TV when he should’ve been watching the road.

    I really hate those in-car TVs. The streets and sidewalks of Korea are already too dangerous without that huge distraction adding to the insanity.

  175. Yeah, no complaints about Japanese drivers in Japan. They’re pretty obedient of the laws. I’ve never been to China, but now i’m gonna have to watch our when i cross the streets..

    • I did that and people literally laughed at me. Ever stop in a red light, when close to a 100 people are crossing, and you’re the only jackass standing still and obeying traffic law. After awhile, you’re like , “aww… fuck this,” and you go with the crowd.

  176. Starsania

    In South Dakota (USA) Kids can start getting their learners permit when they are 14 years old. (I think this might be one of the youngest ages around to begin their drivers license) They aren’t supposed to drive after 10pm at night and are supposed to be with an adult who has their license. However since a lot of kids help out on farms and such they often drive by themselves once they have the hang of it. I am happy to say that the streets are mostly safe aside from drunk drivers and little old ladies who forget to stop at a stop sign.

  177. Hi, I’ve got a question for TL:DR
    You are invited to different k-festivals, people recognize on the streets, you have huge amount of fans, who have fanclub name :) what is your reaction to all of that? do you feel famous? do you like that many people consider you celebrities?

    • This is too awkward a question for us to answer, because we feel very awkward about it all. Immensely grateful, totally overwhelmed by everyone’s support, but we still feel icky sometimes, like “why the eff do people know us? It’s so odd!”

      • sorry for an awkward question, I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable. I think everyone loves you for your wonderful personality with which you fill every video :) thank you for all that you’re doing :)

      • Ha! This question is great because I just discovered EYK recently (and I loves it btw). I’ve also just been watching older episodes of Running Man and who happened to be on the guest judging panel for their Korean food compettion? ‘Ommo! Simon-and Martina-Couple!’ And on a side note… Martina you know you only picked the boys beef dish because of Nichkhun!…I would have too :)

  178. I live in the Middle East (Qatar), and the driving here is horrible too. Well, the locals here almost never go under the speed limit (which is usually 100km/h) and even if they have to pay heavy fines.. well they don’t just care..(for most locals here, money just grow on trees)!

  179. Here in my country (Ecuador) it´s more or less the same as in Korea (maybe worst!!) but we do have to take Driving Lessons, in theory and practice, then we are tested by the ones in charge of making the driving laws be followed perfectly (driving practice and theory) and then they give us a license. When it’s a professional License it´s way more complicated. But still people here don´t care about the laws and just drive as they want. So yeah crossing the streets is dangerous and driving too. Sadly.

  180. I´ am from Germany and now I am making my driving license.

    First of all you can make your driving license here with 17 but until you are 18 you will have to drive with someone who has his or her driving license for some time. In most cases this are the parents.

    There are a lot of different classifications on licenses. For example a motorcycle license can be made with 16 but driving a car on your own is allowed with 18 and only then.

    If you are 18 and decide to make your driving license, you have to register in a driving school that is near the place you are living. Then you have to visit 12 lections about basic knowledge and 2 extra lections about the vehicle you are making your license for. In my case a normal car.

    After that, or sometimes you can start when you are in the process of attending the lections, you can start taking driving lessons with a driving teacher from the driving school…. I know, to much use of the term “driving”

    After you have listened to all the lections, you can make your theory-test. You pass if you have less then 10 fault-points. It does NOT mean you can answer 10 questions wrong. There are some questions for which you can get 5, 4, 3 and 2 fault-point. When you pass the theory-test you can make your practical test. The practical test starts with questions about the car… Then you have to drive, park and do everything, the testing person, from the so called TÜV, an organisation that allows you to have a driving license and a car, asks you to do. If everything is alright, you will get your driving license after you get out of the car. If not, he will take your driving license back to the TÜV until you retry.

    Oh and I forgot, to be allowed to take the practical driving-test you need to have 12 Special-lessons. For example driving on a highway, driving in the dark, driving on the countryside…. And you start first with lessons on learning how to drive. When the teacher knows that you are ready, he or she might allow you to do the special lessons…

    All in all it takes you from 2 – 12 months to get your driving license and the costs are about 1200 – 2000 €. So most of the people in germany drive carefully because they know how hard it was to get the driving license and if the police takes it away, you will have to pay around 500 € for visiting another lection and getting back your license….

    My mom once told me that she would rather eat her license then give it away to someone because it was so hard and expensive for her to get it…

  181. I’ve heard so much about driving in other countries like Korea and China to be terrible. But, it’s because that people are always in a hurry I guess. But, like you guys said, people should be more careful when it comes to nursing mothers and the elderly and even pets like Spudgy. I hope whenever I go over to Korea to teach, that buses and taxis don’t try to murder me.

  182. Wow,, that sounds like in my country. I live in Indonesia, and that things happens too.

    The worst part is, you’ll even barely walk on pedestrian here. Coz it filled up with A LOTS of strets seller. At the front of schools, in front of market place, in front of malls, even up on the overpass bridge, where it should be for ppl to safely croos the street! Whether it just ppl selling cigaretes and lots other stuff. Some motorcycles are even CLIMBS UP on the overpass that should only be for ppl coz they’re just want to cuts time on RUSH HOUR. What an excuse to do that.

    Even the public transportations stop almost every where they can and creates a very long traffic jam,, mostly on the crowded place such as market, schools (usualy at noon, when most of the student are about to go home), and other places.
    More over there even some intersection which don’t have traffic lamp on it, and there will be some ppl who are kind enough to help vehicle to pass over for a small amount of money (coins) but sometimes only creates more traffic jam at other places (such as an illegal U turn).
    And to add it, some ppl here also don’t have manner on the street. They do random dangerous things to themselves such as running when passing a crowded street. And then when it comes to accident, the driver would suffer from massive anger from ppl around. It’s like becoming a free punching bag! (It sounds horrible, but IT DOES HAPPEN) >_<

    No, I don't feel proud about it. But the difference is if there's a police man and woman nearby, that would be a different story. Sometimes when they get caught, they bribe the police to let them go and they wouldn't have to bother the trial for their ticket. I don't know exactly how's the bribe going on now (since I never got tickets on my entire riding life).

  183. Wow,, that sounds like in my country. I live in Indonesia, and that things happens too.

    The worst part is, you’ll even barely walk on pedestrian here. Coz it filled up with A LOTS of strets seller. At the front of schools, in front of market place, in front of malls, even up on the overpass bridge, where it should be for ppl to safely croos the street! Whether it just ppl selling cigaretes and lots other stuff. Some motorcycles are even CLIMBS UP on the overpass that should only be for ppl coz they’re just want to cuts time on RUSH HOUR. What an excuse to do that.

    Even the public transportations stop almost every where they can and creates a very long traffic jam,, mostly on the crowded place such as market, schools (usualy at noon, when most of the student are about to go home), and other places.
    More over there even some intersection which don’t have traffic lamp on it, and there will be some ppl who are kind enough to help vehicle to pass over for a small amount of money (coins) but sometimes only creates more traffic jam at other places (such as an illegal U turn).
    And to add it, some ppl here also don’t have manner on the street. They do random dangerous things to themselves such as running when passing a crowded street. And then when it comes to accident, the driver would suffer from massive anger from ppl around. It’s like becoming a free punching bag! (It sounds horrible, but IT DOES HAPPEN)

    No, I don’t feel proud about it. But the difference is if there’s a police man and woman nearby, that would be a different story. Sometimes when they get caught, they bribe the police to let them go and they wouldn’t have to bother the trial for their ticket. I don’t know exactly how’s the bribe going on now (since I never got tickets on my entire riding life).

  184. Not american? Isn’t Canada in North America? D:

    • It may seem confusing but there is a difference between ‘American’ and ‘North American’. Americans are people who are from the country called, The United States of America. While, Canadians are people from the country of Canada. It would be strange for a person from Canada to call themselves American because it refers to a different country.

      I don’t want to go through the whole semantics of what is ‘North American’, but colloquially it refers to Canada and USA. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty details, North America is a region that consists of the northern half of the landmass called America. So the countries in the Caribbean, also Greenland, Mexico, and even countries in Central America can be considered to be part of ‘North America’. But you would never hear an individual from any of these various countries, who are part of the North America region, call themselves ‘American’, because it is used only for people from the United States of America.

  185. After traveling to London this summer I look both ways regardless of whether or not it’s a one way street XD I’m so paranoid that I’ll look the wrong way it’s ridiculous.

  186. I did a double take at the start when you stated, “Number one, we’re not American.”
    “Whoa”, I thought, channeling Bill & Ted I guess, “When did Canada move out of North America, Dude?”
    Then I thought — “Cut ‘em some slack, Dude, they’ve just been away for long, long time.” Thankfully, this was the end of my B&T experience.

    • I think it’s just to emphasized that they’re Canadian?
      Aren’t US and Canada different country?
      If you watch others videos on their archives, they’re tend to make sure America (as in US country) is different than their country (Canada)

    • unicornsgalaxy

      I think that’s because people from the US (and yes I live in the US) tend to call ourselves American like we are the only country in North and South America…I don’t know how it came about… I think all other countries reflect their names (Canadian, Mexican, Chilean, etc) …maybe because United Statesian sounds stupid?

    • I have never heard a person from Canada refer to themselves as an American (unless of course they’re an American citizen living in Canada). Citizens of the country Canada are referred to as “Canadians,” while citizens of the United States of America are called “Americans.” While the actual continent of North America is composed of more than just the United States, as far as I know, no one from those other countries call themselves “American” unless they are a citizen of the U.S.

      • You’re absolutely right re: Canadians, but I gotta say, a lot of Central Americans and South Americans are very unhappy with the US for what they feel was a co-opting of “American” as an identity.

        • Understandable, but if not “Americans,” what would U.S. citizens call themselves? United Statesians? That’s just awkward. I’m sure the U.S. didn’t purposely co-opt the name American in order to disenfranchise Central Americans and South Americans of their right to also be known as Americans. The U.S. has been officially known as the United States of America since about 1777, so that would have to have been some extremely far-sighted scheming.

  187. Can’t get buy him……… Simon, Martina………..

  188. I know the feeling! When i went to China on a class trip i have to say i nearly died at least a dozen times in each of the 2 day stops in each city. (We went to 7 provinces in 12 days, with larger cities like shanghai, beijing, etc). Holy smokes, I’m not kidding you! I have never been so scared in my whole life while riding a tour bus (without seat belts may i add). They were all over the road, in both lanes, in oncoming traffic, speeding like a bat out of hell, running over curbs, nearly taking out a group of children, seriously! I was terrified! On the first day when we got in Beijing, we were crossing a street to get to Tiananmen square and i was almost plowed over by a truck! Needless to say after that my chinese teacher basically held my hand at every crossing :P On top of that, I’m not sure how many bike riders there are in Korea, but they are everywhere in china! Doesn’t matter is its the sidewalk or the road, you have to dodge them like frogger! All i can say is, you guys if Korea is anything like China, i wish you luck!

  189. Simon & Martina. couldn’t agree with you more about driving though i haven’t been to Korea. here in the U.S., you sign up and take a test to get your permit. then, you can go to driver’s ed class and/or have someone w/ at least 1 yr driving experience to teach you. once you get x amount of hours done, you can register to take your road test. w/ the road test, they test not just how well you parallel park, backup in a straight line, follow traffic laws, and do 3 point turns but your overall driving sense. if you pass all these steps, you’d get your license. the rules are more strict for those under 18 yrs old.

    I’ve been to China (the suburbs) and omg, there are barely any traffic lights! its like for many miles you may have one or a few traffic lights. even w/ them, its not safe to cross the street sometimes. ppl literally jaywalk to get to the other side. i was so petrified crossing the road that my cousins (who grew up there) ended up dragging me like a parent drags their children w/ them! very few ppl yield to you if any.

    driving in America is somewhat safer in China and Korea but still you get ppl who drive recklessly. at least there’s traffic control, somewhat really.

  190. I made the mistake of eating my soup lunch while watching this video. Butternut squash soon found its way onto my screen during that mini questionaire. How dare you make me laugh so much?! Lol
    In California, it really depends on your age as to how hard it is to get your license. Like, if youre 16, you are only allowed a permit, you must take drivers Ed, and you have to do behind the wheel classes with the DMV. After you’re 18 you could just walk in and take a drivers test, but you aren’t very likely to pass :P I didn’t get my permit until after I was 18, so I was able to avoid drivers Ed and behind the wheel, but I am no where near ready to take my official drivers test D:

  191. the sounds a lot like drivers here in miami. it’s insane how poorly people drive here.

  192. I’m glad finally korea has something in common with Indonesia. LOL
    I bet the driver in Indonesia is worst than there. so just be grateful that Korea has better pedestrian, better public transportation, better cars (a lot of piece of junk in the road), and I believe better driving.
    not to mention the way to get license. LOL, it happens in here as well. :p

  193. I already decided I’m never ever EVER driving in Korea. Like EVER. I’m already kind of a nervous driver, and having everything be in Korean… just no. But yeah, I guess I’ll have to really watch my step as a pedestrian too. Public transport ftw!!!

    Wow, really? Canada has some strict laws compared to here… Here (in Colorado, USA) when you’re like 15 and a half, you can take a permit test (paper only), and get your permit. This allows you to drive but ONLY if you have someone who is A- a licensed driver and B- over 21 in the front passenger seat with you. Then you have to have your permit for 6 months before you can take your license test. You also need to get something like 40 hours of documented driving time, and 10 hours have to be at night. Then for your test, it’s a written test and a practical test, but the practical is very easy. It’s only left turns, merging, using a blinker, etc. No parallel parking, no highway driving, no parking on a hill, none of that. But that’s only if you’re under 18. If you’re over 18, you can just walk in and take the practical- no written test required. That’s what I did, so it was very easy.

    • No parallel parking? In Minnesota you have to parallel park for your test. Also the course I took mine on had a hill, so I had to park on a hill. Another difference is that the test you take for the permit is considered part of the test for your license so all you have to do is take the practical test after having your permit for 6 months.

      • Yeah, I was worried I’d have to parallel park but I didn’t at all. Which is good, because I only learned it for one day of my driving lessons and can’t do it at all now! >.< My test didn't really have a course, we just drove around the area surrounding the dmv I went to. The only time I even had to park was when I was back in the dmv parking lot. The hardest thing they made me do was back out of the spot I was parked in to start the test… even that made me nervous because I was still kind of iffy on reverse. And I passed with full marks! So I thought it was an easy test because if you can't parallel park (I can't), can't drive on the highway (was too scared at that point), and don't even feel comfortable backing your car out of a parking spot, you probably shouldn't be driving… And yeah, that makes sense that the written portion already counts. But in my case, I got my permit when I was 16 but didn't get my license until I was 19. And honestly, I had forgotten a lot of what I studied for the test by then, so if they made me retake it, I'm not sure I would have passed.

  194. In Australia (Victoria atleast) you apply for your Learners permit at 16… Only after passing a quiz on general road rules. While on your learners ypu have to complete 120 hpurs practice. You then apply for your full license at 18 with a practical driving test.(which here in melbourne have. to be booked months ahead of time).
    Once you pass for the first year you can only have one other passenger (unless its family) and no allcohol can be consumed at all.
    Its pretty tough… Im 20 and dont even have my learners cause. Im scares of the traffic here XD though once anyone turns 21 the 120 isnt required… Just passing the test!
    I guess it helps prepare younger drivers here… especially since the drinking age is 18.. They dont want the 2 to mix.

  195. Hey!! Simon and Martina!!

    I would like to know what is the main religion in Korea? and if they have different big holidays other then Chirstmas and valentine’s day?? or are their holidays base on their religion ???

    and you guys should be really carefull, the driving in korean sounds super scary~!

    • From my own research I’ve found that the main religion in Korea is. None. A huge portion of the population is atheist After that though it is Christianity with a mixture of protestants and Catholics (more protestants that Catholics though).
      After that is Buddhism and some shamanism i think… and confusiciism or whatever.
      But mostly atheist, christian and Buddhist.
      In regards to holidays (I actually studied abroad in Korea and did a group project on Korean holidays) they have a lot of couple holidays: Valentine’s day, White day, Black day (single persons day) and Christmas. Other big holidays are theirs are their national holidays such as Chuseok, kind of equivalent to our Thanksgiving, and other’s that I don’t remember (like Buddha’s birthday was celebrated.. voting day was a national holiday..) I don’t know if that’s based off of religion or anything, but even in going to a Christian college there (Yonsei) I hardly saw religion at all.
      That is just -my- experience and knowledge about it~

      Also: I totally know where you’re coming from with the driving. It’s terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I’m a /big/ girl (about 6’0) and I’ve got air-born while holding on during bus rides in Korea. I’ve also nearly fallen over and died while trying to put away my T-money card. Thankfully a Korean reached out to help steady me. x__x!!!!
      Finally: those doodles are awesome. My favorite thing that I saw someone do (rather I was in the car while they did this) is they went up to the front of the left turn lane, but didn’t have their blinker on. When the lights turned green, they just put on their hazards and buzzed in front of the cars going straight.
      I thought I was going to die. ;o;

    • The main religion is probably Christianity and Buddhism. (Having been to Korea and being a Korean myself)

  196. Does Korea give out ticket? and do they have traffic cops?

  197. In Britain it’s less like that–we don’t have driver’s ED for one thing. In the UK you can drive on a learner’s permit but where I’m from you have to get a new learner’s permit every 6 months if you don’t pass your test during 6 months, and you have to pay for it each time. You do your theory test first and then your practical and then that’s you. There’s no stress about having to learn specifics etc; that’s all it takes. They test you on corners, parking, hazards, reversing and speed and that’s pretty much all of it.

  198. I’ve been in Indonesia last year. The traffic there is really nuts! Bikers come from left, right and center. It’s like they don’t care about safety!

    But then i heard it’s possible to “buy” a drivers license and you will get one 2 days later. That explains alot but still.. not cool bro.

  199. Sounds like Korea isn’t as bad as Vietnam.
    The drivers in Vietnam are C.R.A.Z.Y. you will see whole family’s on scooters
    (like 5/6 people – 2x adults 3x kids) and like you said they don’t drive safe
    and no one has a helmet they were shorts and flip flops!. And the driving test
    in Vietnam is to be able to drive a figure of 8 that’s it!. As for the traffic
    lights they just treat it as a normal junction’s if they can fit in front the
    other car (most the time they can’t) they will still go. Except the scooters
    just go around people walking so people will just walk straight across a road
    regardless of how busy or big this road is (I’m talking highways). I’m not going to even start about Cars/Vans. Hope you guys stay safe on Korean roads :)

  200. Yeah, my Korean roommate and her friends all can drive over here cause they got their licenses in Korea and then just had to take one driving test over here to get a NY license(you can actually just drive with an international license, but if you get in an accident or something goes wrong, the fine and punishment is a lot worse. I live in upstate NY btw). Now, I’m not the best driver.Since I got my car a year ago, I have been in an accident(it was dark and raining in my defense) but ALL of my roommate and roommate’s friends have dents in their car, and most of them just got them a few months ago. I mean, they are definitely not the worst drivers, but I’ve learned that Koreans don’t really have a “right of way” or “being courteous to other drivers” mentality. I remember there was a long line of cars in front of me I was trying to merge into, and a nice old lady let me slide in, and my roommate was like “WOW. That would never happen in Korea!” and I’m just like O.o
    Also, I was wondering if you could do a segment on what types of Koreans study abroad and what types of foreigners you see studying in Korea(income wise, choice of major, age, etc.) I’m just curious because the Koreans who I know studying here all seem to be loaded(my roommate’s dad works for the US military over there, and they pay for her rent and tuition and for her to go shopping and I’m just working my minimum wage job like TT.TT)

  201. yeah, i’d just lift the spudge while crossing streets. people here in the US make me crazy. hubs and i will continue to carry kids across the street until they’re higher than a typical dashboard. better hit the gym- they’re getting big!

    and as for parking- i grew up believing that nyc parks the best, (craziest parallel and sidewalk stylin’) but as i began driving and paying for car insurance, i started noticing all of those trunk-pad-bumper things because we are, in fact, not excellent parkers, we’re just desperate for parking and nudge/move other cars out of our way. =(

    my question is about apartments.. i’d like to know more about the different kinds of living in seoul. different apartments, how they’re decorated inside, what’s important in korean homes, etc. i know you don’t have kids yet but do you have friends that can share the experience of family life in seoul?

  202. I’ve lived in China for about 10 months over the past 2 years, and can totally attest that China drivers are INSANE…to say the very least. I cannot tell you how many times I almost got run over cuz I forgot to look both ways when crossing a one-way street. And the times I rented a scooter on vacation with my friends, we were all scared for our lives while driving in the city…had to get out to the countryside ASAP before someone could kill us. Your examples are all pretty close to things I’ve seen too…taxi drivers on the sidewalk, buses using the right turn merge lane, driving straight across the next lanes, then using their right turn merge lane to make it so they will have actually just driven straight through a red light and gone around everyone who actually waited for a green light, cars hitting old grandmas, 5 people on one motorcycle or scooter, you name it…. I also couldn’t believe how quiet it was here in Canada after coming home, cuz there was just so much dang honking! They honk when they switch lanes, when they’re coming up behind someone, when they’re turning, when they’re driving straight, when they like the song their listening to, when they exhale, and every 3.5 seconds in between. It’s ridiculous.

  203. People in Mexico need a pedestrian licence… they keep walking off the sidewalk and jay walking like nobody’s business… and make it hard for the drivers to get out of congested areas because they don’t pay attention to the friggin’ crosswalk light thingamajigs…

  204. do the policemen exist??? omg. I can only imagine…

  205. I visited the Philippines a couple of years ago and all you hear are car horns being pressed repeatedly, seat belts are optional, there is no limit on the number of passengers for the vehicles, other people come up to try to sell you things or ask for money, and crossing the street is really scary. Sigh, I love the Philippines. ^^;

  206. Note: I am a loyal fan to 2ne1 but this topic reminded of a video I saw on youtube. If this is a hint of how horrible driving in Korea, then I totally understand where Simon and Martina are coming from.

    Anyone see the 2ne1 TV episode when 2ne1 came to Los Angeles to record songs with Will.I.Am? There is a scene where Dara is driving a fabulous, and may I mention EXPENSIVE, red Bentley through the streets of LA — Westwood, to be exact, by the UCLA campus.

    Dara parks the Bentley crooked into a spot. Now this may not seem so bad to people outside of Los Angeles. However, in car-centric Los Angeles, where finding parking is a major issue. Parking crooked not only makes it hard for your passengers to exit and the neighboring car driver to enter their vehicle; it also, takes away a parking space, because no one wants to park their car next to another which would probably dent their car when backing out.

    Also, it’s not uncommon for cars in Los Angeles, especially expensive ones, parked crooked to get dented or deliberately scratched, because they pissed off another car driver who got stuck next to them.

    Skip to 21:00.

    • not to mention the TERRIBLE left turn she makes at 23:39. she goes in the other lane!

      • >____<";; The whole time I was watching Dara drive, I was thinking, 'Please don't crash. Please don't crash. Why is she not signaling her turns?? OMG. Did she really just park like that? Poor Minzy is struggling to exit the car.'

        Thanks for pointing that out phoenix_fire! I didn't notice her crossing over to the oncoming traffic lane x___x! I'm just glad, that despite CL calling her an ahjumma and teasing her of driving with no shoes, Dara knew it was safer to drive without her high heels.

  207. Simon & Martina, do yourselves a favor and never attempt to walk or drive in India okay? I’ve heard you both complain about the drivers in Seoul, and was expecting the worst when I visited earlier this year. But while I was there, it was totally nothing in comparison… I think you might have been spoiled by the lovely drivers in Canada (I can’t believe the levels you need to pass to be able to get a license! It must take everyone years) My dad never got a license until he was 35 and needed a loan for a shiny new SUV… lolz <3
    But, if you do happen to visit India, which I hope you do it is an awesome country, just stick to taxis or a chaffeured car okay? I rather love your stuff and would hate to see either of you maimed by some crazy old uncle attempting to take a u-turn on a bridge or something.

    • lol I know what you mean. In south India, the roads are made for 1 1/2 cars, but there are always buses too. There’s almost no room for pedestrians to walk if there’s 2 cars on the roads. My dad was scared that i would get mauled by one of the drivers. Definitely stick to taxi, rickshaw, or chauffeured car. Rickshaws are fun until there’s a puddle.

  208. As for a driving license in Korea, you guys know wrong about the driving test. Of course you have to take a driving exam in advance a driving test. If you pass the exam, you can take a driving test on the road:) As for me, it took me three weeks to get a driving licence including a written test and two performance tests:)

  209. I used to live in Vancouver Canada, then recently moved to Los Angeles. People rarely signal here! We are doing like 130km on a freeway and others around us are swerving in and out of lanes. Crazy experience from a friend, who recently got his license – he hates non-signaling people. On a crazy day he saw a car ahead not signaling and spazzy going in and out of lanes and almost getting into accidents. He honked at them, and turned out it was an undercover cop who flashed and pulled them over. My friend didn’t get a ticket, but did rant the cop wasn’t signaling and was scary. lol at pulling over a cop!
    But yeah, not as scary as it sounds in Korea, but I’m thinking Canada has more safe, patient drivers doing slower speeds.

    • In comparison to Korea, Los Angeles is a pretty tame place to get around in cars — nothing like the crazy bus maneuvers Simon and Martina witnessed in Korea, or cars going the opposite way down a One Way road, or motorcycles driving on sidewalks, etc.

      I’m a native of Los Angeles and people tend to drive fast here. For Angelenos, the “max speed limit” posted on signs are really the “minimum driving speed” for us. People will drive at least 1 mph faster or faster than the “max speed limit”. Except for when a cop is watching LOL then drivers will heed the speed limit.

      After living in LA for over 20 years, I would say non-signaling cars happens 10% of the time when driving on the roads. Changing lanes with no signal is not surprising in Los Angeles but I wouldn’t say it’s common or that ‘people rarely signal here’. Canada have very easy going drivers, if the occurrence of non-signaling cars here and there is considered ‘crazy’.

  210. I’m a 17 year old driver in Ohio in the US, and here if you’re under 18, you have to study a driving rulebook and then take a written test to get a temporary license, then take 24 hours of driving school which is basically lectures, then 8 hours with a certified driving instructor, 50 hours of driving with your parents, and then a written test to past driving school. Then we take the actual driving test to get a license. It’s super strict – if you get two traffic tickets before you turn 18, you’re basically on probation.

    Oh, and driving sucks in China. Really bad. I was in Shanghai, and after the first ten minutes I had to distract myself with a book or something so that I wouldn’t scream every time the taxi cab driver cut off someone on the highway.

    I’ve also noticed something interesting in kdramas and when I went to China – if you have a fancy schmancy car, it seems they feel speed limits and rules don’t exist for you. Of course, in the US you have to be extra careful – nice cars get keyed if you park in the wrong area….

  211. Wrote a long post.. aaaand it’s gone :( I lived in Tianjin China for a year and the traffic was craaazy. For crossing the roads we learned the tactic of weaving through and the cars drive around us. You just have to walk calm and decisive, no sudden stops or hesitation. Bali was insane driving with scooters. INSANE I SAY! :P

    The traffic jams were stupid, cars honk and push forward even though the jam isn’t moving. So it’s just becoming more tightly packed jam.

    Summa summarum: Bali: CHAOS, Tianjin, China: Controlled CHAOS, Seoul: chaos-ish-ish, Finland: nothing to see here.

  212. When you’re a pedestrian in Korea, you’re not safe. In America I jaywalk all the time. I NEVER EVER jaywalk in Korea because crosswalks are barely safe. And scooters, omg sidewalks are far from safe with them always driving up on the sidewalk. There’s even scooters on my college campus trying to run me over. I swear before this year is up I will be mowed down by a scooter at least once.

  213. its the same in turkey :) but i am living in Germany.. so its like in canada…

  214. If by park anywhere you mean park in a parking spot thats not a parking spot, then yes i agree (aka bus stops, the median, the middle of the street, etc.) I know the stereo type back home is Asian people can’t drive but holy crap has this stereotype come true :/

  215. Oh my, this reminds me of my Korean friend who kept telling me about the worst drivers in Korea. He kept on complaining about them and when I told him that the drivers in the Philippines are far worse, he disagreed and said Korean drivers are much much worse.

  216. wow… after watching this I realise that driving in Romania is pretty safe, comparing to Korea. For us it’s a little complicated to get the driving license. We have to go to a driving school where first you learn the theory (legislation, mechanics and first aid) and only after passing a test, the school lets you start the actual driving – 30 hours in real traffic with all the crazy drivers. After that, you go to DRPCIV (I guess it’s the DMV from the US) sign up for the exam, pass a multiple choice test and schedule a date for the practical exam. It’s not easy to get the license. It’s takes a while, especially if you fail one of the tests, in which case you have to wait for 2 weeks before taking the test again. For example, I started driving school in august and I will finally get the chance to take the practical exam on friday – I hope the police man who will examine me will be nice. So, after all this, we’ve mastered at least the basics, like stopping at red lights :P. :D

  217. In Malaysia we got everyday life cars accident as main covers
    story in every single our national newspaper (at least one/two story per day). I
    thought it was pretty bad enough. It’s about personal attitude and personal traditional
    cultural after all (look up how you grown up with), not everyone sucks at
    driving but majority of us, I said, YES! Our driving tests not as suck just
    fill couple papers only. We do learn other things, but still for my personal
    opinion, we (majority Asians countries) do lack in driving education. Hey, I’m
    working under MTD (Malaysian Road Transport Department)…

  218. … Ahem.. Asian drivers. Nothing new here.

  219. You guys should visit Marakesh, the driving is horrendous, taxi’s, don’t even get me started on taxi’s!!!! Oh and seatbelts, yeah… they don’t exist…
    God I love Morroco XD

  220. I really really appreciate Australian driving after experiencing Korean traffic. People follow the rules here…. as a pedestrian I don’t feel in danger. Actually sometimes with Korean friends who haven’t been in Australia for long, when we are walking and I start walking across a pedestrian crossing, they will like hold me back and be like “Nooo! How can you just walk across the street???” And I have to explain that as a pedestrian I have right of way, all cars slow down for crossings, besides from a quick look I don’t need to take any extra precautions for walking over a designated pedestrian crossing.

    One Korean friend however pointed out that what if it’s a Korean driver in Australia… yes that may be a problem.

    Many Koreans here have bad accidents or get pulled over by the police because they don’t understand how seriously we take the rules here. Like there is even a booklet available in Korean for Koreans on Australian road rules but I don’t know one single Korean that bothered reading it. I’ve been terrified when in a car a Korean is driving in Australia more than once…. even one time a Korean friend started going round a roundabout the wrong way. I almost had a heart attack…

    • hehe i’m from australia also.

      on my trip to seoul earlier this year, my friend and I were at dongdaemun and we were walking behind this old lady, i was about to follow the lady and cross the street at the pedestrian crossing when my friend stopped me and said there was a car coming, the car was still a fair distance away but was definitely speeding so we decided to wait. the old lady however didn’t even look both ways before crossing, so she was right in the middle of the road and just taking her sweet time hobbling along as old ladies do while the car was speeding towards her! the driver didn’t even bother reducing his speed, if anything i think he sped up! the old lady didn’t even seemed phased and kept walking at ant’s pace while my friend and I were on full panic mode for her life! luckily the old lady JUST made it out of the cars path as it sped by (she was actually STILL on the road when the car passed her!)!!! we were so scared to cross the road after that lol!

    • I tried to explain to a co-worker that in Australia you need to do 150 hours of supervised driving plus sit two tests in order to drive by yourself… they’re like “oh we just go to the driving hagwon for like a day.” It explains many things…

      • Go Nasty Aussies! I think it’s interesting how Korea has many social rules and is very westernised, yet seems to have little interest in regulating the roads? I mean it sounds like there isn’t really a police presence on the roads? Maybe it’s because people don’t drive regularly (or don’t need to) so they have less practice plus they see others doing whatever they want so they go stuff it!

        I have a TL:DR question: Have you ever experienced restrictions or prejudice in Korea due to people’s perceptions of your gender roles? e.g. when paying bills or making expensive purchases, do people/men just speak to Simon and ignore you Martina? Rules for married people? other social limitations?

        Love your work! XD

  221. I lived in China for a year and yes, the driving there is monumentally terrifying. I found a link that pretty much sums it up. This is how to turn left on an intersection in Beijing.


  222. I’m in the USA (Florida) and most of the process for getting a license seems to be the same as you, except the actual driving portion. I think it varies depending on your testing location, so mine just might have been a very easy location to test at. My mom said when she got her license (many many years ago) she had to drive on a real road and it took probably 30+ minutes to complete the test because of all the different things she had to do. But for me, all I had to do was pull out of a parking spot, leave the parking lot area and go into a side area that’s a really tiny neighborhood (maybe 5 houses, and it’s straight with no turns or anything, just a dead end). In the small neighborhood, we had to stop quickly when the tester tells us to. After that, we had to backup until the tester said to stop. Then we had to do a 3 point turn and leave the area. Then we go into the parking lot again and park in the spot with the cones. There was a little bit of a verbal test too (basically which way you turn your tires if you’re on a hill and things like that). But that was basically it. I only missed points on the 3 point turn because I forgot to use my blinker. My mom knew where the testing place was because my brother took the test at the same exact location, so we had practiced that test so many times before I officially took my test. It was so easy, and despite that I still know people who failed it.

    As for if I feel safe, I live in a college area. The street that leads to my neighborhood also leads to a college, and we get some terrrrrrible drivers. One the first day of classes there’s usually 2-3 accidents right at the entrance to my neighborhood, mostly because of people texting and driving. The worst was a motorcycle driver was hit by a car literally right at the entrance, but thankfully he survived. My mom was the one who called 911 for it and his family thanked us and updated us about his condition. I feel really unsafe in this area, but it’s mostly because of the inexperienced drivers texting and driving. I’ve even seen a police officer do it. In my old area, it wasn’t bad at all.

  223. Here in Italy there are at least 2 tests for getting a driving license (theory and practice)…anyway the driving style differs a lot from place to place…for example, cities are generally a lot more dangerous than suburbs and little towns…but the price to pay if you make a mistake is high, so it’s your interest to drive in a good way…it’s just that unpolite people and dorks are everywhere and for this kind of problem there isn’t a real solution…if you won’t to consider extermination, of course….

  224. I honestly think that there may be worse places than Korea. For example, when I was on a trip to Cairo, Egypt, I was not able to spot a single car without a large dent or one that looked relatively new and well taken care of. The roads basically have no lanes so every car is making its ‘own’ lane and they drive so close to each other that they are always only centimetres away from each other. Although many cars may have missing side mirrors, non-functioning signal/brake lights— the car horn is the one item that will always be in working condition in their car because even at 5am in the morning when the roads are pretty empty, the drivers have their hand perpetually glued to the horn, honking at everything and anything. You can only imagine what it’s like during peak rush hours like 5-6pm. I am quite bewildered how all these cars are able to co-exist with donkey/horse-pulled carts on these roads with little to no adherence to road rules.

    In Malaysia, it isn’t as bad but there are lots of ‘types’ of drivers that you have to look out for which can be summed up here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cblqyj6Z_ls
    Usually it’ll be luxury car drivers and illegally modified cars that weave in and out between traffic and tailgate. Taxi drivers and truck drivers are somewhat road bullies and are not very sorry if they happen to run into you. Ladies in general drive quite poorly and erratically. ‘P drivers’ or rather ‘probational drivers’ are newbie drivers who have recently passed their driving test and are on probation period for two years. They either drive really slowly on the ‘faster’ lanes or are straddling in between lanes because they can’t control their cars well. Malaysians have a bad habit of slowing down whenever they spot an accident on the road whether the cars involved in the accident are completely pulled to the side into the emergency lanes of the highway (not disrupting traffic in any way) or the completely opposite side of the road. They always wanna ‘see’ and ‘know’ what’s going on and some even take down the car’s (which is involved in the accident) registration number to purchase lottery. As a pedestrian, it’s best that you still look out for cars when crossing roads because not all of them stop for the traffic lights. However, from a viewpoint of a driver, there are also a lot of pedestrians that jay-walk. So it’s a two way thing.

  225. two weeks ago, when I was in St. Petersburg, I almost got hit by a speeding car who “didn’t saw” me. A classmate pulled me out of the way. ANd how fast thy drive there, zigzagging they’re way through. It was like being in a racecar. We saw a car accident every night, sometimes two.

  226. I’ve heard about how easy it is to get your license in Korea. In Texas, granted I could take the class at 15, I had to take 6 weeks of classes (Both in class reading from a book and actually driving) which cost about $280.People aren’t really bad drivers there (now that I live in Florida and people here are cray-cray). Only problem there was the drunk driving. Here in Florida the problem isn’t the pedestrians, it’s people being in such a damn rush they hit motorcyclists.
    I plan on moving to Korea in a few years after I finish off my college, but I have to admit, their driving is what scares me the most. I’m really worried about being run over x_x;

  227. UH, HELLO, I don’t know who you asked about driver’s license, but YOU DO NOT ONLY FILL A PAPER TEST. That’s crazy! D: OF COURSE you have a driving test as well! My parents are Korean and got their licenses with both a paper and driving test, AND they had to take an education course before the test. My mom had to take it twice before making it, and that was way back in 2002.

    I swear I’m not angry, I just wanted to set information right. I don’t want you to be attacked by random angry netizens either, so you shouldn’t make their job any easier with misinformation. That being said, I sometimes found that your Korean friends were not the most reliable source regarding stuff about Korea. Have you thought about hiring a Korean cultural context person among your staff for TL;DR or other things?

    (Also, my brother has called me ‘octopus legs’ for my inability to keep balance on the bus. I’m Korean-Korean. Yeah.)

    • how old were your parents when they got their license? they were required by law to take a course before the test?
      also how is the actual driving test? is it like actually practicing on the street? or in an enclosed area that imitates a driving environment?
      oh just an extra S&M’s korean friends are not a whole consensus about how things are in korea and simon and martina have never said they were. they’re just providing some evidence that supports what simon and martina think or view things in korea.

      • I don’t have a license so I don’t know about driving laws, but I am sure you have to take a test before getting a license. My dad got his in his twenties, my mom in her late thirties/early forties.

        Actual driving test seems to vary. My mom practiced in an enclosed area, but I have seen other cars on actual roads that indicated it was a driving test car. So maybe it depends on location or something.

        Just to be clear, I’m not disputing S&M’s seeing things from their perspective. I was only pointing out when they mention “We asked our Korean friends and they said this and that”, sometimes what their friends say is more opinion than fact, but non-Korean viewers could confuse it as being fact.

    • really, in curious cause, when i get to Korea i want to be able to drive, i know in canada we had to have at the lest 5 hours of practice scheduled and completed with the driver instructor, then write a paper test, if we passed that we got to take the physical test with a instructor, if we got more then 5 points off of that test we failed and had to start over.

      • The only account I can provide is how my mom got her license – she attended a certain required amount of practice with an instructor, did a paper test and a driving test. If you don’t have passing scores for just one of them you have to try again. I don’t know how easy or difficult they are, but the test procedures, at least, don’t seem all that different from other countries.

        Yes, people would write different things about a cat because people are different – but everyone would agree cats have four legs, because that’s fact, not opinion. When S&M’s Korean friends said you “only” have to complete a paper test, they got a FACT wrong, it wasn’t an opinion, which was what I wanted to point out.

      • i found this on the net.. and as we all know, it might or might not be full of facts lol but at least it gives a good idea of what you would go through to be able to drive in Korea (if your not native born)


      • It sounds super easy in Canada. In the US, each state is different, but I got my license in Minnesota, and I had to take a semester course in High School and a written test for my permit, then have 20 hrs of practice with an instructor, as well as signed off practice with an adult driver over 21, then the driving test at a closed course for my actual license.

        • Yup, we have the same thing, but that’s to just get your FIRST level temporary permit license, but not your full license. Two – three more tests to go before you get that.

        • Shalyn Philip

          That’s interesting. I’m from Colorado, and here you either complete driver’s ed when you’re 15 or skip it and get your permit at 16. Permit is just a written test, and you can only miss 3 questions to pass.

          Then you need to have an adult sign off your driving time log (50 hours for day and 10 night hours). Anyways, You can’t drive without an adult while you hold a permit. The rules are pretty strict

          Once that’s done (after a year), then you can take the driver’s license
          test, where you drive on the main roads (wherever the grader tells you) and do what the driver tells you to do. I think you can only miss 2 or 3 things before the grader fails you. There’s 2 different licenses: one for under 21 and one for over 21.

        • Minnesota just changed their licenses to the 2 types a couple of years ago I think. A lot more states are adopting that. I’ve had my license for like a decade, so my memory of getting it is a little fuzzy and I know that the rules are a lot stricter now. I know that when we lived in North Dakota, my sister got her driver’s license at 14!

    • Don’t hire a cultutal context person.. it will take the fun out of it.. i love hearing the foreigner’s perspective… also its good to hear things from real people

      • i agree, because more then likely the experience of any other foreigners is going to be similar, we know how we see Korea and how native Koreans see Korea is way different, so its nice to see the things we might see as strange.

      • I only mentioned cultural context person because their FACT – that you *only* have a paper test for driving – is incorrect. That’s NOT an opinion difference. I like hearing from their perspectives too. But they should still form opinions based on correct FACTS. That’s why I talked about a cultural context person, so at least they can get correct FACTS on things about Korea, it wouldn’t affect their opinions one bit.

        …I know I’m sounding aggressive >_< I just really dislike seeing incorrect information, even if it's from two awesome people whose videos I really enjoy.

    • Thanks for the input! We always make a point of asking people (such as you) to leave us comments in our blog because we know we don’t have full information. So don’t worry, I think most people know that we aren’t a reliable source, like a government website or something. We’re just opinion based and experienced based from our own perspective, and we love the comment section because after everyone post people always leave their honest opinions. So honestly, thanks for taking the time to leave your comment, it can help fill out our experiences and we’ll be using your comment in future conversations! ^^

  228. We Got Married with Seohyun and Yonghwa might not have been the greatest show ever, but it did teach me about how driving test are in Korea… That was kinda hilarious honestly, in a slightly disconcerting way though… Like, as far as I can tell they never actually have a road test, just a highly automatized test in an enclosed area. It honestly seems like you can get a license without ever having to learn how to deal with actual traffic…

  229. Asian drivers are maniacs,but i don’t think the reason is that they are shitty drivers because of the lack of the abilities.They just have a different style of driving (I’m serious by saying that by the way) Since the traffic jam is such a big problem in Seoul and Tokyo because of the larger number of cars than roads the most important thing is to reach your destination so they build up a set of stylish driving skills called “I go wherever the fuck I want,bitch”.Thats really causing some problems when asians emigrate to countries with traffic safety regulations”Lanes? what the hell ?” The worst part is that they are totally immune to western gestures that are supposed to take some attention and have a influence on driving skills,but nope since an asian person has a hard time trying to handle the traffic and getting his way to a freeway he probably is too concentrated on the road to notice you- a simple pedestrian.So i guess next time someone encounters an asian driver who changes his lanes like a motherfucker I don’t think it will be efficient to show the finger or shouting whaterver.Don’t bother too much because he won’t notice it or he’ll ignore it

  230. I wonder, is the driving in Seoul worse than in Bucheon? Or is just equally horrible driving all over Korea?

  231. Just a quick nit-pick here — I’m in Ontario, and I have to correct you guise. Sorry!

    The Driver’s Education is not required, it’s just highly encouraged. You don’t HAVE to take any of those in-class (or in-car) lessons. You do your written test for the G1 to demonstrate that you have some understanding of the basic rules of the road. This allows you to get behind the wheel with the proviso that you have an experienced driver with you. Then the driving tests as mentioned above to graduate to G2 and G. Its’s an 8 month wait between levels IF YOU TAKE THE TRAINING. Otherwise, it’s 12 months, no less. Everything else you said is spot-on. ^_^

    As to the safety question — as you mentioned, cars are HUGE METAL WEAPONS that can CRUSH ME!!! They TERRIFY ME!! However, I have some basic reassurance that most people will follow the rules, and if I do so too, all will be well. Buuuuuuuuut … I do look both ways on a One-Way street, and I do keep looking EVERYWARE when crossing at signals. My 8 year old was nearly smoked when we had right-of-way. He saw the walky-man, and started to move forward. Some dude in a mini-van who had decided that ‘yellow means HURRY UP GO FASTER!!!’ nearly clipped him.

    So… I’m not sure that I would retain sanity in Korea. :P


  232. I visited Australia and New Zealand earlier this year and was told by my tour guides pedestrians don’t have the right away to cross in these countries. The crossing light only lasts for about 10 seconds and you’re usually in the middle of the street when the light turns red. I finally realized that I should probably run across streets when I saw actual citizens doing so.

    • Actually drivers are required to give way to pedestrians at crossings and shared zones. When the light flashes red for pedestrians it doesn’t mean the cars can now go, it’s a warning for pedestrians to not start crossing now as there is not enough time. As long as you cross before it’s the red men not flashing it’s fine.

      Most pedestrians run because they are crossing the street when the man is flashing red- when they are not supposed to- but they know if they run they have enough time. Also people just tend to run across the street anyway, particularly in cities here.

  233. Add 16 million cyclists that don’t care about any traffic rules or having their lights on in the dark and you have Dutch traffic

  234. Pedestrians beware! Scooters/motorcycles, and sometimes cars, drive on the sidewalk. Very rarely do the scootermen honk to warn people if imminent mowdown, in my experience. I have a book called Ask the Korean Guy (or something to that effect) and he was asked about the driving on the sidewalks so he contacted his local police department. Appatently driving on the sidewalk is illegal but they don’t go after the offenders to issue warnings or tickets out of fear that those in violation will cause accidents whilst trying to evade the police. Super faulty logic. So they will allow for potential accidents or harm to occur in order prevent potential accidents and harm from occurring… Also, pedestrian right of way does not exist here even when there are crosswalks if lights do not accompany them. Sometimes even then some drivers will try to cut you off.

  235. I love this! I spent a semester in China last year and can attest that the driving is ridiculous over there…I refuse to drive overseas. period! it’s terrifying! I’ve seen buses almost run over ladies with strollers, I’ve been in a bus accident with a man on a scooter getting killed…it sucks! When I got back to the US, I was literally scared to be near buses because I thought they were going to randomly swerve into my lane! people here in the West can’t even begin to understand.

    • Are you comparing China’s driving to Korea??? From -10 to +10, China’s like a -30, Korea’s a -7, the US is like a +6. It’s not even close… lol.

      • oh I’ve never been to Korea so I can’t really compare, but I appreciate that they acknowledged that China’s is even more terrible than what they experienced lol I can’t imagine anything worse than what I experienced

  236. In the two years I lived in Korea I almost got hit by a bus twice and a taxi driver once. I forgot that pedestrians don’t have the right of way even if the little green man tells you otherwise.

  237. yeah i almost get killed everyday when crossing the street. Drivers have no respect for people crossing on a green light.

  238. Wow that’s crazy. But we have people in California that drive crazy like in korea too. They stop in the streets anytime they want as if they own it. Road rage on freeways too. I guess there are crazy drivers everywhere

  239. I’m happy your eyes are a bit better….how are you dealing with not seeing as well and the Korean traffic!? Be safe guise…

  240. It’s almost the same as in Argentina. Really. It’s scary.

  241. I think that Ninjas and Pirates are confusing Cowboys with Rednecks

  242. This would make me so sad, b/c I love driving! But I also love being alive! But I also suck at parking!
    What a quandary.

    It varies by state in the US but there are generally just the two levels,
    learners permit and license. Sometimes a provisional license in between if you
    haven’t reached a certain age yet (16 or 17 I think). But there are places where
    15-year-olds can drive, and THAT is a bit scary.

    And, ahem…since when does conjunctivitis give you a cough? ;P

  243. In California, if you’re over 18, you take a test to get a driving permit, but you can schedule a driving test 7 days after you get your permit…I think. The driving permit allows you to drive with a licensed driver, no restrictions on how long they’ve had it…at least I don’t think so. The permit expires after a year and in order to take the actual driving test to get your license you need to have a permit. For teenagers it’s different and definitely different tests for motorcycles or to drive a van. (info: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500) There are different classes for licenses, however the most common is Class C. Each class has restrictions on what you can drive. (info: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/lic_chart.htm)

  244. People have tests and practice driving in my country aswell…I don’t drive so I can’t tell you any details ( -.- ) …
    But from what I heard from you , now I feel safe in my country when it comes to driving. Of course, there are always idiots who will run over the red light in a hurry and do some other stupid things, but in general it is safe.
    I had to move to a city for college ( since I grew up on an island and the education goes up to high school ) and in my now 4 years here I was almost run down 2-3 times…which isn’t much…and in one case I called my dad and told him the cars plate number xD ( dad’s a policemen *lol* ).

  245. I think that the laws have changed in Wyoming since I got my licence. I believe they have gotten stricter. When I was 15 I picked up a book from the DMV and studied for a few weeks then went and took a written test to get my learners permit. Then I practiced driving with my parents for a year until I was 16 at which point I took the practical test to demonstrate my driving capability. Drivers Ed is available in High school but not required. But if you take Drivers Ed and pass you get a discount on your auto insurance. There is also something in Wyoming called a hardship licence that you can get when you are 14. It is meant for kids that have jobs and live at least 1 mile away from there place of employment. A lot of ranch kids get these kinds of licences because they have to use the vehicles to do chores and also because they live out in the country.

  246. Malaysia’s pretty bad too, not as bad as Korea though. Always, ALWAYS look before you cross the street. Even though it’s a red light for cars.

  247. China is also insane. For example in a lane meant for four cars, there will be six tightly packed together! Also the military have no rules to obey, their cars go everywhere they want.

  248. Wow, Ontario has a lot of requirements for a license. In Texas, kids can get their learner’s permits at 15, where they can drive with a licensed driver in the passenger seat during daylight. The take a 6-week driver’s ed course, which includes a whopping 14 hrs of practice with an instructor, and can get their license at 16. There is a written test, but no practical. For adults the requirements are less stringent, but at least some sort of test or education is required depending on the situation. I think that the drivers here aren’t terrible, but they could be better. The worst drivers are the tourists from Mexico who don’t seem to understand that the speed limit signs are in mph, not kph and that traffic signals mean something.

    San Antonio is very spread out and the public transportation sucks, so most people have a car and drive everywhere. The exception is downtown. I do feel safe with traffic there as a pedestrian. We’re a tourist city, so the cops are extra anal about traffic safety downtown. However, since the rest of the city isn’t really designed with pedestrians in mind, I’d rather not walk anywhere other than downtown or in my neighborhood.

  249. I live in NYC and if a pedestrian were to get hit by a bus, truck or car the first thing that would happen (if theyre alive) after recovering at the hospital would be to sue the sh!t out of the driver. Does that happen in Korea? Is it common practice to take someone to court to sue if your in an accident (pedestrian and car accident included)?

    • no there’s national insurance so no one really sues for accidents

    • Hey, I live in NYC here too. Drivers aren’t so bad, right? I think we only worry about the taxis and bike riders sometimes.

      • Same here. I especially worry about the taxis and the bike messengers/delivery as a pedestrian, and as a biker I worry about pedestrians (who always walk out right into my right of way in the bike lane–no, that’s not your place to walk, sorry) and taxis, who don’t seem to get that “bike lane” does not equal “taxi turning lane.”

      • I live in NYC also, I am afraid to drive, I sold my car when I moved here two years ago, that Is how bad it is. It is A LOT like Korean driving. Like one day a friend came from Florida and I was on a one way street and yet I looked right when they asked why I said “people drive like maniacs now a days” .

    • Americans are sue-happy people and extremely so. O_O

      • not true. that’s like saying all Asians wear kimono’s.. yes.. there are plenty of sue happy American people.. but its a stereotype to think we all are. trust me.. someone owes me over 60,000 USD and I still haven’t tried to take them to court. 99% of the Americans i know, have never sued anyone.

        • michiehaha87

          You must belong to the non-sue-happy 1% of the population :D My uncle owes my parents almost the same amount and we havent done nothing, he is family after all. Kudos to you for not being greedy :D

      • you sure are making bad generalizations… not good at all ma’am. First with the Asian drivers and now the American people… no bueno.

        • michiehaha87

          Well, this is just what I have noticed after 10 years here. People tend to not be able to solve anything outside of court? even in between families. This is case where the amojority overrides the minority, of course, I know not everyone is like that, but still. Im just speaking from my personal experience. I must be surrounded by a bunch of unhappy American neighbors or something?

    • I am a driver in NYC (only in Brooklyn), and omg! it’s like you need to learn how to drive all over again (considering I used to live in Mexico where I thought it was bad) … Everyone (including pedestrians) are MANICS!!!! You always have to anticipate THE WORST … even Jaywalking is a NY hobbie!!! on a side-note: I hope my fellow East Coasters are hanging in there like myself :)

      • I think EVERYONE says that. I hate driving in cities (philadelphia or new york) I know a lot of people say “Just look forward, don’t worry about what is happening behind you, because that is what everyone is doing”

        Yeah, I admit, I feel like I ALWAYS have the right away as a pedestrian. XD Granted I won’t expect you to stop if I am trying to cross in the middle of road.

  250. i understand how you guys feel about this… I’m also living in a society which driving and riding scooter(motorbike) are insanely dangerous and reckless !! Watch out everytime you’re on the street. I even feel unsafe when i WALK on the sidewalk =”= crazy driver can bump into me anytime

  251. Oh my goodness, I swear, before I watched Korean broadcasts on how people got their license, or even knew about how the driving was in Korea, I thought Taiwan’s traffic was sooo scary (I’m from Ontario too!) I’m sorry I thought Taiwan was scary lol ;A;

    And your description of how getting a license here made me sad only because I failed my G2 test several times before I finally got it… On a brighter note, I think I’m a safer driver because I took the test several times LOL -sadface-

  252. PunkyPrincess92

    i gathered this whole bad crazy driving in Korea thing before from watching drama’s mv’s, shows and you guys!! haha!!! it’s nice to know!!! i’m fully informed for when i go to Korea one day!!!

    haha that mini questionnaire was hilarious!!!….and i was right for all of them!! woo!
    this is probably weird of me but whenever i cross the road now and a car suddenly comes from somewhere i ALWAYS think of how bad it could’ve been if i was in Korea!

  253. 100% absolutely true! Drivers (majority of them) here are crazy & scary!

    Red lights to them are mere suggestions! Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way or any way! I was already halfway through a crosswalk, then this a**hole in a car comes barreling down, less than a foot away from me to make a turn without stopping…argh!

  254. I’m curious, what are Korea’s regulations for seatbelts like?

    I went to Japan this year and the driving seemed alright to me, but I was really surprised by how people don’t wear seatbelts… I mean its been pretty drilled in my head that if you don’t want to die in a car crash, you should wear a seatbelt, not to mention the fines if you don’t… But there they just pretty much told me not to worry about it and the little kids in the back didn’t have them either.

    Lol and then they were shocked that I could drive and they started to tell me that it was dangerous because I’m young -_-”

    • When I was in Korea I never wore a seat belt in the taxi or at least they didn’t enforce it. When I was with my boyfriends parents, only his dad wore a seat belt. They told me only the driver should wear it O_O I also noticed when his mom comes to visit canada she doesn’t wear a seat belt in the car either.

  255. I’m surprised you’re still alive :°D

  256. After returning home from Korea to the Chicagoland area, I was suddenly thankful for the drivers here. xD;; Walking around in Chicago or any big city – we all know that it feels like “cross the street at your own risk.” Then we walked around the markets in Korea and suddenly missed Chicago drivers. LoL. I still think that the cab drivers in Chicago are worse in freaking out riders, and coming in close second was the taxi ride we had in Nassau trying to get back to our cruise ship (he sped through the town because he knew we needed to get back, so… thanks guy? xD;;). The taxi we took in Busan didn’t seem bad at all, though.

  257. Yeah, in Brazil (the capital, at least, where I live), we first have a 30 day safety class too, after which, there’s a test to see how much you’ve learned. Not getting 70% equals failure and you need to retake the whole 30-day classes again. Then, the practical driving classes, of a minimum of 20h, and then the driving test. After, you get a probationary 1 year where you can’t have more than one light/medium violation ticket. You get a heavy violation one, and your probationary license is revoked. I hear in some other cities, it’s a bit easier, and in others, like São Paulo, it’s actually harder.

    And here I thought getting a license in Korea was harder. At least after watching a few programs where idols were trying (and some failing) to get theirs.

    Side note, all the disclaimers had me giggling here ^^

  258. When I visited Korea in the summer I remember you guys warning us about drivers in a previous TL:DR. I kind of ignored it and was like IT CAN’T BE THAT BAD at least thats what my boyfriend told me. I was wrong… and I didn’t know the buses are standard not automatic >.< I almost died! lol. Plus my boyfriends mom hit another car while parking and didn't tell the person O_O

  259. Yup, the UK has a similar strict license testing, though maybe not quiiite the level of canada ;P Coming to China I’ve had to adapt in order to successfully move about my city.. I feel like pedestrians also add to the problem though… as since red and green lights mean basically nothing to the drivers, pedestrians will just walk straight onto the road at the most inappropriate times… then the drivers seem to want to ‘assert their authority’ somewhat and just ignore the people, to force them to stay out of the way of the traffic… its all one big circle of rudeness =x=

    One day that summed up Chinese roads for me…. There was a big firework show in the centre of my city, so they closed some main roads to traffic trying to get into the centre, to help all the people and cars get out quicker… but as I live in the centre, on my walk home I found it actually safer to walk on the road as it was so congested that drivers were choosing to take short cuts on the pavements… That was a bit nerve-racking o_____O

  260. Loved the illustrations! xD

  261. America is pretty strict on their driving laws too. In Ohio you can get your license at 16 but you have to take Driver’s Ed for 10 weeks and 4 practical practice sessions (driving with an instructor) over a period of 6 months. 10 hours of those practicals have to be night driving. That’s not including the written test to get your learner’s permit to even drive with an instructor or driver over 21 years old. While having a permit you’re only allowed to drive with the licensed driver, and for the first year after getting your license you’re only supposed to have 1 passenger with you. After you turn 18 you aren’t required to take the driver’s ed course but you still have to take the written and practical exam. The written exam is the same as the one for the learner’s permit (you don’t have to take it again if you’ve already gotten this) but the practical is a manueverability test and a road test where they test your turning, obeying obscure traffic laws etc. I failed my first practical exam when I was 17, and passed it a week later.

    • We were supposed to do 10 hours night driving with an instructor? I didn’t do any night driving with them…
      As for the one passenger thing I was told when I got my license that it was one non-family member. You could have multiple family member in your car, but I think the assumption is that at least one of those passengers would be a parent.

  262. What does traffic enforcement look like in Korea? I mean is Parking Patrol non-existent, and how often do you see a policeman writing a ticket? I’m assuming where you live traffic is pretty congested so that there isn’t a need for a radar cop?

  263. This is good, since I will be moving to Korea in a few months, and I don’t want to die!
    Bad Korean driving- NOTED!

  264. Have either of you ever driven in Korea? What was that like? I know you had a scooter (maybe one for each of you?) a while back, but I don’t remember what your comments on driving the scooter were or ever hearing about you driving a car. This isn’t a TL;DR question, I’m just a bit curious, hope you see this, and write back :).

  265. And I thought Dramas over exaggerated peoples bad driving…

    • Did you know that in most dramas driving scenes, the car is actually on top of a truck? XD

      • That’s like all car scenes everywhere. haha.

      • What do you mean by that? I don’t really understand…

        • michiehaha87

          The car is on top of a towing truck, the truck drives around with the car on top of it to make it look like the actors are driving :P

      • My friend and I were actually sitting at a bus stop when a car & truck shooting for a drama ran by us. It was funny, since they all turned toward us (since my friend was dark-skinned, so it was a bit eye-catching). It was some middle-aged actors I didn’t recognize, the entire film crew in front of the car on the truck bed, and the passenger guy in the truck. I think the truck driver was a bit too annoyed at missing the light to look. But it was pretty funny…

        • michiehaha87

          Oh so cool! :0 LOL he should have just turned back and checked XD – I think its heelarious when they do that, I reckon it might be a bit dangerous/hard to film otherwise, but still. XD

  266. Thankfully I live in Australia, our road rules are as strict as they can get!

  267. I think China is the worst when it comes to driving, though Malaysia is pretty bad too. When I was in Japan it was HEAVEN!!!! Such good drivers!

  268. Pictures in the description are SO funny xD !

  269. Agree… I’ve heard that people can just practice for a few days straight and get the license. They show it on broadcast too… That’s why I sometimes wonder how legit is it even to drive a car in Korea. They probably could only drive in there and not anywhere outside with that kind of driving.

    Similar in SG, we also have to go through a series of test, parallel parking, S-course, uphill, downhill, merging etc. We just don’t go on the highway because the speed would be too far for many learner drivers.

    • I live in LA and trust me, driving around Asian areas is pretty dangerous :P

      • Yeeaahhh… While perhaps S&M should have emphasized “driving culture in Korea” instead of saying ‘Korean People’ (sorry guys..) what you are saying is a huge generalisation that is offensive.

        The group you refer to as “Asian” are made up of numerous cultures, countries and regions, and encompass millions of people across a HUGE continent (as well as abroad). You are attributing bad driving based on their being a part of this massive group. It is racist to say that.

        That being said, I dont think YOU are racist, but rather your comment.

        I guess, maybe, watch out for that in future comments/conversations?

        • Or perhaps they were just speaking to the fact that, as mentioned in the video above, a majority of the countries on that HUGE continent share a rather unpleasant “driving culture”, and the areas in LA which feature large populations of people who immigrated from those unpleasant “driving cultures” are scary behind the wheel. I think people get massively bogged down in semantics in regards to racism :/

        • I don’t live in LA but i live in another city that has a high Asian Population. And it can be dangerous to drive around. It’s not that they are Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, etc.) it’s the driving cultures that they come from. If you are new to a country; I have found once you get here you will go for your license and follow the rules. it’s like that with anyone i work with international students and people. i find they go back to the way the where comfortable driving. it’s because thats what you are comforable with. it’s like perfering to speak your first language rather then you second language. You want to be comfortable and if your not comfortable then you don’t want to do it the uncomfortable way. It’s what many of my Chinese and Korean friends did. They got a perfect score on his driving test, after that they went back to speeding down streets and cutting traffic off. (mind you i am not saying that all Chinese and Korean people do that.) Either way we do whats comfortable for us and if you where born in a culture that has terrible driving your going to continue you to be like that unless you yourself change.

          However on to this personally everything we say and do is racist in away even if we don’t mean it be. There are direct racist comments and indirect racist comments. If i say i don’t like the way your treating me then people can think of it as oh you don’t like me because of what race i am or culture i come from. Everything we say and do can be seen in a racist way. You think this comment is a little racist. personally i think your being racist because they have there own opinion. But if you are from Canada or the USA we live in a free country with freedom of speech. I am not sure what Korea’s laws are on it but we all know that Simon and Martina aren’t being racist (i know you realize they aren’t racist either) however even if there comment might have seemed it’s there opinion on driving. We are aloud to have opinion you have your’s, I have mine and they have there’s. It’s what makes people different and who they are.

        • michiehaha87

          This is not being Racist, as I didn’t make a condescending remark. I have a lot of Asian friends who even agree with me on this and always make jokes about it too. This is true though, if you drive around Asian areas you have got to be more careful. Just like in the are where I am living now, the city has a very high Armenian population, they always drive 70 mph+ in 45 mph areas and weave in and out of traffic like its nothing, ive been told by many friends that this is how they drive in their country. See, im stating a fact, not discriminating on anyone :)

        • I cant believe so many ppl downvoted your comment. What you say is accurate and you even took the unneeded courtesy to explain that their ACTION is whats racist not that ~they’re~ racist.
          It is true. Assuming that all asian drivers are bad drivers IS racist and IS a hurtful stereotype. Did no one watch Crash during high school here?

        • Hey! Thanks for the support! :)

  270. Hahahahha all the truth put together nicely ^^

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