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Why We Hate the Driving in Korea

November 1, 2012

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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.

Honking

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?

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Why We Hate the Driving in Korea

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  1. 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

    7 years ago
  2. Hah! So driving in Korea is like… kinda like the driving in Lebanon lol

    7 years ago
  3. 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.

    7 years ago
  4. 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.

    7 years ago
  5. 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.

    7 years ago
  6. 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..

    7 years ago
    • 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.

      7 years ago
  7. 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.

    7 years ago
  8. 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?

    7 years ago
    • 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!”

      7 years ago
      • 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 :)

        7 years ago
  9. 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.

    7 years ago
  10. 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.

    7 years ago
  11. 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).

    7 years ago
  12. 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.

    7 years ago
  13. 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.

    7 years ago
    • 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.

      7 years ago
    • 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?

      7 years ago
    • 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)
      ^_^

      7 years ago
  14. 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!

    7 years ago
  15. 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:

    7 years ago
  16. the sounds a lot like drivers here in miami. it’s insane how poorly people drive here.

    7 years ago
  17. right?! i was just thinking that! the driving in here in miami is SO BAD.

    7 years ago
  18. 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

    7 years ago
  19. 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.

    7 years ago
  20. 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.

    7 years ago
  21. 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~!

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

      7 years ago
    • 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;

      7 years ago
      • Children’s day too!
        I love Children’s Day xD
        My parents always plan activities for my siblings and me so we can be sure to have a nice time

        7 years ago
  22. 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.

    7 years ago
  23. 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.

    7 years ago
  24. 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 :)

    7 years ago
  25. 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)

    7 years ago
  26. 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?

    7 years ago
  27. 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.

    7 years ago
  28. do the policemen exist??? omg. I can only imagine…

    7 years ago
  29. 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. ^^;

    7 years ago
  30. 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.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVvxV0qm060

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

      7 years ago
      • >____<";; 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.

        7 years ago
  31. 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.

    7 years ago
    • 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’.

      7 years ago
  32. Wan

    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….

    7 years ago
  33. 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.

    7 years ago
  34. 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 :/

    7 years ago
  35. 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.

    7 years ago
  36. Ana

    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

    7 years ago
  37. 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)…

    7 years ago
  38. … Ahem.. Asian drivers. Nothing new here.

    7 years ago
  39. 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

    7 years ago
  40. Nic

    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…

    7 years ago
    • Kat

      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…

      7 years ago
      • 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

        7 years ago
    • 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!

      7 years ago