There are a lot of thing I miss about living in South Korea, however, one of those things I do not miss is driving. Driving in South Korea can be a total nightmare, for two reasons…
Reason 1: A ton of cars
You want to know how to drive well, go to South Korea. You have to have your head on a swivel and having fast than lightning reflexes! Even when you’re not driving and just walking on the streets, you have be react quickly, because even if you are on the sidewalk, you can get hit by a car… yes… it has happened to me twice..
There are so many cars in Korea, even the sidewalks are car filled! The traffic can get so crazy, getting from point A to point B is an adventure. However, driving in Korea, made me realize that I can drive anywhere in the United States, easily… Washington DC.. that’s nothing, driving a 15 passenger van in NYC, I got this. Driving in South Korea is all about survival.
The amount of cars on the road… and sidewalk, make a 20 minute trip take about 2 hours. My wife called one of the major expressways in South Korea, “the parking lot.” Yeah, I don’t miss “the parking lot” one bit!
Driving in Korea is like living in the Old West. All those traffic rules and traffic lights… are merely suggestions. You can go through a red light if it is safe enough… ever done that in the United States? Not accidently going through red light, I mean, consciously decide to go through a red light. It happens man… and if you stop at a red light the car behind you might lose their effing mind because you aren’t blowing through that red light. You gotta be tough to be able to drive in South Korea… can’t be a wimp!
Reason 2: Bribing and Car Crashes
Ever got into a car accident the day before your wedding day and you weren’t driving your car. I can check that off my list! Yay, that happens. Also, have you been bribed after the accident? Once, again, check it off my list!
Eunkyung and I were getting married, we were accompanied by my best friend and my sister to do some last minute errands and pick ups fort he wedding. At one location, we had a valet park our car and then a few moments later, the valet comes to us and tells us that our car has been in an accident. Apparently the valet parked our car, was still sitting in it, and then a white Mercedes Benz T-bones our car. The driver of the car realized the mistake she done and proceeded to bribe us constantly. We called the police and they talked to her first, and then they talked to us and told us that she wants to give us money, would that be ok? I thought bribing was against the law, and the police said, yeah it is, but you can ask for any money right? Then the insurance agents came to look at the car and talk to her and then talk to us and said that she wanted to give us money, do we accept? Again…. I thought bribing was bad? According to the insurance agents and police confirmed yeah it’s against the law, but it’s ok if we want the money…
Then we find out she’s not insured and that she was driving her boyfriends car out of anger and decided to take that anger on her boyfriend onto our parked car. Wow…
Don’t get me wrong, living in Korea has more positives than negatives, but certainly =driving I Korea is something I will not miss. Next week I will share something awesome in Korea that you cannot do anywhere in the USA, something I miss.
I thought that I’d share something about the past, in order to give us a sense of relief about the present. Sometimes the present can look so bleak, scary, and just plain unsettling. We are forced to go back in our memories to find a sort of relief and enjoyment, just so it helps us feel relief during our present moment and gives us something to laugh about. I encourage all of you to do the same thing when the day just seems down and gloomy. Find a fun memory and tell it to someone!
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).