Sunday, August 05, 2007

Driving and Parking: Crosswalks

Crosswalks are almost completely disregarded by drivers in Korea. They don't care if you're in a crosswalk or not, they are going to go forward. I have talked about almost being hit before.

Today, I checked to make sure there was no traffic. When I saw it was clear,I began to cross a crosswalk. Then, a red car turned onto the street and began to cross the crosswalk that I was crossing--in the same place I was walking! So he slams on his brakes and I shout at him. The middle-aged drivers gets the very unique look on his face.

I've seen it before on Koreans, but only on children. Its the look a child gets when they are getting in trouble for something they didn't know was wrong. Its a combination of shame, surprise, and confusion.

I remember very clearly when I made this face. I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. My family had gone to a restaurant and father was paying the bill up at the front register. At the register, they had jars of candy like gummy bears, gummy worms, and stuff like that. Thinking it was free like the mints that many restaurants give out for free, I opened the jar and took out some gummy worms.

We were walking out to the car, when my dad noticed I had a handful of the candy worms.
"Where did you get those?" he asked.
"They had them at the counter," I answered.
"You stole them. They weren't free!" he scolded.
He took the candy from my hands and walked back into the restaurant. He then emerged with a bigger handful of candy.
"These gummy worms are mine. I paid for them." he said.
"Can I have one?"
"No, since you stole."
I then had to watch him eat the worms as we walked to the car. That look I had on my face at that moment is the same look those Korean drivers have when they almost run me over. Every time.

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