Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sidewalk ettiquette for the holidays from a New Yorker

People obstructing the sidewalk or other pedestrian lanes isn't a big problem in Sokcho. Still, the people who, at the escalator ramp at E-mart, place their shopping cart in the centre of the conveyor belt so I can't get by do annoy me a little.

In two weeks or so I will go to Seoul. Now, I don't live there but I did for two years so I know where I'm going usually and I'm a fast walker. MSNBC's Clicked linked to a blog with 15 'suggestions' - followed by threats - for how people should use sidewalks or any pedestrian area.

Number five seemed particularly apropo as other bloggers in Korea have complained about 'moving roadblocks':
5. When moving in a group, don't occupy the entire width of the sidewalk by walking six abreast. Especially if you're planning on walking at a snail's pace. When people come at me doing this, and I have to go, say, to work, it seriously tempts me to punch them in the throat. Each and every one of them.

The others seem like common sense to me but maybe there is a cultural difference that makes Koreans ignore such basic politeness to others. Ah, I should be careful here. Maybe there are only a few pedestrians who stop suddenly in the middle of the busy sidewalk but their effect spreads as others avoid them.

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