Cool in Korea, Part I

[18 November 2009]

By tjmHolden

Where I come from, I never see this:

Japan or America—even in Europe where I’ve spent considerable time—cars don’t take one another on, in this way:



Something I hadn’t expected from Korea: a free-for-all, whoever comes first, however they can get in that space, fit their frame in, they’re welcome to it.

Don’t fuss over turning around; just wedge yourself in, exit, key the lock, get on with your business.


Reminding me of one of peripatacity‘s basic rules: never carry expectations when you travel.


Who knows what the positioning of these cars is truly saying . . .

Maybe nothing. Or maybe that people park out of convenience. Maybe it reveals a lackadaisical penchant, or a deeper commitment to laissez faire.

Or . . . it could be something visceral. Basic, animalistic. There could be, in this parking behavior, the desire for confrontation—yes, I believe I can discern, in some of the positioning, a smidgeon of intimidation implied. Some drivers seem to encroach on another’s space where there is room to spare, and the nose to nose has a way of communicating such intent in a way that nose to tail might not.

Yet, in other’s positioning behavior, is there not something warm? Revealing a little extra consideration, even a dollop of affection?


Whatever the underlying reason(s)—if any—this behavior

is

different.

And, in the free-form, improvisational, non-conforming, rule-rubbed-another-way message . . . I have to say: this is the way I enjoy living.

Beyond that, because of that, I haveta say . . . it’s kinda cool.


 

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/cool-in-korea-part-i/