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Cool in Korea, Part I

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.


Owls, Aliens, and Others

Essayist Brian Phillips is no staunch empiricist, nor does he want to shatter delusions or expose machinations. In Impossible Owls, he is content to remain in a wide-eyed and owl-ier place.

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