Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Something we have yet to talk about is the driving style in South Korea! Driving in Korea is something else I tell you!
We have not yet been able to drive, so all of these experiences and observations are based on what we have seen while walking around or while being in the back of a taxi.
The first thing that took some getting used to was the fact that everything was on the wrong side of the road. In South Africa we drive on the left-hand side of the road where as in Korea they drive on the right. Just being in a taxi was disorientating, never mind trying to cross the road without getting run over.
The next thing that took some getting used to was the utter lack of use of seatbealts. People just don't use them, it's like they are a strange decoration in the car. After being here for about two weeks we hopped into a taxi and tried to use the seatbelts in the backseat. After some tugging, the taxi driver turned around and motioned that we did not need to use them, he then proceeded to pat the back of front passenger seat, implying that if we are in an accident the front seats will save us (huh?)
Then there are the scooters...hmmmm. Now this is something quite unlike home. I am used to scooters and cars being on the road, not the pavements. Several times I have had to do a quick skip out of the way as I realise that a delivery boy is going down the sidewalk and I am in his path! So if you are ever in Korea, pay attention when you walk around, not for criminals but for delivery boys on a misson.
On the other side of the spectrum the driving is quite relaxed and people don't seem to get too worked up about things. People often cut through intersection, turn from wrong lanes, or just sit in intersections on their phones when the light is green and no one does anything but give a light hoot. If anyone tried to do those things in South Africa (barring the taxi drivers of course) they would be met by a person who is foaming at the mouth from pure and utter road rage.
Hmmmm.....what else is there to say about the driving?
Oh, zebra crossings, do not think that they actually mean anything to motorists. Drivers tend to plow straight through the zebra crossings whether or not someone is standing there. Actually I am being too harsh, if you as the pedistrian and step onto the Zebra crossing the driver will stop, you just have to take the lead, they won't stop voluntarily. So in other words, just be careful.
Other than that I cannot think of anything! The driving is erratic but has a bizzare clamness of its own! It is not quite the craziness of the roads in South Africa or Ghana but it definitely does not have the culture and grace of roads in countries like Germany!
Post by Claudia