Generally, I enjoy living and working in Korea. Sure the place isn’t as pretty to look at as back home and one has to be pretty careful when choosing a new job as there are plenty of unscrupulous employers out there. And sure, it’s different being in the minority, especially in such a homogenous, patriotic and somewhat insular country. But overall, teaching English over here has been a generally positive experience.
However, I have one pet hate. It bugs me every time it happens and it happens all too often. Koreans don’t just do it to foreigners (and I’ll always be considered one, even if I learn Korean, marry one and live here for 20 years), they do it to other Koreans, too. Kids do it, adults do it, even little old ladies do it. Well maybe Koreans don’t mind when it happens to them but I am bloody sick of it.
Pushing in. I swear pretty much every Korean either has no concept of or total disregard for the process of waiting in line to be served. Pushing in is so rude and disrespectful and reflects so poorly on Korea and Koreans.
I was patentiently waiting behind the person being served at a burger joint today. Just as the woman finished her transaction and I was about to step up, this grandmother, yes a grandmother, half-eaten burger in hand, just walks straight past be and starts mouthing off an order with some burger still in her mouth (another disgusting habit Koreans have is chewing with their mouth open and/or talking while chewing). What’s worse, the woman behind the counter, whom I’ve “known” for about a year and a half now, was quite happy to take her order even though she’d seen me standing there well before the old hag had even gotten up from her table. And that bugs me, too.
Of course, like all times I complain when someone pushes in, they just giggle and say sorry as if they hadn’t seen my six foot two frame standing there. Another time, a counter girl said sorry, she didn’t see me. This was moments after she began to serve two kids who’d pushed in whose heads barely made it above the counter.
Had a gut. I walked out this time. If you’re Korean, stop doing this! If you’re in Korea and know any Koreans, tell them to stop it!
PS And learn how to navigate a bloody rotary properly!