Had a gut


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!

7 Responses to “Had a gut”

  1. Angus Dei Says:

    Go to Thailand for a week. You’ll feel much better. Thais don’t queue up for anything. It’s all pushing and shoving chaos. Korea will seem positively civilized afterwords.

    • bingbing Says:

      I did and you’re right. It’s worse there. Some of the teachers over there weren’t too crash hot, either.

      And yeah, as for rotaries, in Nepal it’s anything goes. People have told me the Italians drive like maniacs, too.

  2. VodkaBlogger Says:

    The French are pretty good at jumping lines, too. It varies by place here, though: you’ll never jump the line when buying cheese or bread but skipping the queue at the post office or in a government building is all the rage.

    • bingbing Says:

      Ha! The post office, apart from the bank, is one of the places they usually don’t jump in line over here as they have to take a number. Of course, you’ll sometimes get some old fucktard who thinks they can still do so.

      How’s it for bus stations over there?

    • VodkaBlogger Says:

      The buses in our city require you to get on at the front and leave at the back. Of course the locals get on where they want even if it means pushing people trying to leave back onto the bus. The metro (underground/subway) is much the same: if you aren’t out the door in the first second or so that they open your chances of getting out become pretty slim.

    • bingbing Says:

      Same here (well not quite as bad as that sounds) for local buses although I actually meant the intercity bus stations where you have to line up at a separate counter to buy a ticket.

      But yeah, same deal here with regards to the trains. Silly me who grew up in Australia where we were taught to stand to the side to let the people off before getting on.

      It makes so much sense and everything is done much faster and smoother so it’s (I’ve calmed down a bit now and I’ll be polite) a head-scratcher as to why more societies don’t do it.

      Great Britain was great for many reasons and this custom is certainly one of them.

  3. bingbing Says:

    It would be somewhat quaint if it weren’t so damn annoying. They don’t so much push and shove over here. Rather they go the sneaky approach. They’ll come up just behind you to the side, then side by side then edge forward as if you’re not going to bloody notice. Either that, or they’ll stand at the counter to the side, supposedly looking at the menu, and then slip across when the time comes.

    Sheesh. It’s about as sneaky as crawling up an air conditioning duct using magnets (as seen on Mythbusters). And yet they still act all dumb and say sorry as if the tall, white, bearded man standing in line somehow escaped their attention!


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