I guess I've lived in Korea long enough to get numb, or used to, all the "rudeness" that is a big culture shock to those who visit Korea.
Koreans can be rude (cold, snobbish..etc), that's for sure. Yes, they don't randomly smile at strangers, or even at customers. They can seem pretty rude and cold in that sense.
|oh the dreaded crowded bus|
The thing is that, it's like that most everywhere.
Yes, don't expect to go into a 7-11 and get a smile or a hello, or even have your goods "bagged". Korea does not always bag your things when you buy stuff.
I remember visiting Korea before settling down here, and was shocked how all my goods were left on the counter..without a bag. So it happens and that's because in Korea, you have to pay for bags (100won? around) in order to decrease plastic bag use.
I guess there are reasons to why things are the way they are. Even those non-smiling people you come across probably had a bad day, or life (sad to say). Korea is becoming tougher place to live actually, I can't blame those for their "my life sucks" face. But that's their life and attitude.
The fact is, most Koreans are like that... sadly culturally, Koreans don't smile that much in public places (it makes them look dumb-crazy-stupid so they say, and there was a time when smiling in wedding photos was a no no).
You also get that sense that they are always "fighting" for something. Fighting for their job, children, career, lunch line, traffic...it's true, it's all kind of true. Korea is not for the weak :P
I was heading down on those "flat escalators" in Emart and noticed an ajoshi(older man) creeping in closer and closer behind me, obviously to get through (and why would you get through an obviously one person line, I don't know). He bumped into me as we got off the walking path and I went nuts on him!
I told him to get off my back and he said, "I was just getting through..."(as a lame excuse). Then I told him, "Don't get so close to me!" and he was just looking at me - he didn't raise his voice or got mad - he just stared.
He had that sorry confused dumb look. He obviously didn't apologize. He walked right off after a few seconds of staring while I was waiting for his response.
It seemed as if he too was at awe because he believed he did nothing wrong and was dumbfounded himself, while clearly, getting on someone else' rear area to get through a one lane line is not okay or normal.
Korean admit to the downsides of their "ppalee-ppalee" ("hurry hurry") nature. It will take a long time for them change. Damn Koreans.. sometimes, I just want to yell CHILL OUT BITCHES!
This is NOT the first time something like this happened. It happens when I'm looking at the fish selection at the grocery store (they creep into you like they couldn't wait a second for me to move), escalators, subways, cafes/restaurants (they sit right next to your table when there's a gazillion tables else where).. Those are some of the things that annoy me.
But you get used to it. I notice it, but I try not to let it bother me. I blow up only in rare occasions when I'm not ready for the BS.. but you get used to it.
I even get a random rude service from my bank in my area. (when it's supposed to be service based). Some just have a grudge for whatever reason.
So I feel bad for those visiting Korea who might get the "rude treatment". Maybe knowing that it's not personal will help you understand their nature(country/people)
Maybe all they need is your smile! -smiling is contagious- :)
How to survive the rude culture:
- Be like them. I applied this tactic in the earlier years. I was ruder than rude to Koreans. I would also push and get in people's way. I fought ajummas for a place to stand or sit in subways. I would stare back at people that would stare. - The downside: you also get worn out. Your soul feels sucked and drained with all the negative tactics. I stopped acting like a "Korean" when I found out how bloody impatient I was getting. Not a good method, for the sake of your mental health.
- Start meditating and taking time to accept the nature of Korea(ns), but don't be one. "The world is cruel" so they say, but you don't have to be. Give way to those who fight for your seat. Open the door for a stranger without expecting anything back. Be kind. Don't expect anything. Do it as a way to be a role model and how you would like to be treated. But don't ever expect anything, nada, back.
Try the methods.. or whatever works for you. I learned that overtime to just let this world be. I'm going to be more patient though. I think in that way there's no negative energy in both sides.
You know the saying, love makes the world go round. Patience. Kindness. Compassion, too.
EDIT: (after many negative/hateful comments)
Some took my "personal rant" post into claiming me as a "negative, hater, disgusting..etc" person. I am not a hater. I am truthful to my feelings. I am not saying all Koreans are this way (doh! hate to say be so rude - but come on - really?!)
if you hate my blog and you think it's crap, please spare your time and leave my blog and don't bother hating. That just wastes your energy and makes you negative. I don't want that for you. Leave now while you can. My blog is not worth your time.
::I will not edit my original post to be "softer and nicer" to please everyone - I am not here to make everyone happy with my writing on my "personal" blog. I am also not a people pleaser. I am not writing for TIME magazine guys. Thanks...
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