Sunday, December 03, 2006

Crossing the Line

Despite the lack of discipline on the roads, it's curious that when it comes to crossing over them as a pedestrian, Koreans are suddenly ardent followers of the law. It doesn't even matter if there are no cars anywhere nearby, people will patiently wait until the red man turns to green. Perhaps it's because you can never quite discount a car tearing down the road at 120kph or suddenly appearing from some unexpected angle at speed, but I rather think it has more to do with the 'Team Korea' mentality which bonds the social group together.

Today I was standing at a crossing with no cars around, but Team Korea was determined to maintain their respective positions either side of the narrow single-lane road, when two boys with so-90s dyed-brown hair broke ranks and started walking across. This immediately led to several other people either side setting off, clearly not realising the lights were still at red. On realising this, there was hesitation, some people stopped and one woman even doubled back to the kerb. But it was too late and by now the collective group was committed to the act, so the unconventional became the conventional and everyone felt obliged to cross.

1 comment:

Jon Allen said...

I've noticed this phenomenon too,
I can just picture the confusion.

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