This has been festering in my brain for about a month now. This is a subject that I have seen a few times on other blogs, and I overheard a group of about five English speakers talking about this on a subway in Busan. I can assume that these people were other English teachers because a few were carrying backpacks on a subway.
Now, from conversations that I have heard in English, I have heard a lot of comment about how Koreans are so similar and think alike. I think that it is something of note that a lot of times, these very same people who say that all Koreans are the same end up having the same conversations about Korea.
One popular subject is about how Koreans never sit next to them on buses or subways. To this query I answer....so what?
Really.... is not sitting next so someone on a bus or subway really a big deal. The last time I was in Seoul, I took a subway where an old man decided he had to vomit all over the place. The man even lacked the common courtesy to get off of the damn train. To his credit he puked in a bag for a few minutes, but he really could have gotten off at one of the stops when he started to feel sick. He could have horked all over the third rail if he had to go that bad, at least no one would have had to have stepped in it, or better yet found a bathroom. He instead, decided that he had to stay on the train until it was finally his stop, while intermittently cleaning up his red chunks with a napkin.
Yes, I'm sure it is all good to say that you wish that Koreans would sit next to you on buses and subways, but if you are from largely depopulated masses like North America or Australia, I'm willing to bet that you enjoy the extra leg room.
Secondly, I wonder if these people wishing for bus and subway companions enjoy the free English lessons that they have to give to the people that do sit next to them from time to time. In another post I told a story about a woman who was intent on preventing me from enjoying my lunch. Since then I have made a bus friend in a retired elementary teacher who seems to be in his seventies.
Now this guy seems extremely nice, but his volume is also extremely loud. I don't mind talking to him about how Communism is bad and how democracy is good, but I wish it could be at a lower volume so that the other passengers don't get annoyed. My last conversation with him also seemed to be after he had a lunch of garlic and alcohol. Once again, don't really mind the conversation, but for all of the people wishing that people would sit next to them, they should bear in mind the consequences of what really happens when people sit next to them when they take public transportation.