Monday, December 10, 2007

Only In Korea

Only in Korea are people so trusting that your taxi driver will jump out of the car at a red light and dash in to the convenience store on the corner.

You see traffic lights are timed badly in Korea. If you get caught at one, usually, you're waiting, waiting, and waiting. Seriously, at larger intersections, which are prone to gridlock, it can take way too many minutes to get through an intersection.

Today, I took an express bus to work and from the bus stop hailed a taxi for the short ride to my office. When it was clear the light was going to turn red, the taxi driver turned to me, pointed to something outside of the car indicating he was going to leave it, I nodded as I figured if things got weird I'd just get out of the car, and he ran off to the Family Mart convenience store on the corner.

I just thought it was so funny to be sitting in a taxi alone at a red light with the meter running. I was thinking about how that would NEVER happen in other cities simply because the taxi driver would be concerned that while he was gone the customer would take the taxi on a joy ride or the passenger would get out without paying the fare.

No such concerns here. When he got back I asked him what he bought. He smiled, told me he'd bought "cigars" and tapped his box of cigarettes. I wanted to take his picture, but I figured he might have been scared I was going to report him or that he'd get in trouble, so I didn't ask. Even without his picture this is one funny story.

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