Saturday, April 27, 2013


  Years ago, when the Olympics took place in Seoul, Korea, a lot of people who were in Korea for the first time were offput by the way that Koreans don't think twice about bumping into you while walking on a sidewalk or in a hall.  They don't apologize or even take notice of what they've done.  The mayor of Seoul or the President of Korea or some high up guy came on TV to address the complaints.  He said that Korea is a very small country with too many people.  It's too difficult to avoid bumping into people when walking and it's just become a way of life.  No one notices it any more.  That was his official statement to the world.
  I was living in Seoul at the time and didn't put too much mind to it until I had the chance to visit Japan.  Now the population of Japan has been described as taking half the population of the United States and stuffing them into the state of California.  It is far more overpopulated than Seoul, Korea.  Nevertheless, when I went there, not a single person bumped into me in the streets or in a hallway.
  When I got back to Korea, I decided to test a theory I had.  I went to a department store which had a large food court area.  I stood in the middle of a large area with twenty feet of space around me in every direction.  Despite the copious availability of space, many Koreans still bumped into me on their way to wherever.  One could make a killing as a pickpocket in Korea.

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