Saturday, September 30, 2006

Driving in Korea and the Near Occasion of Sin

Anger is one sin toward which I am predisposed, and driving in Korea often makes me angry. I do not mind so much the poor drivers, although they frustrate me. I understand that Korea has a relatively short history of driving, has narrow roads, and too many cars. Adding to the problem is that people learn to drive from State-mandated driving schools, not from their fathers as we do in America. And even under the best of circumstances, not everyone in the world could be expected to drive as courteously as the good folk of Upsate New York.

I do mind, however, and very much, the evil drivers, those have no qualms about using their vehicles to intimidate other drivers. When I got my Korean driver's license back in 1997, I was issued a booklet on Korean traffic laws that attribued reckless driving to the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945), which it explained caused many Koreans to have no respect for the lives of others or of themselves.

To the truck driver today who was unhappy with my wife's driving at the speed limit and attempted to snuff out my family, I have the following to say. When someone you are tailgaiting and at whom you are honking your air horn signals to change lanes and let you pass, do not then try to cut that driver off from behind and then attempt to drive him or her off the road, with two young children in the car. If you do so, do not be surprised if a foreigner in the passenger seat opens his window and hurls a stream of Korean oaths at you. Next time, when you get out of your truck to confront that woman driver, before your scurry back to your cab you might find yourself being strangled by her husband with the rosary that hangs from his rear-view mirror.
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10:41 PM  

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