South Korea’s roads and driving culture are special, and I think that most expats would agree with me. Recently a local newspaper sent reporters out with three different foreigners to drive around Seoul and give their feedback about how the roads in Korea compare with the roads in foreign countries, like France. Unfortunately, the newspaper neglected to include pictures/videos of the experience. In lieu of this, we recently held a “Photos from Korean Roads” photo contest on the forums, where users were asked to submit photos of Korea’s unique driving culture. The winner is to be awarded a $100 tab at one of Itaewon’s finest bars, and the photo submissions just keep rolling in. Below, for your enjoyment are some photos submitted from readers all over Korea, illustrating Korea’s roads and driving culture from 2012 and 2013. Keep the submissions coming!
What disabled parking sign? No one else is parking in these perfectly good parking spaces, so I’m going to take up BOTH of them, because I’m special. Fuck disabled people, they can park somewhere else and WALK.
I drive a 13 year old ajeossi-wagon Equus. This is my license to park anywhere, and to be a dickhead in general. Last night I got so trashed on soju with chairman Kim that I kind of just crashed into a public park and passed out. Please understand my situation.
Driving a taxi is a license to be an asshole, as our taxi friend here clearly illustrates by parking his pile of shit directly in front of a bus stop. Ever wonder why bus drivers HATE taxi drivers so much? Now all of the bus passengers have to walk out into moving traffic to get on the bus. Now the bus has to block lanes of traffic while stopping to pick up passengers. Brilliant example of the “Me Me Me” culture of not giving a fuck about anyone else, or laws, or basic common courtesy.
This is what many parking lots look like. In order to leave, one must call several other drivers to move their illegally parked cars, or resort to simply pushing cars out of the way. This is what happens when a parking lot intended for 20 cars is occupied by 45 cars instead. This illustrates how much many people despise public transportation in Korea. They are actually willing to double and triple-park their cars simply to avoid using public transportation.
Pedestrian crosswalk? Fuck pedestrians, and fuck red lights too. I’m special. Please understand my situation.
Red light? Crosswalk? School zone? Fuck that, I’m special. Please understand my culture.
Crosswalk? What crosswalk? I’m going to park my pile of shit here so that people can walk around it, because I’m special and the laws don’t apply to me.
It would seem that the residents in this fine neighborhood grew tired of assholes parking their cars on the sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street, so they’ve thrown their bags of trash all over this poor car. Sidewalk? It’s not a sidewalk, it’s my own personal parking spot, because I’m special. Please understand my situation.
I got bombed out of my mind on soju, and driving in a straight line was just too challenging. These nasty metal dividers damaged my car and ripped off one of my wheels. I’m going to sue the government for compensation money. Please understand my situation.
Normal laws don’t apply to me, because my daddy bought me a Lexus. Please recognize my prestige and allow me through the intersection even though the light is red.
The corner of a street is an excellent place to park. Huh? People need to go around me? Who cares! I’m special and laws don’t apply to me.
Crosswalks are the perfect place to park. Know why? There are no yellow lines at a crosswalk. So what if people have to walk around my piece of shit car, I’m special!
Watch out asshole, I’m driving a Jaguar! The road is mine! Red lights and crosswalks don’t apply to me because I’m driving a 12 year old British car. Please recognize my prestige!
Again, it’s not illegal to park on corners, because there are no yellow lines. Please understand my culture. The other cars can just go around me while I sit here in the middle of the street.
Wait wait! I have a good idea! I’m going to stop in the middle of the street, make an illegal left hand turn over a double yellow line, and smash right into this taxi! Then I’m going to sue him and spend the next 3 months in the hospital getting sympathy. Please understand my situation.
You know it’s bad when even the children are afraid to cross the street!
How do you flip a car over and smash it into a light post on a perfectly flat road? There should be some kind of award for this.
My daddy bought me this Audi, but it’s too big for one parking spot. I live in this building, but I don’t give a fuck about my neighbors, or what people think of me, because they don’t drive Audis, and obviously they don’t matter. Please recognize my prestige.
And now the famous Youtube series from “MrRoadWorrier”, illustrating the cultural differences that foreigners may face when trying to adapt themselves to Korea’s unique road culture: