Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tips on Aging Gracefully

I was just about to write this exact same post, but Jo-Anna, at The View from Over Here, beat me to it: What You Need to Know About Korea. Have a look. In the "Metro" section, she writes:
Do NOT sit in the seats labeled for handicapped/elderly/pregnant women, even if there are none around. More often than not an angry ajumma that you
don't see coming will give you a lecture in Korean about how rude it is that you're sitting there, then proceed to kick you out of your seat. If that doesn't happen, you'll certainly get nasty looks from other passengers. Maybe this rule
may become more lax around 11:00 PM.

Now, this is all true, unless, like me, you resemble the KFC Grandfather, in which case someone will probably insist that you sit. No, I'm not kidding. And damn right, I'll sit there. Chances are, if I'm on the subway, I have been walking till my feet are bloody stumps. Uphill. Both ways.

It's kind of like when they charge me the Senior Citizens price at Golden Corral--hey, the cashiers are, like, eighteen years old, so everyone over thirty is old (I keep telling myself). Is it insulting? Yeah. Do I take the discount? Damn right, I do. Little shits.


likethenina said...

I came across from Liz's blog. Well, it's always interesting to see how the things are being looked by foreigner.

Are you teaching in Korea?
Then you may know something about this country than Liz who hasn't arrived yet.
Well, I've been looking around any book that describes Korea in English, but still haven't got any idea.

Could you give me any advise, if you don't mind?


Andrew said...

You are a brilliant man, Tuttle. You get your phone recharged yet? Let's get together this weekend.

Tuttle said...

Andy: I emailed you; this weekend is good.

Wan Ho: Thank you for your comment on my blog.

The most popular books for foreigners on Korea are no doubt the "Lonely Planet" guides--focuses on tourist spots with overviews of culture, food, traditions.

I am currently reading two more substantive books: "The Koreans: Who they are, what they want, where their future lies" by Michael Breen, published by St Martin's Press, revised ed. 2004.
"Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten years in the North Korean gulag" written by Kang Chol-Hwan and published by Basic Books, 2001.

I acquired a great deal of practical information by reading weblogs from teachers who arrived ahead of me, mainly in Seoul--the ones I read most are on my blogroll at my website.

Hope this helps.