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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

How To Walk Through Crowds in Seoul

With a population sweltering over 12 million, Seoul is a very crowded city. Navigating the sidewalks in Seoul can be treacherous (scooters, cars, ajummas, ajoshis, buses, kids, bikes, taxis, construction, brick sidewalks with missing bricks, etc), especially when it's jam packed and there are sellers lined up and down the street (let's not forget about those Ludacris-inspired ajummas who like to "throw dem bows"). Well, one day in busy Gangnam (fashion central) I decided to try something special. How was I going to walk through crowds in Seoul without getting bumped and bruised?

Well, the answer is to hold your girlfriend's purse/handbag in front of you while you're walking (and looking like a Korean mental patient in the process) through crowds. It's just absolute magic how people avoid you like the plague! My Korean friend Tae told me not to go through with this idea, but I did anyways. He's the one holding the camera filming me. Here we go!

(this video is being hosted on Blogger)

So there you have it...walk like you're crazy while holding some sort of bag in front of you, and the days of shoving and pushing will be gone like the wind. Bookmark this post for future reference! Has anyone tried this before? Let me know if it works for you! You could also try the secrets of Nordic Walking too!


Jasper said...

Back when I was in Japan, one of my friends 'taught' me that the best way to walk through a crowd in a city like Tokyo (or Seoul), is to just stick out your hand when you're with other people. Guide your hand towards where you want to go and people will get out of the way. Of course all of my friends just told me that it's rude (and it is), but it is amazingly effective. I actually tried it in Kangnam too, but my girlfriend stopped me from going through with it. ;-)

Gdog said...

Jasper: haha...what you said has also been tried, tested, and true by me as well. Another variant is to hold out a shopping bag, or point with your index finger in front of you. I've tried it in Hong Kong and it works like a charm (but most people there move anyways!).

imoet said...

Too bad I just read this!!!! I went to Gangnam last saturday and got frustrated of how packed it was with people (@_@).

Orchid said...

Hi Gdog,

This post is funny. I have not seen anyone hold a handbag in front of them to walk through crowds here in Malaysia. In fact, we do the opposite!

When at a crowded area, we need to hold our bags/purses close to our bodies. This is because there is a high chance someone might reach inside your bag to steal your purse or snatch your handbag. :-P

By the way...what are "ajummas" and "ajoshis"?


Gdog said...

Imoet: give this technique a try the next time you're visiting a busy area--it works! :)

Orchid: It's amazing how there are so many unique cultures out there in the world, hey? In some downtown areas in Canada, one would also want to clutch their purse/bag close by.

Ajummas: older ladies in Korea; once a female is married she becomes an ajumma

Ajoshis: older men in Korea; bus drivers, taxi drivers, etc

Orchid said...

hahaha...ok. We use "aunty" and "uncle" here.

Thanks for the explanation. =)

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

I laughed out loud

Gdog said...

Eva: my job here is done! :)

Max said...

I prefer the plow approach. Tighten your shoulders and walk forward with power. That's how you get off a subway and leave casulties in your wake! :D Works even better if you've got two heavily laden platic bags full of glass and canned goods.

Gdog said...

Max: LOL! haha...I've tried that before too as my last resort...I will give you the extra points though for the plastic bags full of heavy glass and canned goods! I've always wanted to tape tacks to my shoulders as another ingenious idea!

MJ Klein said...

i'm a big guy, so while i never would purposefully bump someone, i also don't move out of the way for people. after a few get knocked about because they aren't paying attention, a hole magically opens around me.

in Taiwan, it always amazes me how people step right into a new space without checking to see if some object occupies the space first. i cannot tell you how many times i have been run dead into by a Taiwanese girl who launched herself out of a 7-11 onto the street without looking. they ride scooters the same way!

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