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At a Loss....

 
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:46 am    Post subject: At a Loss.... Reply with quote

I feel so awful cause I saw the worst thing ever here in Korea and I did nothing to stop it.
There is a homeless man with Tourette's who goes about downtown here, and today he was sitting in front of Burger King. As I, and a gaggle of other Koreans are eating nearby the window, a man on a bicycle comes up to him and starts poking him sharply on the head repeatedly. The poor man was cowering underneath his hands and then tried to hide under a piece of newspaper but the man on the bike just continued.
I saw everything but felt scared to say anything. All I could think of was "What do I say?" and then "If this guy is treating another Korean so piss-poorly, who's to say what he would do to a foreign woman on her own?" I actually thought if I stared with a scowl at the man long enough, maybe he would get embarrassed and stop, as he wouldn;t want to be the Korean behaving badly in front of a foreigner...but then the World Cup days are long gone, aren't they?
I know if I had one of my guy friends with me at the time, I would have wanted to go out there with him.
What makes me really sad is that no one else, who had the power to communicate with this nappun nom, did anything to help the poor man. They just sat and ignored it. It went on for about 10 minutes, and finally when I really couldn't take it anymore and was about to confront this guy, and actually hit him with my brolly, he sped off on his bike.
Now I know All Koreans aren't like that nappun nom, but this image will stick with me for quite some time, and I guess this is just my first experience with (as someone had mentioned in an earlier thread) just how bad Koreans can behave to one another, even as they talk about woori nala and jung...I guess for some people, those concepts just don't apply to others.
I feel sad and sick. (I'll probably get a lot of "What do you expect from these people, you naive moron??" responses, but I'm just venting.)
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe they knew each other. In any case, going over to the window and staring intensely might have embarrassed the other Koreans enough to take action.
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whatthefunk



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Location: Dont have a clue

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theres a guy in my area who maybe has polio or some other muscular problem and he walks with a pretty bad limp. I was walking behind him once, and this family passed him going the opposite direction. Both the kids (maybe 9 and 6?) started laughing at him and immitating him by limping and dragging their feet. I expected the mom to get angery, but she just laughed with them. I was shocked...if I would have done this when i was young (even now for that matter) i would have been seriously punished.
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The Cube



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..

Last edited by The Cube on Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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whatthefunk



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Location: Dont have a clue

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I guess the people in society imitate their society and vice-versa.
In Canada we have something called the CNIB.
Here the blind roam up and down the aisle of a subway train, lucky to get a coin in a crowded subway car.
Amputees roll themselves on rolling boards hoping that they'll get enough to survive for the day.


Its not that people imitate society, its that they are a product of their society. And that doesn't make it right. I know that right and wrong are culturaly defined, but there are certain things that are just wrong. The mass slaughter of the Jews during WWII was wrong, very wrong. Kicking cats is wrong. Poking the disabled man is wrong. There are certain things that are just wrong, no matter where you are. Culture is no excuse.

CNIB? You didn't explain that...
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katy did,
That's horrible. One of the things I really hate here is seeing so much human suffering and people who will happily turn a blind eye to it.

A month or so ago I was on a bus that hit someone. So I get off the bus this guy was in a bad way, there are people milling around. So I go and take a look at him (check his breathing etc.) all of sudden I'm pushed aside so they can move him. I haven't done a referesher course in a while but I know that it's not a good idea to move someone who's suffered a major tramua to be moved. So I start yelling in korean 'don't do that' and they look at me like some crazy person and move him anyway.

By the time I get to a proper look at him there's no pulse, and despite my efforts he died.

I don't know what I was more upset about, the death, or the actions of the people preceeding it. I also hate the thought that I'm not able to communicate properly what I want. Call a doctor, an ambulance etc.

I'm not saying it's immune to the west, but the 'bystander effect' seems a lot more prevlant here.

CLG
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no fixed address



Joined: 20 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too am disturbed by what I see as a society that has little respect for life.

Physical abuse of animals/pets everywhere.

I know of a few foreigners, including myself, who were the only people to even stop and check at the scene of single vehicle accidents. In multi-vehicle accidents, there seems to be quite a bit of interest in the damage to the cars and paying each other off.

One lovely afternoon, driving in the country with my boyfriend, also a foreigner, we came upon a man and a woman on the side of the road, the woman was sitting on the ground (actually on her but which is unusual to begin with right) and as we drove by the man swung his leg and kicked her in the head. We stopped the car and my boyfreind wanted to get out and I too wanted to mess up the guy BUT we didn't. We just sat there the man stared us down he was obviously loaded. As he stared at us the woman got up and just started walking away. Afetr she was about a half a mile away we drove off.

I totally symapathise with the confusion over what to do when you are a witness to abuse. Its difficult enough in your own country.

Everytime I see something like this. it hurts my heart. Definately at the top of my list on 'things I hate about Korea'
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Sucker



Joined: 11 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don’t know if this is off topic or not.

Near my office there is one of those amputee guys that drag themselves along with the begging bowl in front of them. I sometimes see him on my way to work and I usually give him some change. Anyhow, one time I met my girlfriend after work and we walked past this guy. I gave him some cash, just a few coins. After we had walked for a bit my girlfriend explained to me that I should not give money to beggars. A little taken aback, I asked her to explain why.

She told me that there exist people who extort money from beggars. They apparently “own” a section of town and sometimes station “their” beggars in certain areas. I told her that this sounded a lot like Oliver Twist and that it was probably an urban myth. But, she then told me that it was a big social problem and that there was recently some kind of special on TV that focused on it. Apparently these people have been known to kidnap children to become beggars (although I have never seen a kid beggar myself). She was really adamant about this. Although she does believe in fan death.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This bit about the "beggar pimps" sounds a lot like THE BEGGARS OPERA or THE THREEPENNY OPERA by Gay and Brecht, respectively. Of course, I don't know if those plays were based on real-life situations or not.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether the beggars are being controlled or not, I can't say, but what happened to me in Thailand got me thinking. I was coming back from the shopping mall to my hotel and see a sad-looking guy. So I dropped some baht into his cup. He looked grateful but was astounded me was that a nearby guy came over and said "Hey, put in more money." WTF?

CM
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You cant save the world.

And I always figured a society will live and die on how it treats the minorities it contains. Korea will change or die. Simple as that.
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maryk



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: I was up above it, now i'm down in it

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And I always figured a society will live and die on how it treats the minorities it contains. Korea will change or die. Simple as that.


cartoon i saw a few weeks back. 3 panels of people climbing ladders, representing economic status.

first, the japanese. those on the bottom and the top are cheering those in the middle who are climbing.

second, the chinese. those on the bottom are pushing the ones in the middle upward. and those on the top are pulling them up towards the top.

third, the koreans. those on the bottom are throwing rocks at the ones in the middle and pulling them down, and those on top are setting fire to the ladder.

i don't see it changing or dying. people who climb the ladder will krapp on those they left behind, while embracing those higher up that krapped on them. social status has a short memory.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's one of the few things that really bugs me here; the lack of any real caretaking for mentally disabled kids. I'm not really sure what the best route is to help them, but it's definitely not pointing and laughing.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to deny any of the inexcusable behaviors above, but, an alternative example.

A clearly flipped-out Korean -- sexually ambiguous male, wigged-out hair & bizarre accessories, spouting weird slang, profanities, & incomprehensible nonsense (also smells bad) -- glues himself to us in a mall. Follows us into a restaurant & sits down at our table. Staff gently coax him away, provide him a free soda, & security people arrive to escort him to the exit, with soft warnings & good-natured laughter. Its clear they deal with him regularly. He doesnt "fit in" but I'm struck by the kindness he receives.

Not all Koreans are harsh towards the different.
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