While I’m still in favor of making the slogan “Surreal Korea” or perhaps “Korea the place where the surreal occurs” I must add that I’ve never been in any place in the world where like this which was this safe. For example, I’m in a PC “bong” (it’s actually means PC Room, but all the english speakers call them bongs) and I’m uploading pictures, backing up stuff, and dealing with travel plans. I did have to go out to find a phone however, and even with my Ipod stuck in the computer and other valuables laying around the computer, I didn’t hesitate to walk out the door and around the block in search of a phone.
Another example was how a few days ago I used an umbrella to get to the subway, which I left to dry in the umbrella basket out side the dollar store. So I make a purchase, then hear the train and sprint up the stairs to get to the train. By the time I’m sitting on the train, I’ve forgotten my umbrella. Needless to say it was there when I returned about 6 hours or more later. No one had touched it nor thought about throwing it out.
This is another strange thing for me to have experienced, but probably the most positive concept I’ve taken away from korea so far. People just don’t steal or commit petty crimes here. I’m told japan is the same way, but I’ll judge that when I get there.
This includes such things as a subway that is unimaginably clean, all the time. Comments have been thrown concerning how they do it, given trash cans are generally a pain in the ass to find (again remember they recycle everything, almost to the level Antarctica does). You also never see cops in the subway car, nor cleaning people in the subway cars. We do see people cleaning the platforms, but a where does this garbage go? They have convience stores and the street vendors all over the places, but you feel like these people pack rat their plastic bags and left over mandu cartons somewhere on invisible on their person. (most are intentionally/well dressed.)
Of course in all this cleanliness there is a strangeness. They use this clean space for parking (they like their cars too), but they’ll do things like park in front of another car T fashion, and leave the car in neutral (and leave their phone number). The guy comes out in the morning and moves several cars out of the way (say 3 cars on each side one after the other), then drives off to work.
So if your are a young single white women traveling alone, put korea on your list if your in it for safety only.