Year Two, Week Fourteen – Jessica


Motorcycles/scooters/mopeds are everywhere in Seoul.  And I do mean EVERYWHERE.  This one (and several others on this road) like to park right in the middle of the intersection.  It seems like most of these vehicles are well used and the wear and tear shows.  In the winter, drivers attach built in gloves to protect their hands.  They vary in quality from pleather and fabric to a wrap made of plastic bags and duct tape.

While I’m sure there is a sane motorcycle driver somewhere around here, generally motorcycle drivers are crazy.  There’s just no other way to say it.  They have no regard for the rules of the sidewalk, let alone the rules of the road.  They go buzzing around on sidewalks with zero regard for pedestrians and they give me heart attacks just watching them weave through traffic in the snow and ice.  I often wonder if the life expectancy for these drivers is lower than the average population.  Several times, I’ve been waiting to make a right turn and had a motorcycle zip around me to make the same right turn, almost being hit by my vehicle and by an oncoming vehicle in the process.  While helmets are required (apparently you can be fined for not wearing one), few seem to acknowledge this rule.  As recently as 2010, insurance and registration was not even required for certain classes of two wheeled vehicles.

Of course, this sort of culture comes with some benefits.  I can get just about anything delivered to my door at any time of day.  McDonalds at 3 am via scooter?  Absolutely!