As I drove through the downtown traffic of Washington DC this evening I was reminded of the way things were when we lived in Seoul (traffic wise). Actually DC traffic doesn't even hold a candle to the perilous times on the road each and every day in Korea. But as we played the 'will we get through the light this time game, and on the 3rd round of light changes we still didn't get through, I had to remind myself of the patience I was lacking and to just hang in there- My driving days in Seoul did come to mind.
I commented to my nephew, who we were taking out to see the monuments, that this traffic reminded me of our days in Seoul. I loved how the preparation book for the traffic test put things bluntly for us Americans. It said "The traffic in Seoul is compared to a river. The current is all moving in the same general direction without specific guidelines" Cutting someone off is just a way of survival in the driving world. You have to drive like that to stay afloat. If you choose not to run the red lights you would most likely be rear ended. You, who follow the rules are a hazard to the system! There are surprisingly few accidents because everyone is on guard at all times for the next guy to make the craziest move ever. Uber-defensive driving! It works people.
There is also another funny thing we used to point out when chewing out drivers along our merry way. The traffic rule book also clearly stated that "One may have his/her license revoked upon proof that said person is a weak-minded lunatic." Their words, not mine. After a weeks worth of adjusting to traffic conditions there you begin feeling a bit week minded I don't mind telling you. But once I had adjusted I just began yelling out the windows.. "You weak minded lunatic! If I spoke the language you would be so reported" This had great results in the 'teaching my kids to like living in a foreign country' department.
So after a long day today, toss in some traffic, a wrong turn across the bridge with fighting kids, and a lengthy walk back to the car in the rain where I kept being challenged at every turn in the bend as to my state of mind I must say to one and all. I am definitely not weak minded. Possibly a lunatic though.