WHY DO KOREANS HOLD THEIR NECK WHEN THEY GET OFF THEIR CARS FROM A MINOR FENDER-BENDER?
Young-mi, a college girl, zones out behind the wheel for a fraction of a second and bonk! It’s a fender bender. It can’t be too bad, it was more like a little push! She gets out of the car to assess the damage and luckily there’s not even a hint of a scratch on the bumper – no need to call the police or insurance company! But guess what? The ajusshi 아저씨 from the other car gets out, holding the back of his neck, with his face contorted with pain! Wait a minute… You can’t be serious, right? And the ajusshi insists that he goes to a hospital and gets treated for a while. No matter how big or small the accident is, it’s a cliché scene in Korean dramas. Of course, the neck is the most vulnerable part of the body susceptible to damage in a car accident, but why the oversell in the little harmless “contact” between two cars? These people, known as “nylon (a type of synthetic fiber, carries the negative connotation of being “fake”) patients,” seek to receive a large amount of settlement money from the insurance company of the driver at fault by faking their injuries. Doing so is taking advantage of the legal loophole – if a medical certificate is issued by a (corroborating) medical institution, the driver at fault will be responsible even if it’s suspected of insurance fraud, and it’s more likely to happen to female drivers.
DAERIGISA 대리기사 – DRUNK? DON’T DRIVE AND CALL THE “DRIVER FOR HIRE”
It goes without saying that drinking and driving is a very dangerous act. But in Korea, you don’t have to worry because there is a service that allows you to hire a driver who drives on your behalf when you drink alcohol. Daerigisa 대리기사, “driver-for-hire,” is a very convenient service that comes to your location and drives to a requested location through a phone call or smartphone application. It’s a popular after-work side job especially in this time of gig economy. Of course, many retired people find it a valid source of income, despite having to work in the wee hours and deal with the mean drunks.
The iconic green bottle – WHY do Koreans love SOJU 소주 so much? WHY do Koreans love drinking in tent bars (POJANGMACHA 포장마차) and… WHY are all SOJU BOTTLES GREEN? WHAT is POKTANJU 폭탄주 and SOMAEK 소맥? Korean drinks 101!
Don’t use one hand when you’re drinking with an older person, and TURN your body AWAY! WHERE to look then? WHO should drink first? Can I pour my own drink? HOW to refuse a drink from an older person? Learn the Korean drinking etiquette!
WHY DO KOREAN CARS HAVE BLUE SPONGES ON THEIR DOORS?
Driving around in Korea and you can see the vehicles with little blue sponge blocks on their doors, and foreigners are curious about them because they aren’t seen outside Korea. So, what are they? These little blue sponge blocks serve as a protection for the doors of the vehicle that’s been newly released to the customer from the factory. Originally, the car manufacturer put them there to protect the vehicle from getting dents and dings in the lot from carelessly opening the door, but many owners decide to keep them because Korean parking lots are very narrow. (Where do Koreans live now? Why do Korean apartments look like matchboxes?) It’s a Korean way of being considerate of fellow drivers (and avoid having to pay for the repair for the damage caused).