Korea Copyright II

Last weekend, when I was out with my gf, out on the streets of Guri, I noticed something rather very strange. How could it be that, even though after long hours of endless drinking, we looked like the most sober people in the streets and everyone else were going bonkers? Almost zombie apocalyptic post world but instead of having half dead, people eating, shaun of the dead copies, we had drunkards walking as if that was the new normal.

And that’s not the first time I have felt that way. Time and again, if I head out, especially on a Friday or a Saturday night there are loads of people absolutely intoxicated speaking in weird tones that make no sense. If you think about it, it’s quite incredible that the streets of Seoul, relative to any other cities that you could possibly think of, is safe; safe in such a way where mid twenty somethings live with their parents and their parents are not sick worried where they are.

Calls at post-midnight would be something like..
“Where are you?” calls mom
“Out drinking”

Think what would happen if that was in Kathmandu. Or anywhere else for that matter.

But it’s not just the drinking that’s normal here, there are certain other things in culture that are in abundance but not so much so as the notion of actually working hard.

The idea of sitting down and working has been hardwired into Korean kids. And it’s not just sitting down and working, it’s sitting down and working for longer periods of time. My friend famously once stated that Korea working efficiency is disastrously low yet got more shit done because they spent endless hours working on it. When a friend of mine decided to up his efficiency and work less hours instead, he was on the boss’s list of people who was working less OVERTIME.

An epidemic of people working hard. Or at least pretending to.

It is, nearly impossible, to focus on work 12 hours a day for 6 days a week and yet, that work style is implemented. The people on top are not oblivious to that but are reluctant to change it because that’s how the culture has been. It’s almost like a drug company refusing to change the formula of its popular drug even though they know it is going to do more good.

The reason? Well it’s still working, why fix it?


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