So, I’m learning a bit about personal space in Korean public spaces.
I had read online before I came to Korea that because Korea is such a small country and there are so many people, it is common for people to bump into other people and not really worry about it. People wouldn’t say sorry or excuse me because it was so common and normal. I’m really seeing this now. It’s really weird for me!
When I was walking around and shopping in Myeongdong, I was often in a tight spot with a lot of people around me. I was bumped into several times and I even bumped into other people a few times. It really wasn’t a big deal and even when I said “excuse me” to pardon myself, people didn’t really care. It was an interesting feeling. The same thing happened on my subway ride home. On the last leg of my subway journey, there were so many of us in the car that I couldn’t move. People weren’t being rude or pushing and shoving. It was very civilized and everyone was very chill about it. Again, it was weird for me but I think I could get used to it.