I’ve been asked by a few people.. How safe is it there? Is it worse then back home? Do you have to worry about being mugged and beat up?
This place is damn safe. I would not hesitate walking through the middle of town with a huge bag that has a $ sign printed on it (here, maybe the won sign ₩). Either way, I would have nothing to worry about. Now, I wouldn’t do it because it’s sheer stupidity, but, you get it. There’s really nothing to worry about, it’s just the way of life here. Little children run around the streets day or night, electronics stores have no problem leaving 10 plasma tv’s outside their store when their open (they don’t leave them there all night..).
The other night, around midnight, I was walking home, and I had to walk past a group of guys around my age, maybe a little younger. Most taller then me and all possibly mastering the art of tae-kwon-do. I didn’t wanna get beat up, so I kept to myself, but, one of them stopped and said “hi”. I said “hello” back, and these guys all started giggling like school girls. Then the rest of them all said Hi, blushing and laughing. What the hell was I worried about?
Now, an old man (remember, age rules ’round here) has no problem bumping into you and pushing you out of the way. That’s just their old man right of way, and they expect you to move your ass. You just can’t take it personally.
The only time I was actually a little bit nervous here was in Seoul, downtown in Itaweon (where all the foreigners go). The American military has some 50,000 soldiers stationed here, and them gun-toatin’ rednecks, well they like to start shit. Being a bigger guy, a couple asked me if I had a problem (I had none) and one said if I’m a snitch because he was drinking underage (You have to be 21 to drink here if your in the American military) then he will snap my neck. He was a special forces soldier (so he said) so I really felt as though I should believe him.
So, yeah… I think I’m good to go around these parts. It’s not like I will leave my things out and everything unlocked, but I do feel safer here then back home.