Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Elevator Phenomenon

There's this sort of phenomenon here in Korea, that I've recently dubbed as being an integral part of the Korean culture that both outsiders and insiders should know about.

I call it ~ the 'Elevator Phenomenon' and here's why.

By the way, for all my peeps, I'm keeping you waiting in anticipation about my trip to Beijing, as well as, oh, alot of other ongoings that I've previous stated that I'd soon talk about. Wait a bit more, I promise it's coming!

So I walk into work today. I hop off my bike, grab my helmet, and estimate roughly 3 and 1/2 minutes it would take me to cross a bit of campus and take the elevator up 5 floors to get to my desk. Yeungjin College is a small, but admirable private juniot-college, so it doesn't take long to get to where you need to go.

As I walk up to the elevator, I have but a moment to spare to hop in, as there were about 3 other folks going up before me. And just as I keep telling myself, over and over, people here in Korea DO NOT push the "keep the door open" button for you, so watch out -- there I go, like a major slow-mo moment in an action film-- the doors come crashing at my shoulders, fast like a cat lapping at milk or the Pacific crashing into the Atlantic. The words "sheh-sheh" (or Chinese for "thank you", which I recently learned on my Beijing trip:click to hear what it sounds like ~ don't worry, it's just a sound file!) It was a moment of pure elation.

Next, going up to the 5th floor, I wait as people get off at the 2nd, 3rd, AND 4th floors. They don't walk here. Up on the 5th floor, I think how much time it's taken me to get to that point. 3 minutes. The door opens, and like I keep telling myself, no, Chelsea, you do not wait for the people to come ONTO the elevator before you GET OFF... wham. 5 people crowding the elevator like mice at their cheese dish--all coming at me, wanting to get on the elevator. Hello? Do I NOT want to get OFF here?

I push my way through. They got the point.

THIS, my friends, is the very Elevator Phenomenon I'm talking about. It's crazy stuff, and again, do these people not know how to use an elevator? Elevator etiquette, people. Somebody ought to write a book!

I did in fact reach my desk at 4 minutes flat.

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