1.23.2012

Subway Observations

These days I ride the subway a lot. I recently started a job coaching soccer in English and the school's location caused a big jump in my commuting. So, three times a week, I spend close to 2 hours riding subways, buses and walking. It's nice, kinda. I read more, reflect more, but more than anything, I unintentionally observe my Korean compadres.

This brings us to today's post, Subway Observations.

***

In the midst of a brutally compact subway car sat an old lady. Small in stature, frail and sleepy. She looked like any other old woman on the subway but for some reason, I stood peering in her direction.

She sat with closed eyes and hands crossed. Again, nothing unusual but as the announcement rang over the loud speaker, "Next stop, Dongjak station," she casually opened her eyes and wiggled into a position to get up. But, she quickly realized the solid wall of people right in front of her and between the seat and the door.

"Uh, oh," I thought. "She'll never make it."

I stood corrected. She very gently grabbed hold of a young Korean girl's arms who stood directly in front of her. And in that moment, a very beautiful transaction of affection occurred. The old lady lifted herself up and with only a nod or two they successfully shuffled and switched positions. The old lady then scooted her way through the thick kelp-like crowd to the door. She made it, like so many times before in life.

In these moments a very distinct stirring of appreciation happens inside of me. I really appreciate the innate kindness Koreans show toward one another. Sure, this is not 100% the case, but it's definitely not rare. It's common to see, and I truly love seeing it.

It keeps a person kind, even in the midst of terrible subway rides. Beautiful.

...get Lost my friends.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to "like" this post! ^^

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