This morning on the (subway) train to work, I saw for the 2nd time in as many months what disturbs me about something that may seem minor to the locals, but is a major issue for them in the long run. It’s not something to cry fowl in terms of the individual act, but what surrounds it or if there is a greater general mindset that operates in synch with the behavior, I’m very worried.
Basically, I saw something fly in the air to the left of me on the train. I immediately look to the left & thought maybe this old man to my left was trying to make his little toy fly. Well, I see him lean over to pick it up, but I notice he’s picking up a crumpled up piece of paper. I think to myself, “Why is he trying to throw a piece of paper up in the air?” Well, he continues to try to throw it up in the air, but what I soon realize is that he’s trying to land it on the space above him where people usually place their bags or other heavy items while they’re taking the subway ride.
I immediately reflect back on a time where I was sitting across from this woman who was scraping off the gum off her bag and pasting it to the seat she was sitting on. At that time, I was incredibly disgusted at the behavior that she would be so inconsiderate that she would literally be setting up a “gum mine” for someone else to sit on. She continued to do it despite many people staring at her. However, the bigger problem that I’m worried about is that no one says anything about it.
The thing that holds me back from speaking up is my Korean is so weak. So, I already know when I open up my mouth, they’ll just fire back that I’m an idiot who can’t even speak Korean…and I won’t have much of a rebuttle for them. They’ll just avoid the subject of polluting and focus on my lack of Korean skills. My concern though is all the people around him doing absolutely nothing. They barely bat an eye.