Saturday, November 7, 2009

She drives me crazily

I taught driver's ed back in St. Augustine, but I decided in my first couple of days in Korea that I'd never drive here. Turn signals are unheard of, lane markings are vague suggestions, and in Daegu, buses slammed up to stops at high speed, taxi drivers got bonuses for flipping pedestrians in the air, and cars are always driving on sidewalks to get to parking spots up against stores.

It doesn't seem quite so insane in Seoul, if only because the streets are too congested for anyone to go fast, but where I cross the main street on my way to work, the two side streets are off plumb by about five feet, people park in the intersection, drivers turn left out of the side street and are stuck all diagonal-like as pedestrians cross with the "walk" signal, and there's always a driver pulling a three-point turn in the intersection.

Korea has the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the world.

And now this, from

SEOUL, South Korea — A woman in South Korea who tried to pass the written exam for a driver's license with near-daily attempts since April 2005 has finally succeeded on her 950th time. The aspiring driver spent more than 5 million won ($4,200) in application fees, but until now had failed to score the minimum 60 out of a possible 100 points needed to get behind the wheel for a driving test.
Cha Sa-soon, 68, finally passed the written exam with a score of 60 on Wednesday, said Choi Young-chul, a police official at the drivers' license agency in Jeonju, 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Seoul.
Police said Cha took the test hundreds of times, but had no specific total. Local media said she took the test 950 times.
Now she must pass a driving test before getting her license, Choi said.
Repeated calls to Cha seeking comment went unanswered. She told the Korea Times newspaper she needed the license for her vegetable-selling business.


Even the 1962 Mets didn't go 1-949.

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