In a land full of "me first," where old ladies will run right into you and keep going, rather than yellow cabs, a miracle occurred.
I am willing to accept that in a big city it is common that people will mistakenly bump into you. I'm willing to accept that each culture has it's own sense of how much personal space a person requires to feel comfortable. However, I'm not so pleased, and neither are many Koreans, that here people push you or completely body check you in the street.
The real kicker is that they keep going without the slightest pause or moment of polite remorse. There's no "excuse me," no "pardon me," and unfortunately, no "I'm sorry" that follows these unpleasant experiences. There's not even a glance to acknowledge the presence of another human being. Though I won't go as far to say that I'm now used to this, but I've become somewhat more accustomed to it. I've stopped giving dirty looks, because they are wasted, and I've stopped cursing under my breath, because starting a fight with an old Korean lady is silly, unwise, probably not safe and besides it's rare that you'll find one that can truly grasp the meaning of "bitchass cuntrag" anyway.
As I walked out of the subway station yesterday I was swiped by some lady. Between my headphones I silently made the typical nasty comments. Then the whole situation started to play in slow motion. She turned around and showed me her palms making the international sign for I-hold-no-weapons-I-come-in-peace. I'm listening to Air (le soliel est pres de moi) and I watched as her mouth formed the words, which I'm 90% positive were choesong hamnida (I'm sorry; I apologize; excuse me), and then she shot me an angelic friendly smile. One that will glow in my collection of memories of this place.