Driving in Korea, Part 1

I recently bought a car, got my Korean license, and began driving in Korea. It was really nerve-wracking at first, but I’m slowly becoming accustomed to some of the quirks of the Korean roads as compared with American ones. Luckily for me, Koreans drive on the right side of the road. I probably wouldn’t have even wanted to try driving here if they drove on the left. But despite the similarities, there’s still a significant amount of confusion. For example this sign:

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Which looks exactly like a direction to crash into one another, but actually means that the right lane ends ahead.

Then there are the lane markings. The lane markings are the bane of my existence, at the moment. In America, a lane marked like this:

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Means that it’s a right turn lane. Easy, right?

But in Korea, this just means you can turn right. Which is so unnecessary, because anyone with a shred of common sense should know that you can turn right from a right lane unless there is a sign saying you can’t turn right. But, no, Korea has to mark it, making me think I’m always in the wrong lane. If the lane is actually right-turn only, it is marked like this:

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What?

Why is “Don’t go straight” used instead of “Turn right”?

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That Awkward Duck trying to figure out lane markings

Driving on the freeways is relatively easy, except when there’s a junction, and they forget to put signs saying which lane is going where, which does happen occasionally.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that a shocking number of people drive around with their lights off when it’s pitch black outside… Are you asking for an accident?!

You can also park basically anywhere in Korea. “No Parking” signs appear to be mere suggestions, parallel parking+ bike lane along the main street in my neighborhood is used as angled parking. In fact, most rules of the road seem to be more suggestions than actual rules.

Korean Style Parking:

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