What would you have done?

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joe kimchi
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Joined: 03/31/2010 - 15:43
What would you have done?

 

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject: What would you have done?Reply with quote

Last week I was walking around an open market when a lady grabbed my backpack from behind and physically guided me into her store I had visited earlier to look at some hiking pants.

She kept talking in Hangeul, said "police" and made a phone call. I had no idea what was going on. My cell phone was out of commission and I asked her repeatedly if I could use her store phone. Finally, she let me make  a call to a tourist office and I asked them to help translate, but she hung up after talking to them?   

Police started showing up (eventually four in all). They didn't speak English and wouldn't even acknowledge me. When I asked if I could use a phone to call an interpreter I was told to "shut up!"

I didn't know what to do. The police let the lady control the conversation. When I took out my camera phone that got their attention and when I started asking to speak to the U.S. Embassy that seemed to speed things along with one of the police officers talking to the lady and hearing her say "sorry" in Hangeul (but clearly not meaning it).

I can only guess the lady was accusing me of stealing something. That rated a phone call and the arrival of four police officers.

What would you have done?

 

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: What would you have done?

what  would you have done back home ?  don't think koreans are so innocent . There are some good

koreans and bad koreans . Just like back home . Good people and bad people . She was a

bad person . Like when someone tries to   kidnap you or attack you best way is to prevent it

going futher is to fight from the start . Usually when you fight with people from the start they back

off if you did not wrong  Most bad people and criminals look for an easy target .  Dont be

an easy target fight for your rights in your home country and in korea .      

   

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: What would you have done?
I agree with Anonymous. Do what you would do back home. Honestly, you didn't even have to stick around. She obviously had issues. It's also possible she was waiting for you to give her money. Although, good for a story to tell. Next time you go to a market, bring s Korean friend or study a little Korean.
joe kimchi
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Joined: 03/31/2010 - 15:43
Re: What would you have done?
The lady was acting erractic but the police scared me even more, all four of them, ignoring me and telling me to "shut up!" when I asked to make a phone call. They didn't like it when I took out my camera phone. That might be helpful for someone else in the future. Asking to speak to my embassy really seemed to catch their attention, also. It's all guesswork because they didn't try to help me understand the situation.
dude777
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Joined: 04/08/2012 - 20:14
Re: What would you have done?
I'd like to think I would just gently push her away and carry on walking. With the police, it is now more a case of what you can do, and this is pretty much as others have said, the same as back home. You can write (maybe best with a Korean friend's help)a letter of complaint about their attitude and manners. Be fair though and only do so if they were as unhelpful and rude as you say. Why? Written complaints must be dealt with and are normally kept on file. Back home 3 written complaints along the same lines and the police officer risks demotion. Not sure how it would be dealt with in Korea but loss of face is one of the worst feelings here, so the officers and their manager will not like receiving a written complaint at all.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: What would you have done?

I would have just kept walking.  She sounds like she was crazy.

FYI, "Hangeul" just refers to the Korean alphabet, not the spoken language itself. You can just call that "Korean".

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: What would you have done?

If  a Korean   had this problem in USA  they pretend they dont speak English . You can pretend you dont speak English . Just speak a third language  most Koreans cant

speak a third language . Usa cops are wise to Koreans and other non americans who pretend not to speak English . They now sometimes take them to police office  

joe kimchi
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Joined: 03/31/2010 - 15:43
Re: What would you have done?

At the time the lady grabbed my back pack and guided me into her store, I thought she was actually going to show me some more pants. It's not unusual in an open market for the vendors to grab or pull you to get your attention.

Boy was I wrong!

The first time I walked by the lady's store, she tried to sell me pants that were way too small. She wouldn't listen to me and took out a measuring tape. I pulled a used pair of pants from my small pack so she could compare pants sizes with mine, she handed me another pair that looked too small and I put it back while she had gone off to help another customer, saying goodby on my way out.

No problem when I left. That's the confusing part.

The second time I passed her store is when she grabbed my pack from behind, guided me into her store, blocking me from leaving her store and called the police?

I had no idea what she was saying in Korean. She was talking a mile a minute and wouldn't let me call anyone who could help translate, probably so she could control the situation when the police arrived.  

The police went into my pack and took my used pants out to show her and she also showed them the pants she tried to get me to buy earlier.

Then she was told by the police to apologize to me.

Makes no sense?

The police officers behavior also makes no sense. 

I was told to shut up when I asked to make a phone call that might have ended the situation quickly and could have avoided all of the aggravation they put me through  (unless you consider that the police have a reputation for abusing their authority and then their behavior would appear routine for them).

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: What would you have done?

Sadly the policemen probably know little or no english  just shut up and the f bomb

people should not use words they dont know what it means . Someone walked by me and told me shut up   I just told them duck cho   that is the direct translation of

of shut up . If someone says a bad word to me in English I try to tell them the same word in Korean if I know it /    Sometimes they people will bow to me and say sorry . Nowaadays   does not happen as much as before . I would say it happens rarely if ever . Before would happen alot  

joe kimchi
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Joined: 03/31/2010 - 15:43
Re: What would you have done?

Which begs the question, why didn't the police call their department interpreter to explain to me what was going on. Wouldn't that be the "normal" thing to do?

I called the tourist office employee I contacted that day and was told the store owner sounded agitated over the phone, took another call while they were talking on her mobile and then hung up on the tourist office without letting me talk to anyone?

Wouldn't a "normal" person want to help me understand what's going on by letting me talk to an interpreter?

I lodged a complaint against the police department (pending).