Saturday, August 21, 2004

Watch out, old guy!
I decided to go to a lake with some friends from work today. While we were waiting for the bus, this really old guy kind of pitched forward and fell into us. He was pretty much unable to walk unaided, and he seemed really disoriented. We ended up helping him go to the bathroom (my friends held up either side of him, while I moved his legs to help him walk) and called the police so they could help him out. But why was it the foreigners? It seems like most people here have a Somebody Else's Problem field turned on all the time -- if I were to lay down in the middle of the sidewalk, it would be *hours* before anyone called the police. Fine if you want to get some sleep, not so fine if you're, you know, dead. It kind of led into a discussion about the subway fire in Daegu. Did you hear about that? Basically, this guy decided to commit murder/suicide, so he brought a bottle of petrol into the subway and lit it. The train driver responded by shutting off the train (thereby locking the doors) and running away.

There were many deaths, mostly from smoke inhalation. There are tragic recorded calls of people calling their parents on the cell phones as the train fills up with smoke, asking them what to do, and being told to wait, that the train man will come back and help them. By the time rescue workers got there, it was too late. The thing is, though: why were those people on their cell phones, when they should have been kicking the safety glass out of the train windows?

Sadly, it was probably because nobody else was.

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