Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Eyed Buffalo & Terminators - (Korea) Day 56

A photo of a "one eyed buffalo". We saw a few pictures in class
of different variations of these driving down the streets.

Work call this morning was at 0900 at the driver's training class. I headed to the classroom we were in yesterday and was told class was no longer in this room, go down to the conference room down stairs. OK…so I went downstairs and found the very small conference room. There were about 15 of us in the class. The sergeant teaching the class seems like a pretty cool laid back dude. He skimmed through a lot of the slides and said we can eat and drink in there as long as we clean up after ourselves.

The main stuff we went over today was drinking and driving. Alcohol is available to purchase here in Korea 24/7…there is no "last call". "Soju is very cheap and effective". The Korean police setup DUI checkpoints at various locations where they just randomly use a breathalyzer to test drivers. I've heard this before from SPC Roy who (with good reason) will not drive at all once he's had a drink. If you get caught you can get in pretty big trouble with the army.

Another point was to never touch Koreans after an accident. There have been many examples of Koreans saying they were injured after the fact by someone trying to help them. I've heard many stories of similar acts by Koreans here. I've heard they have a very high rate of insurance claims from accidents. I've also heard that you should never hit one with your car…or it's all over for you. Even if you barely bump a person they will fall over and exaggerate that they were practically run over. On a similar note I've also heard that you shouldn't get into a fight with them because they will just fall down and tell the police you attacked them.

We went through some slides about the different road signs here in Korea that we may see. We saw a number of photos of crashes of military vehicles. There were also some photos of what can happen during the rainy season here, one in particular showed a US tank in the middle of what looked like a river being swept away. Now that's some pretty impressive rain!

We were told to watch out for "one-eyed buffalos" and 'terminators". One-eyed Buffalos are basically a rototiller modified with some sort of trailer. These are slow moving vehicles usually carrying big loads. The terminators are basically a semi or dump truck that has a very impressive motor. They can hall ass and if you get hit by one…you'll be terminated.

We had a two hour lunch, when we came back we sat around for about a half hour waiting for the instructor. When he came in he said "see you tomorrow at 0900". So I took off and went back to my room. My plan was to get a jump start on my school, but every time I started reading my programming book, I fell asleep. This may be a tough class to get through. I finally gave up and video chatted with my wife for a while.

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