Redefining the meaning of double parking in Seoul

Written by admin on April 16, 2008 – 11:16 am -

When I first arrived in Seoul 7 years ago I was surprised to see cars  double parked and unattended. This was the very first time I had seen this practice and to be frank I was thinking to myself how irritated I would be if I had to push someone’s car in order to get out.  In most countries that I’ve been in you either do not double park or if you have to, you don’t ever leave your vehicle unattended. 

New meaning to double parking

This practice seems to be the norm in Seoul, just don’t forget to leave your vehicle in neutral with the parking brake off, so that the vehicle you are blocking can yours out of the way. In some malls I have seen parking employees who push cars back and forth. On one occasion I had to push a Hyundai Starex van out of the way, let’s just say that took care of my workout for that day. A month ago I had visitors from overseas and they would not believe me when I said it was ok for me to park in front of another vehicle.

In Seoul, most of the on-street parking are assigned, which mean you pay on a monthly or yearly basis and you are assigned a specific parking slot. I’ve have observed that vehicles park in spaces that don’t belong to them. What happens when the owner of the slot arrives? Well, most vehicles have a mobile number posted somewhere on their dashboard so that you can call the owner of the offending vehicle and tell them to get their vehicle out. I don’t do this often because your milage may vary with this one, some people are OK with it but some are not. 

If you’re like me and don’t speak a whole lot of Korean, remember this word Cha (차) which means car, and if you’re double parked or blocking some driveway and hear 차 when someone you don’t know calls you, better hustle and get your car out of the way.




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