As guests in Korea who only speak French and English, my wife and I have been amazed at the polite and helpful approach most Koreans have shown in helping us to buy groceries, get to the hospital, or travel to a certain destination. Having moved from America, a country with increasingly little patience for foreigners, we both appreciate the warm approach we have come to enjoy in Korea.
However, recently we have discovered that taxi companies have become increasingly prejudiced in their choice of who to drive, making life for those of us with no car especially difficult. What perhaps is even more shocking is the sometimes blatant refusal we face when we ask a taxi company to drive us a total of five minutes from our station to our home because we look like Americans.
While I recognize that this is not a problem singular to Korea, it is nonetheless a rising concern as a foreign worker. I would ask simply that any foreigner or Korean who learns of a prejudiced business or taxi service to vote with your money and take a different taxi. Whether or not the impact is large, at least we can do something to limit a growing prejudice that has no place in an otherwise pleasant Korea.
By Tayler Clough
Tayler Clough teaches world history and European history in Incheon with his wife, who teaches English literature and grammar. They are both American citizens. ― Ed.