Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bits and Pieces

If you've ever wondered about the elderly people who collect newspapers on the subway, this article is well worth reading.
Until recently, the job of collecting the papers was undertaken by people _ mainly the elderly in their 60s to 80s _ who would then sell them to recyclers for 80 won per kilogram. Each collector would pick up between 100 to 200 kilograms a day.
I remember a friend telling me he had seen two women at Banghwa Station (the last stop on line 5) in the train cars, one of who left the papers in piles and then came back to pick them up; when she came back to see another woman grabbing her papers, a fight broke out. The Seoul Metro, which runs lines 1 to 4, has banned these people from collecting them, citing such behavior as one reason, though many people think this employment opportunity shouldn't be taken from these people.

I also stumbled onto an article about motorcycle couriers and how they're trying to fight for decent treatment.

Antti, over at Hunjangui Karuchim, has had his dissertation published, titled "Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality". A pdf can be found here. I'm certainly looking forward to reading it.

From a few weeks ago, Mark over at Korea Pop Wars documented the absence of, and protests by, bootleg dvd sellers at Yongsan Electronics Market.

And Joe over at Paint Roller Blog discusses the intersection of chicken and nationalism (along with a Dakdoritang recipe). I mentioned Dakdoritang to some high school students today and was immediately corrected ("It's dakbokkumtang!").

1 comment:

Jon Allen said...

very interesting about the paper collectors. I did wonder how the economics of the recycling worked. at 80won per kilo it is a tough way to earn a living.

31 tons a day of newspapers. Wow, and that is on only half the subway network!