Elderly Hikers Turn Blind Eye to Pregnant Woman in Subway

From The Herald:

Elderly Hikers Occupy Metro Seats Laughing and Chatting, No Regard for Heavily Pregnant Woman Without Seat


The elderly passengers [pictured here] equipped in hiking gear are receiving criticism for not yielding their seats to a woman heavy with a child in the metro.

On the 28th, a photo titled ‘I will not buckle from my seat even if my pregnant daughter is standing here’ was posted on an online community board.

The photo shows a heavily pregnant woman standing in metro, before a group of senile hikers chattering in their seats.

‘[The elderly] don’t care a thing about a pregnant lady if she is unrelated to them,’ the netizen who uploaded the photo wrote about the situation then. ‘I was going to talk to them about this, when a man sitting some distance away yielded his seat for her.’

The other netizens who saw this photo shed criticism such as ‘those elderly people would surely blame ‘youngsters these days’ when they cannot get a seat in metro.’ ‘If they were healthy enough to go hiking, wouldn’t they be strong enough to stand up along their way back?’ ‘You don’t HAVE to offer your seat, but you’d feel obliged to if you had any idea of what’s right.’

Comments from Nate:


Well, I don’t even find that situation new. My wife is 8 months into her pregnancy and once sat in the priority seat (which is for pregnant women [as well as the elderly]). And an old lady made a hurting remark, saying ‘anyone can get pregnant, so what special right does it give you to keep your seat in front of an elderly standing?’ It was her way back home from work, and she found it ridiculous. Would the old lady have said the same thing to her own daughter? Since then she doesn’t even glance at an empty priority seat, because it’s much more comfortable at heart to give up sitting rather than to sit and hear those awful comments.


Tut tut tut, can’t you age gracefully!


These days, a pregnant woman gets scolded for sitting in the priority seat. And women are less likely to offer seats [to a pregnant woman, compared to men are]. I’m a few weeks into pregnancy so it didn’t show in my belly, but I was really exhausted from morning sickness so sat down in the priority seat. But [the elderly] kicked me and gave me a scolding look, so I got up from the seat right away. I had to get off the metro to throw up during the trip…. There are really so many people who are mean to pregnant women, although we are having a hard time.


So annoying;; And they get to use the metro for free;


Although we make a lot of noise here, those elderly in the picture wouldn’t ever get to see this article.


I don’t offer my seat to people who are not so old.. to those in their 60s but who dye their hair black and wear heavy make-up. If they so wish to look young, I should treat them as young people..


If you keep offering a favour to someone, they’ll take it for granted. [A famous line from the hit film The Unjust]


The priority seats are for weak passengers, including the elderly, the pregnant and the handicapped who are not strong enough to stand for a long time. Those old hikers who swan off to mountains and countryside are not ‘weak.’ Getting old doesn’t entitle you to everything you want, so please know this.


Crazy people~ They go hiking and biking to keep themselves young, and get excited when they are treated as youngsters. But do they want to be respected as the elderly in metro? Age gracefully!…


They should have some consideration for others if they are strong enough to go hiking…


Those seats are priority seats, not elderly seats…………………… Sigh…………………….. There are certainly many generous elderly people, but some thoughtless ones anger me. Their behaviour should fit their age.


By the way, why are the elderly allowed to ride the metro for free?????


Granny~~~ Our future is having a hard time standing there…


When I was 8 months into pregnancy, I got into the metro compartment and immediately the stout guys sitting across from me closed their eyes at the same time. Ah~ I nearly swore. You really should know what’s better.


When I got pregnant, I was walking on eggshells every time I was using buses. If I stood before students, they’d giggle at my belly even if they were female too. In the metro I got a priority seat because a lady offered it to me, but an old man shouted and swore at my face that I was too young to take a seat there. I showed him my belly which shut him up, but some people think it’s not a big deal even when they see my belly. Having experienced that several times, I refrained from going anywhere far from home and when I did, my husband would drive me there. I have often shed cold sweat in the corner when using the public transport so… it’s much easier at heart [not to use it].


The elderly shouldn’t be blamed so much…. Younger passengers never offered me their seats in the buses I got in when I was heavily pregnant…. Why pick on the elderly????

Priority seat sign

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  • YourSupremeCommander

    Okay, I feel I must say this:

    If you are 8 months pregnant (or whatever it is that you are), the last thing you want to do in a crowded subway train is to be playing your phone with both hands and not grabbing onto a pole or something.


    • PixelPulse

      Maybe the train stop moving for a while?

    • Kate

      Agreed, I stopped riding the subway and bus all together when I hit 7 1/2 months. I was way too big, which made it uncomfortable for me and everyone else.

  • Your Sexy Cousin Rex

    At least the ajumma hikers weren’t on the ground boozing lawl

  • jon776


  • Digitalsoju

    Ajummas with no manners or courtesy, nothing new. It’s part of the definition of being an ajumma, along with the bad perm and tacky clothes.

    • dk2020

      lols .. don’t mess with the ajuma mafia they will win .. I’d rather fight drunk ajeoshis all day ..

  • Yu Bum Suk

    It’s interesting that the sign shows a mother holding a baby but not a father.

    • dk2020

      Well when I pick up the kids from school, I notice I am one of the only few men there .. Korean dads are supposed to be stoic just working all the time and nonexistent in the child raising .. this is changing with the younger generation of course but I do agree Korean men or all men in general should be better fathers ..

      • Yu Bum Suk

        When I was in Japan I was surprised to see not only baby changing tables in the men’s toilets but even one father using one. Perhaps in Korea that will happen one day.

        • dk2020

          wow really? I thought korean and japanese dads had the same rep .. so who knows ..

        • There are changing tables in some men’s rooms in Korea.

          • Yu Bum Suk

            Really? I’ll have to start looking more closely. I can’t recall ever seeing one.

          • One for all

            Seoul station!

  • Gabrielle

    I’m 7 months pregnant and very showing, I take 1 subway line and 1 bus to commute every day, and the statistics so far are in favour of ajummas.

    Ajumma have yield their seat a couple of time, although at rush hour, it’s every men for himself. Younger women, in their 20s never yield, they’re to busy with ka-talk or fake-sleeping. Men NEVER yield, whatever their age. I just have one men yielding occurrence (and I was so surprised I suspected he was raised abroad).

    The pink seat on the bus, is understood as a “women seat” and from high school girls to elderly women, everyone seats there, but nobody yield once they’re seated.

    On the side note, I don’t really blame them. It’s not part of their values and culture. Ajummas yield because they’ve been there, not because they think it’s right. The rest of them don’t because they haven’t been taught to. The yielding thing is a recent trend Korean government have pulled to look modern and developed, but people’s mentality don’t change so fast.

    • Sillian

      Yielding to the elderly is the traditional norm which has weakened. Yielding to pregnant women etc has been up to each individual.

    • chucky3176

      Far better than the US though. In Korea, people don’t just stand there and watch and take pictures, while a man tries to save himself after he was pushed off the tracks by a deranged man. That happened in NYC, to a Korean man. “Being developed, people’s mentality”? Get off your high horse, your country is not much better.

      • Paul M

        I can’t speak for New York but in my home town people are far more courteous to others than in Korea – holding doors open, waiting for others to pass before walking through a narrow space, giving seats up on public transport etc.

        • Yu Bum Suk

          My parents visited Korea for two weeks when they were 69 years old and my mum was very white haired. My mum still can’t get over how polite Koreans were to her. She never once had to stand on public transportation, even when it was packed. She still goes on and on about how it was one of the nicest parts of their trip and how Koreans have so much respect for the elderly, and compares it to a trip in the US when they had to use public transportation a number of times (where nobody gave up their seats). In her words “Those Koreans could really teach young people today a thing or two about manners”.

          I suspect it has much more to do with age than anything. Those ajuma hikers probably had to walk wherever they went when they were pregnant and don’t empathise very much.

        • dk2020

          Are you from a small town in the suburbs? Big city life is different ..

          • Paul M

            Nope, big city of about 1.5 million. I’ve lived in big cities most of my life except uni and my first year in Korea. Thing is in my home town, if you’re not polite you get the shite beaten out of you.

          • dk2020

            Well I think the big cultural difference is Koreans are naturally wary and indifferent to strangers but if you are a friend or relative you get the good treatment, where as in the West you are friendly to your neighbors and strangers ..

      • After almost a decade of Seoul’s culture infecting me, I was chastised in New York for being too rude.

        • Yu Bum Suk

          LOL that’s happened to me, too. I also can’t get over what polite drivers Canadians are when I visit.

        • dk2020


          I guess you never ran into any weird people in the rotten apple ,, this lady pisses herself and takes a shower on the subway ,, I think it was for attention ..

      • PixelPulse

        Kind of hard to use that situation with the topic of this article, what happen to that guy was awful but we’re talking about priorities seats not assholes who take pictures of a guy who got pushed in the subway tracks.

      • Gabrielle

        I’m not American. Try again.(190 countries to go.)

        • dk2020

          yes I can really tell your nationality by your cat like features ;9

          • Gabrielle

            I wasn’t talking to you, so why do you even bother?

          • dk2020

            nevermind then jeeez .. lols ,,

        • Kate

          Um, Spain?

        • chucky3176

          Any chance you’re British?


          So I don’t understand all the claims here that Korea uniquely have no ettiquette in giving up seats to pregnant women, due to Korean culture.


          “My family and I live fairly centrally in London, which means a daily negotiation with the Underground.

          During my daughter’s recent pregnancy, she regularly stood through rush hour journeys as, indeed, do I.

          Both of us, mercifully, do get offered the occasional perch – but, every time, the offer comes from a tourist from Japan, Italy, Africa or
          Australia. The home-growns just carry on slumping. Oblivious, or at
          least pretending to be. “

          • dk2020

            I give up I can’t figure out the nationality of a cat ..

          • Gabrielle

            Nope, not British either.

            As you were so in a hurry to bash some american that you actually completely missed my original point.

            I said it’s not part of Korean culture. I know that. Pregnant women are not mentioned in the 5 relations, (king to subject, Man to woman, etc) of Confucius. At best, pregnant women are part of “women” which doesn’t entitle them to anything. That’s why I don’t expect Koreans to yield their seats (Mind you, I’m happy when they do, carrying that extra weight around is really unconfortable).

            It would be another story in my hometown, (France was the right answer), where I know this is our values, and if anyone were to fake-sleep to avoid yielding, I would make a scene (because the best way to get something is to embarrass someone in public). I would also expect to cut the queues at the mart or at the post-office and to be given a chair to seat on anywhere I have to wait. Because it is our culture. Doesn’t mean everybody is perfectly polite and following the rules, but it is still part of our values.

          • dk2020

            LOL yeah the French are known for being really kind to Americans and not rude at all ..lololol .. à bon chat, bon rat!


          • Gabrielle

            Don’t cite a British newspaper over anything about France. They’ve been French-bashing since 1415 ;) (It’s a franco-british joke, and it require knowledge in history soyou probably don’t get it)
            The rest of your rant is some baseless and racist bs you probably get from Fox News, I won’t comment on that.

          • dk2020

            I hate Republican conservative Foxs news I don’t ever watch that garbage channel ..stay ignorant that the French are known internationally as rude people, the irony huh? cest la vie!

          • Gabrielle

            Then don’t say “blacks and pakis”, it’s plain racist slur.

          • dk2020

            LOL you know exactly what I mean though .. sorry if I can’t be politically correct about it but there are no french blacks or pakis on this board so I don’t think anybody will care .. ^_^

          • FelixTheCat

            ignorance is bliss huh?

          • insomnia

            Plain stupid

      • Sigh

        But Koreans just stand there and take pictures while people are being beat to death, or dogs are being hauled by cars until they are strangled to death. So..? Lets not play the who has the worst asshole game because there are asses everywhere. Also, in America there are a fair share of videos in which people jump down to save those who fall onto tracks, why don’t you look it up before you take one instance and turn it an everyday thing as if it defines America. In America it is common courtesy to give up seats to elderly and pregnant women or even men giving up their seats to females, more so than it is in Korea. Just like holding the door for someone is also a common courtesy done in America that you RARELY, if ever see, in Korea.

        The mentalities of Koreans and Americans are different when it comes to sacrificing certain comforts, or exerting extra effort to assist someone else. Not saying it is not done in Korea, but don’t act like they are all “lets be outstanding citizens today” while America runs off self-priority. But I know you LOVE to bring foreign affairs into the situation to make Korea look better than the evil westerners.

        • dk2020

          Well when you see anything go down like this .. you better take some action!!! save the day whitey! LOL .. if the preggo lady said something or argued for the seat maybe the ajumas might have moved .. you ever think about that? Why are waeguks so pessimistic? It’s not like the ajummas assaulted the preggo lady ..

          • Patricks

            One of the few Koreans on KB who has never visited Korea before.

          • dk2020

            What are you talking about? I’ve been to Korea a few times .. I have family in Daegu and Seoul .. ^^ wakano siipsay ya? Want me to visit u at Dongguk Uni next time professor?

          • Patricks

            Sure, love to meet you some time.

          • dk2020

            Alright .. cool, maybe we can share a Hite ..

          • Patricks

            Let’s make it a Hite D.

        • …I was gonna say the same thing about the picture taking. Aren’t half the articles on here due to someone taking a picture? And… most, if not all, that are articles based on a phone pic, no one did anything except talk0 about what they would’ve done, safely behind a screen… and then hunting someone down… Yeah, let’s not act like one country who has sh*t that don’t stink…

        • Sillian

          “But I know you LOVE to bring foreign affairs into the situation to make Korea look better than the evil westerners.”

          To be fair, you should admit that If you switch Korea and westerners in that sentence, that is the bread and butter of some posters here.

        • sdfasdfasdf

          I’d have to agree. People being polite is universal and not restricted to Asian countries. I think the biggest difference though is that in Western countries women generally like to be more independent (e.g. doing things themselves, getting the door for MEN – i do this a lot lol -, refusing seats on the bus/subway because they don’t need one, etc.). Men and women treat each other more equally in Western countries which plays a lot into when to be polite and when to know that your help isn’t needed, because people like being independent.

        • chucky3176

          LOL at all the vitrol in here. This has nothing to do with “Korean
          culture” of not behaving with perfect ettiqutte that are supposedly
          found in much more enlightened Western nations. LOL.

          Ladies and gentleman, read what the Wall Street journal has to say about Americans not giving their seats to pregnent women. It thinks it’s a significant problem enough in the West.


          So much for being so much better than Korea. Right.

          • You’re the one posting filth. Random disingenuous fake outrage.

      • Kate

        Because you know exactly what it’s like to be 1. a woman 2. heavily pregnant 3. to be both of 1 and 2 and live in the USA and Korea. Amazing empathy there Chucky.

        And i didn’t see any arrogance in her post, she was just relaying her experiences as a pregnant woman in Korea.

        No one was taking pics of that guy when he was shoved off, they were taking pics prior of the two fighting but from the news I’ve read it would of taken a REALLY strong person or group to haul him up and there was no one there to do that, if someone alone tried to help him, he would of pulled them down too. And Korea has it’s own share of crazy ass people doing crazy ass things and people ignoring others (Had a friend whose friend who was hit a crosswalk by a driver in Korea and not one Korean helped her, they walked past her like she didn’t exist), so please.

        • Sillian

          Yea you could get pulled down if you are not strong enough. I wonder if there was no room to hide down there… Why don’t they install sliding doors?

          As to your friend’s friend’s story, that sounds unusual to me. There are many reports and videos of people who even risked their safety to help others in Korea. Whether that is as much known in the expat blogsphere is another matter.

          • aewfdsff

            the guy who fell on the tracks was drunk so even if there was space to hide I don’t think he’d have the motor skills or clarity of mind to find a way to save himself. most of the people who end up dying via getting hit by a train tend to be drunk at the time.

    • dk2020

      Are there priority seats on buses and trains in the US? If so I’ve never noticed .. why are these seats so important? Are they closer by the door or something?

      • I live in Jersey and the NJ transit has them for elderly, handicapped, and pregnant women. And yup they’re closer to the door. People HAVE to move for those in wheelchairs due to the seat belts being in specific locations. And I’ve used the bus all throughout Jersey (north is more city/urban and south is more rural) and people give up their seats all the time without being asked to. Some men give theirs up for women, and some people give theirs up for people with babies and/or strollers. So it depends on the state I guess though I’m sure at least every public transit has priority seating for the handicapped.

        • dk2020

          Oh yeah the seats closest to the front right? I always sit in the back of the bus by habit so I guess I’ve never really noticed or seen anybody fighting for those seats because they were empty ..

          • Well anyone can sit in those seats, they just have to vacate them for the first priority of them. I usually avoid sitting in them unless I’m gonna be on the bus for like, 5 minutes and I tend to sit in the front since i’m too shy to scream out “back door!” Also, our buses are “kneeling buses” that lower itself for those who have difficulty walking. They’re even equipped to pick up the ones in wheelchairs. Though the buses with the smaller doors (for NJ our interstate buses) I dunno how the pick up the wheelchairs

      • ShawnaKM

        As Yaminah said about the NJ transit, so is the Muni in San Francisco. Usually the front half section of the bus (or quarter if it’s the long ones) are designated. It’s a smaller city, but as someone who expected to see typical keep-to-themselves city folk, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many and how often people are courteous with offering bus seats. Sometimes to the point that no one takes a seat, despite the sardine-like conditions of those standing. This literally happened again yesterday and I walked past several rows of people to sit down since I was in an awkward position lol.

      • PixelPulse

        In NYC theres priority seats on the bus but not the train. Theyre at the very front and usually has a little heart on a sticker on the glass behind the seat or on the seat itself that folds up for people in wheelchairs.

  • Paul M

    Fashion hikers, fit enough to hike up the side of a mountain but old an infirm when needing a seat on public transport.

    • I also say that if you’re strong and fit enough to push everyone aside as you move from train 1 to train 10, you’re strong enough to just stand and enjoy the freakin’ ride.

  • wacky

    who should be prioritized elderly, pregnant woman or the handicapped?

    • adfasdfa

      The handicapped, then depending on how far along or how old, either the elderly or pregnant. Overall if they look weak or have trouble standing just give up your seat to help prevent possible injury on the train/bus.

  • dk2020


    the rude ajuma theme song .. ajumas ain’t nuttin nice LOL ..

  • dk2020

    I grew up riding the RTD/MTA in LA .. no one has ever given up their seat for me or have I seen that done rare as hell. everybody just minded their own business and there has been a couple fights on the bus to school .. dont say its because they are black, they are Americans ..

  • dk2020


    this lady was arrested after this racist rant on the tram in the UK .. was she rude?

  • dk2020


    Yeah the NY Post has pics of this old Korean man getting ran over by the subway because some deranged guy pushed him on the tracks.. NO ONE HELPED HIM! This is seriously fucked up .. way worse then train etiquette .. and the paper runs pics on the front page so disrespectful!!!

  • Kate

    Wow Dejavu! When I was heavily pregnant, riding the subway after work, exact same thing happened to me once too. Ajummas rarely gave me their seat, but old men would give up their seat all the time for me. Sometimes ajummas would though, but sometimes they were really, really impolite.

    • chucky3176

      But something doesn’t jive. We have one user who says all Korean men are assholes who won’t give up their seats. And then we have another user, you, who says it’s exactly the opposite where it’s the Korean men who give up their seats and the Korean women who won’t.

      So which is it? Korean men bad, or Korean women bad?

      • Kate

        Da da dum! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

      • Chell-bell

        How about they are both bad and both good?

  • chucky3176

    Westerners should stop claiming they are much better than Koreans, when the reality is quite different.


    So people here are telling me their own countries in the West would give up seats
    for the disadvantaged, but that Koreans are evil monsters with no manners.

    • Ralph

      Nice bit of hyperbole there Chucky, but I don’t think anyone described Koreans as evil monsters. And by the way, you seem to throw about the term ‘Westerners’ quite a bit, but then use a link that is merely about one city, New York, to back up your argument. Now obviously New York is in the western world, but it is hardly representative of the rest of the US, or of Canada and it certainly isn’t representative of Europe which happens to be a whole continent away from it. Implying that it is, as you did, is as ludicrous as suggesting that the behaviour of other Asian peoples, like Indians or Pakistanis, is representative of the behaviour of Koreans.

      As for the article, well in my opinion, every country has its share of people who behave selfishly or ignorantly and no one can claim the moral high ground.

  • dave


  • G$T

    It’s not like anybody forced her to get pregnant, she made the choice to have sex after all.

  • In Truth

    Koreans are the most stupid, selfish, hateful, self-centered people in the world.

    • dk2020

      I know you are but what am I? Jeeez people are so stupid and ignorant ..

  • In Truth

    Korean Culture has very unique characteristics that can be distinguished easily from Chinese or Japanese

    • dk2020

      Hell yeah, I’m tired of yall suckas claiming East Asians are the same ..

      Dae Han Min Gooooook bitches!~ Viva Coreanos Mas Chingon putos! Por Vida!

  • G$T

    I swear I posted on hear yesterday, but OKAY. Isn’t it kind of her fault? No one made her get pregnant after all. The elderly have frail bodies, after all.

    • G$T


    • liquidcream

      what are you talking about phaggot? Pregnant woman tend to faint easily when they are standing.

  • lullaby

    thank God in Malaysia, not to boast or anything but as far as I’ve observed (everyday one hour journey back-forth using the train) , we are very concern of giving seats to the priorities , elders, pregnant woman and KIDS. yes. everytime a bunch of kids with their family enter the train, there will be people immediately stand up to give their seats for them. It always happen. not sure if it is for the courtesy purpose or to avoid other’s people scolding look but still, this is what happen in my country. seeing what happen in korea…..just make me so sad.

  • human

    Shame on them. S.korea’s government should learn from SMRT. Having Reserved Seat labellings to constantly remind them on giving up their seats for the less privileged and needy ones hence giving them no excuses on feigning ignorance.

  • bultak23

    Everyone not related to you is not worthy of any sympathy?

  • Such behaviour is nothing new, it was common back in the early 2000s. Once on a bus in Seoul (just full enough to fill all the seats, no one standing) I stood up for a woman who got on with her child. A selfish old lady shoved the woman aside and made a dirty dive for the seat, the woman nearly dropping her baby.

    The old bat didn’t take too kindly to me bodychecking her away from the seat (she fell on the floor) so the woman could sit down with her kid.

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  • ytuque

    I don’t know why people are discussing this as I see this regularly in Korea. This is just how Koreans are. If you don’t like it, you should move to a different country.

  • orvwho

    What makes you think these are hiking clothes? They look like comfortable clothing worn by elderly. I work with old people and half of them wear track suits all day. And they’re not running track!

    This girl doesn’t look like she cares, so why should you? She doesn’t seem to be having any trouble. She’s even on her phone. If she needed to sit down, all she has to do is politely ask.
    When I was 9 months pregnant in my 30’s my feet never hurt and I was working as a nurse. Now everything hurts from years of work. I wear sports clothes, but that doesn’t mean I’m playing sports!
    Just wait. You will understand the pain of standing when you’re older.

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