Free train ride and elderly foreigners
I am writing about your April 13 front-page article on ``elderly foreigners" being unhappy (upset) about the discrimination against them in Korea today in terms of public transportation.
Thank you for bringing this timely issue to the attention of your readers.
I am one of those ``elderly foreigners," having lived in Seoul for 44 years as a Methodist missionary.
On many occasions my colleagues, visitors and even Korean friends have been astonished at such discrimination in a society whose cultural beliefs and history continue to emphasize respect for the elders.
Especially strange is the report that Daegu and Busan do allow non-Korean seniors to use public transportation with no charge ``because there are not many of them."
Think of the good will toward foreign older visitors which could be easily demonstrated if they were given the same privilege as Korean elders. Think of the impression of a warm welcome to this country that would last in the minds of ``elderly foreigners."
Think of how little such a consideration would cost to the city or country or companies which seem so eager to devise ways to attract ``foreigners."
It is difficult for me to imagine or accept the comments reported in your paper today saying that this kind of consideration (actually very minimal in terms of finances or ``profit") is viewed negatively by decision-makers.
Where has globalization gone anyway?
Sonia Reid Strawn
United Methodist missionary, retired