[Letter to the editor]Happy in Korea

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[Letter to the editor]Happy in Korea

I am not a Korean but after more than two years here working with Koreans in my lab I have made many good friends and I had a great professor who relates with his students as a father.
I wonder how come Korean-Americans cannot feel comfortable and satisfied in Korea. Of course, the culture is different, but they should seek their roots.
I like the atmosphere in Korea. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to study the language before coming because of its high cost but this year it became possible after Korea University opened free Korean classes. Now I can speak Korean, maybe like a three-year-old Korean child.
Korea is a very nice country and now on Korea University’s main campus you can see many people from all over the world.
I wish my country’s government would start strengthening our bilateral relationship with Korea and encourage companies like Samsung, LG and Hyundai to invest in Egypt.
I also wish to encourage Koreans to visit Egypt and enjoy our 7,000-year-old civilization.
Ibrahim Abdel Hameed, a Ph.D. student at Korea University
Focus on bus passengers
Most citizens and foreigners who have visited Korea have had a lot of unpleasant experiences commuting by bus in the smoky, noisy and chaotic roads here. Riding public transport in Korea is still worse than in a private car. While we have grown accustomed to city buses for decades, our experience with them has not improved.
We feel sorry for those carrying heavy baggage or students lugging bookbags, who get caught in abrupt snowfalls, rain, cold winds or blazing sun while waiting interminably for their buses. And even when they get on the bus, they are no better off with the sudden stops and starts and careening about.
Meanwhile, a measure to help improve the flow of urban buses passing through downtown will be drawn up by traffic authorities in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, it was announced recently. This will expand the bus-lane system, which has been running for some time on major roads in the capital.
To be fair, bus drivers need the utmost driving proficiency to steer their often jam-packed buses, keeping away from illegally parked private cars and trucks, street stalls and various complicated roadway facilities and maneuver into bus stops.
In the heat of this complicated and dangerous driving, many passengers are likely to take falls and get hurt.
If this bus-lane system is expanded, there must also be improvement in easing passenger access to buses, bus lanes, improving passenger comfort, saving commuting time into and out of downtown so people are encouraged to leave their cars at home and ease traffic. This means taking into account the point of view of ordinary citizens.
By all means, the matter needs to be addressed.
We need measures so passengers can safely cross the road getting into and out of buses.
We hope that authorities will put up a new kind of bus stop ― a kind of waiting room, with a roof even above the crosswalk. It should be well designed so as not to hamper safe driving.
Above all, the primary aim should be the passengers’ safety and convenience.
We hope that this system will be run well and with all citizens’ cooperation to give us a good chance to solve our traffic problems, improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental pollution.
Yoon Hyung-jun, Seoul
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