Friday, November 12, 2010

G20 Poll Results

For the past few weeks I ran a poll on here asking whether Seoul was ready for the G20. The thinking was that with world leaders coming here will they see what we expats see on a daily basis? Also did Seoul prepare enough for their visit and how well socially and infra-structurally was the city prepared.

According to my poll 33 people responded, which really isn't going to give out grandstanding statistical data. However, I thought I would share the results and my thoughts on the whole thing.

  • Yes - Infrastructural = 16 votes or 48%
  • Yes - Socially = 10 votes or 30%
  • No - Infrastructural = 6 votes or 18%
  • No - Socially = 12  votes or 36%
  • Don't know = 6 votes or 18%
As you can see people thought Seoul was infra-structurally ready for the summit, meaning transportation and signs were ready.  What this turned out to be is that the COEX convention center was sealed off behind several gates and fences and had, of course, a large amount of security. This helped our world leaders from being attacked but it left many Seoul citizens without a bus or station to get off of.

But not all citizens were happy about the event as some had to put up with inconveniences. Most mom and pop businesses around the main venue for the summit had to close their shops because of tight security.

At the same time, some office workers had to commute to work on public transportation, leaving their cars at home in order not to cause traffic congestion while delegations were on the move.
 I don't live in that area but my boyfriend works nearby and told me since people were mostly taking the subway that driving was relatively easy.

Socially, people said that Seoul wasn't quite ready. What did I mean by socially? It came down to how foreigners are treated and respected in Seoul and the whole country. Also it brought up how people act in public in extreme cases.

I realized, though, that this concern became moot since it was apparent that the people coming to the G20 were such high officials that they hardly walked around like pedestrians. Whether or not the reporters, spectators and protesters of the event were able to get a sense of Seoul in a social aspect is unknown.

What it also comes down to is that the G20 Summit was another way for the world to get a glimpse of the kimchi-nation. Maybe it sparked interest in some to find out more about Korea. Certainly this video showed some cultural aspects being presented during the summit. Or here...

In my opinion, Seoul was ready for the event and definitely made it safe for the visiting leaders.


  1. the video is showing an important thing that Barrack Obama is taller than Korean president Lee Myeong Bak..

  2. I noticed that too.. hehehe..well most people are taller than people in Korea.

  3. The point of "it was apparent that the people coming to the G20 were such high officials that they hardly walked around like pedestrians" may be moot, but it seems a reminder that said high officials NEED to be coddled and protected.

    Each group saw a different side of Seoul: the powers that be saw the finest hospitality that can be provided on a virtually unlimited budget; the dignitaries' spouses and foreign journalists had a similarly controlled time. The protesters saw how K-gov can summon enough security and police to silence thousands of people attempting to speak their minds... In short, everyone got roughly as they expected...


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