We need breaks from our everyday work. Although they have a single objective, breaks have at least two different forms. For instance, some of my friends want to take a rest without having interactions with others. They turn off mobile phones, go to an all-inclusive hotel, and then spend time on doing nothing but reading casual books. Differently from these tranquil seekers, others want to get inspired by having more interactions with new things or strangers. They go to a city and then eat a wide variety of local food, visit museums and shops, and do not sleep at night but enjoy nightlife. They do many things.
Interestingly, my Asian friends tend to prefer the former option, taking a rest, probably because they are overwhelmed by meetings and schedules. In contrast, my European friends want to get inspired by exposing themselves with diverse stimulation probably because their everyday work is stable. There is a chance that the way I separate my friends or the way I understand their works is biased. However, what is important is that we need quality breaks to see the big picture of our everyday work. I recommend you to go to Vietnam and take a rest at an all inclusive resort at Da Nang and then have one-day local tour at Hoi An!
I recently traveled on trains in UK (London – Edinburgh) and in Korea (Seoul – Busan) and found two interesting differences.
First, I used a physical train ticket in UK and used an electronic ticket in Korea. In UK, I collected a paper ticket at the station and then physically showed it to the conductor on board at the time of ticket control. Interestingly, a slot was designated for train ticket on the headrest of each seat; thus, I did not have to interact with the conductor. Differently from this mechanical system, I paid for a train ticket online and my seat was booked in advance in Korea. Overall, I preferred the traditional mechanical way of working over the electronic one. Although the electronic system sounds convenient, I had spent more than 2 hours at home on going through hundreds of websites to buy a single train ticket online. I wish people do not replace the mechanical approach with the electronic one simply because the electronic approach looks cool.
Another interesting difference was that train seats in UK are higher than the train seats in Korea. In the UK train, people find it difficult to confirm whether a seat was taken or empty. However, it was relatively easy in the Korean train. Certainly, train seats were designed differently based on the average height of the people in each country. However, this difference further suggest that privacy matters more in the UK culture whereas publicness seems to be weighted more in the Korean culture.
UK train (London – Edinburgh)
Korean train (Seoul – Busan)
First name (or given name) is the name that identifies a specific person. It differentiates a person from other members of a group, such as a family or clan, with whom that person shares a common last name (or family name). While last name is normally inherited, first name is “free to choose” and thus can be unique.
In some countries, however, only a few options seem to be highly popular. Many of my friends who were born and live in US, UK, or Canada have common first names. In English-based countries, Coke’s massively-distributed-but-highly-customized “first name” marketing campaign will work: each bottle of coke has its own first name label such as John, Sarah, Emma, and Alex. However, popular first names seem to be avoided in other countries. Most of my Korean friends have their own unique first names. In this country, Coke marketers may find it difficult to find popular first names and launch a marketing campaign using them.
Then, why do some people pick up popular first names and others avoid them?
Nowadays, people rarely use pay phones or mailboxes run by government. Instead, they prefer to use private services when communicating with others; they use mobile phones or gmails. As people find the contemporary public services slow and inconvenient, they avoid public communication points. Ironically, most of the public communication points such as pay phone booths and mail boxes are located at the high traffic areas. Put simply, relatively useless, public communication points stand at the highly useful, high traffic areas.
Therefore, many people propose to use public communication points for other purposes. For example, they suggest to use pay phone booths to charge batteries from mobile phones to electronic cars, to use the booths to collect traffic data, or to leave defibrillator, a device to give electric shock to someone’s hearts, for emergency.