Tag Archives: City

Foreigners form impressions instantly about countries

In Berlin, Germany, I met a vending machine in a steel cage. Covering the machine with a cage surprised me because it was inside one of downtown subway stations. My friend told me the machine could be damaged at night by drunken people. I formed an impression that Germany was unsafe; juvenile vandalism, an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property, was popular in this country.



A few days later, I met a public book shelf in another city. At a market in Frankfurt, people freely opened the window and picked up as many books to read as they wanted. Then, I corrected my impression and thought Germany is safe.



I find myself using trivial cues to quickly form an impression about a city or a country. A steel cage led me to think Germany was dangerous for tourists. However, as Brunswik suggested in his Les Model research, the first impression fails to reflect the truth. Soon after, leaning occurs. A book shelf changed my viewpoint about Germany; this country is safe for travel. I expect same things happen to foreigners. When Europeans come to an Asian country, they probably use a trivial cue to form an impression and use other cues to correct it. Learning should occur to understand different cities, countries, and culture correctly.


Brunswik, E. (1955). Representative design and probabilistic theory in a functional psychology. Psychological Review, 62(3), 193-217.

This is the core or basic paper in a symposium on the probability approach in psychology. The paper expands on earlier contentions of this author that the environment to which an organism must adjust is semi erratic and that therefore all functional psychology is inherently probabilistic, demanding a representative research design of its own, and leading to a special type of high-complexity, descriptive theory. “The expansions beyond the earlier publications… concern mainly the use of a behavioral example… ; the brief consideration of such semi representative policies as ‘canvassing’; certain comparisons with factorial design and the analysis of variance, as well as with non-functionalistic uses of probability in psychology; and a discussion of actual and potential applications to the clinical-social area and to related domains.”




Seoul: Past vs. Present

While Seoul grew rapidly from the ashes to become a metropolis, this city lost much of its uniqueness and beauty, in particular, a set of organically linked traditional buildings. Two miniatures at the Seoul Museum of History showed stark contrast.


DML_Seoul Past Present (1)


Seoul became the capital of a sovereign nation in 1945, with Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule, and three years later, it was upgraded to “Special City” status. However, the city was plagued by poverty as refugees poured in from North Korea and masses of ethnic Koreans returned to their homeland from overseas. Making matters worse, the Korean War broke out in 1950, and soon the city was in ruins. After the war, economic development returned, and Seoul began to transform into a huge, modern metropolis. The construction industry advanced steadily with the pressing need for more water mains, sewage systems, roads, subways, housing and schools to accommodate the explosive population growth. Streets were laid in the area south of the Hangang River, and the boundaries of the Seoul metropolitan area continued to expand. The ‘Miracle on the Han River’ brought industrialization, economic growth, democratization, and governmental decentralization to the nation.

(1945 – 2002, Period of Rapid Growth Seoul, Rising from the Ashes to become a Metropolis)


DML_Seoul Past Present (2)




You will think creatively in Bali

Ubud is a small town on the Indonesian island of Bali. “Eat, Pray, Love” was filmed in 2010 in this town. IMDb explains this movie;

A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to find herself

Although I did not have to find myself, I needed to take a break from the rat race. One day at this town perfectly recharge myself. People are friendly, food was delicious (Babi Guling at Ibu Oka), and guest houses with free wifi and hot water are cheap. I found many non-local, mostly European tourists spend time on reading/writing books at cafes and restaurants with rice field views (yes, rice fields can be scenic!). This town even has a co-working space called Hubud for those who want to start their own businesses. To me, Ubud is a cleaner/healthier version of Bangkok, a must visit place in the world. 🙂